Competitive advantage or unnecessary cost?

 Capturing the attention and loyalty of Millennials can be challenging. One way to their hearts may be to embrace their pets. That’s why some companies are considering adding pet insurance to their voluntary benefits cafeteria plan.Nearly 75% of Millennials live with pets, and almost half view their critters as practice for children, according to research from Gale—a business solutions agency. As such, the market for all things pet-related is growing at a rapid pace.Generic kibble may have been fine for pets when Millennials were growing up, but that dynamic is changing. Great care is taken when selecting healthful pet food and toys, top-notch vet care, and pet-sitting services.Offering pet insurance as a voluntary benefit is an easy way for your organization to capture the attention of Millennial talent. Doing so acknowledges and validates their values system, by empowering them to more easily provide medical care to their furry family members. Taking this idea a step further, some companies even provide bereavement time off when a pet passes away. 

Millennial debt and the pet insurance gap

According to SHRM research, nearly a third of Fortune 500 companies offer pet insurance. However, only about 9% of organizations overall currently provide this voluntary benefit.It’s no secret that most Millennials are up to their eyeballs in debt. Figures from the Federal Reserve suggest that the average Millennial college graduate racks up around$22,000 in student loan debt. Some companies seeking to address this pain point have started offering student-loan payback incentives. Under such plans, companies typically agree to pay down a portion of the debt if a new hire stays with the company for a set amount of time.But student loans are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to debt. Research shows that 73% Millennials are willing to go into to debt for their pet’s medical care. Yet, Benefit News found that more than 90% of pet owners don’t currently carry pet insurance.Bridging this pet-insurance gap is a clever way to help your company stand out to Millennial candidates and to help your existing employees manage their finances. 

How to pick the right provider

Just as with insurance for people, insurance for pets vary in quality. Some plans might look great on paper but be a nightmare to make a claim against. Take time to review the entire user experience for each potential provider before choosing a winner.Look for pet insurance plans that:

  • Offer a 24/7 medical helpline
  • Cover emergency care
  • Simplify the claims process
  • Are accepted by top-rated local vet offices
  • Provide affordable deductibles and/or copays
  • Extend group discounts to companies like yours
  • Lock in premiums for the life of the policy


Determining cost of coverage

Covering the full cost of pet insurance can get pricey. If that’s more than your organization is willing to front, consider a making a smaller contribution. This could include covering the pet owner’s deductible or a portion of the monthly premium. Every little bit can make a difference to employees who struggle to manage debt and protect their financial future. 

How to decide if pet insurance is right for your business

While this benefit sounds great, it might not be right for every company. Before taking the time to invest in finding a provider, consider gauging employee interest via a short survey that can include questions like:

  • Do you currently have pet insurance?
  • Are you interested in getting pet insurance?
  • Would you be interested in signing up for a discounted pet insurance program through our company?
  • If yes, how much would you be willing to pay for this type of program?

Once you have the results in hand, you’ll have a better idea of whether or not your employee base could benefit from a pet insurance option. It might be one more useful voluntary benefit for your cafeteria plan. Avoid benefits administration headaches when you automate the management of all your plans using Asure Software’s Human Capital Management solutions.  

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