Pet insurance: Veterinary coverage that cares

Pet insurance: Veterinary coverage that cares

Veterinary clients with pet insurance are willing to spend more to care for their pets.
source-image
Aug 01, 2010
By dvm360.com staff

It’s no surprise that clients with pet insurance are willing to spend more to care for their pets. But what is surprising is how few Americans understand the benefits.


 

Americans may live in one of the most advanced, progressive countries in the world, but as pet owners, they’re a little behind the times. The American Veterinary Medical Association Group Health and Life Insurance Trust (AVMA GHLIT) compiled data about pet insurance and found that European pet owners are much more likely than Americans to insure their four-legged friends. Here’s a look at where pet insurance is most prevalent, and what it could mean for your veterinary practice if more clients signed up.


Data source: 2008 Finnacord study



The complete package:

Pet owners with veterinary pet insurance by country

Average amount client will spend before opting to stop treatment

Average age of pets when clients enroll them in insurance programs

How clients learn about pet insurance

Commentary: The rising age of new pets with insurance is a good thing

 

Among people who have pet insurance, 88 percent would recommend it to others. Think clients hesitate because of the cost? The average pet insurance premium is $48 per month.

Source: Brakke Veterinary Practice Management Group study, Jan 2009


The complete package:

Pet owners with veterinary pet insurance by country

Average amount client will spend before opting to stop treatment

Average age of pets when clients enroll them in insurance programs

How clients learn about pet insurance

Commentary: The rising age of new pets with insurance is a good thing

Since 2005, the average age clients enroll their pets in insurance programs has risen from 1.3 to 2.9 years old. And Dr. Robin Downing, owner of the Downing Center for Animal Pain Management in Windsor, Colo., was initially taken aback by this trend. “I was surprised by that statistic,” she says. “Pet insurance is growing in popularity, so it would make sense for the age of enrollment to drop.”

But consider this: The age shift may be due to more clients learning about pet insurance and enrolling their four-legged friends. “I have clients with 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old pets who’ve never considered insurance but now understand how much money it can save them,” Dr. Downing says. “They’re really starting to understand that pet insurance is an investment in their pet’s future.” One client with a particularly accident-prone dog has saved thousands of dollars in the last five years thanks to pet insurance.

On further reflection, Dr. Downing says she’s encouraged by the shift—that it shows humans’ ever-changing relationship with their pets. “This reflects the reality that, in our culture, pets have become members of the family,” Dr. Downing says. “Pet owners no longer ask, ‘Will I feed my children or my dog?’ They ask, ‘How will I feed them both?’” That kind of bond should result in more clients purchasing pet insurance in the coming years—a healthy measure for both your patients and your practice’s bottom line.


The complete package:

Pet owners with veterinary pet insurance by country

Average amount client will spend before opting to stop treatment

Average age of pets when clients enroll them in insurance programs

How clients learn about pet insurance

Commentary: The rising age of new pets with insurance is a good thing

Hot topics on dvm360

Follow dvm360 on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest

For quick updates and to touch base with the editors of dvm360, Veterinary Economics, Veterinary Medicine, and Firstline, and check us out on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Sell veterinary clients on your service

But you don't have to have butler-style service to win new clients and keep existing clients happy.

Why veterinarians should be more like a Louisiana shoeshiner

If my veterinary clients feel half as good as I did after visiting the 'Michael Jordan of shoeshines,' I'll be thrilled.

Texts from your veterinary clinic cat

If your clinic cat had a cell phone and opposable thumbs, what would he or she text you?

Learning goodbye: Veterinarians fill a void by focusing on end of life care

Veterinarians dedicating their careers to hospice and euthansia medicine may be pioneering the profession's next specialty—at clients' request.