Time for greater clarity in pet insurance

Time for greater clarity in pet insurance

Aug 13, 2014

Regulation of the pet insurance market could soon be tightened up in California, as new legislation awaits approval by the State Senate. The move has been welcomed by one Anglo-American pet technology expert, Aquarium Software Inc., who believes that greater clarity in insurers’ systems can only be a good thing.

California’s Department of Insurance received complaints from customers claiming that insurers were unexpectedly denying coverage based on pre-existing medical conditions or paying out considerably less than was seemingly due when a claim was made.

Mark Colonnese, VP Sales and Marketing for Aquarium Software Inc., explains that unclear systems can leave customers feeling confused: “Insurance is like any other product, and customers need to know exactly what they are getting for their money. Any ‘grey areas’ can ultimately knock public confidence in what is really an essential service for pet owners.”

The pet insurance market in the USA has huge potential for growth, in 2012 with just 1% of America’s pets insured the total bill for premiums came to $475 - $500million (North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) figures). “It is vital that the systems are put in place to maintain public trust if this fantastic industry is to realise its full potential,” said Mr Colonnese.

“To ensure that the customer is clear about their policy at every stage of their ‘journey’ insurers must have systems in place that accurately identify areas that could lead to exclusions in the future and then inform the customer,” added Colonnese.

“We have developed technology platforms for every aspect of pet insurance, including that vital first step explaining exactly what the details of the policy are. By providing clear and reliable information about the policy, specific to each case, customers should be left in no doubt about what their insurance covers them for.”

Aquarium Software Inc. provides software solutions to pet insurers on both sides of the Atlantic. They specialise in producing bespoke systems that are built around each client’s requirements “Each insurer has different ways of operating and a one size fits all approach simply does not live up to expectations. When it comes to identifying exclusions in policies each insurer will have different criteria and a bespoke software system can accommodate that, giving greater clarity to customers and ultimately improving the customer journey,” concluded Colonnese.