Quick Look: Approximately 70% of U.S. households own a pet – and 30% of employees say offering pet insurance would either make them consider staying at a company or inspire them to switch to an employer that does. Here’s what you need to know about pet insurance, including how it benefits small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and how to add it to your broker toolkit.
If you’re looking for the next employee benefit to add to your portfolio, pet insurance could the answer. Millions of Americans adopted a pet during the last two years, and as workers quit their jobs in droves, pet insurance is increasingly on their “must-have” list for their next role.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the pet insurance industry, as well as three major benefits your SMB clients could experience by offering pet insurance to their employees.
What is pet insurance used for?
What’s covered by a pet insurance policy depends on the specific plan.
Most comprehensive policies cover wellness exams, shots, chronic conditions, and acute injuries and illnesses. These plans are helpful, but if a pet faces severe medical problems, expensive veterinary bills can still occur. For those situations, policies also exist that cover accidents, severe illness, and hereditary conditions, as well as basic care like flea prevention.
In 2020, the total amount of pet insurance premiums reached nearly $2 billion, with 93% of policies including both accident and illness coverage, as well as “embedded wellness,” which includes services like vaccinations, nutrition consultations, and early screening diagnostics.
- Skin issues
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Ear infections
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
Pet insurance by the numbers
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 1 in 5 American households adopted a pet during the pandemic. That amounts to 23 million families who could benefit from access to affordable pet insurance through employers.
While 68% of U.S. families own a pet, only 2% have pet insurance, and the market is ripe with opportunity – at the end of 2020, 3.1 million pets were insured, and pet insurance has experienced an average annual growth rate of 24.2% over the past five years.
So how are employers currently addressing the rising need for pet insurance? According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 15% of organizations offer pet insurance as an employee benefit – and the recent rise in pet ownership combined with the tumultuous labor market means that number is slated to climb.
3 business benefits of pet insurance
People love their furry friends and that’s why pet insurance is a wonderful employee benefit for SMBs to consider offering.
Incredibly, 58% of pet owners worry more about their pet’s health than their own, and 52% of them spend more money on their pets than they do on themselves. And when you consider that four out of five pet owners will at some point face an unexpected bill, pet insurance coverage just makes sense.
While pet insurance focuses on keeping our furry friends healthy – and their parents’ bills low – it can benefit the employers that offer it, too. Here’s how:
1. Attract and retain talent
The war for talent is on, and pet insurance can provide the appeal employers need to win over job candidates – and retain their current workforce.
72% of workers say that the more benefits they receive, the happier they are at their jobs, and pet insurance can help with employee engagement. Did you know:
- More than half of working pet parents’ current employers do not offer adequate pet benefits – and that’s directly impacting their decision to either stay or quit and find a new job.
- According to MetLife’s 2021 Employee Benefit Trends report, pet insurance is picking up steam – employee interest in the plans rose 5% from 2020 to 2021.
- 70% of employees report they don’t have access to pet insurance through their employers, but 30% said having those benefits would convince them to stay with their current organization (or leave for an employer that does offer them).
- 49% of Gen Z and 45% of millennial employees state they would be motivated to stay at a company if it offered pet-related benefits – or leave for one that does. This is especially important to note, as by 2025 millennials will represent 75% of the workforce.
If your clients are looking to fully embrace pet-related benefits, there are options beyond just insurance that they can offer. According to a Nationwide survey, 29% of employees would like paid time off to care for a pet, 27% would like a pet-friendly office environment, and 14% would like the chance to take a “paw-ternity” leave after they’ve adopted a new four-legged friend.
2. De-stress employees
Worker burnout is real. A Deloitte study found that 77% of U.S. professionals have experienced burnout at their current job, and 70% feel their employers aren’t doing enough to prevent or ease burnout within their organization.
Pets can help. Having a furry friend in your life can directly improve both your physical and mental health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that pets encourage people to exercise, go outside, and socialize. Pet ownership is also linked to decreased blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, and can help people manage depression and anxiety.
In addition to the advantages that pet ownership offers, pet insurance can also help ease people’s minds. An employee is more likely to focus and relax at work when they know they have an insurance policy in place that will enable them to provide their pets with affordable, high-quality care when the need arises.
3. Boost company culture
Pet insurance also gives SMBs the opportunity to offer a benefit that aligns with their corporate values and can boost their company culture. By providing access to affordable pet care, employers are telling their workforce, “I care about your entire family, I care about your life, and I care about your wallet.”
Businesses can take their pet-friendly stance a step farther by establishing pet owner clubs, hosting pet-friendly company events, providing pet-related corporate swag, or donating and matching employee donations to local animal rescue organizations.
Help make a pawsitive change
More and more workers are looking to their employers to provide access to pet insurance plans – and brokers can help. By partnering with a professional employer organization (PEO) like ExtensisHR, you can offer your clients access to affordable, top-rated pet insurance plans, as well as other free and low-cost benefits like telemedicine, employee assistance programs (EAPs), and more.
Ready to help your clients put their best paw forward? Contact ExtensisHR to discover how you can add pet insurance to your toolkit.