To be completely transparent, I used to think that pet insurance was a big rip off. In another life I was an equine veterinarian, and I loved having patients who were insured- I never ran into issues dealing with an insurance company about a horse.
When I switched to small animal practice this was not the case at all. I found myself having to fight with the insurance companies to get owners reimbursed. It seemed like there was always a loophole the insurance company had in order to get out of paying.
Because of my bad experiences, I have always been anti pet insurance. My interview with Andy Roark got me thinking that we REALLY do need to be better at innovating and growing as a profession and maybe pet insurance could be something that would be beneficial to pet owners and to us!
I still believe that having a pet emergency fund is the best way to go but I have been wondering if I need to revisit my old beliefs about pet insurance. What I do know is veterinary care is not going to get any cheaper and the profit margins in veterinary medicine are not high enough to think we are headed anywhere but to higher costs for pet care. At some point, even though owners want to do what is best for their pet, they may not be able to afford the best options available.
Would more pets being insured lead to better care for them and ultimately more business for your hospital as well? Is pet insurance something that would allow for owners to better care for their animals and be able to do things that they may not if they were paying strictly out of pocket?
As a mobile veterinary surgeon, I never have to deal with pet insurance companies, so I certainly do not have all the answers. I want to know what your experience is with the many pet insurance companies that are out there. Do they create more headaches for you and your staff or do you find it beneficial? Do we need to be discussing pet insurance with our clients more often or do you already? Let me know by leaving a comment below.
Do you think pet insurance can benefit pets and owners as well as your hospital?