Pet Insurance = Peace of Mind
Pet health insurance continues to gain popularity among consumers, which bodes well for veterinary clinics.
Wendy Hauser, DVM, AVP of Veterinary Relations, ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance (aspcapetinsurance.com*) offered the following insights into the pet health insurance market.
Great growth rate with room to improve
“Pet owners continue to discover the benefits of pet health insurance and the impact it can have in helping them provide the care recommended by their veterinarian. Too often they are faced with difficult decisions because of cost – pet health insurance can often assist. While data show a large portion of pets are not covered by insurance, reporting by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) reveals that the industry has been increasing at an average annual growth rate of 22% over the past five years. That’s good news for the insurance industry as well as veterinarians, but we still have work to do to continue educating pet owners. (For more information, visit naphia.org/about-the-industry).” “Also referencing NAPHIA, close to 2.8 million pets were insured at the end of 2019. When you factor in their estimated 22% growth rate, it’s safe to say things were quite different five years ago. In fact, the increase in overall awareness of the industry is evident in the rise of outside interest from startups entering the market. Today, consumers have so many more brands to choose from when shopping for pet health insurance.”
Survey says: Pet owners want it because of love
“When surveyed, pet owners state that insuring their pet is a measure of how much they love their pet, that it shows they are a good pet owner and it gives them peace of mind. For these owners, it is an extension of the human-animal bond.”
Increased revenue, visits for veterinary practices
“In a recent clinical study, I conducted, sponsored by the ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance program, revenue in the study hospitals increased by 12.4% when insured dogs were compared to non-insured dogs in the same hospitals, and by 23% when insured dogs were compared to dogs in the control hospital group. In the study hospitals, insured canine patient visits increased by 23.8% when compared to non-insured dogs in the same hospitals, and insured felines visited 17.6 % more frequently than non-insured cats. This study is unique in that the data was derived not from client surveys, but from actual data obtained from the PiMS of each hospital.”
The pandemic didn’t slow down interest
“There has been a definite increase in pets that are insured. There are several reasons for this. The first is the increase in new pet ownership, either pet adoptions or from breeders. New pet owners want to provide the best for their new buddies, and that includes ways to help provide for future health care needs. Another reason we are seeing an increase in insured pets is that owners now have the luxury to spend more time at home with their pets. This has helped to re-emphasize the valuable role that the pet plays in the family, as a source of companionship, entertainment, and comfort. Pet owners have a renewed commitment to keep their pets in great health and realize that with this commitment will come expenses. Pet health insurance is one way to budget monthly for their beloved pet’s care and help to be prepared for eventual health care needs. Finally, the increase in new pet health insurance providers has meant that pet owners are being educated about pet health insurance in new and unique ways. This has created awareness and demand for the product.”
By the numbers
- 22% The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) reveals that the industry has been increasing at an average annual growth rate of 22% over the past five years.
- 2.8million Close to 2.8 million pets were insured at the end of 2019.
- 12.4% In a recent clinical study sponsored by the ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance program, revenue in the study hospitals increased by 12.4% when insured dogs were compared to non-insured dogs in the same hospitals.
*Disclosure: Products are underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company, produced and administered by C&F Insurance Agency, Inc. (NPN # 3974227), a Crum & Forster company. The ASPCA® is not an insurer and is not engaged in the business of insurance. Through a licensing agreement, the ASPCA receives a royalty fee that is in exchange for use of the ASPCA’s marks and is not a charitable contribution.
Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Waiting periods, annual deductible, co-insurance, benefit limits, and exclusions may apply. For all terms and conditions visit aspcapetinsurance.com/terms. Products, schedules, discounts, and rates may vary and are subject to change. More information available at checkout.
Studies connect pet health insurance education and positive outcomes
Two studies conducted by Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group™ (C&F Pet) show the positive impacts veterinary hospitals can experience by proactively educating clients about pet health insurance. The clinical studies, led by Wendy Hauser, DVM, C&F Pet AVP of Veterinary Relations, were conducted at four independently-owned, geographically-diverse companion animal general medicine veterinary hospitals. In addition to Hauser, Kathleen Kaiser Schoen, Veterinary Services Manager for C&F Pet, and Lori R. Kogan, Ph.D., authored the studies.
The study “How Does Proactively Educating Clients About Pet Health Insurance Impact Veterinary Teams and Clients?” was a one-year study to measure changes in both staff and client attitudes when proactive discussions about pet health insurance were implemented. The study “How Proactively Educating Clients About Pet Health Insurance Impacts the Care Pets Receive” was a two-year study to measure and compare hospital revenue and patient visits for insured pets and non-insured pets when proactive discussions about pet health insurance occurred.
“These results clearly demonstrate that patients, clients, and veterinary teams benefit when pet health insurance is a part of the strategy to enable clients to provide care to their pets,” said Hauser. “Furthermore, the study showed that
a hospital financially benefits from training teams how to proactively make discussions around pet health insurance part of every client’s education.” Key findings included:
- Average total gross revenue in the study hospitals increased by 30.5%, compared to 9.8% in benchmarked hospitals.
- An increase in client annual patient visits was seen within the study hospitals, with a 23.8% increase for insured dogs and a 17.6% increase for insured cats.
- When asked to rate their overall satisfaction with the hospital, clients reported being more satisfied in 2018 (76.3%) when compared to 2017 (71%), with a 5.3% increase in clients stating that they were ‘extremely satisfied’ during the study period.
- Thirty-three percent (33%) of veterinary team members in the post-study period stated that clients ‘almost always’ accept their recommendations. Only 3% had this perception in the pre-study period survey.
Information and results from the studies can be found at vet.aspcapetinsurance.com/studies/proactively-educating-clients.
Photo credit: istockphoto.com/AndreyPopov