The Second Pet Gets Insurance

Last week, a friend of a friend noticed that one of her dogs seemed to be in discomfort, so she gave him three Motrin.  Big mistake. Within a few hours she was at the emergency vet clinic where she was asked if she was willing to pay for surgery to try and save her dog’s life. Two days and another surgery later, the dog passed away. The owner had run up over $6,000 in vet bills.

The very next day, the owner bought VPI pet insurance for her second dog.

She mentioned that before her first dog got sick, she had no idea that vet care could be so expensive.

This is an example of the “Second Pet” theory of pet insurance marketing.  This theory (which I just made up, but is backed by anecdotal evidence) predicts that most pet parents won’t get pet insurance until an uninsured pet runs up a very large vet bill, thereby prompting the owner to “discover” pet insurance and then buy it for the second (and any other) pet in the family.

The Second Pet theory is good news for pet insurance companies. As vet costs continue to rise, more pet parents will encounter steep vet bills and ultimately stumble upon pet insurance as a useful tool to help them manage . . . → Read More: The Second Pet Gets Insurance

Vet Jailed for Pet Insurance Fraud

A UK vet was given a two year jail sentence for defrauding several pet insurers out of £225,000. Mathew Morgan made 54 false claims against PetPlan, Petprotect, Direct Line and Sainsburys over the course of three years.

Reports indicate that Morgan created fictitious cats and, using documentation from his vet office, filed claims with the insurers for various illnesses and injuries.  All claims were in his name and used his actual home address.

So I assume the plan worked something like this: 1) pretend you have five cats; 2) buy four insurance policies on each cat; 3)  once a year file a claim against each insurer for each fake cat; 4) create phony vet bills on your business letterhead supporting the claims; 5) collect twenty insurance checks per year; 6) repeat . . . → Read More: Vet Jailed for Pet Insurance Fraud

Vet Visits Down

A new study by Bayer Animal Health trying to find out why pet owners are reducing the number of trips to the vet has found six main causes:

the recession
fragmentation of vet services
availability of pet health info online
feline resistance (kitty hates going to the vet)
don’t feel need for annual checkup
cost of vet care

I can certainly believe the last reason. This site allows pet owners to post reviews of their vets and while most people are very happy with the treatment they receive, they consistently gripe about . . . → Read More: Vet Visits Down