It’s no secret that now more than ever, pets are considered cherished family members. Therefore, when a dog or cat becomes ill or injured, there are no lengths that are too great for humans to go to help them recover. Not unlike a sick or injured child.
While routine veterinary visits cost an average of $61, the costs for medical or surgical treatments and medications can become highly expensive quickly.1
The great news is that you can help your employees afford high veterinary care costs with pet insurance coverage, adding value to their lives and your company.
What Is Pet Insurance?
Pet health insurance is somewhat like human health insurance, at least in spirit. They are both designed to help humans afford care for illness and injury. In this case, it’s for their beloved pets, whether furry, feathered, finned, or scaled.
This specialized coverage helps pet owners manage the financial costs of pet healthcare, which are often quite expensive and challenging.
However, pet insurance is a bit different in that many pet insurance companies don’t cover routine or preventative care without expensive add-ons like wellness plans. That means your employees will still need to pay for vaccines, dental care, and checkups out-of-pocket. It typically operates on a reimbursement basis.
Once the veterinarian bills the pet owner, they pay for the treatment upfront and then submit a claim to the pet insurance provider. Once the pet insurance company processes the claim, they will reimburse the pet owner for all eligible expenses, which include medications, surgeries, diagnostic testing, and other medical treatments.
Why is Pet Insurance a Wise Investment?
Pet ownership in the U.S. stands at 66%, with 86.9 million households owning a pet as of 2023. That’s a huge increase from the 56% of pet owners in 1988.2
Part of the reason for the huge boost goes back as recently as the pandemic. As people were stuck at home, they saw an opportunity to bring home a dog, cat, fish, bird, or another pet of their choice with the ability to be there to train them and enjoy their companionship. Again, this put pet ownership and the need for care at an all-time high.
Once employees were called back to the office or had to get new jobs that required time in-site, they were faced with typical pet-related challenges, such as daily pet care, like walking and drop-in visits, and most importantly, affordable veterinarian care. But high-quality veterinarian care is crucial, regardless of where, when, and how individuals work.3
And let’s face it, people love their pets and will suffer, struggle, and sacrifice to get the care they need. Short of that, your employees will worry and feel stressed and distracted about their pets if they can’t provide the necessary care.
The High Cost of Veterinarian Care
The cost of veterinarian care—not unlike the cost of human healthcare—is highly expensive. Depending on the nature of the care needed for a pet, it is often prohibitively expensive for many loving pet owners. Many pet owners wonder how to take care of their beloved non-human family members.
According to The News & Observer, there are many valid reasons for the expense of veterinary services like check-ups, vaccinations, and surgical procedures.4 Here are a few reasons veterinarians ask for such steep fees:
- Innovative technological equipment and the expertise to use it effectively.
- Ongoing veterinary education and training costs and the accompanying high salaries necessary to hire the best veterinarian professionals.5
- Various animals and their bodies are complex, and some issues are extremely challenging to diagnose and treat. Many require highly specialized care and procedures.
The High Cost for Employees and Employers without Access to Affordable Pet Healthcare
People—employees and employers—love their pets. That’s a supremely obvious statement, but it’s true that people love their pets as part of their families.
It’s foundational to our humanity that we can’t stand to see our loved ones suffer. That’s a good trait. But without affordable healthcare, it is emotionally painful.
The barriers to affordable veterinarian care are not new or rare.6 Nearly 28% of households with pets experience financial challenges that prevent them from obtaining the basic veterinary care their pets need. While this is especially true for low-income households, it is just as true for those working a regular job.
Depending on the nature and degree of a pet’s condition, the costs are often devastating for those with the most secure jobs.
Pet owners typically overwhelming feel stress, anxiety, and a lack of focus when they cannot provide basic healthcare for pets. These feelings can negatively impact their work performance, productivity, and ability to help you meet organizational goals.
Pet Owners Seek Pet-Friendly Workplaces
As pet owners increasingly seek pet-friendly workplaces, it’s important for businesses to do what they can to create a company culture with an appreciation for pets.
Business Wire recently shared that 60% of employees across the U.S. and Canada are willing to leave a company that is not pet friendly.7 That is a lot of potential talent lost. Many employers have pledged to recognize, celebrate, and incorporate pets into their workplace as much as they include human family members.
Many companies are seeking ways to showcase their love for pets through initiatives like veterinary telehealth platforms, connecting pet owners to licensed veterinarians. This is a great start to creating a pet-inclusive workplace, along with financial benefits solutions and flexible work strategies, such as weekly invitations to bring pets to the office.
The Many Benefits of Providing Pet Insurance for your Employees
If you are considering adding pet insurance to your benefits package, you might wonder if and how much it will benefit your company. The great news is that the benefits abound, and you are likely to identify measurable results quickly.
Let’s look at some benefits of adding pet insurance to your benefits plan.
Improved Employee Recruitment and Employee Retention
It’s no secret that the job market is incredibly competitive. By offering pet insurance as an integral part of your benefits package, you’ll gain a substantial competitive edge. Make sure to highlight your pet insurance coverage in your job postings to attract talented pet lovers to your company. Not only will you enjoy better recruitment, but your employees are likely to stay with your company if you show that you care about their family pets.
Increased Employee Well-Being
If your employees’ pets are healthy and happy, they will also be healthier and happier. Pet insurance offers financial protection, but it also provides employees with a sense of security and overall well-being. When they know that they can manage any physical needs that arise with their pets, they can tackle any tasks without looming financial stress and anxiety, increasing focus, productivity, and profits.
Boosted Employee Morale
Developing a strong company culture has become increasingly important for today’s top companies. Adding pet insurance is a wonderful way to show your commitment to creating a positive company culture and, thereby, boosting employee morale. It shows how committed you are to enhancing their personal lives and the well-being of their treasured pets.
Pet owners are likely to take time off to care for a sick or injured pet, by providing immediate care or taking them to the veterinarian. Consider the fact that with good veterinary care at affordable rates, employees can take their pets for regular examinations and seek timely medical attention. Thus, they can avoid the need to call in for extend absences later.
Enhanced Financial Stability for Employees
Animal lovers need to get care for their pets, but the costs can quickly spiral out of control and cause significant financial burden for your employees. Pet insurance offers employees financial stability, allowing them to manage their pet’s healthcare costs effectively and with reduced stress.
You can find pet insurance plans with customizable coverage to suit your company’s budget and your employees’ needs. Work with your HR team to choose from various coverage options, reimbursement levels, and deductibles. Develop a plan that aligns with your company’s specific goals and available resources.
Enhanced Ability to Attract Diverse Talent
The spectrum that encompasses diversity and inclusion continues to broaden to provide a haven for employees with all backgrounds, abilities, hobbies, and interests. This certainly includes pet owners, who now comprise a huge segment of the population. Offering pet insurance is an easy choice in today’s deeply animal-loving atmosphere.
Boosted Reputation Due to Your Forward-Thinking and Competitive Benefits Package
Potential hires will love seeing the option to protect their pets when reviewing your compensation package during the negotiation phase of the hiring process. It reveals your willingness to go above and beyond compensation basics, setting you apart in your industry.
Is It Time to Invest in Pet Insurance for Your Valued Employees?
Without some type of assistance, your employees might scramble to afford veterinary bills for ongoing illnesses, conditions, injuries, and surgeries that might include cancer, hip dysplasia, broken legs, ingestion of foreign objects. Such an episode could devastate your employee’s peace of mind, trying to pay to help their beloved furry family member.
If you are considering making the wise investment in your benefits package, adding veterinarian care insurance, we’d love to talk to you about your options to help your employees care for their beloved pets.