Pet Insurance 101: What Insurance Agents Need to Know

By Anne Shropshire, CLU
Sep 14, 2022
Pet Insurance: What Insurance Agents Need to Know

As an insurance agent, it is your responsibility to stay on top of changes in this dynamic industry. No matter what type of coverage you sell, changes in one area of insurance can ultimately impact other parts of the field. One specific type of coverage that is becoming increasingly popular these days is pet insurance. With about 70% of American households owning at least one pet, being aware of the latest pet insurance news will help you better serve your clients.

So, what do you need to know about pet insurance in 2022 and beyond? 

Three Main Types of Coverage

For starters, understand that there are three main types of pet insurance policies offered:

  • Wellness - these policies provide coverage for a pet's routine preventive and wellness care. This may include annual exams, vaccines, routine bloodwork, and similar services.
  • Accident-only - these policies offer coverage for veterinary services needed when a pet is injured in an accident. If a dog is struck by a car, for example, accident-only coverage may help pay for costs related to emergency veterinary care, treating a broken bone, emergency surgery, and the like.
  • Accident and illness - these policies protect against costs related to accidents and illnesses that may occur over time. If a pet is diagnosed with cancer, for instance, accident and illness coverage may help pay for treatment.

Not All Pets May Be Eligible

Many pet owners are surprised to learn that their exotic pets, birds, and some other animals are not eligible for pet insurance coverage. Many insurance providers only offer coverage options for dogs and cats—and even then, there may be age limits and other restrictions in place. For this reason, pet owners are encouraged to purchase pet insurance early in their pets' lives.

The NAIC Pet Insurance Model Act was passed in the United States in August of 2022. Specifically, this act (which was created by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners) provides legal protections for pets and pet owners by establishing regulatory standards for pet insurance policies. The purpose of this act is to establish clear rules for insurance companies as they relate to consumer protections, pre-existing conditions, wellness programs, and training requirements. 

Stay on Top of the Latest Industry News

As you can see, there's a lot to be familiar with when it comes to pet insurance in the United States. From types of coverage and potential exclusions to legal protections set forth by the Pet Insurance Model Act of 2022, being aware of these nuances will help you serve your clients when they're in need of pet insurance policies to suit their needs and budgets.

WebCE is committed to offering up-to-date educational materials to assist producers in meeting their state licensing and training requirements. As always, we will be monitoring state activity to anticipate legislative and regulatory changes to ensure our course offerings meet your needs.

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