Insuring Fido: Why Employers Should Offer Pet Benefits

While insurance has been around for centuries, one relatively new type of insurance, pet insurance, has hit the market and done nothing but grow — and fast.

The reason for this rapid growth in pet insurance is rather simple to understand for anyone that’s been a pet owner.

People love their pets, no matter the cost.

A survey of 1,000 pet owners conducted by LendEDU found they spend an average of $140 per month on their furry friends. Twenty-four percent of respondents estimated they spend more annually on their pet’s health care than their own personal healthcare. Another 22% thought yearly expenses for both themselves and their pets were about the same.

The study from LendEDU also found 11% of pet-owning respondents have delayed having children or more children due to prioritizing their pet’s expenses. Eight percent have put off getting married for the same reason, while another 8% have waited on buying or renting a home or apartment.

A consumer’s love for his or her pet, in addition to their financial commitment, has led to a prospering pet insurance industry because pet owners want to ensure their pet will be covered when something unforeseen happens.

LendEDU’s study found the average pet owner with pet insurance pays $77 per month for their pet insurance, while 88% of respondents believe paying for the pet insurance is worth it.

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Seventy-seven percent said their pet insurance has come in handy at least once due to emergency expenses popping up from a surgery or recurring treatments. Respondents estimated that had they not had pet insurance, the out-of-pocket expense would have cost them $1,458.

Insurance companies are not the only ones taking advantage of our love of pets and the great financial lengths we will go to protect them, so too are employers.

In 2020, more employers are offering pet insurance benefits than ever before. Research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management found 9% of organizations were offering pet health insurance benefits in 2016, a 5% jump since 2011.

Further, Willis Towers Watson published research in 2018, stating over 34% of U.S. employers are offering pet insurance as a regular benefit.

While pet insurance as an employee benefit is certainly picking up steam fast, it still has yet to become commonplace with all employers. This provides the opportunity for current employers to still get ahead of the curve by offering pet insurance as a main employee benefit to not only attract the best talent but retain their current talent.

Employees place tremendous value on benefits packages, and now is the perfect time for employers to add pet insurance to their packages. One Gallup survey found one-third of all US workers would leave their current employer for another company if the latter had better benefits or perks.

Another survey from Aflac reinforced this by finding 59% of employees would ponder accepting a job with lower pay, but great benefits.

Coupling any employee’s love and financial commitment to their pet with their desire to work for a company that offers terrific benefits gives employers a golden opportunity to offer a pet insurance benefit that plays to both of those things and will surely give any employer a leg up during the hiring process.

Pet insurance has grown with the times we live in, and employers must adapt to these times if they want to bring on the best talent to help grow a successful business.

Mike Brown

Mike Brown
Mike Brown is the director of communications at Breeze, an insurtech focused on income protection through products like disability insurance and critical illness insurance.

Mike Brown

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