Iams, VPI alliance to build insurance awareness
The Iams Company and Veterinary Pet Insurance's (VPI) new alliance will help build awareness of pet health insurance among puppy and kitten owners, the companies say.
The Iams Company and Veterinary Pet Insurances (VPI) new alliance will help build awareness of pet health insurance among puppy and kitten owners, the companies say.
Through the program, VPI will provide pet owners with easier access to insurance and incentives for purchasing policies.
Our mission has always been to enhance the well-being of dogs and cats, says Jeffrey P. Ansell, president of The Iams Company. Joining forces with VPI, we have opened a new chapter in our efforts, providing veterinarians with a valuable tool that combines premium nutrition with total medical care.
Insurance can remove financial barriers for pet owners and enable veterinarians to provide the type of care that may lead to longer, healthier pet lives, says Jack Stephens, DVM, founder and chief executive officer of VPI. This effort will help even more dog and cat owners learn about and take advantage of the benefits insurance coverage can provide.
VPI will include a promotional offer in Iams and Eukanuba puppy and kitten starter kits that gives pet owners two free months of comprehensive VPI insurance coverage, paid for by Iams when owners sign up for a 12-month policy. In addition to covering up to $14,000 annually for medical emergencies, accidents and illness, the policy covers more than $200 in routine care and vaccinations each year, including the annual exam, spay/neuter procedures and prescription flea control.
Pet owners with insurance can take advantage of the highest standards of veterinary medicine, yet less than one-half of 1 percent of pet owners in the United States has pet health insurance. By comparison, Sweden has the highest percentage of insured dogs and cats in the world, with 49 percent penetration, VPI reports. In the United Kingdom, 14 percent of dogs and 5 percent of cats are insured.
In a recent pilot program sponsored by Iams and VPI, clinics that used the Iams and Eukanuba puppy and kitten kits to introduce insurance to their clients averaged a purchase rate greater than 7 percent, which is more than 14 times the national average. Some clinics experienced opt-in rates of more than 20 percent, or 40 times the national average.
In addition to their joint promotional efforts, Iams will become a minority equity stakeholder in VPI, pending final satisfaction of terms and conditions.
Iams is a pet well-being company, and we believe pet health insurance is an idea for which the time has come in this country, Ansell says. As advanced human medical technology is increasingly used to benefit dogs and cats, more and more people encounter unplanned medical expenses for their four-footed family members. We are committed to significantly increasing the adoption of pet health insurance, and that is why we wanted to do more than collaborate on a one-time promotion with VPI. Our commitment is long-term, and we are demonstrating this by taking a minority ownership position in VPI.
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