Pet insurance for cats is projected to grow by 13% by 2026, according to the Global Pet Insurance Market Overview, 2021-2026 report. Though this points to more pet care opportunities for veterinary teams, reduced stress over client economic limitations, and more clinic revenue, research also shows two things:
Veterinary teams play a key role in the growth of pet insurance.
Veterinary teams face an ongoing challenge that likely won’t go away any time soon.
What Is Pet Insurance?
As with other types of insurance, pet insurance is the transfer of risk to a third party in exchange for paying a premium. In other words, the pet owner is paying a premium to the pet insurance company for them to assume a portion of the risk for your pet’s covered medical expenses. Neither you nor the insurance company want your pet to be sick or injured, but by paying the premium, the pet insurance company is assuming a part of the economic risk instead of you.
What is the Purpose of Pet Insurance?
Like other types of insurance, pet insurance works by transferring the economic risk of having to pay for all of your pet’s medical expenses in exchange for paying a premium. Pet insurance should be purchased to transfer the risk of unexpected and unanticipated medical expenses that could be very expensive. The insurance policy is a contract that determines the claims which the insurer is legally required to pay following the payment of the premium. If you purchase coverage that transfers risk to cover every minor medical expense, you will pay more premium up front. Therefore, the smart purchase is to buy a policy that protects you for the amount that is above your ability or willingness to pay.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?
Pet insurance typically costs $30 – $90 per month but can cost more based on the level of coverage and the breed of your pet and can cover up to 90% of vet bills. You can select the premium and amount of coverage by choosing the deductible, the co-insurance, and the annual policy limits appropriate for you and your budget. Some pet insurance policies offer premium discounts. A common discount is given for multiple pets enrolled from the same household. Others offer discounts for policies purchased online.
How Does Breed Impact Insurance Coverage and Costs?
As we all know, not all pets are created equal. As such, there isn’t just one flat premium amount that will cover every pet. First and foremost, there is typically a cost difference between what insurance will cost for a cat versus a dog. Cats typically see the veterinarian less than dogs and, if indoor only, are also less likely to incur an injury. There are also fewer genetic issues that impact cat premiums.
For dogs, on average, the least costly dog would be a mixed breed somewhere around 35-40 pounds, as they are typically hardier. Large purebred breeds are known for potentially expensive orthopedic problems: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cruciate tears, etc. Some breeds are known to have heart problems. Some purebreds are more likely to have genetic problems that can be passed from generation to generation.
Most insurance companies will price premiums based on breed because experience has shown that some breeds cost more to care for. The way this is done by some is by creating risk pools (certain breeds grouped together in the same premium categories). This allows all pet owners with similar high-cost breeds to share in the financial risk with other pet owners.
Where Can I Compare Insurance Quotes From Different Companies?
LifeLearn’s PetInsuranceInfo.com pet insurance information website helps pet owners easily understand more about what pet insurance is and isn’t, and provides a free Get a Quote tool, created to make it simple for pet owners to compare and review policies offered by different pet insurance companies.
Can You Summarize the Benefits of Pet Insurance?
To put it simply, pet insurance can provide you with the peace of mind and confidence to make better health care decisions that are in the best interest of your pet. By providing you with protection from the financial strain of unexpected medical costs, pet insurance gives you the ability to focus on what’s really important—being there for your pet when your pet needs you the most.
Veterinary Teams Play a Key Role in the Growth of Pet Insurance
Recent findings published by Veterinary Practice News reveal, “Pet owners are more likely to accept pet medical insurance when it is brought to their attention by their veterinarian.” This means, veterinary teams are in a unique position to drive the 13% projected growth in pet insurance—and realize the benefits. The key to it all is client education. As noted in a pre-pandemic article by Veterinary Practice News, “When veterinarians invest in learning about and recommending pet insurance, the result is a win-win-win for pets, clients, and the veterinary hospital.”
The Ongoing Challenge for Veterinary Teams
As much as veterinary teams wish more pet owners had pet insurance, a recent survey by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) shows that busy clinic teams have little time to chat with clients about pet insurance (or don’t feel comfortable doing so). As a result, as noted by Mary Beth Leininger, DVM, in Veterinary Practice News, “Few veterinarians do little more than display pet insurance brochures in the reception area.”
Pet Insurance Info is a free integration feature for all WebDVM websites
Reflective of LifeLearn’s core commitment to advance pet health and education worldwide, PetInsuranceInfo.com helps pet owners learn about the value of pet insurance and the questions they need to ask before purchasing a policy, and guides them through the quote process once they’re prepared to make a purchase decision that fits their budget.
While PetInsuranceInfo.com is a free service accessible to pet owners from our consumer site, the benefit of integrating PetInsuranceInfo.com into a practice’s WebDVM website is that pet owners can feel confident that the information is reliable and trustworthy since it’s coming directly from their veterinary provider. And practices have the unique ability to select which insurance providers they wish to support.
Don’t have PetInsuranceInfo.com?
Contact us today to learn more about integrating PetInsuranceInfo.com into your WebDVM custom veterinary website.