Pet health benefits could be your business’ big selling point when it comes to attracting and retaining top quality employees. More and more companies are now offering pet insurance as a health care add-on. In fact, one in three Fortune 500 companies offer pet insurance. Why are employees getting so excited about this option? And is it something your business should consider?
Pet Parents, Not Just Pet Owners
As competition for quality employees increases, smaller companies need to find ways to attract and retain the best people. One way is through their pets. Many employees aren’t just pet owners, they think of themselves as “pet parents.” In fact, an American Animal Hospital Association survey found that 73 percent of pet owners have taken on debt for their pets’ medical needs. With this kind of devotion combined with the increasing cost of vet care, it’s understandable why pet insurance could be a huge blessing for your employees.
Although pet insurance might not be hugely important when a pet is young and healthy, it can be a lifesaver when the pet is older. Consumer Reports shares that emergency pet treatment, which can include fluids, tests, and intensive care, can cost thousands of dollars. Cancer treatment can cost $5,000 and surgery to fix a torn ACL can cost $3,300. Sparing your employees these costs can also spare them the heartbreaking decision of euthanasia versus treatment. Today’s pet owners, who see their pets as family, want the security of knowing they can take care of their “furry children.”
Understand What You’re Offering
Pet insurance, like human insurance, can be a little confusing. So talk to your insurance broker to make sure you’re getting the best plans. Here are a few things you’ll want to look out for, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association:
- What are the plans’ limitations and exclusions? Are emergency treatments and basic wellness appointments covered?
- Ask about any pre-existing conditions that aren’t covered or pet breeds that are left out for being high-risk.
- What are the premiums and the deductibles?
- Look for add-on options, like dental care or travel insurance.
- Find out if costs are reimbursed later or up front.
Make the Plans Crystal Clear
After you’ve put a lot of time into finding the best pet insurance for your employees, you’ll want to make sure they understand it. They’ll get the most out of what you’re offering if they know all the ins and outs of the plans. Consider having a special meeting where you explain the new pet insurance options and give handouts with more details. Then let your employees meet with an insurance broker individually so they can ask personal questions.
Get Creative With What You Offer
Are you ready to jump into the world of pet insurance? As you’re thinking about your options, remember that you can get creative and offer other types of pet “insurance” beyond a health plan. For example, some companies are now offering pet bereavement days where they let owners take up to three days off after a beloved pet dies. Others are giving pet owners time off for vet visits. When employees know that you care for them and the things they care about, their care for you and your company will grow. Offering pet health benefits is the new, unique way that companies can show they care.
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