CRIF launches first centralised industry Database for Pet Insurance claims

12 million UK households owned at least one pet in 2015 according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association.  The Association of British Insurers [ABI] figures from March 2016 illustrate low market penetration - only 3.9 million of the 17 million dogs and cats owned by UK households have insurance cover. Pet insurance represents a significant growth opportunity for insurers. However, the ABI reports the number and cost of claims faced by pet insurers have reached record levels. Claims volumes in 2015 increased by 9% on 2014 and insurers paid out the equivalent of £1.8 million in claims every day.
 
A key factor contributing to rising costs is pet insurance fraud. Common frauds include fake accidents to cover pre-existing conditions or intentionally injured pets, insuring imaginary pets, staging pet disappearances, pet swopping and the submission of inflated and treatment exaggerated veterinary bills.  Currently insurers are tackling the problem in silos because the industry has no efficient or effective way of collaborating to detect pet insurance fraud and its related professional enablers.  Pet Cache will give insurers a centralised platform where they can share and interrogate industry pet claims data and related industry data bases to support the claims investigation process and identify claim anomalies, serial claimants, suspect vets operating as professional enablers and emerging fraud trends. 
 
Pet Cache integrates easily with insurers’ back office claims systems and insurers’ in-house data. Accessible via batch, A2A or web browser, insurers will be able to populate and search the database real time or overnight batch. The service can be made available as a pay-per-click model or licence fee based.  Crif envisions additional data sources being made available via Pet Cache in the future to include full claims profile of the claimant across multiple business lines, pet micro-chip databases and business bureau information related to veterinary practices.  In this way insurers will have a holistic view of the pet insurance claim and the parties involved, supporting the genuine customer, vet and the insurer.  Crif ultimately foresees extending the service to support insurers with a comprehensive quote and underwriting process as well as overall customer engagement during the insurance life cycle. 
 
Sara Costantini, Director at CRIF Decision Solutions said: “Pet insurance represents a major growth opportunity for insurers - we may even see a time in the future where it becomes compulsory in the UK.  We recognised the claim costs control challenges facing those already operating in this space and the related barriers to entry to others who would like to offer this cover.  Innovation is central to our business culture and we have a track record for taking action; not just offering lip service to the market.  We are excited by the prospects of what can be achieved with a centralised industry database providing an holistic view of the claimant and their claims history, together with the vet, their treatment records and practice information and the associated benefits to policy life cycle.  The fraud deterrent value alone we believe will be significant and pet insurers will be able to make informed claim decisions to support their customers, improve satisfaction and operate competitively. The market as a whole will become better educated and have an improved understanding of fraud risk associated with pet insurance.”
 

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