9 Best Practices for Offering Pet Insurance

Author: Jordan Holliday, Vet Marketing

naphia-article

If you work in the veterinary industry, you have likely heard of The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA). If you haven’t, however, we can quickly summarize for you. According to their website, NAPHIA “is a freestanding body comprised of reputable and experienced pet health insurance companies and pet health professionals. As a self-governing, regulating and supporting organization, they are committed to advancing and growing the pet insurance industry by pooling resources, sharing information, and working together to identify and address challenges and opportunities.”

Naturally, we feel they are a helpful resource and a great way to learn more about how offering pet insurance can help your practice grow. According to the NAPHIA “Pet Insurance Best Practices Guide for Veterinary Teams,” written by John Volk of Brakke Consulting Inc., these tips will give you the resources to do just that:

  1. Promote only one or two pet insurance companies: Researching pet insurance may be intimidating for your clients. By selecting just one or two companies and educating your staff on their products, your recommendation can make it easier for your client to make a confident decision in purchasing insurance for their pet.
  2. Assign pet insurance “specialists:” Any experienced staff person with an interest in pet insurance could serve as your office’s pet insurance “specialist.” Though every member of your team should be an advocate for pet insurance, this person is helpful for clients who have in-depth questions about the product.
  3. Go over information with your clients at the right time: Walk clients through your pet insurance brochures to be sure that they fully understand the plans being offered.
  4. Put a link on your website to the pet insurance company/companies you recommend: This allows your clients to have pet insurance information right at their fingertips. Also consider adding these links to appointment reminder emails, electronic newsletters, etc.
  5. Determine which clients currently have pet health insurance: Always ask clients if they have pet health insurance; this starts a conversation with clients who may not be aware of pet insurance and provides you with information to put on file for clients who do.
  6. Record pet insurance policy information in client records: This will inform your staff that treatment costs may qualify for reimbursement, which can help your client make quicker decisions regarding treatment.
  7. Submit claims: Many practices submit claims directly to the pet insurance company on behalf of the client because it ends up saving them time in the long run. According to NAPHIA’s survey of pet owners in the US and Canada, 85% of pet owners considering pet insurance said they were more likely to purchase if their vet submitted claims for them.
  8. Offer pet insurance to your staff: There are many reasons to offer pet insurance as an employee benefit to your staff, the biggest being that nearly all veterinary practice employees have pets of their own and they want the best care for them. Also, of the many reasons, it is a great endorsement for the pet insurance that you are offering at your clinic.
  9. Engage your entire practice: A supportive culture for pet health insurance works best when everyone in your practice is on board. Talk about it at team meetings, share success stories of pets who received treatment because they were insured, discuss pet insurance training with new employees, etc. Veterinarians are especially influential with clients, so be sure to mention pet insurance to them. Something as simple as “Be sure to ask the front desk about pet health insurance. We think all of our clients should consider it.”

NAPHIA’s research demonstrates that pet owners with pet insurance visit their local practice more often and spend more than owners without insurance. So, by simply following these best practices, you and your staff can help clients make educated decisions regarding pet insurance, making them more likely to say “yes” to the care that you recommend… a win for you, your clients, and their pets.