Evangelism at its best

Cat_in_a_birdhouse What can I say but go check out this review of the Embrace Pet Insurance claims process by Mo over at Invisible Voices. Mo previously wrote an excellent guide to pet insurance claims and has written quite a bit on her experiences with pet insurance on that blog.

Mo recounts her expectations and experience from the 4 claims she recently had with Embrace. One of my favorite parts is (blush):

I think we just may have our first pet insurance that does what it promises, and does it with actual customer service that is knowledgeable, helpful, professional, and pleasant. I would not hesitate to buy a policy from them again (with the exception of a pre-existing condition that other current insurance covers which Embrace would not), and I would recommend them to anyone looking to buy pet insurance.

We still have some areas where we can improve such as better communication about waiting for the vet records and no more interrupting on the phone (oops!) but in the end, it's a pretty sad indictment of pet insurance in general if a policyholder finds that doing what we said we'd would do is amazing.

What has your experience with pet insurance been in the past? Don't be shy now.

Related Posts on Invisible Voices
Invisible Voices blog entries on pet insurance
"Mo’s How-to guide on getting the most out of pet insurance" on Invisible Voices
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Ask Laura: when to get continuing care?

Here's a question that was posted for me over at the Invisible Voices discussion about pet insurance.

Question:

Let’s say in the year 1 I don’t get “continuing care” coverage and my cat gets sick. Embrace covers the vet bills. In the year two when I’m renewing my policy, do I then have an option of still purchasing continuing care, or not? If I do, that means that in the first year of insuring you don’t need to purchase continuing care.  Jane

Answer:

Jane,

In the scenario you describe, you can pick up the continuing care option in year 2 but any illnesses in the first year would be considered pre-existing for the continuing care option going forward. In other words, you have to get continuing care now to have it apply to illnesses that occur in the first year.

Laura



Purina starts to rev the pet insurance engine

Scratchings_and_sniffings_2 Over at the Scratchings and Sniffings blog, Dr. Larry has posted a commentary on his thoughts on pet insurance.

Scratchings and Sniffings blog is the pet blog written by Yvonne Divita and sponsored by Purina. This post definitely looks like a "warm up the market" post for the pending Purina Pet Insurance launch due sometime soon.

Dr. Larry focuses on the marketing of pet insurance companies in the US. In the most part, I totally agree with what he says as they are my pet peeves too.

Pet insurance is not a way to save money, it's a way to avoid the unexpected financial spikes that a high vet bill can bring.

And there's the nuance about vet bills being "too high" as Dr. Larry puts it. The point is that it's not that vets are being unreasonable in what they charge, it's that they provide a professional service for advanced medical care and should charge accordingly. Vets can do more and more for pets and it costs money - sometimes a surprising amount of money.

As Dr. Larry closes, "The issue is finding a good policy that you can understand and will actually pay what you expect. In the next post we'll cover some questions you want to think about when shopping for pet insurance."

So, we look forward to hearing more from Dr. Larry on what makes the perfect pet insurance policy.

Update: here's Dr Larry's follow up post on things to consider when buying pet insurance. Couldn't have written it better myself!

Related Post: Purina Pet Insurance in the US



Actuarial Pioneer: Laura Bennett, pet insurance actuary

Cool_headshotSoa_new The Society of Actuaries (SOA) has been building a list of the top 100 actuarial "Pioneers" as part of building the awareness of the actuarial field. To be on it, you have to be "an actuary who has blazed a trail for actuaries by creating a new application for actuarial science, or one who is among the first to apply the actuarial skill set in a non-traditional setting."

I think that pet insurance certainly qualifies in that category, don't you? And nicely enough, so does the SOA. Cool!

So, I did an actuarial Pioneer interview with the SOA a few months ago (it just went online) about the impact that being an actuary has had on my career, among other things. It's a bit of a fun mish-mash of tidbits about Embrace and me. Maybe it will inspire some aspiring actuaries to spread their wings, who knows?

I really liked the quote they selected out to highlight the whole article: " ... the smallest kindness in business goes an incredibly long way and it more often than not brings you benefits you could never have planned for." I really believe that - do you?

BTW, the picture above is not the picture I gave them for the article (this one was taken afterwards for a friend of Embrace) but I would really have loved to have used it instead of the goofy "corporate" one I sent instead. Oh well. Must get my "official" photos reshot!



"Mo’s How-to guide on getting the most out of pet insurance" on Invisible Voices

If you ever wanted a very practical and relevent summary of how to get the most out of your pet insurance, check out the guide written by Mo(-the-Magnificent), which is hosted very kindly by Deb(-the-Delightful) over at Invisible Voices.

Mo has seen it all with pet insurance and lived to tell her tail (er- tale) on Deb's many pet insurance threads. It's an absolutely fascinating read, particularly if you have any knowledge of the pet insurance companies on the market (maybe even without :))

All pet insurers should read all the discussions on pet insurance. The claim experience is where the rubber hits the road with pet insurance and if we don't collectively do better as an industry, we are never going to get beyond the flighty image of pet insurance in the US.

What say yea, pet insurers?

Related Posts on Invisible Voices
Invisible Voices blog entries on pet insurance
Evangelism at its best
Terrier Man gets provocative on pet insurance

If you have a cat...