Pet insurance as a benefit

Pet insurance has been around since 1890, when Claes Virgin created the first health-insurance policy to protect his livestock. Sweden was home to the first dog insurance policy in 1924, and Great Britain established the first pet-insurance policy in 1947.

Insurance varies widely in design and associated costs. “Injury only” policies may cost as little as $10 per month, while premiums for rich plans – which may cover congenital and hereditary conditions and well-care visits – cost about $200 per month.

In 2003, the restaurant chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., first offered pet insurance as a voluntary benefit to its salaried employees. From the start, the employer contributed $10 per month for one pet.Today between 3 percent and 4 percent of employees enroll.”Chipotle is adamant that it will offer employees unique, edgy benefits,” says Melissa Yoakam, Chipotle’s Denver-based benefits manager.

HR leaders should consider a few facts before adding pet insurance to their benefits offerings, like if all of the employees already have health insurance.

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