February 10, 2013
As a matter of fact, you can get your dental cleaning and dental illness treatments covered up to $400 if you have the Embrace Pet Insurance Wellness Rewards Plus coverage.
The best part is, you don't have to fulfill restrictive dental care every year just to get the coverage; it's part of your pet's wellness care, as it should be.
The Wellness Rewards Plus coverage also covers issues that occured before you purchased your policy since there's no such thing as a pre-existing condition for Wellness Rewards claims. Nor a deductible. Nice!
Learn more about dental illness and wellness coverage here, on the Wellness Rewards page on the Embrace website.
February is National Pet Dental Health Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Does Pet Insurance Cover Dental Cleanings and Illness?
Podcast: Dr Patrick Mahaney on Pet Dental Health
Guest Post: the importance of dental x-rays for your pets
Claim Example: traumatic injury to Bernese Mountain Dog tooth
An alternative to brushing your dog's teeth?
September 01, 2012
Let's talk about pet insurance!
Many of you know, I am the Chairperson of the Board of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) where our goal is to increase awareness and trust of pet health insurance across North America. Pet insurance has been around for over 30 years in the US but less than 1% of cats and dogs are insured. Compare this to over 25% insured in the UK and you'll understand our goal more clearly.
There are many what I call structural differences between the two countries so will pet insurance ever reach 25% cats and dogs insured in the US? I doubt it.
Americans just aren't as enamoured with insurance as the Brits and the rules around advertising and regulation of insurance in the US are rather onerous compared to the UK.
I can see us doing much much better to provide great benefits to pet parents who want the flexibility to provide care for their pets in times of financial need rather than putting them down. How about 10% anyone?
So every year, the pet insurance industry highlights pet insurance in September to increase awareness and to talk with pet parents across North America about the benefits it can bring to their household, both in financial and emotional terms.
On the Embrace blog in September, I will talk about different aspects of pet insurance and the benefits and go over the Embrace policies and how they can work for you. We will even have some stories of those with pet insurance and those who wish they'd had pet insurance.
Please feel free to add your comments and experiences with pet insurance as well.
September is Pet Health Insurance Month
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - painful choice to euthanize
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - close encounter with dental floss
Guest Post: can I get pet insurance for that?
"Wish I'd had pet insurance" story - vet techs need pet insurance too!
Guest Post: Pet Insurance Q&Amp;A from Dr Patrick Mahaney
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - hip dysplasia surgery for 1 year old German Coolie
"So Glad I had Pet Insurance" story - surgery for vicious dog attack
"So Glad I Had Pet Insurance" story - cats and lilies do not mix
August 15, 2012
When I announced the Embrace Pet Insurance move to our new underwriter, American Modern, I promised to tell you about our new diminishing deductible feature, also known as the Healthy Pet DeductibleTM.
If it sounds familiar, it's probably because you have seen quite a few TV ads from several large auto insurers with their own versions of the deductible reducing every year of claims-free driving. The Embrace Healthy Pet Deductible is very similar - if you go a year without any claims paid out for your pet, your next year's annual deductible reduces by $50 and so on every year, until you reach a $0 deductible.
Embrace is the first pet insurer in the world to offer this feature.
The point is not to discourage you from sending in your claims but to offer encouragement for those pet parents whose pets stay healthy and are not using their Embrace policy to stick around for when they ultimately will need their pet insurance.
It just kills me when someone cancels their policy because they haven't used it for 3 years and then call in 6 months later asking if we'd cover an accident or illness that has occured after the insurance was stopped. I never want that to happen again.
For specifics, you can learn more on our Health Pet DeductibleTM webpage. For example, it is only available to those policies underwritten by American Modern so you'll have to wait until your policy coverts over to start earning those credits.
In the meantime, here's an example that I put together on how it works.
Consider a multi-pet policy with my cats Rocket (annual deductible $500) and Rosie (annual deductible $200).
Year 1 – one covered claim for Rocket of $300 and one for Rosie for $300 as well.
- Since Rocket’s claim is under her $500 deductible, there is no claim payout; therefore, Rocket accumulates a $50 deductible credit for year 2.
- Rosie’s claim, however, is over her $200 deductible so there will be a claim payout in year 1; therefore, Rosie will not accumulate any deductible credits for year 2.
Year 2 – another covered claim for Rocket of $600 and no claims for Rosie.
- Rocket’s claim is over her deductible ($500 - $50 = $450), so there is a claim payout; therefore, Rocket will not accumulate any deductible credits for year 3 and her accumulated deductible credits are reset to zero.
- Since Rosie has no claims in year 2, she accumulates $50 in deductible credits for year 3.
If we rewrote the example this way, you can see how the Healthy Pet Deductible accumulates:
Year 2 – another covered claim for Rocket but this time for $300 and no claims for Rosie.
- Rocket’s claim is under her deductible ($500 - $50 = $450), so there is no claim payout; therefore, Rocket accumulates another $50 to make her total deductible credits equal to $100 for year 3.
- Since Rosie has no claims in year 2, she accumulates $50 of Deductible Dollars for year 3.
So if you claim, you get reimbursed (if it's above the deductible) and if you don't (it's below the deductible), you get a credit.
What's not to like about that?
Embrace has a new insurance partner - A+ rated American Modern Home Insurance Company
July 19, 2012
It's hard to believe that 999 posts ago, I wrote the first Embrace blog post called "What am I trying to do?" on April 28, 2005. As an entrepreneur, I have no time to look years ahead in the future but I must admit, years ahead, it is certainly darn satisfying to look back.
Just to backtrack, the Embrace blog came about as follows.
Alex Krooglik and I (Laura Bennett) were part of the team that won the 2003 Wharton Business Plan Competition with a pet insurance idea (I know! Who'd have thunk it). Once we graduated, we decided that pet insurance is what we wanted to do with our lives and thus Embrace Pet Insurance was born in July 2003. Several years went by (raising money is a cinch compared to finding an insurance partnership) and we sold our first policy in October 2006. Things keep getting better ever since.
The purpose of this blog was to establish Embrace as experts in pet insurance and to build the Embrace brand as open and honest pet insurance that does exactly what you think pet insurance ought to do. As we noticed back in 2003, that approach seemed rather lacking in the market (and not just pet insurance I might add!)
Did it work? I like to think so.
When Embrace opened its doors for business on October 10, 2006, the blog had been running for 18 months. When Embrace launched, you could only purchase our insurance over the phone and so I wasn't expecting very much in the way of sales at all. After all, who would trust a pet insurance company that didn't even have a functioning online sales module?
Well, the phone did ring right from the start. Modestly of course, but the people who called were the ones that had been waiting for us to get going while reading the blog for a year and a half. That and our moms and friends calling too of course :)
In terms of Embrace, we have come along way but our core values have not changed:
- Open and honest
Our number one core value and one I mention more than any other when I'm talking about Embrace. Yes, insurance can care and be trusted!
- Customer fixation
No-one is ever just a policy number. We celebrate our pet parents' joys and we cry at their losses. They are our Embraced peeps and our friends
- Community & environment
We are part of many larger communities, whether it be where our Embracers live across the country, the pet parent world, or the community of dynamic growing emerging businesses, and we share the wealth everywhere we are
- Personal responsibility
Every Embracer takes initiative with their own careers, their role at Embrace, and the Embrace community at large
We create value for all involved by the innovative approach we take to our products, our relationships with our Embrace pet parents, and our internal operations. We never assume we're done.
None of the other core values would be meaningful if we didn't truly care about what we do passionately. We really do wear our slippers at work and do the happy dance in the office.
The Embrace blog has allowed me to share with you our thoughts and cares at Embrace and a bit of knowledge along the way. Thank you for joining in.
Chief Embracer & Co-Founder
Embrace Pet Insurance
June 07, 2012
Over the previous winter, we worked on a fun project to put together some videos of me talking about different aspects of pet insurance. For your viewing pleasure, they are now up on YouTube on the Embrace Pet Insurance Channel.
The topics include:
Why Should I get Pet Insurance?
Researching and Buying Pet Insurance
How Pet Insurance Has Changed
Dedicated Savings or Pet Insurance?
What Sets Embrace Apart
And many more...
Yes, I apparently do look and sound like that (especially after a long night of pet insurance actuarial pricing - see video thumbnail below)
Here's one for you that we get asked a lot - Pet Insurance and Pre-Existing Conditions.
Any other pet insurance topics you'd like to see that we missed?
April 15, 2012
Usually I would say that "best" is in the eye of the beholder since what might be best for me might not be best for you. In the case of wellness with pet insurance though, it's hard to think of a situation where the Embrace Pet Insurance Wellness Rewards option isn't the best for everyone.
The Embrace Wellness Rewards works quite like a Health Spending Account and can save you a lot of money:
- you pick one of the two Wellness Rewards options with your Embrace Pet Insurance policy - $200 or $400 limit
- you can use the Wellness Rewards benefit the day you buy it - no waiting for the coverage to start the next day. That means you can buy it after your spay or neuter surgery and still have it covered if you buy the same day
- spend your Wellness dollars on wellness related care such as:
- spay or neuter
- flea or tick medication
- routine vet visits and diagnostics
- prescription diet foods (at the $400 Wellness Rewards Plus level)
- and more
- send in your claim form with your invoice and we'll reimburse you what you spent up to your annual limit
- Best news of all? You do not have to pay a deductible and there's no copay percentage
How do you save money? Well, the Wellness Rewards program costs less than the benefit you can get. And because we have no sublimits on each item and we pay you back exactly what you paid on your vet bill up to your limit, it's easy to max out your savings.
April is Wellness Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: annual vet visits are more than vaccinations
The Best Wellness Product in Pet Insurance
When you aren't sure if you need to go to the veterinary emergency room or not
February 07, 2012
Too good to be true? Actually no.
Here's how it works. Add the Dental Rewards plan with an Embrace Pet Insurance policy and you'll get $400 of benefit for $299 cost annually ($101.00 savings) or $28.95 monthly ($52.60 savings).
The plan works just like a health savings plan and you can spend your rewards dollars on as many of the items below as you would like up to your $400 limit:
- Teeth cleaning
- Dental checkups and exams
- Dental X-rays
- Blood-testing, antibiotics, & anesthesia related to dental surgery
- Crowns, fillings, and even orthodontics!
Download a sample rewards certificate to view a full list of what's covered.
There are some very nice features in addition:
- no deductibles or coinsurance percentages
- no waiting period
- covers pre-existing dental illness - so if you know your dog needs some teeth pulled or that you'd like to get your dog braces, that is covered too
Want to learn more? Get an Embrace pet insurance quote to see how little it can be to insurance your dog or cat for accidents, illnesses and dental wellness.
February is Pet Dental Health Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: video of a veterinarian cleaning dog teeth
Make 101 dollars on your pet's dental cleaning
Guest Post: your pet dental questions with Dr Patrick Mahaney
Claim Example: Tooth Fracture in a Golden Retriever
October 10, 2011
Happy Birthday to Embrace! This day five years ago, we sold our first policy to me and my cat Lily.
I distinctly remember when we got the go-ahead from our underwriters at the time, Lloyd's of London, and since I was out of the office on that day, I phoned in to purchase our first policy.
We'd been training our first 2 Embracers, Chris and Lea, on the phones by having people (including my mom) randomly call in to pretend to buy a policy so I didn't tell Lea, who happened to answer the phone this time around, that this was a "live" purchase until the end of the call. It was a giddy feeling for all of us when I told her to put through my real credit card info and really buy the policy.
A lot has changed since we sold that first policy but we remember our humble start fondly. We now have 24 Embracers, plus we're about to hire another 2. We broke even in June of this year and have insured thousands of cats and dogs and paid out millions in claim reimbursement. It feels really good to get to where we are now.
Here are some photos of the last 5 years at Embrace - do you have any fond memories of Embrace over the years you'd like to share?
July 31, 2011
Embrace Pet Insurance announces Cabela's Pet Insurance, pet health insurance for active outdoor dogs (and their sibling cats too!) Protect your hunting, sporting and family dog against costly accidents and illnesses with the quality and superior customer service you have come to expect from Cabela's.
If you live on the East or West coast and never been to the great outdoors, you might not have heard of Cabela's, but for the rest of us, we know Cabela's as the World's Foremost Outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear and I'm a huge fan.
Nearly every annual trip to our family cabin in Minnesota includes a visit to Cabela's to stock up on fishing gear (and maybe a t-shirt or three). I love browsing through the entire store, including the aquariums filled with local aquatic settings displaying the local fish you might catch. Such a breath of fresh air - literally.
Cabela's is a source of affordable, high-quality outdoor equipment and their stores are phenomenal. Just try to spend less than $200 everytime you step into one - it's just not possible (or is that just me...?)
Embrace is proud to partner with Cabela's and delighted to provide Cabela's Pet Insurance to Cabela's much loved customers.
To learn about Cabela's Pet Insurance and to get a free quote, go to www.cabelaspetinsurance.com.
January 19, 2011
As you know, it's Wellness Month at Embrace and we were chit-chatting about it on our Facebook page, when Mark Braun, one of our Embraced pet parents, eloquently said:
Yup, I've been extremely happy with the Wellness coverage, among other things with Embrace. It's like a health savings plan for your pet. I wrote a review at petinsurancereview.com about it. Not that Embrace needed more glowing reviews!
Given his obvious passion about pet wellness at Embrace, I asked him to write up his thoughts on wellness and the Embrace Wellness Rewards Program and much to my surprise, he agreed!
Here are Mark's own words about wellness.
On occasion I’m sure we’ve all wished that our pets had controls, like the remote for a DVD player. Every once in a while I’ve longed for a pause button for my very active dog! But our dogs and cats aren’t machines; they’re complicated biological organisms just as we are. When we adopt a pet, we accept the responsibility for their wellbeing, physically, mentally and emotionally. Maintaining their condition becomes important to us and we want the best for them. Important aspects of maintaining their physical wellbeing include checkups, vaccinations, and treatments such as heartworm and flea prevention to protect them from dangerous pests. These are a part of wellness care.
I know from personal experience that far too many people only take their pets to the veterinarian when there are signs of a problem, perhaps an injury or symptoms indicating the onset of a disease. Imagine how much less anxiety for the owner and discomfort for the pet would be involved if these pets had been seen by a vet on a routine basis, catching potential problems before they can develop.
By examining your pet and monitoring vital signs, veterinarians and veterinary technicians can use their training and expertise to immediately recognize when there are signs present which may lead to a problem down the road, and suggest simple lifestyle changes to help prevent those problems. Perhaps a different diet or exercise routine will help Fido shed a few pounds, avoiding conditions like cardiovascular disease in the future. When you’re together with your pet every single day it can be hard to notice subtle changes. But your vet can take a fresh approach! A wellness visit also allows the staff to form a baseline understanding of what your pet’s behavior is like, what its vital signs show, when there is no sign of sickness. This can help greatly in recognizing and treating any illness in the future too.
I think that it’s extremely important to work with a veterinarian that you’re comfortable with. A sense of clear communication is essential. If you were uncomfortable with your own doctor, you’d switch doctors, right? A wellness visit, away from the stress involved in treating an illness, will give you the chance to evaluate your relationship with your pet’s doctor too. So if something does indeed come up, you’re not meeting someone at random for the first time with no prior communication.
Our animals live in the environment we chose for them. Modern medicine gives us the ability to protect them from many of the risks associated with that environment. With vaccinations available for diseases which used to be a death sentence for our pets, there’s no excuse to skip this essential protection. Same with heartworm and flea prevention; these are affordable and convenient safeguards and we owe it to our pets to keep them from the discomfort and illness associated with these pests too. At the risk of sounding too negative, how would you feel if your dog came down with a life threatening case of heartworm when a simple monthly chewable pill could have eliminated the risk in the first place?
It’s not free or even cheap to have a pet. I’d spend the money on these wellness requirements in any case. Embrace makes it easier with their wellness plans by adding to my contribution. It’s like having a health savings plan for my dog. And it’s important to me that there isn’t a pre approved schedule for payments either. My vet charges for a physical exam and it’s covered. That way I get to choose the care provider that I’m most comfortable with, and that my Gracie is most comfortable with too.
January is Wellness Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest post: cat wellness care or why cats are not little dogs
Claim Example: Spay (aka OVH/OVE in veterinary speak)
Claim Example: Neuter
Guest Post by Lea: This is your Weight-Loss Wakeup Call
Why Are Pet Veterinarian Visits Going Down?
The Embrace Wellness Rewards Plan
Guest Post: why wellness checkups are so important to me
The Embrace Wellness Rewards Plan
Mark is pet parent to Gracie, a 3 year old mixed breed dog. They reside together in North Venice FL.
Note that Mark was not compensated in any way to write this post - except for virtual hugs across the interweb of course