The outlook for UK and North America pet insurers remains positive over the next five years, according to insurance technology specialist Aquarium Software and its clients. Recent industry analysis suggests that from 2008 to 2012, the UK market has increased by 35 percent. Despite the recessionary environment and the squeeze on household incomes, pet insurance has been the fastest growing category in insurance sales.

Aquarium said the trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future. Market penetration is at about 35 percent in the United Kingdom, and gross written premium is forecast to hit $1.5 billion per year by 2017. This is compared to a less than 2 percent penetration in the United States. North American markets represent significant commercial opportunity.

Aquarium said that, in insurance terms, the United States and Canada are lagging behind for a variety of reasons, including the rising cost of veterinary care. The main challenge is to raise consumer awareness and educate the consumer about the true cost of caring for a pet when it becomes sick or injured, Aquarium said. Pets also are living longer, just like humans, so the risk that a pet will require expensive treatment at some point is becoming more widely understood.

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