Pet insurance is a growing segment of the insurance marketplace and some agents are starting to wonder if it may be the next gold rush.
That said, experts in the industry are warning agents not to hop aboard too quickly, as this is a specialized segment of the insurance market and it is important to know this niche in the industry very well in order to be successful.
Pet insurance is a form of health insurance for animals. It involves the payment of premiums in order to be able to submit claims for reimbursement of fees (in whole or in part) from veterinary services. That said, it does not include pet death benefits.
In the United States, 65 percent of households include a cat or a dog. However, only 1 percent of those homes with pets actually have insurance for their animal family members. Comparatively, in the United Kingdom, one quarter of all cats and dogs are covered by pet insurance. The British consumer is much more likely to purchase insurance than one in the United States. There, pet health insurance has existed for more than 35 years and has proven itself to be worthwhile.
American pet insurance didn’t get started quite as early, and insurers didn’t pay out in the way that pet owners had hoped. There is a much less trusting relationship between consumers and insurance companies in the United States, so pet insurance had a very slow start. That said, it is now beginning to turn around.
The trend now is that more veterinarians are talking to dog and cat owners about purchasing pet insurance. Furthermore, some larger companies, such as the ASPCA, are joining the trend by offering their own white-labeled pet insurance. Through this, it is expected that awareness and comfort levels with the products will start to rise.