Skin allergies and kidney failure top the list of most paid out dog and cat claims
Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC, (Pets Best) reached a landmark this week, distributing $100 million in pet insurance claim payouts to policy holders.
The number is symbolic of the strong emphasis Pets Best puts on its mission: To save pets and end economic euthanasia by helping to ensure pet owners are financially prepared when their pets need unexpected veterinary care.
In 2012, the economic euthanasia level, also called the stop treatment point, was $1,704, meaning when the veterinary bill reaches that amount or more, most pet owners will choose to have their pet euthanized rather than pay for veterinary care. The $100 million in paid claims covers the stop treatment point 58,685 times.
“The reason I started the pet insurance industry was to end economic euthanasia,” said Dr. Jack L. Stephens, founder of Pets Best and creator of the pet insurance industry in North America in 1981. “In paying out over $100 million in pet insurance claims, we have reached a major milestone in helping save pets’ lives. After 33 years, the industry has helped hundreds of thousands of pet owners and saved millions of pets. I am proud of Pets Best and the entire industry for each and every life that has been, and will continue to be, saved.”
While the rise of the pet insurance industry has been instrumental in lowering the rates of economic euthanasia, the practice is still a constant specter in veterinary care. According to an Associated Press survey, 41 percent of pet owners are extremely or somewhat worried about their ability to pay medical bills in the event of a sick cat or dog.**
New advances in the veterinary field provide exciting new ways to keep pets healthy, but at a higher cost. Americans spent an estimated $15.04 billion on veterinary care in 2014, a 5.52 percent increase from 2013, according to the American Pet Products Association.***
“This signpost is a humbling representation of the success Pets Best has achieved in keeping owners and their beloved pets together for a full and healthy life,” said Chris L. Middleton, President of Pets Best. “We will work hard to continue saving pets for the next $100 million and beyond.”
Dogs have been the recipients of the overwhelming majority of payouts, representing 88 percent of the paid claims, although they only make up 82 percent of overall policies sold. Cat claims made up the remaining 12 percent of paid claims and 18 percent of policies sold.
The top claimed conditions for canines included skin allergies, ear infections, arthritis, masses (lumps and bumps) and cruciate ligament injuries.
For the most common condition, skin allergies, the average paid claim amount was $91 with the largest paid claim amount being $4,936. The average paid claim refers to single visits, but chronic conditions can require frequent visits to the veterinarian for treatments and checkups.
For cruciate ligament injuries, the average claim amount was $585, which includes all visits, not just surgery. The largest paid claim for cruciate ligament injuries was $6,542.
The top feline conditions included kidney failure, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.
For the top condition, chronic kidney failure, the average paid claim amount was $181. The largest was $5,909.
Policies offered by Pets Best include at least 70 percent reimbursement coverage for accidents, illnesses, cancer and hereditary or congenital conditions. A wellness plan can be added on to cover routine care items throughout the year such as vaccinations and teeth cleanings.
About Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC
Dr. Jack L. Stephens, founder and director of Pets Best, founded pet insurance in the U.S. in 1981 with a mission to end euthanasia when pet owners couldn’t afford veterinary treatment. Dr. Stephens went on to present the first U.S. pet insurance policy to famous television dog Lassie. Pets Best provides coverage for dogs and cats. Dr. Stephens leads the Pets Best team with his passion for quality pet care and his expert veterinary knowledge. He is always available to answer questions regarding veterinary medicine, pet health and pet insurance. The Pets Best team is a group of pet lovers who strive to deliver quality customer service and value. Visit www.petsbest.com for more information.
Pet insurance coverage offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company. Independence American Insurance Company is a member of The IHC Group, an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. For information on The IHC Group, visit: www.ihcgroup.com. Additional insurance services administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC are underwritten by Prime Insurance Company. Some existing business is underwritten by Aetna Insurance Company of Connecticut. Each insurer has sole financial responsibility for its own products.
Pets Best is a proud member of the North America Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).