Want to see more insured pets? Try this expert tip

October 31, 2017
Kristi Reimer Fender, News Channel Director

Kristi Reimer is editor of dvm360 magazine and news channel director for dvm360.com. Before taking over

Making insurance a team member benefit turns your veterinary employees into passionate advocatesand boosts your practices bottom line.

Shutterstock.comAre you among the 56 percent of veterinarians who wish all their clients had pet insurance? You know the ones-the pet owners who don't want to hear your spiel about costs but instead want to jump right to the treatment plan. If so, here's one of the top ways you can increase the use of pet insurance in your practice, says John Volk, an industry analyst who's done some serious data crunching on the subject. Ready?

Provide pet insurance as an employee benefit.

Why is this such a game changer? Here are the reasons Volk presented during a recent Fetch dvm360 conference:

Drives familiarity. Team members become familiar with the insurance company's policies and claims submission forms. They can answer questions knowledgeably, both with clients and internally in team discussions.

Enhances credibility. It provides a perfect answer when the client asks, “Which company do you use?” Let's be real: Clients aren't going to take a recommendation if the person offering it doesn't use the product.

Boosts practice finances. You can charge team members your regular rates instead of discounting, and you can refer to a specialist without worrying about imposing a financial hardship on your employee.

Keeps the IRS happy. You and your staff also avoid tax complications-technically team members are supposed to count free and discounted veterinary care as income and pay taxes accordingly.

Good rates are available. Many pet insurance companies provide discounted policies for veterinary team members, making it more affordable to your practice.

Options are flexible. You don't have to cover every pet-you can provide one policy per team member or increase the number of pets covered based on seniority.

Bottom line? Team members with pet insurance become believers-and passionate advocates when discussing insurance with clients. Between this and the financial benefits to the practice, owners and managers who have made this change can't imagine why they didn't do it earlier, Volk says.