© 2023 MJH Life Sciences™ and dvm360 | Veterinary News, Veterinarian Insights, Medicine, Pet Care. All rights reserved.
How to explain pet insurance to veterinary clients
Q. How can I help clients choose the best pet insurance plan?
Choosing the right pet insurance company can feel overwhelming. But the plethora of choices for clients is a good thing, says Dr. Karen Felsted, CPA, MS, CVPM, president of Felsted Veterinary Consultants Inc. in Dallas. "In some ways it's confusing for clients, but it's good because they can pick a plan that's right for them," Dr. Felsted says. "They just have to do some research."
It's your job to help them with that research, Dr. Felsted says. When you discuss pet insurance with clients, stress that it will take some work to find the right plan for their pets. As with human insurance, coverage and premiums are directly related. If a pet owner seeks a higher level of coverage, she should expect to pay more in premiums.
Ultimately, today's pet insurance companies are for-profit entities, so they must generate more money than they distribute to pet owners, she says. This might mean that some clients will pay monthly premiums and never use pet insurance—they can consider themselves lucky that they have such healthy pets. But clients with particularly accident-prone or cancer-stricken pets might file a claim every other month.
While clients won't know how much coverage they'll use when they sign up for pet insurance, remind them pet insurance is about risk management, Dr. Felsted says. Even if clients pay more in premiums than they receive in reimbursements, they'll always know that if something catastrophic happens to their pet, they'll be able to pay for the veterinary care their pet needs.
Still, you've likely encountered a client who's upset with his level of coverage once it comes time to pay the bill. These clients are typically the ones who haven't done enough research, Dr. Felsted says. They assume that their plan will cover whatever their pet needs, be it surgery, dental care, or holistic treatments. Make sure your clients are aware that all insurance plans have some restrictions.
To learn the full story about pet insurance and coverage, clients need to dig a little deeper. And you can help them make the best match to fit their expectations and budget. Visit http://dvm360.com/insurancequestions for a list of questions clients can ask themselves or an insurance representative to find the right plan for their pet. If they understand the coverage, they'll be prepared in an emergency—and you'll be able to provide the care their pets need.