17 March 2009
PREVENTION BETTER THAN CURE FOR PETS AND CASH-STRAPPED OWNERS
• 20% increase in pet owners purchasing medication through online pet pharmacy
• M&S pet insurance policyholders enjoy discount to further reduce cost of medication
Pet owners who cut back on regular treatments for their animals increase the risk of expensive vet
bills in the long-term, warns pet insurer M&S Money.
Animal lovers can reduce the risk of their pets suffering from common conditions, such as dental
disease and worms, by investing in regular, affordable treatments.
For example, a single treatment to reduce the risk of fleas in household pets costs around £4. A
vet bill to treat fleas can reach as much as £2,000 in severe cases.
Pet owners are also reminded that most insurance policies will not cover the cost of treating any
illness that their pet should have been vaccinated against.
M&S Pet Insurance can help to reduce the costs for pet-owners, with a 5% discount on prescription
and non-prescription drugs as well as pet foods from online pharmacy Bestpet.co.uk
The site, which sells pet medication costing up to 50% less than buying at the vets, has reported a
20% increase in business this year.
Judith Roberts, M&S Insurance Manager, said: “Responsible pet owners know that regular
treatments can help to reduce the likelihood of their pets suffering from common conditions.
“However, purchasing all the recommended medication can be expensive, particularly at this time.
M&S Pet Insurance customers are turning to Bestpet to reduce the cost of these treatments and
ensure their pets remain happy and healthy.”
John Darlington of Bestpet Pharmacy said: “Even if a pet is insured they need to be treated
regularly to prevent suffering and avoid potential claims as well as possible premium increases.
Simple worming and flea treatment regimes can protect the pet from infestation. We are now
approaching the high season for these ailments.”
Table showing the cost of treating common conditions in household pets
Cost if left untreated
Transmit disease, notably tapeworms. Single treatment
Severe cases: £1,000-
Can trigger allergic skin disease.
£2,000 per year.
Notably tapeworm. Very common and
infectious. Can lead to vomiting,
Sweet ‘treats’ and increased longevity
Around £100 per month
of pets is leading to dental problems.
Diet feed: £7 extra
Degenerative conditions such as
Up to £1,000 per year,
osteoarthritis common in aging cats
health: £5-£20 per
Symptoms include aggression, self
Around £12 per
Severe cases: £2,000 per
trauma and destructiveness.
For more information about M&S Pet Insurance or to apply, customers can visit
www.marksandspencer.com/petinsurance or telephone 0800 731 4280.
For further information please call the M&S Money press office:
Liz Neild on 01244 686 068
Simon Coughlin on 020 7992 1574
Notes to Editors
M&S Pet Insurance - Key Features
• Lifetime cover, providing you renew your policy each year and cover continues to be made available to
• No upper age limit
• Up to £7,000 a year in vets' fees for illness and injury
• No time limit on treatment as long as your policy is in force
• Premier and Standard cover available
• M&S Pet Insurance Premier Cover has been Five-Star Rated for features and benefits by Defaqto, an
independent research company
• Save 15% when you apply online (available to new customers only)
• All policies come with Vetfone and Bestpet Pharmacy
• 5% multi pet discount
• M&S Cardholders will earn 250 M&S points, when they take out a new policy
M&S Money (the trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial
services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a top-ten credit card provider and
the second-largest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers a range of insurance cover,
including home insurance and car insurance, as well as loans, savings and investment products.
In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC. The Group serves customers worldwide
from around 9,500 offices in 86 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the
Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,527 billion at 31 December 2008, HSBC is one of the world’s
largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as ‘the world’s local
M&S Money has an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives from HSBC and
Marks & Spencer.