Waggel, a new “insurtech” startup in the U.K., is officially launching today to offer what it describes as “fully digital” pet insurance.
Founded by Andrew Leal and Ross Fretten (a contestant of The Apprentice 2017), the company wants to offer more transparent coverage for your pet, where you’ll know exactly how much you’re paying and for what provision, as well as offer rewards for improving the care of your animal.
“The biggest problem in pet insurance and insurance in general is the lack of value that customers get with a policy,” says Leal. “You pay a monthly fee and get nothing in return except maybe a promise to pay out a claim in the future. On top of this, pet insurance has become extremely complicated for users, with confusing policy names and jargon-rich wording. The industry is still largely paper-based, slow and terrible at communicating with customers and as a result falls well short of today’s consumer expectations. Insurance is very much a grudge purchase.”
Leal says that Waggel is attempting to solve this by offering a fully digital solution that puts the customer experience first “to alleviate the stress that is typical of insurance.”
You are able to get a quote within 30 seconds that explains in simple language what you’re getting for your money. You also can make a claim within the app and track that claim in real time, while Waggel promises to be transparent on how much it is paying out and why.
“All without having to hear another minute of hold music!,” quips the Waggel founder.
In addition to the startup’s core insurance product, Waggel offers a rewards program that Leal says makes it easier and more affordable for customers to take preventative care of their pet through feeding them higher quality nutrition. This comes in the form of “discounts with our hand-picked quality pet food partners,” he says.
In terms of competition, Leal says there are numerous incumbents in the pet insurance space, but cites PetPlan and Animal Friends as the main two.
“Pet insurance has gotten stuck in a vicious cycle,” he adds. “The market has developed in that competitors offer an extremely homogeneous products. With not much separating the different offerings, price has become the main differentiator. On the other side, the average vet bills have continued to rise. This means that insurers are getting squeezed for profits and are having to offer less and less value to their customers, whilst being stricter and stricter on claims.
“We want to bring a new fresh approach to the market in that we want to see our policyholders as members and their premium as a subscription, for which they can get continuous value for their monthly fee through our rewards program.”