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Pets offer companionship and comfort to people around the country. However, they also require varied care, including vaccinations, visits to health care practitioners and, as they age, they may need more extreme measures to combat issues. Pet health care can be expensive, especially if surgery or special medications are necessary, and it can be stressful.

To help address the costs of pet medical care, some companies are offering pet health insurance as a voluntary benefit to their workforce. These organizations see pet insurance as a way to demonstrate that they care about employees. The benefit acknowledges the importance that pets play in many people’s lives and comes at a time when quality-of-life issues have played an increasing role in how people select their employers.

What does pet insurance cover?

Comprehensive pet insurance policies cover wellness exams, shots, chronic conditions and acute illnesses and injuries. For a pet with severe medical problems, bills can run into the thousands of dollars over the course of a year.

Other types of pet insurance cover most medical costs, with benefits for accidents, illnesses and hereditary conditions. There also are wellness plans for covering basic care, such as flea prevention.

Pet insurance benefits:

As a small business owner, you’re always weighing costs against the rewards of offering a benefit. Below are the advantages of offering employees pet insurance.

1. Helps employees focus

Employees who own pets may be more focused and less stressed at work if they know their animals are receiving excellent, affordable care during a health emergency; pet insurance can help relieve the financial burdens that can arise with this care. Happier workers with less anxiety make healthier workers, which is a good investment for your company.

2. Encourages pet ownership

A pet insurance option can make the choice to purchase or adopt a pet an easier decision; employees know their new (and current) pets' health needs will be easier to manage, financially speaking. That’s good for employees because research has shown that owning a pet helps to soothe anxiety and to reduce blood pressure.

3. Demonstrates to employees that you care

Offering pet coverage also supports the idea that employees deserve to enjoy quality home life and leisure time with their family members. That’s a warm, caring message, which can have a positive impact on hiring and retention.

4. Enhances your business’s competitiveness

Offering pet insurance helps to position your company as a forward-thinking organization that offers outstanding benefits to recruit and retain great employees. Research has shown that employees view their overall benefits package as important. As of 2017, only about 10% of employers offer pet insurance as a voluntary benefit — providing pet insurance can set your company apart as a leader.

With pet insurance, your employees will know that their pets can get the best care possible. Several levels of pet coverage are available, from complete coverage with medical and wellness protection to a budget-friendly choice that covers common medical costs.

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