US pet insurance voluntary employee benefits set to almost double by 2018
As US companies increasingly offer pet insurance as voluntary benefits to their employees, technology specialist Aquarium Software says this is a sign of things to come and the UK could learn a lot from the States when it comes to retaining and recruiting staff. Two new surveys from the US show that pet insurance benefits offered by US corporates are set to almost double by the end of next year, which Aquarium believes could signal a major boost for insurers on both sides of the Pond. UK companies currently lag embarrassingly behind the US on employee benefits, according to Aquarium, based primarily on historical cultural differences. Insurance for employees’ furry friends can have significant benefits for companies, such as staying competitive in the market by attracting fresh talent with pet benefits, which explains foreseen growth of such incentives.
“Latest research assumes that people now see their pets as part of the family and have close emotional bonds with them, meaning offering pet insurance is an attractive offer to employees and this is obviously being exploited by many savvy US companies,” said Aquarium’s VP Sales and Marketing, Mark Colonnese. “The data looks compelling and UK companies should consider offering the same benefits as US companies, to attract and retain new talent and stay competitive.”
Veterinary pet insurance company Nationwide suggests that 33 per cent of the Fortune 500 companies now offer pet insurance to their workers, and this figure is set to almost double to 60 per cent by the end of 2018, as found by a Willis Towers Watson survey. Companies such as Deloitte LLP, Edelman and Walgreen Co are some of the big names providing such benefits to their pet-loving employees Stateside. Indeed, with plans covering 50 - 90 per cent of illnesses and with 62 per cent of US households owning pets (as found by JP Griffin Group), it is perhaps no wonder that pet insurance benefits are likely to double by 2018. “The emotional bond between humans and animals has visibly been noted by US companies, explaining the growing rates, and I am sure rates shall continue to rise after 2018 when more companies catch-on,” added Colonnese. “In order to stay competitive, UK companies must take note of such employee benefits.
Interestingly, the emotional bond in the UK is particularly strong, with 69 per cent saying pets are just as important to the family as humans (compared to 72 per cent in the US); when faced between saving a stranger or a pet if they were both to fall in a river, two fifths of people in the UK (41%) would save the pet first.
“So this is all really a strong signal to large UK companies in particular, to seize the opportunity and bring their pet loving employee benefits in line with Uncle Sam,” concluded Mark.