Companies Starting to Offer Insurance for Employee Pets
Employers are taking note of the fact that pets make their staff feel better. And now more and more companies are starting to offer pet insurance as part of their benefits package.
These early adopters recognize that attracting and retaining top talent requires more than paying a competitive salary. It requires offering benefits that enrich the lives of employees and their families.
“‘Family’ is really the operative word here,” said Petplan co-founder and co-CEO Chris Ashton. “Ninety-two percent of pet parents think of their pets as family members, and most people would do anything for family—even if it means going into debt to pay for medical care.”
Because pet insurance reimburses pet parents for unexpected veterinary bills related to an illness or injury, it allows employers to support the emotional and financial well-being of their employees while demonstrating that the company cares about the things that are important to its workers.
“It’s not often that you can invest in a happier, healthier and more productive workforce at little or no cost to the company,” said Ashton. “But that’s precisely the value Petplan has created for a number of companies in the Fortune 500.”
Choosing the Right Partner
Because employees’ experiences with benefits partners can reflect back on their employers, Ashton advises that benefits coordinators do their due diligence.
“Start by checking out their underwriters’ ratings with independent insurance ratings agencies like A.M. Best,” he said. “You might also research providers’ offerings and their reputations in the marketplace by visiting websites like PetInsuranceReview.com.”
By asking the questions that matter to pet parents, employers can make informed decisions to ensure that their employees’ benefits experiences reflect positively on the company.
Ashton suggests asking these five questions:
Does the provider cover chronic conditions like allergies, pancreatitis and diabetes as pets age? Thirty to 40 percent of all Petplan pet insurance claims are for chronic conditions that can last beyond 12 months, and some providers exclude coverage after a certain time period.
Does the provider use a benefits schedule when determining the amount of reimbursement? Or is it based on the actual cost of treatment provided by the vet? The latter is the better value for employees. A provider that uses a benefits schedule is a red flag, and could leave employees paying more out-of-pocket costs than they signed up for.
Will the provider reimburse for care from any veterinarian? You want to be sure your employees aren’t restricted to specific veterinarians or locations.
Does the provider offer customer service 24/7? Veterinary emergencies can happen at any time, day or night.
Are plans flexible in terms of co-pay, deductible and coverage amounts? The ability to customize a plan is important for your employees, all of whom might have different needs.
Learn more about adding Petplan pet insurance as a voluntary benefit here.