In a city that has about a million and a half dogs and cats like Hong Kong, pet insurance can become a good business
Animal insurance like dogs or cats, are useful to help those owners who find themselves having to spend large sums of money from the vet. In London, for example, this practice is widely used and as many as 20% of London dogs and cats have insurance coverage.
Instead, in Hong Kong, where there are about a million and a half dogs and cats, only 3% of these animals have veterinary insurance coverage. OneDegree, whose insurance products range from pets to travel, has decided to take advantage of this opportunity.
Alvin Kwock Yin-lun, co-founder and chief executive of OneDegree, in an interview to SCMP said: “There are over 510,000 dogs and cats that are kept as pets in Hong Kong but only 3 per cent of them are covered by pet insurance. This is much lower than 30 per cent in Sweden, 20 per cent in Britain and 10 per cent in Japan. Many people are keeping their pets as part of their family. The ageing population in Hong Kong means more people will keep dogs and cats as companions”.
Furthermore, the data are encouraging. In fact, the population of dogs and cats in Hong Kong has grown by 60% in the last 10 years. “We believe the demand for pet insurance would be huge” Kwock said.
Factors affecting the premium will depend on the particular breed of the animal, health history and the scope of coverage
The goal of OneDegree is to exploit this market space and establish itself as a leader for the insurance of dogs and cats. “We are keen to be among the first batch of online insurance companies in Hong Kong for a general insurance license to sell pet, car, travel and other products,” Kwock said.
Moreover, OneDegree’s aim is to create a dedicated App, so as to avoid long lines and waiting days to do simple operations. “The claims could be handled within one day without any paper work which is faster than the traditional method which can take up to 30 to 90 days and a lot of paperwork to complete a claim process” chief executive of OneDegree said.
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