Harnessing the Power of Pet Health Insurance - Episode 7
How to recommend pet health insurance to your clients
Dr. Wooten: Let’s talk about recommending pet insurance in veterinary practices. Bash, first things first. How does a practice choose which insurance company to recommend to their clients?
Mr. Halow: There are some rules about recommending specific policies or recommending specific things in those policies to clients because we’re not licensed brokers of insurance. That said, it’s alright for us to share our opinions with pet owners. I believe that rather than having broad statements to the pet owner like we here at ABC animal hospital believe in pet insurance. I would prefer more specificity to it like Leo, potentially these little guys get dental disease, have you looked at an insurance policy that covers dental disease in it.
If Leo were my pet, I would be looking into that.We have some brochures over there, I would check those out. I like it when there’s more specificity to it when the recommendation is for the specific pet owner and that specific pet, I think it lands better.
Dr. Wooten: Why is it so important to make pet insurance part of every patient visit?
Mr. Halow: They might not hear it the first time.It’s great to keep that pot simmering on the stove in their mind. Somebody recently shared with me I thought was an excellent way to bring it up without being so pushy or aggressive about it.
They recommended that the client care representatives say something to the client like did you bring your insurance form today. I thought that was very good. Just a subtle way to remind them, oh you don’t have one of those, you don’t own an insurance policy. I thought that was a great way to remind them without making the team feel like you’re constantly nagging them about insurance.
I believe the best way to show that you care is to share what you think, and I definitely think that if you believe that pet insurance is the way for your clients to go, you should be talking about it. I believe that relationships begin with reaching out and extending yourself to them. Not standing back and holding your arms and saying we’ve got some options in front of me here. I don’t believe that. Tell them what you think that they should do, you should keep in mind though that there are some guidelines for how specific you can be, and those are on that NAPHIA website if I’m not mistaken.
Ms. Russ: To expand on a few ideas for veterinary practices to implement is to have client testimonials shared out either on their social media or through a blog. For those clients that do have pet insurance, let them share their story. Additionally, you definitely can have a variety of brochures that may fit more your demographic, so not any one specific insurance company, but a couple for them to choose from, and then also very much asking, ‘Did you bring your form with you today? ’Actually, on your client patient information form when they sign in asking is your pet insured, and so that just drives the question immediately, they’re not, tell me about insurance. You can definitely do that as well as in your blog you can drive them to the sites that they can do the comparison, as well.
Mr. Halow: I want to say one other thing.I feel like a lot of times we feel like because you’ve got the brochure rack, you’re absolved of the conversation, and I would say that’s not the case. That brochure should be the cherry on the sundae. The sundae is the discussion about the value of the insurance and then you can give them the brochure. All the time we have these puppy and kitten packs and we shove that insurance brochure in those, expecting them to read them. I would say they go immediately into the garbage. I don’t think they read them, to be honest with you.I think you need to talk about it and then hand them the brochure.
Dr. Wooten: I would definitely say that personal story is a much more powerful tool than just saying here is the policy, here are the numbers. If you can share a story, it gets that emotional hook. And I often watch clients get this little lightbulb that goes ‘ding’ over their head. We’re not under HIPAA, we can share personal stories of where we’ve seen this be successful, and sometimes just that little amount puts that light on in that client’s head.
Mr. Russ: Even for veterinary hospitals to start considering providing pet insurance to their team members as a benefit as well so when your own team member have pet insurance and they're in that exam room with that client, they’re able to share that story how that has impacted their own lives and their own pets lives, so that right there creates that relationship and that really feeling of trust and that they believe what they’re recommending because they have experienced it themselves.