BY CHRIS L. MIDDLETON
Without a doubt, pets have become true members of the family—no longer just “man’s best friend,” but “fur babies” that we love, care for and protect. And this is especially true among millennials.
Some people believe that millennials have been a growing category in the pet industry because they are increasingly delaying having children and therefore consider their pets as their primary responsibility and love at home. Additionally, some feel that millennials are more aware of and loyal to particular pet brands than any other generation. No matter the reason, it’s evident that demand for quality items and services for pets are on the rise.
While some companies are scaling back on wellness benefits for humans, record numbers of dogs, cats and other companion animals are covered for veterinary expenses through employee-benefits plans that include pet insurance. And with the costs for veterinary care rising, more Americans in general are enrolling in pet health insurance plans to take away some of the financial strain that comes with extending the lives of their furry loved ones.
According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, a trade group representing 12 companies that sell pet insurance, about 1.4 million pets were insured in the U.S. in 2015. That’s up 12 percent from 2014.
If your pet business is looking for new employee benefit ideas, particularly if you’re trying to appeal to millennials, it’s time to take a serious look at pet health insurance.
For over 10 years, our team at Pets Best Insurance has worked to provide customizable pet insurance plans to companies of all sizes, and we pride ourselves on quick reimbursements on veterinary bills to policy holders and exceptional customer service. In fact, we recently launched a new Flat Rate Accident plan specifically designed with employers in mind.
At only $9 per month for dogs and $6 per month for cats (in most states), the plan makes budgeting for pet insurance simple, especially if the employer plans to pay for the pet insurance. The plan covers virtually all accidental injuries, such as broken bones, snakebites, accidental swallowing and more. However, it does not include coverage for illnesses; our BestBenefit Plans include coverage for both accidents and illnesses. If you’re looking to add pet health insurance as an employee benefit, contact us! We are happy to discuss the options with you.
In addition to offering pet health insurance as an employee benefit, here are four more ways you can create a fun, safe and efficient pet-friendly work environment:
Start small: Begin transitioning your business to a pet-friendly space by designating one or two days a week where employees can bring their pets into the business. This will allow time to adjust, see where changes can be made and transition employees into accepting pets into the work place.
Pet-proof your space: With computers, cords, cables and open trash bins throughout an office space, there is endless opportunity for disaster (and promises of hours of fun for Fido). By making sure these issues are resolved prior to bringing pets into the business, you and your employees can rest easy throughout the day without worry of office issues.
Set (realistic) rules and expectations: When bringing pets into the business, you can quickly spot ones who were born to be a business dog and ones who simply weren’t. Setting expectations for both pet behavior and employee behavior will have everyone on the same page from day one. From vaccination requirements, cleaning up messes big and small, meeting protocol and even barking, setting the ground rules early will only make things easier in the long run.
Have pet interviews: Not all dogs will thrive in a business environment surrounded by strangers and other dogs. Trial employees’ dogs and make sure their temperament is a match for the surrounding employees. While this process may seem mundane, preventing future dog or employee altercations is crucial