New California pet insurance laws should be adopted across The States
Pet insurance technology expert Aquarium has backed the recent inception of a new law which regulates pet insurance in California, saying it will offers better protection and is good news for both pet parents and insurance companies in the long-run. Currently, pet insurance policies can be difficult to understand and often lead to pet parents not claiming for their furry friends’ ailments, when they legitimately could.
“We advocate simple policy wording,” says Aquarium VP Sales and Marketing, Mark Colonnese. “With this new law in California, policies will be explained more clearly and as a result ensure customers get better value for money and know what they are getting. We would like to see it adopted across the States and even further afield,” Mark adds.
The new law, dubbed AB 2056, came into effect on 1 July and requires CA pet insurers to disclose baseline information regarding their policies, such as reimbursement benefits, pre-existing condition limitations and a clear explanation of limitations of cover.
“Poor training and technology can no longer be used as an excuse for avoiding certain clauses for fear of inconsistent communication by operators. Higher volume businesses have struggled with this in the past; fines and slapped wrists are not the answer, but better information certainly is,” says Colonnese. “Our quote and buy pet insurance technology integration allows agents to clearly explain what’s included in a policy, what the fees and exclusions are, and what the implications are of submitting incorrect information,” he adds.
Aquarium’s innovative technology means that systems record relevant pre-existing conditions which are automatically reinforced to the customer at renewal, ensuring a smooth transitional process for customers and operators, alike. AB 2056, which also requires consumers are given a 30-day “free look” period in which they can return the pet insurance policy for a full refund should they not be satisfied, has the potential to lead to other benefits for insurers and customers alike says Mark.
“We welcome the spirit of the new CA law with the usual caution and caveats. The principles are good and there’s no reason why other states shouldn’t follow suit,” he says. A long-term utopia for the industry and pet parents alike would surely be for medical record and historical claims data being shared between insurers and veterinary hospitals. A few years ago this would be pie in the sky. In reality, this is available now with a collaborative attitude and an eye on the long-term commercial gains for all,” Colonnese concludes.