Pet Insurance Out-Paces Accident, Health Insurance In Sales

A new report from Bloomberg and the Insurance Journal reveals that pet insurance is out-pacing accident-health in sales growth. The findings state that “pet parents are fueling a $600 million industry in North America that’s growing at triple the pace of U.S. accident-and-health coverage, drawing investment from companies including Toronto-based Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. and Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.”

“It’s a nascent industry and demographically it has legs, especially with the adoption of pets as family members,” Fairfax President Paul Rivett said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. The pet insurance phenomenon began in Sweden close to 100 years ago. Currently, about half of Sweden’s pets are insured. “In North America,” notes IJ, “Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., a subsidiary of policyholder-owned Nationwide, traces its roots to 1982 when it covered a dog playing Lassie on television.”

Plans include acupuncture and laser therapy as offered through the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and other brands, IJ states. More on the report here.

So if you’re an insurance agent, how do you sell it?


First, Get Familiar With The Product.

ASPCA Health Insurance notes that pet insurance is one of the most requested voluntary benefits on the property and casualty market. Meanwhile, besides food costs, veterinary care is one of the biggest drains on the budget of a pet owner. In the case of ASPCA, a pet owner is reimbursed 90% of usual and customary covered charges, depending on state availability, after a $100 annual deductible per pet. Pets can be covered for accidents, illnesses, wellness care, and ongoing conditions, to name a few. For pet parents with multiple pets, you may even be able to use discounts in order to upsell so that all pets are covered. Once you’re familiar with the product, here are the next steps.


Go Where Pet Owners Are.

Your local Humane Society is a great place to start for spreading the word about pet insurance availability. Why the Humane Society?  Because these overworked employees are often aided by avid pet enthusiasts, who volunteer their time and attention to finding animals good homes. These volunteers are often passionate about the care and upkeep of “fur babies,” and there is a good chance they belong to Facebook groups or in-person clubs that devote themselves to caring for animals. When trying to sell pet insurance, you’ll have more luck finding a handful of passionate people to help spread the word and connect you to others who are equally as passionate and may not realize your product exists than if you simply tried to reach as many people as possible in an un-targeted fashion.


Finally, Be Able To Show The Value.

More often than not, when a pet owner is faced with veterinary care for their little loved ones, they have two options: pay the full cost out-of-pocket at once or take the cheaper route which too often is to destroy the animal. It’s a heart-wrenching decision for any pet owner to have to make, but it’s how things play out on a daily basis across North America. You can offer these loving, caring pet owners a positive alternative: the best care for a longer and happier life at a cost of around $40 per month (for most standard policies). That’s easier than paying several hundred if not $1,000 for a potentially serious health issue.


In Summary

Pets are more than “just animals” to a lot of people, and as the new findings from Bloomberg indicate, the market for pet insurance has legs. Why not add it to your cadre of products? There is untapped potential in the “pet parent” market, and this is one product your customers & insurance leads will thank you for.

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