$15.42 billion. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent $15.42 billion dollars on veterinary care last year alone. Every six seconds a pet owner faces a vet bill of $3,000 or more.
This amount of spending, combined with the sheer number of pet owners (62 percent of Americans own at least one pet ) has continued the rise of employer-backed pet insurance.
Around 1/3 of Fortune 500 Companies now offer pet insurance as a benefit. Overall, the pet insurance industry has experienced accelerated growth. Over the past few years, the industry has grown 15 to 17% annually.
This increase is considerably more substantial than the 3 to 4 percent growth rates in the home and auto insurance industries, over the same time frame. Any company can join in on one of the hottest trends in the benefits industry and reap significant rewards from offering your employees pet insurance. Will yours?
What is pet insurance?
Pet insurance is medical insurance, for pets. Simple enough, right? If your pet has an accident, illness, or injury and needs veterinary care, pet insurance helps cover some or all of the cost of treatment.
Pet insurance, like other forms of insurance, is becoming more customizable. Pet owners can now choose between different deductibles, co-pays, and annual maximums that best fit their needs. Premiums cost between $10 to $100 a month. Basic plans usually range from $30 to $50 a month.
There are a few fundamental differences between insurance for man and man’s best friend. The first difference is that a vast majority of pet insurance plans do not have an in-network provider. Pet owners can then choose any veterinary they want, or what’s closest, without having to worry about paying an out-of-network charge.
The second key difference is that pet insurance subsists on a system of reimbursement. This system means that pet owners will still have to save cash for costly procedures, even if their pet is covered.
After paying for treatment the pet owner files a claim and is reimbursed after that claim is approved. So, pet owners with pet insurance will still need to save money in case their furry friends experience a medical emergency.
How does pet insurance help our business?
There are four primary benefits pet insurance can offer your organization.
Providing pet insurance as a benefit helps to set your company apart from your competition. SHRM estimates that only nine percent of all businesses currently offer pet insurance. Offering pet insurance as a voluntary benefit is a cheap way to separate yourself as a company.
Pet insurance can be an especially powerful recruiting tool for younger workers. The two youngest generations in the workforce, Millennials and Gen X, have the highest rates of pet ownership at 65 and 71 percent respectively.
In a recent survey from Skout, 58 percent of employees under the age of 30 said that dogs in the office make a business “a cool place to work for.” This number was three times the amount who said the same thing for a ping pong or foosball table.
Employees want to work for a company that is pet-friendly. Sponsoring insurance for your workers’ furry pals, is a good way demonstrate your pet-friendly environment.
Workers want to feel as if their values align with company values. Not only are more people owning pets, more people also consider their pets family members. Over 95 percent of pet owners now consider their pets to be a part of their family.
Pet insurance shows your workers that you care about what they care about; their pets. This insurance covers employees pets and ensures these beloved creatures stay healthy. It is a voluntary benefit that aligns employee and company values.
Giving employees a benefit that protects their four-legged friends/family is an excellent way to keep employees. If a worker values their pet, and other potential employers don’t offer pet insurance, they are more likely to stay with your organization.
As previously mentioned, less than an estimated 10 percent of all companies provide this type of insurance. Any employee who has a pet they’re close with is much more likely to stay with your company if you protect their four-legged loved ones.
Believe it or not, offering pet insurance can work to stave off decreases in productivity. This insurance can help your business by keeping employees less stressed, which can increase productivity.
Research from Towers Watson found that employees with high-stress levels have lower engagement and are less productive. In a 2007 survey, the American Psychological Association found that 73 percent of Americans cited money as a significant source of stress in their lives.
Conversely, 73 percent of pet owners admitted they would take on debt to pay for medical care for their pets. Pet insurance can save these employees from having to go into debt, and therefore saves them from a significant source of stress.
Keeping your employees less-stressed directly correlates to increased engagement, productivity, and decreased absenteeism.
Pet insurance is rising for a reason. It helps your organization to better recruit and retain workers. It also offers increased employee alignment, productivity, and satisfaction.
So if you see Spot running, don’t chase him. He’s not running away; he’s running to get insured.