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Saga Pet Insurance Services: Saga pet insurance has revealed that average vet bills in the UK have doubled in the past three years. The average bill is now £598 per year. Those in the Northwest of England are experiencing the highest bills with an average of £646. Andrew Goodsell from Saga has commented that vet bills are rising higher than inflation and that pet insurance is more important than ever. This is particularly true for those aged over 50 who already have difficulty making ends meet.

A document written by DEFRA has suggested that dog owners be forced to take out pet insurance to cover compensation payments if someone is bitten. According to the Telegraph, dog attacks are up by 66% in the last ten years and 100 people are admittance to hospital each week with dog bites. Furthermore, the Government is looking at making microchips compulsory for all dogs after complaints about dog fights increased 12 fold since 2004. The changes will form part of an amendment to the Dangerous Dogs Act. However breaking news has suggested that there will be a backtrack on these plans, in particular when it comes to compulsory insurance and microchipping. Home secretary Alan Johnson has said that some of the plans will not survive scrutiny by the government. The Tories have claimed that dogs may be abandoned and that those who have the most dangerous dogs are unlikely to comply.

A tour of London by Prudential boss Tidjane Thiam has said to have paid off after it appears that seven key shareholders who own 30% of the company, have backed the decision to buy the Asian arm of AIG. For the rights issue required to raise the funds to go ahead, 75% of shareholders need to agree to it. Thiam is expected to iron out issues which are still concerning other shareholders, including bringing forward a Hong Kong share listing to help raise more cash.

The FSA has estimated that the insurance industry could spend more than £4bn in compensation claims surrounding the mis-selling of PPI. The figures came out in a revised consultation report on the redress of PPI claims which also showed that £1bn to £3bn should be expected for claims which have not yet come to light and another £700m to £1.2bn for those claims which are still in the pipeline. Insurance brokers will be expected to pay £430m and £120m will come from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The rest will be spread around various providers. The FSA has asked providers to identify the customers who may have been mis-sold and to redress where appropriate. The average amount the FSA expects insurers to compensate is £1925 for those sold a premium product and £900 for a regular product. Meanwhile the FSA have claimed that they will have to extend it's consultation on PPI for a further 6 weeks due to pressure from the insurance industry. They say they are disappointed in the reaction from the insurance industry, but remain committed to bringing about change for the consumers.

Standard Life has reported better than expected profits for 2009 despite a drop in operating profit of 1.5%. This was less than expected. Most of these savings came from £47m worth of cuts which were made last year. Another £100m in cuts are expected by 2012. The insurer has said it will spend more than £200m to develop and promote new products.

Kwik Fit have launched their Charity of the Year 2010 with the help of Rugby star Johnnie Beattie. The insurer has pledged to support Rutherglen High School which provides education to children with support needs. Kwik Fit employees will be dedicating their fund raising efforts to the school over the next year and will volunteer to help build a new sensory garden. The school has said that the news was like winning the lottery. †

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Saga Pet Insurance Services