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Pet Insurance: Attract Millennial Talent and their Four-Legged Family Members

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Quick Look: Pet insurance is becoming a popular ancillary benefit, as more millennials are delaying having children, or forgoing children all together in favor of a four-legged family member. While benefits like healthcare and PTO are vital in keeping employees happy, offering this perk could be a big differentiator for the younger workforce.

Looking for a leg up to meet the changing demands of younger employees? Pet insurance is the latest employee benefits trend you should be paying attention to.

Studies have shown more millennials—who currently make up almost 40% of the American workforce—are choosing to become pet-owners rather than parents. And such, are interested in more pet-friendly job perks than any previous generation, including wanting to work for employers who view their pets with equal respect, and offer benefits like health insurance to prove it.


What makes pet insurance so enticing for younger employees?

 Millennials have tended to delay large life commitments and financial decisions, giving them more time and money to spend on their fur babies— approximately $3,400 each year according to Offering pet insurance is an enticing option for this new generation who have formed unique emotional attachments with their pets.

A new survey from TD Ameritrade reveals the impact pets have had on young pet parents:

  • Most millennials (67%) see their pet as part of the family and would refer to them as a “fur baby.”
  • A majority of millennial pet owners (68%) would take leave from work to care for a new pet if their employer offered it. 
  • If their pet falls ill, millennials are ready to spend an average of nearly $2,000 for the animal’s medical care. One in 10 said they are prepared to spend upwards of $10,000 on a sick pet.


But pet ownership comes with high costs, and this is where employers can make an impact and offer a competitive advantage.

In an interview with HRDive, Rob Jackson, CEO of Healthy Paws Pet Insurance and Foundation, discussed the cost benefits for both employers and employees: “The pet insurance coverage employees get through their employer will be the exact same coverage as if they had purchased it on their own. The only difference is employers are often able to negotiate better rates for their employees.”

While voluntary benefits like pet insurance were once considered a “nice to have” by employers and employees, a recent survey found voluntary benefits are now must haves. However, these benefits can be costly for small employers to add to their own plans. Also, new trends emerge each year for voluntary perks, meaning SMB employers would have to continuously monitor and add new services to their plan.

One solution is to explore partnering with a Professional Employer Organization (PEO). Not only would an employer gain access to cost-effective, modern employee benefit plans and a wide-variety of voluntary offerings, but PEOs routinely monitor new trends and benefits.

Some voluntary benefits, like pet insurance, a PEO partner can provide include:

  • Telehealth programs
  • Concierge services
  • Financial and legal advisement programs
  • Identity theft protection
  • Home and auto insurance
  • Accident and illness plans
  • Supplemental life insurance


Throw your employees a bone.

Offering cost-effective voluntary benefits like pet insurance can be a great way to show your younger workforce that you understand their lifestyle and appeal. It can also help to recruit and retain younger employees, while making sure they feel supported in and outside of the workplace.

While these added perks can seem costly, exploring a PEO partnership can help offer better choices and better plan designs at better prices. Get in touch with our HR and benefits experts to learn how.

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