Pet insurance is an effective way to ensure your patients have the best access to care and clients have the greatest peace of mind. However, talking with clients about pet insurance can feel like an enormous undertaking for which you and your busy team simply don’t have time—until a patient needs expensive or emergent care. 

Rather than letting policies’ complexities and confusing jargon deter you from talking about pet insurance, focus on simply starting the conversation, which, by itself, could save a patient’s life. To learn how to have a meaningful pet insurance discussion with clients, follow these five tips.

#1: Start talking about pet insurance at puppy and kitten visits

Puppy and kitten owners are eager to build a strong health foundation for their new pet, making this an opportune time to introduce the pet insurance concept. In addition to protecting young pets’ health and their owners’ wallets during this vulnerable and mishap-filled life stage, clarify to clients that their young pets can be insured for much less per month (i.e., lower premiums) than adult pets because puppies and kittens generally have few to no pre-existing conditions, making early life an ideal and economical time to enroll. 

If you’re already discussing lifetime care costs during puppy or kitten visits, introducing pet insurance as a viable financing option can prevent new clients from feeling stressed or overwhelmed by their pet’s lifelong care expenses. Finally, reinforce your discussion by including pet insurance resources in your puppy and kitten welcome materials for clients to review at home. 

#2: Communicate the value of pet insurance

Although most people are familiar with health insurance, many clients may still believe pet insurance is unnecessary. Because financial discussions are often dry and overwhelming, explain pet insurance’s benefits as an investment in the pet-owner bond. Clients will likely relate to these emotional benefits:

  • Peace of mind — Explain that pet insurance takes away the worry about being able to afford treatment for their pet’s unexpected illness or emergency.
  • More timely care — Because insurance covers their pet’s treatment, owners can agree immediately rather than wait weeks or months to afford recommended care, a potentially lifesaving decision for some health conditions.
  • Improved outcomes — Because a sick pet with insurance coverage often receives advanced testing and treatment without having to wait for their owner to be able to afford the care, their prognosis significantly improves. When insurance covers a pet’s care, your team can perform advanced diagnostics at an early disease stage and gather detailed information, allowing you to make an accurate diagnosis and initiate targeted intervention, helping improve a patient’s outcomes.

#3: Explain pet insurance basics to clients

Giving clients sufficient information about pet insurance without weighing them down with confusing terminology can feel like a balancing act, but sending them out to shop for a policy without providing a few basic pointers can lead to frustration and reduce the odds that they will insure their pet’s health care. Provide pet owners with these important pet insurance facts:

  • Policy types and add-ons — Explain the standard policy options such as accident and illness, accident-only, and add-on options or riders for preventive care, rehabilitation, and alternative therapies. To prevent common misunderstandings and ensure that clients know how to shop for a policy that covers their pet’s needs, emphasize that most standard insurance policies don’t cover wellness or routine care.
  • Pre-existing conditions — Inform clients that pet health insurance does not cover most pre-existing conditions. However, some providers will remove pre-existing conditions if the client has filed no related claims within a specific time.

#4: Share reputable resources and pet insurance shopping guides

Before your clients turn to the internet to do further research, direct them to reliable organizations. Refer them to comprehensive, reputable, and unbiased resources such as:

  • North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) — In addition to maintaining a list of member companies that adhere to NAPHIA’s organizational standards, the organization offers a Pet Insurance Buying Guide and step-by-step information on how insurance coverage and claim filing work in the pet insurance industry. 
  • Pawlicy Advisor Pawlicy Advisor is a pet insurance marketplace offering personalized recommendations, side-by-side comparisons, thorough reviews, and resources. 

#5: Make pet insurance recommendations

Clients trust your veterinary team to provide informed, individualized pet health recommendations, including the most appropriate pet insurance policy. Although you should encourage clients to shop for the policy that best suits their budget and their pet’s health care needs, your veterinary team should consider recommending a few reputable providers. Doing so gives clients a starting point and can help those who are turned off by or simply don’t have the time for research to choose their pet’s insurance policy.

If one of your team’s members is interested in learning about pet health insurance or helping clients understand how to choose from available plans, consider creating a pet insurance champion role. Encourage the pet insurance champion to research and present information on three or four providers that your practice agrees to endorse. This team member can also become the point person for client questions and pet insurance inquiries.

Pet insurance is an enormous asset for pets, clients, and your veterinary team, but initiating the conversation often proves to be the most difficult hurdle. If communicating your message or putting your ideas into words feels overwhelming, our Rumpus Writing and Editing team can help turn inspiration into powerful marketing and educational materials for your practice or veterinary business. Schedule a consultation with our team.