Spraining Cats & Dogs
Looking for some creative benefit ideas? Consider health insurance for your employees' pets.
Just as technological advances have increased human health-care costs, new and more expensive treatments are helping pets live longer but are not always affordable, often forcing devoted owners to make painful choices. The solution? Health insurance for pets. Introduced about 20 years ago, the product has just recently started joining the menu of optional perks at companies looking for ways to attract and retain workers.
So far, companies offering the benefit tend to be in the high-tech, white-collar category, says Bill Gorman, regional director of business development for Veterinary Pet Insurance Inc. (VPI), in Anaheim, California. How many pets do you need to insure for a group discount? For VPI, at least 10 pets must be covered. Other companies' numbers will vary.
A number of pet insurance products are on the market, with most offering traditional indemnity plans. Carriers will help set up payroll deduction programs for premiums, provide informational brochures for employees and sometimes make personal presentations to explain their programs. And for employees who consider their pets members of the family, it's a valuable perk indeed.
Jacquelyn Lynn left the corporate world more than 13 years ago and has been writing about business and management from her home office in Winter Park, Florida, ever since.
- Veterinary Pet Insurance Inc., (800) USA-PETS, www.petinsurance.com