August 30, 2007
Our latest press release titled Embrace Pet Insurance Now Covers Chronic and Recurring Illnesses draws attention to the fact that it is important to have chronic and recurring illness coverage in your pet insurance policy as not every company does (and they aren't very upfront about that fact so you don't want to get caught out - always check).
"Owners of dogs and cats can be in for a shock when faced with a large vet bill after their pet is ill or gets in an accident. Many vets now offer diagnostic techniques, treatments and surgical procedures that used to be only available for humans -- but the costs can be in the thousands of dollars.
"Treatment for an incurable condition such as epilepsy, diabetes or hyperthyroidism can extend over the life of the pet, so pet owner needs to make sure their pet's insurance covers treatment over the course of many years," recommends Bennett."
At Embrace, we cover ongoing chronic conditions in our policy under our Continuing Care benefit and if you include our prescription drug and dental illness coverage, those are also included in your continuing coverage.
Currently, our maximum for continuing care claims is the same as whatever you chose for your policy maximum for the first year of the illness and then it drops to 25% of the maximum for years two and onwards (the drop only occurs for continuing conditions, not new conditions) but we are working on our underwriter, Lloyd's of London, to remove the 25% restriction. We shall see if we are successful on that - wish us luck :)
So with Embrace Pet Insurance, you don't need to worry that when your dog or cat gets sick while insured, the condition will become pre-existing after you've been insured for a while. Who'd want insurance that does that?
August 28, 2007
Meet Isabelle and Sebastian, two happy yellow labradors from Santa Clarita, California. Shown in the picture as puppies, they're 5 years old now. Their mom says "They're a whole lot bigger now, but still just as cute."
Both Labs are insured up to $10,000 annually, with a $500 yearly deductible and 10% co-pay and both the Drug and Dental and the Continuing Care endorsements. Their premiums are reduced because both have been spayed or neutered, and after the 5% microchip discount and 5% multiple pet discount their total monthly premium for both dogs is $67.49.
This is what our Embracers call 'a good catastrophic plan'. Because of the higher annual deductible and low co-pay it pays well on major accidents or illnesses. Should a dog with coverage like this tear an ACL for example, the bill would likely be about $4,000, of which we'd reimburse $3,150.
August 27, 2007
We had a question in a comment that I thought was worth elevating to a full post since the answer we provided is useful to everyone looking for a surgeon. The original post was "Reparing a Tracheal Collapse in Dogs" and Bob's question is in a comment is attached
We have a toy Pom (7yr-old) who definitely has the symptoms of TC [tracheal collapse], and we've been trying to find info on the www about it, which is limited, as you mentioned. We love our dog as one of our children and want the best for her. Do you know of or have heard of any Vets close to northern New Jersey that have experience and familiarity with the diagnosis and treatment of this condition? Any help or leads would be greatly appreciated! Best regards - BobB
Bob, we're so sorry about your Pomeranian :(
The American College of Veterinary Surgeons website is the place to search for board-certified specialists in New Jersey or anywhere in the US or Canada.
Go to http://www.acvs.org/AnimalOwners/FindaSurgeoninYourArea/ and select the state or province from the “State/Province” box (in Bob's case “NJ”. There are quite a few in NJ.)
Note that tracheal collapse can also be treated non-surgically but we understand that at some point it becomes necessary to go under the knife. There is also evidence that tracheal collapse contributes to liver disease due to low-level oxygen deprivation, best look at it asap.
Bob, good luck to you and your Pom.
Treating tracheal collapse in dogs - Dr Chick Weisse
Repairing a tracheal collapse in dogs
Collapsing Trachea in a dog
New York Times - Cat and Dog Obesity
Dog choking on a ball
Big vet bills and no pet insurance?
Non-invasive veterinary surgery
August 23, 2007
One of the issues we have to contend with at Embrace Pet Insurance is poor customer service. Not ours, but that of our competitors.
Suppose someone gave you the most delicious chocolate in the world. You would be able to tell pretty quickly if you agree with that assessment or not. Just one bite would pretty well do it - it's immediate and obvious.
Contrast that with pet insurance. When presented with the choice of buying a pet insurance policy or not, you have to trust that when the time comes, your claims experience will be a positive one because that is really the essence of what pet insurance is all about isn't it?
And since you can't bite into it right then and there, all you can base that trust on is what you've heard about the pet insurance companies.
And that's not very comforting for a newer company like Embrace. We are building our reputation on the experience we give our customers but we are younger than the other companies and have fewer customers so we have to rely on pet parents getting over the hump of the poor reputation of pet insurance in the US.
We rely on our prospective customers having a good gut feel about Embrace, something we work hard on and I think we achieve pretty well, but we also have this bugaboo floating out there - the actions of our competitors. I have total faith in our Embracers but I see that I can't say the same about the service staff of our competitors. Relying on them doing good deeds does not help me sleep well at night.
I was perusing the Embrace Pet Insurance reviews on the Pet Insurance Review website today and I was struck by how so many of the comments refer to our staff and how helpful they are. Here are some excerpts:
...After many hours of researching the topic of pet insurance and pondering the cost vs. benefit, loopholes, etc. the Embrace staff answered every question and helped me to make this important decision... Emily Byrum-Hecht
...I had an 11 month labrador retriever that became very ill vomiting and with a fever. I had taken him to the Veterinary where they had a cat scan on him and found out they would have to do "Emergency Surgery". For the next 2 days I was on the telephone with Embrace staff and I have to say they were outstanding in customer service, compassionate with me throughout the entire time, especially "Christine"... Linda Pagan
...I asked a quote and got a fast answer. Sent them an email and got an email back within the hour. The lady I communicated with was really friendly and helpful... Christine S
I just filed my first claim, and it was incredibly easy. I was almost shocked when I found out that you CAN actually get a REAL PERSON on the phone. They even answer e-mails usually in the same day. Their communication is excellent. I think I pay maybe $5 to $10 more per month then I would at one of the other companies. To me it's worth it not to be trapped in voicemail hell, or have to talk an automated system. Angela
...I was most impressed by how much you all seemed to care about "Storm". As you know his injuries were terrible. I remember especially the e-mail from different people at Embrace with words of concern about him and of encouragement and care for how we(his Mom & Dad) were doing... Norma & Rich Kern
These comments bring joy to my heart. Our Embracers are the best, bar none.
The site also has other companies' reviews. I won't name names but this one is not atypical of many of the comments about many of the companies:
I do not recommend XXXX. They do not return my phone calls and half the time do not answer their phones. We recently sumbitted a claim that should have been covered by our plan, but they denied it for no reason. After we called to dispute, they completely changed our claim, from an injury to an illness. My dog was injured not sick! Shop around before using them!! Also, they were supposed to get back to us and they still haven't. We are canceling immediately and looking for other coverage.
The Embrace Difference is how we win over pet parents who are skeptical about pet insurance. This is how we change the fly-by-night reputation of pet insurance in the US.
It won't happen over night but by golly, it will happen. We are missionaries and we won't give up until it's done; you are seeing the birth of the pet insurance revolution.
Will you join the Embrace revolution today?
August 15, 2007
Well, it just had to happen. I've been having fun in Facebook and have set up a group called "I've been Embraced by Embrace Pet Insurance". You'll need to sign in or be signed in to access it.
It's a bit of fun but I'm also hoping that it will be a place for Embraced people to hang out, chat, and generally enjoy one another's company (and even talk about pet insurance if it crosses our minds).
Embraced people are those of us who have Embrace Pet Insurance policies or who have been watching Embrace for a while or who are friends of Embracers or friends of friends. Anyone who fancies it really. If you are reading this blog, it could be you!
Please feel free to join, it's open to everyone with a Facebook profile (and it's very easy to get a profile). Let's see what mayhem we can create on Facebook! If you can't find the group, become my friend and you'll see it there.
Welcome Marketing Diva Readers! gives a link to an interview I did on using Facebook for Embrace