Gloucester Insurer Partners with Swedish Virtual Vet Service
Virtual GP services have been a lifesaver during the last long year of lockdown, and pet ownership has soared as UK households seek a lockdown companion. Gloucester-based pet insurer petGuard, part of Thistle Insurance Services, has teamed up with Swedish virtual vet service FirstVet to offer the same 24/7 virtual video consultation service for pets, free to pet-owning policyholders.
Already a market leader in Scandinavia, and fast-growing in the US, Germany, and the UK, FirstVet’s fast, simple app enables pet owners to describe their pet’s issue and upload any relevant photos ahead of the video consultation with an experienced vet. And with nationwide coverage, referral to a local veterinary clinic or treatment recommendation is straightforward for anxious pet owners.
Gloucester-headquartered petGuard has seen significant growth in the last 12 months of UK pandemic restrictions, as dog and cat ownership has soared while locked-down, furloughed and home-working households have discovered the health benefits and companionship of a pet in the home.
“Through the lockdown period we have seen a surge in enquiries for pet insurance to cover puppies, kittens, cats and dogs as interest in adding a pet to the family has skyrocketed” explained petGuard’s Head of Marketing Alex Bennett, “Many policyholders at the moment may be anxious about taking a trip to the vets, due to lockdown restrictions or the need to shield, so FirstVet was a natural extension for us to support our policyholders further. FirstVet’s easy-access, 24/7 video consultation service is a great fit for our policy, helping to reduce the stress for pet owners and provide their pets with the support they need”.
Launching today on the petGuard website, the FirstVet service is free for new and existing petGuard policyholders, and covers a comprehensive range of ailments, including gastrointestinal, weight and behavioural problems.
David Prien, FirstVet’s CEO & co-founder, comments: “We're absolutely delighted to be partnering with petGuard to offer veterinary video consultations to their customers. Especially during the UK lockdown, pet owners need to have the opportunity to speak face-to-face with experienced veterinarians. petGuard want to ensure their customers get the best care for their pets, without having to leave the comfort of their homes."