Naturally, we hope every pet enjoys a lifetime of good health. Yet things happen. Research shows that roughly 1 in 3 pets will need emergency veterinary treatment each year.
To cover unexpected veterinary costs, pet owners who choose pet insurance do so for four main reasons:
- Better planning: With pet insurance, pet owners can move the cost of pet illness from discretionary to budget.
- Better decisions: Pet insurance gives pet owners the freedom to make decisions that are in the best interests of their pet’s health versus being constrained by finances.
- Longer, happier lives for their pets: Pet insurance removes the preventable pain of economic euthanasia—an all-too-common occurrence when pet parents must put their furry family members to sleep because they cannot afford medical expenses.
- Peace of mind: Pet insurance provides assurance that a pet will be protected if or when a time comes.
According to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Association, about 90% of dog owners and 95% of cat owners do not have pet insurance.
So, when unexpected accidents and illnesses happen, they do not have a financial safety net. Instead, they must depend on credit cards, loans, or borrow money from friends or family when faced with unexpected veterinary costs, or worse.
They find themselves facing the agonizing decision to put a pet down because they cannot afford treatment, and no pet owner (or pet) should have to face such an experience.
Pet owners who do not have pet insurance to cover veterinary costs must depend on savings accounts, credit cards, or loans to cover costs or worse. Pet owners face the agonizing decision to put a pet down because they cannot afford treatment.
Pet owners with pet insurance visit their veterinarian more often than uninsured pet owners, according to findings from a recent Nationwide study involving roughly 10 million pets served by 2,000 veterinary clinics across the U.S.
This means practices with more insured clients are empowered to perform the best veterinary medicine possible because clients have the necessary resources to follow through with optimal recommendations and treatment plans. As a result, pet insurance generates more practice revenue.
Key Study Findings about Pet Insurance
Insured dog owners visited their veterinarian 73% more often, resulting in 4.17 annual visits per insured dog versus 2.41 annual visits per uninsured dog.
- Insured cat owners visited their veterinarian 43% more often, resulting in 2.54 annual visits per insured cat versus 1.77 annual visits per uninsured cat.
- Insured dogs were 51% more likely to receive surgical treatment, and 17% more was spent on those procedures.
- Insured cats were 20% more likely to receive surgical treatment, and 38% more was spent on those procedures.
- Overall, clinic revenue was 92% higher for insured dogs and 76% higher for insured cats.
Pet Insurance Increases Client Retention for Practices
When pet owners must rely on savings accounts, credit cards, or financial assistance for veterinary care, they naturally shop around for affordable care. When pet owners have the financial resources they need with pet insurance, they generally forgo shopping around and stay with the clinic they know and trust.
The Nationwide study found that after three years, 81% of insured dogs were at the same clinic, compared to 46% for uninsured dogs, and 69% of insured cats were at the same clinic, compared to 33% for uninsured cats.
The AVMA Encourages Pet Owner Education About Pet Insurance
One of the biggest reasons why the AVMA encourages veterinarians to talk about pet insurance with clients is trust. Pet owners view veterinarians as authority figures, and as noted in Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Practice Management Consult, “Pet owners are more likely to obtain pet insurance if their veterinarian recommends it.”
Pet insurance can also improve practice revenue. According to NAPHIA, pet insurance “demonstrated a significant uptick in veterinary spending if clients had insurance for their pets—a 29 percent increase for dog owners and a whopping 81 percent increase for cat owners.”
Despite the recommendations and benefits of pet insurance to practices, many veterinarians and their teams do not speak with their clients about pet insurance. Practice teams either do not have time or do not want to chat with clients about pet insurance.
To remedy the situation, download our complimentary Pet Insurance Education Kit, complete with tools that your practice can use to easily educate clients about pet insurance and answer their questions..
Available for a limited time, our kit includes:
- An educational handout—Pet Insurance: Synopsis of a ClientEd Handout—that you can print or email.
- An infographic highlighting the value of pet insurance and how it works.
- Two social media images that you can post on Facebook to further remind pet owners about the importance of pet insurance.
- An in-clinic poster encouraging pet owners to visit petinsuranceinfo.com to learn more and make informed decisions.