Pet Insurance as an Employee Benefit Is on the Rise
Lifestyle| | By Steven Lerner
Common themes among the best places to work include great perks and benefits. Recently, there’s a new employee benefit that is on the rise — pet insurance. Almost half of all Fortune 500 companies offer pet insurance as a voluntary benefit. As a result, millions of employees in the U.S. are eligible to receive coverage. “With the cost of core benefits on the rise, companies are looking for offerings that can be added to a benefits portfolio at no expense to the employer,” Scott Liles, vice president and chief pet insurance officer for Nationwide, said in a press release. “Offering pet insurance as a voluntary benefit appeals to prospective pet lovers and helps retain current pet-owning employees.” Nationwide is one of at least 11 insurers that offer coverage through the A.S.P.C.A. (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals). Their plans cover dogs, cats, birds, and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions. “Pet insurance is a game-changer for many pet owners,” Dr. Tracey Jensen, a private-practice veterinarian in Colorado, told the New York Times. “Pets today occupy a special place in people’s lives. They’re family members, and their owners don’t want to cut corners on care.” Some veterinarians charge more for certain animals and medical conditions. With Nationwide’s pet insurance, employees are able to visit any licensed veterinarian in the world and receive 90 percent reimbursement on eligible veterinary expenses. “According to American Pet Products Association, pet owners spent nearly $16 billion on veterinary care in 2016,” Liles said in the press release. “Since 65 percent of Americans own at least one pet, two-thirds of employees may be shouldering sizable pet care costs. Pet insurance can help employees offset these veterinary expenses.” The next time you have to negotiate an offer from a company, make sure to ask about pet insurance as a benefit.
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