Demand Growing for Voluntary Pet Insurance Benefits

Demand Growing for Voluntary Pet Insurance Benefits

At Employee Benefit News, Richard Stolz highlights the growing popularity of pet insurance as a voluntary benefit for employees:

In 2016, premiums paid for pet insurance (sold both as a voluntary benefit and to individuals) rose 21%, according to the North American Pet Insurance Association. The trade group also calculates that the number of pets insured in North America grew by 11.5% last year. One factor behind the growth seems to be deferred childbearing by millennial generation employees, and the increasing number of “empty nesters” who substitute pets for human children. …

At cloud computing solution provider VMware, pet insurance is a “natural fit” within a wide variety of voluntary benefits, according to Rich Lang, the company’s senior vice president of HR. “Offering pet insurance helps us stay competitive in the marketplace and attract and retain workers,” he says. He also believes pet insurance can give the employees who purchase it a productivity boost. “A healthy pet equals a happy employee,” he says

While few US employers currently offer pet health insurance, SHRM’s 2017 benefits survey shows an upward trend, with 10 percent of employers offering it compared to 9 percent last year and 6 percent in 2014. About 8 percent of employers allow employees to bring their pets to work, while 3 percent have a “bring your pet to work day” event and 1 percent offer to cover pet care expenses while employees are traveling on business. Given many millennials’ devotion to their “fur babies,” it’s not surprising to see employers trying to cater to the needs of their pet-owning employees. There can be too much of a good thing, however: Dog-friendly offices may be fun for employees, but they are often not much fun for their dogs.