09 June 2017

Pet Health Insurance - What's Myth and What's Fact?

Dr. Mary Beth Leininger shares information from a recent survey from NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Assocation) regarding pet owners and ...

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I'm thrilled to be with you to talk about pet health insurance we talked earlier about how important pet health insurance was to pet owners but what I'd like to share today is information about a recent study that was done by the North American pet health insurance Association nefi o is the umbrella organization for the pet health insurance companies in the United States and Canada that provide almost 99% of the insurance policies for pets in North America and they recently finished a two-pronged study of both pet owners and veterinarians trying to investigate their attitudes and comparisons of attitudes about pet health insurance and this is an important study for two reasons number one because Navia is the umbrella organization it is not a branded study in other words we didn't ask about individual companies or individual plans the other thing is it is original research which is pretty important when we're talking to veterinarians because they're interested in things that provide them with a lot of facts and data so what we're going to do is talk about some of the things we found out

during the study which basically can be separated into what are the facts about pet health insurance and what are some of the myths that are out there that we actually get some clarification on with the survey that we did this was performed in late 2015 early 2016 and what we did is we surveyed somewhere around five to six hundred pet owners in the US and Canada and what we asked them was a number of questions about how they felt about pet health insurance why they might be interested in it who talked to them about it if they had discussed it with anyone and we used that information that we got from the pet owners and turned that around and asked veterinarians similar questions and so we were able to kind of compare what the veterinarians and the pet owners thought and we found some very interesting information first of all we wanted to know what to veterinarians think about pet health insurance and the first thing we learned is that veterinarians are very positive about pet health insurance 56% of the veterinarians in the United States and 85% of the veterinarians in Canada wish all of their clients had pet health insurance so that certainly tells

us that veterinarians recognize the value that it brings and what it brings is it helps clients comply with a veterinarians recommendation because they're given some financial assistance to cover those costs it increases the purchase of veterinary services because in fact again costs are starting to be covered clients understand that this is something that's important for their pet and they're provided with this kind of support that pet health insurance provides it so one of the things that I have heard for a number of years is kind of the rumbling that well we're not sure about pet health insurance we think it might eventually turn into the human health care model where we have managed care and preferred providers so that was a question that we asked veterinarians very specifically and what we found out was that rather than fearing pet health insurance less than 5% of the veterinarians we queried in our survey worried at all that pet health insurance was going to morph into managed care so that's certainly a myth the second thing we wondered about is why do pet owners buy pet health insurance we ask pet owners that and then we asked

veterinarians and the interesting thing is that our nyrians think pet owners buy pet health insurance because they're worried about a major veterinary bill and in fact that is a myth because pet owners are actually much more engaged with pet health insurance because they think it's the right thing to do if they have a pet they want to be a responsible pet owner and so consequently they should probably buy pet health insurance it's an emotional decision that as a pet owner with the cost of that Eric here rising all the time that this is a responsible thing to be thinking about and that is something that clients recognize so they're more concerned about doing the right thing for their pet not necessarily what the cost is going to be and we know that when clients have pet health insurance they're much more likely to accept the recommendations that have been made for the care of their pet much more likely to come in on a regular basis for routine care it's a good idea to think about this for their pet particularly with the new pad or a new puppy or kitten because as the pet ages more and

more things are likely to happen and if you have pet health insurance it's going to provide you with a great deal of peace of mind so that you don't have to necessarily worry that you're going to have a bill that you may not be able to cover this week but in fact you'll have the support of the folks that have been providing you with pet health insurance so in summary this survey gave us some really interesting facts first of all most veterinarians want their clients to have pet health insurance and they're certainly not afraid of it secondly pet health insurance provides very clear benefits to the client to the pet to practice even to practice staff who don't have to worry about not being able to provide the care that they really came to be part of our teams to provide if you have a pet and you love your pet you should look on into pet health insurance because it'll provide you with the peace of mind you need when something happens