As recently reported by healthypaws® Pet Insurance & Foundation in Cost of Pet Care: 2016, “[v]eterinarians have a greater ability to treat and save sick animals now more than ever before.”
The AVMA offers guidance to both pet owners and veterinarians “recogniz[ing] that viable pet health insurance programs will be important to the future of the veterinary profession’s ability to continue to provide high quality and up-to-date veterinary service.” The AVMA, while not endorsing any specific pet insurer, includes a list in its guidance to pet owners. See Do You Need Pet Insurance?
The North American Pet Health Insurance Association, “a freestanding body comprised of reputable and experienced pet health insurance companies and pet health professionals” describes it purpose in North America is to:
- Collectively drive growth for, and acceptance of, the pet health insurance (PHI) industry, its members, and its products through public and industry awareness initiatives, shared resources, and industry transparency
- Be a neutral voice for the reporting and dissemination of information about the benefits of PHI, and the industry, while promoting competitive choice for consumers about how pet insurance functions as well as the spectrum of coverage options available
- Explore and develop partnerships with other insurance, industry, animal welfare organizations and professionals who share complimentary aspects of our work and mandate
- Provide support to individual NAPHIA member companies in educating, marketing, and disseminating information on the industry across a wide variety of audiences and markets. See About NAPHIA.
NAPHIA currently has 13 “industry members,” and describes its members as “collectively represent[ing] more than 20 different pet insurance brands currently marketed across the US and Canada.” See The Pet Health Insurance Industry in North America.
NAPHIA reports that ‘over 1.6 million of the 179 million pets in North America are insured by NAPHIA members.’
Many businesses have begun offering pet insurance to their employees as part of their benefit packages. Like any other insurance plan, a careful review of the policy is essential before deciding to sign on.
Plans may include the following options: (1) Accident only plans; (2) Accident & Illness; (3) Insurance with Embedded Wellness; and (4) Endorsements. According to NAPHIA 97% of insured pets in the U.S. “were covered either through an Accident & Illness plan or an Insurance with Embedded Wellness plan.” See State of the Industry Report 2016 Highlights.
Since diagnostic and treatment options for pets will continue to expand, it may make sense to obtain coverage to ensure that owners are best equipped financially to provide care needed, as determined in consultation with your veterinarian-of-choice.