Improvements in vet procedures 'have increased insurance premiums'

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Improvements in the service offered by veterinary practices have led to an increase in pet insurance premiums, according to a national body.

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has said that as more tests are available to discover what is wrong with the animal, costs have gone up "an awful lot" in the last 30 or 40 years.

John Bower, a practicing vet and past president of the organisation, has said that because of this, it is important to take out cover.

He explained: "It makes sense to pay £100 or £200 a year for this very valuable medicine to make sure that if something really bad goes wrong, you are able to afford it."

According to a study by Datamonitor, the pet insurance market grew rapidly in 2005 due to increasing premiums and a higher level of penetration.

The research also found that across the year, premium income in the sector grew by 17 per cent, while product penetration was around 18 per cent.

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