Legal & General Insurance Limited has announced the acquisition of 100 percent of Buddies Enterprises Limited.
The UK pet insurance sector now accounts for £1bn of gross written premiums and has grown at a compound annual rate of nine percent over the last five years.
However, more than half the pet owners in the UK still have no insurance cover against vet bills and other associated costs.
Legal & General’s Petonomics report, which looks at how the pet market contributes to the wider UK economy, has found that the typical dog owner spends £198 every year on their pet’s medical expenses, with cat owners paying on average £97 a year.
There is therefore a significant opportunity for further growth to be achieved by combining Buddies’ specialist product and distribution expertise with Legal & General’s multi-channel distribution and broad customer base.
Buddies Enterprises Limited is a privately owned, UK-based provider of pet insurance products and specialises in working with breeders and their customers.
Cheryl Agius, CEO General Insurance, Legal & General, said: “We are delighted to announce our acquisition of Buddies – part of our continued expansion into broader distribution channels across the pet insurance market. Buddies is ‘best of breed’ in the pet insurance sector and bringing their expertise into Legal & General will enable us to give pet-owning customers a wider choice of insurers and products with which to address the sometimes surprisingly high costs of pet ownership.”
Marianne Metaxas, managing director, Buddies, said: “We are thrilled to be part of Legal & General and look forward to further developing the successful business we have established.
“Regulatory focus on the pet market and the desire for increased consumer choice mean that there are exciting opportunities ahead. With Legal & General’s reputation as a highly focused customer brand and its strength in direct sales, we are in a great position to deliver a range of innovative products across this growing market.”
The acquisition by Legal & General’s General Insurance division, is for an undisclosed price and will complete upon receipt of FCA approval.