Insurance is the answer for that purr-fect health
Findings of a study conducted by veterinary drug company Zoetis Inc., have revealed a quarter of all cats display symptoms that could be the early signs of life-threatening diseases from lymphoma to liver disease. The study which collected data from 264 veterinary practices and over a thousand cat owner questionnaires also showed 70% of cats exhibit at least one health abnormality. According to Aquarium Software Inc., these findings further outline the importance of pet insurance when it comes to keeping your pet healthy.
“These shocking findings present us with important things to consider when it comes to evaluating the health of our pets,” explained Mark Colonnese, VP Sales and Marketing. “The only sure fire way to protect them is by taking proper pet insurance out whilst they are still healthy. By the time a pet displays obvious symptoms and pet parents react, it’s often too late. The importance of regular check-up’s which are often included in most good insurance policies, cannot be over-estimated.”
Cat owners took part in a 48-question health risk assessment to establish the potential for any condition requiring further medical investigation. In addition to chronic vomiting and hairballs; almost a quarter thought their cats were overweight, while 11% described what seemed to be stiffness or pain when their cats moved, and 9% said their cat showed signs of breathing difficulties. In total, 70% of all cats showed health concerns, on top of the 25% displaying the early signs of life threatening conditions.
“There is something of an ‘information gap’ in the pet insurance market when comparing it to other forms of insurance,” added Mark. “The way this information was gathered may point to the benefits of in-depth questionnaires for pet parents and the value they could attach to pet insurance. A large amount of pets still fail to find suitable cover with owners facing excessive premiums, as cases fail to be considered on individual merit. For information and the software to process it could help insurers bring costs down and keep more pets healthier for longer.”
By taking the energy to fill out these questionnaires, even once a year, pet health can be improved without the cost and energy of going to the vet. It is a good way to create more comprehensive pet, vet and insurance records to add to our existing industry knowledge. Surveys offered as part of the policy buying process could offer more accurate pet plan prices for each individual pet, in doing so bringing the whole process in line with other markets, as well as providing insurers with more accurate statistical data to base premiums on.”
The most effective way of protecting pets is pet insurance and if available, lifetime cover which often includes health risk assessment surveys as standard. Despite this, the pet insurance market in the USA is still failing to appeal to the masses, as in 2012 just 1% of America’s pets were insured according to NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association) figures.
“Pet cover has always been a great way to keep your pet (and your wallet) healthy, but with these new findings its value is boosted further, particularly if you factor in the concern that many of our pets may have underlying conditions that we don’t yet know about,” added Mark. “Here in the US and globally, insurance companies are failing to make products appealing and pricing many out of the market, but statistics, coupled with the right software presents opportunities to push premiums down making pet insurance a more viable product for all.”