The employment landscape in America has changed dramatically over the last few years. As change has come, employers have been encouraged to expand their benefits packages to include new types of benefits younger workers expect. It is frequently advised that expanding benefits can help attract and retain top talent. With that in mind, some experts are recommending pet insurance.
Pet insurance has been around for quite some time. Only recently has it become a target for employee benefits managers. According to Dallas-based general agency BenefitMall, pet insurance is increasingly more popular with brokers looking to put together innovative packages for their clients.
So what is pet insurance as an employee benefit? It is similar to health insurance for humans. Policies help mitigate the costs of providing healthcare services to one’s pet.
Pet Insurance Coverage Options
BenefitMall took the opportunity of a recent blog post to highlight some of the coverage options their pet insurance providers offer. At the top of the list is prescription medication coverage. Like human beings, pets are often prescribed medications by their vets. A pet insurance policy that covers prescriptions can be a tremendous help to pet owners.
Other coverage options BenefitMall mentioned include:
- discounts on pet supplies and toys
- discounted veterinary services
- online veterinary services
- free pet recovery service.
It is important to note that pet insurance plans can vary quite a bit. There is less standardization in pet insurance compared to traditional health insurance for humans, so different plans can offer drastically different benefits. Also note that there are some plans that require subscribers to use network veterinarians in order to get discounted prices.
A Reasonably Priced Benefit
Including pet insurance in an employee benefits package doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Pet insurance is surprisingly affordable across the country. Of course, employers would want to shop around to get the best deal on the best package. Meanwhile, brokers and their general agencies tend to have access to options employers may not know about.
Reasonable pricing makes pet insurance a viable option for expanding employee benefits. There is only one downside: not all employees have pets. An employer wanting to add pet insurance would need to come up with something of equal value for those other employees.
Why It is Worth Adding
At this point, you might be wondering why employers would even consider adding pet insurance to their benefits packages. It all boils down to changing attitudes among American workers. Remember that the baby boom generation is starting to age out. Meanwhile, Gen Z is coming of working age. With this new influx of younger workers come different priorities.
Furthermore, more and more pet owners are inclined to treat their animals like members of the family. They care for their pets just as if the animals were human children. If they would expect a solid health insurance plan to provide healthcare services for kids, it is reasonable for them to expect the same for their pets.
Incidentally, BenefitMall cited some statistics about pet ownership in their post. For instance, some 45% of American adults own a dog. Another 30% own a cat. Combined, that means 75% of the workforce at a typical company consists of pet owners.
Pet insurance will not be a good fit for every employee benefits package. Nonetheless, it is worth looking into for any company hoping to expand its benefits package in order to hire and retain top talent. Pet insurance is something that younger workers tend to appreciate. If a company can provide it at a reasonable cost, it should at least be considered.