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6 Tips for Successful Pet Insurance Marketing

By The Boost Team on Aug 7, 2022
4 min read
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Offering embedded pet insurance is a great way for companies that already serve pet owners to bring in an ongoing source of revenue. But just like every other product out there, marketing and advertising are key contributors to your overall sales. If you’re new to the industry, here are six insurance marketing tips to keep in mind when selling pet insurance.

1. Offer Pet Insurance At The Point Of Sale.

Because pet insurance is still relatively new in the US, some of your customers may not even be aware that it’s an option. So how do you convert them? 

From industry experience, we know that customers are most likely to sign up for insurance when it’s offered as a complement to their existing pet purchase. If you can make them this offer at the point of sale as an add-on to what they’re already buying, you are much more likely to win that additional revenue (and turn a one-time customer into an ongoing one).

2. Leverage Your Customer Data.

Your existing relationship with your customers can help you make the right insurance offer at the right time. From their purchase records, you probably already know what kind of pet(s) your customer has, and how much they tend to spend on pet expenses. 

Leverage that data in your pet insurance marketing strategy. A customer who regularly buys vitamins and specialty food for their pet might be interested in a wellness package. A customer with several pets might be interested in a multi-pet discount offer. 

Additionally, you likely have a database of prospects that you’ve identified as your target audience, but who haven’t purchased with you yet. Since you’re already actively marketing to this group, you can add your pet insurance offer into the mix and the additional value may help nudge them over the conversion line.

3. Make Your Pet Insurance Marketing Clear And Simple.

Insurance is complicated, and sometimes consumers miss out on coverages they need because the details are confusing or buried in legalese. As a trusted source for information about their pet, your brand is in a great position to break it down for them. 

In your marketing, offer detailed explanations of how your pet insurance works, and what is or isn’t included, in clear, natural language that your customers can easily understand. Avoid confusing your customers with jargon or complicated legal statements, and don’t try to hide details in small print. Everything in your insurance advertising should be understandable by the average consumer, and any information about what is or is not included needs to be easily visible.

4. Showcase Your Customers’ Success. 

One of the most powerful sales tools you can get is a real-life story about how your customer’s pet insurance made a difference for them. Consider reaching out to insurance customers who save on big bills, and see if they’d be willing to share their stories so you can leverage these in your pet insurance marketing. 

When sharing testimonials for insurance, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure that your testimonials reflect the customer’s own words and their current opinion.

  • Testimonials should be addressing the current version of your pet insurance product. If you make changes to what’s included in one of your plans, you can’t use testimonials for the original version to market the new one.

  • If you’re marketing a certain insurance product, make sure that your testimonials are related to that specific product. For example, if you’re marketing a wellness endorsement for your pet insurance, don’t use a glowing customer quote about your accident & illness plan. This helps avoid customer confusion.

5. Be Transparent And Cite Your Sources.

This sounds like a marketing no-brainer, but this is particularly important for insurance advertising. If a state insurance commissioner finds your ads to be misleading or deceptive, you could be hit with fines and other enforcement actions, so it is always advised to be transparent when selling white-label pet insurance

If you use any statistics in your insurance ads, you’ll need to clearly cite where that information came from. It pays to go the extra mile for good, credible sources - a great statistic isn’t so great if you have to attribute it to “koolstats4u.biz” in your ad.

6. Keep Tabs On Your Insurance Advertising. 

It’s a good idea to make sure that nothing related to insurance goes live without first passing a compliance review. If you use external marketing agencies for things like paid search ads, set up a review process to ensure that all insurance-related copy is vetted by your team before going live, including for A/B tests and similar experiments.

If your company offers pet-related products or services, selling pet insurance is a great option and it is so easy to do with Boost. If you’re just getting started with pet health insurance, our team is here to help. Get in touch with us today.

Previous articles
Learn the definition of Accident and Illness pet insurance, and how it can help your business.
What is Accident & Illness Pet Insurance? (Plus: Why You Should Offer It)
Jan 28, 2023
Pet accidents and illnesses are unfortunately common, which can cause considerable financial hardship for pet owners. The average emergency vet visit costs $800-$1500, and pet owners in America collectively spend over $34B annually on veterinary care.  If your business caters to pet owners, this presents a significant opportunity for you to offer your customers a service they need. In this blog, we’ll explain what accident & illness pet insurance is and how your business can use it to grow new recurring revenue and build deeper relationships with your customers. As its name indicates, accident and illness pet insurance is a kind of insurance policy that reimburses pet owners for necessary veterinary costs in the event of an accident or illness (up to a certain amount). Typically, a base pet insurance policy will cover emergency veterinary care, and examinations to diagnose, treat, or operate on a covered injury or illness. This can include things like: Without insurance, these services can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. It’s not surprising that more and more Americans are considering pet health insurance to ensure they can afford care for their pets.  A standard policy will have rules about what qualifies as a “covered” issue for the purpose of reimbursement. So what exactly is considered an “accident” and what is an “illness?” The answers may seem obvious, but knowing the precise definitions can be important. If a pet owner needs a service that falls outside of those categories, they would need to add it as additional coverage in order to receive those benefits.  An accident is usually defined as something like “a sudden or unexpected event that causes injury to the pet." For example, if your cat is injured by another animal, or your dog eats a box of chocolate and needs emergency vet care. Events like these would be defined as “accidents” and be covered by most accident pet insurance policies. It should be noted, however, that if the owner causes intentional harm to their pet, that would fall under abuse and would generally not be covered.  An illness is usually defined as something like "any change to the normal healthy state of the pet, a sickness, disease, or medical condition that is not caused by an accident.” An example of an illness that would typically be covered by illness insurance would be something like heartworms, canine flu, skin rashes, diabetes, or arthritis. Due to cost and complexity, however, cancer treatment is often excluded from accident and illness policies.  The distinction between the accident and illness is important, because it can affect whether a pet’s care is covered. Many standard pet insurance policies cover both accident and illness, but there are policies that may only cover accidents. It’s important for potential policyholders to understand what they’re getting, and if it’s a good fit for their needs. Unfortunately, the short answer is “no.” As a general rule, if a pet has a pre-existing health condition, treatment for that condition will usually not be covered by the insurance policy. However, a pre-existing condition will not necessarily disqualify the pet from being covered entirely. For example, if a dog has pre-existing allergies, and his owner purchased a pet insurance policy for him, any treatments related to his allergy likely wouldn’t be covered. If the dog contracted heartworms after the policy was purchased, however, his treatment could be covered.  This is great motivation for pet owners to get insurance when their pets are young. When it comes to purchasing medical protection, “the earlier the better” very much applies, because as pets age, they are more likely to develop conditions. If a pet owner waits until their pet starts to show symptoms, it can be too late to get the financial protection they need.  Insurance needs will vary for every pet, and sometimes those needs fall outside of standard policy coverage. Some pet breeds have a higher risk of conditions requiring long-term care – while for others, the biggest risk is playing too hard at the park. To accommodate for those differences, pet owners can choose to add endorsements to their policies, such as:  Even more comprehensive policies might cover loss and theft, kennel/boarding services, or even advertising a missing pet and offering a reward for its return. Depending on the provider, pet owners can fully customize their policies and make them as robust or as simple as they need, which can save them thousands of dollars.  Now that we’ve seen how valuable accident and illness pet insurance can be for pet owners to have, let’s briefly talk about the opportunity that this product offers for pet-related business owners. There is an increasing demand for pet insurance in the United States. Since 2017, the average annual growth rate of insured pets is 21.5%. At the end of 2021, close to 4.41 million pets were insured, a 28% increase since 2020, and, in 2022, the total premium revenue for pet insurance was nearly $2.6 billion. That is a huge market with a promising annual growth rate.  White-labeled, embedded insurance can be a big opportunity for pet businesses to tap into that market and build new streams of recurring revenue. If your clientele is primarily pet owners, you are perfectly positioned to offer this product. Accident and illness pet insurance would be a natural addition to your product lineup, and because your customers already trust and have a relationship with you, they would be more inclined to get the coverage they need from you instead of an insurance company.  Insurance is a very “sticky” product. Due to the nature of insurance, it establishes an ongoing relationship with your customers through monthly premium payments. Not only would you have the benefit of that recurring revenue, but you also have the ongoing brand exposure that it provides. It gives you another touch point with your customers, which can only strengthen your long-term relationships with them. Modern customers expect modern experiences. Traditional insurance carriers and policies tend to be rigid with a mixture of slow offline processes and archaic online ones. By offering your customers a customizable, convenient, and entirely digital solution, you can meet your customers in the 21st century and stand out from the competition.  Embedded insurance, as its name implies, is insurance that is embedded into an existing purchasing experience–it allows your customers to buy digital pet insurance without requiring them to leave your website to complete the transaction. Another example of embedded insurance would be travel insurance for an online plane ticket or crypto wallet insurance offered on a crypto-related website.  A white-labeled insurance product is one that is completely integrated not only into your website, but also into your brand. If you were to offer white-labeled pet insurance, your customers would have no indication that the product was not created by your company.  Embedded pet insurance is a great opportunity for pet business owners to grow their revenue and deepen their customer relationships.  If you are interested in embedded accident and illness pet insurance, Get the Guide to Growing Your Revenue with Embedded Pet Insurance, and learn everything you need to know to get started.  If you’d like to speak to one of our pet insurance experts, contact us to learn more.
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Insurance billing 101
Insurance Billing 101
Jan 23, 2023
The insurance market is huge and growing. But when it comes to collecting those payments, insurance is a lot more complicated than most goods or services. We’ll take a look at the factors that go into calculating an insurance bill, and what options companies have for billing methods. The reason why insurance billing is so complicated can be boiled down to one thing: state-by-state differences. Since every state makes its own rules for insurance, the requirements to stay compliant can vary significantly. Businesses that sell insurance in multiple states need to pay close attention to each state’s rules. Here are 5 things that can make billing for insurance complicated: Every state imposes its own taxes and fees, sometimes with different guidelines for how they should be collected. This means that if you sell insurance in fifty states, you need to stay up to date with fifty sets of rules for when and how to add taxes to your customer’s bill.  Different insurance products can also have their own rules, depending on both the type of product and its regulatory status. Admitted products, which are products that have met regulations set by the state’s Department of Insurance, have most (but not all) taxes and fees included in the premium. For non-admitted products, however, taxes and fees are billed separately.  Taxes and fees can cause complexity for more than just the policyholder’s bill. Some are commissioned on, meaning that they’re included in the amount calculated for an insurance seller’s commission, and others are not. This is yet another set of rules an insurance organization needs to track in their billing.  Besides just having different rules about how taxes can be charged, different states may have differing rules about how to charge for the premium itself.  As we saw earlier, the premium is the cost of insurance for the entire coverage period, frequently six months or a year. Going back to our earlier example: say an insurance policy covers a 12-month period for a premium of $600, with an additional $120 in taxes and fees. Depending on the state, the premium might be billed a number of different ways: If the insured doesn’t pay their premium, what happens? The answer depends on the state. Usually you’ll send a notice that their policy will be canceled on a certain date unless they pay their bill, but the way that notice is sent may be dictated by state requirements. Some states mandate much longer notice periods before a policy can be canceled for non-payment. States may also have specific requirements around the language used in the notice, and how it’s delivered to the policyholder.  If the policyholder cancels their policy partway through the term, they may be entitled to a refund. The amount of that refund, however, can be complicated to compute.  If the entire premium was paid upfront, how much of the term has passed? The appropriate amount to refund might vary if the policyholder cancels near the beginning of the month, versus near the end. Refunds might also be prorated to account for the part of the term that’s already over, in which case the amount refunded might vary based on the day of cancellation. Even the time remaining in the term may not be straightforward to calculate - different insurance products use different calendar types, and the number of days in a “year” or “month” can vary.  Separate from the premium are the taxes and fees. Depending on the situation, these may or may not be part of the refund. Some taxes and fees are considered fully “earned” at the beginning of the installment period or at payment - which means this amount would not be returned to a policyholder who cancels early. Determining which taxes and fees are included (and which aren’t) is an important part of any insurance refund calculation. Any time an insurance policy’s coverages change, the premium amount changes too. If it comes time to renew a policy and the insured decides to add or remove coverages, the billing is fairly straightforward - the premium for the next period will reflect the new coverages.  If the policyholder wants to add new coverages before their policy term ends, however, it’s called a midterm endorsement.  This is where things can get complicated, especially if the policyholder has already made payments toward the old premium amount. The difference between the old and new premium will need to be charged or refunded to the policyholder as a reconciliation. This isn’t as simple as just charging the difference between the old and new premium. The amount required for the reconciliation will depend on the time left in the policy, the amount already paid, and more. We’ve looked at some of the factors that add complexity to calculating an insurance bill. However, determining the amount owed by the insured isn’t the end of it. There are multiple methods for how the policyholder’s premium can be collected. The main reason for this relates to how insurance is sold. Many companies that sell insurance, like insurtechs, don’t build their own insurance product in-house. Instead, they partner with another company that’s already done that work to offer their product, whether that's an insurance carrier or a white-label insurance-as-a-service provider These companies then have two options for choosing a billing method: direct billing, or agency billing. In direct billing, the policyholder pays the insurance carrier directly. With this form of billing, the company that sells the insurance is paid a commission after the carrier has received the premium. With direct billing, the insurance carrier is responsible for all the billing issues we discussed previously, from taxes and fees to refunds, cancellations, and premiums. This can make it significantly easier for the company selling the insurance to get started, as they don’t have to build their own billing function around the product.  Because the carrier or insurance-as-a-service partner already has a functional billing system for the specific insurance product being offered, all the distributing company would need to do is build an integration to their partner. This can mean a substantial increase in time-to-market with a new insurance product. With agency billing, the policyholder makes payments to the insurance distributor (i.e., the company selling the insurance product). With this form of billing, the distributor collects the commission upfront and makes retroactive, monthly payments to the insurance carrier. With agency billing, the company selling the insurance is responsible for calculating the amount owed, including taxes, fees, and any refund issues. The distributor is also responsible for the actual collection of money, which means they either need to integrate with a payment platform or build one from scratch.  This isn’t necessarily a hurdle; businesses that sell goods or services online likely already have integrated billing capabilities that allow them to accept digital payments. For example, a business that sells pet products online would already have online payment infrastructure, which could likely be used for embedded pet insurance. This has the added benefit of keeping all of the company’s business data in one place. However, some payment platforms can present user experience challenges, like policyholders having to re-enter personal information on the payment platform, after already providing it on the insurance application. For businesses that aren’t yet set up to take payments, this is a function that would need to be built out before offering insurance with the agency billing method. In almost all cases, integrating with a best-in-class payment platform will be faster and more cost-effective than trying to build a proprietary billing system in-house. If you want to learn more about insurance-as-a-service through Boost, contact us, or dive into building your insurance program with our comprehensive guide.
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Insurance Term Definitions: A Beginner’s Guide [Infographic]
Jan 24, 2022
If you’re unfamiliar with insurance and trying to learn more, there’s one thing you probably noticed right away: there's a lot of special insurance terminology.  This can make it challenging for newcomers to dive in and research what they need to know in insurance. We’ve put together a guide to explain the most common insurance terms to help you get up to speed with the industry. [See Full Size] Reimbursement that the insurance customer is entitled to get under their policy. For example, a pet insurance policy would probably include a benefit for accident or illness, meaning that the insurer will cover some or all of the customer’s expenses if their pet gets injured or sick. If a policy has an annual benefit, that’s the maximum amount the insurer will pay for that particular benefit during a policy period (usually a year).  In insurance, “binding” means that coverage is now tentatively in effect and the insurance company will cover your losses, even if you haven’t received your policy yet. A licensed insurance company. Many carriers sell policies directly to customers (Geico and Lemonade are two examples), and also through various channel partners (such as independent agents and brokers). Processing for insurance claims made by policyholders. If your customer suffers a covered loss, they’ll file a claim for the money they should get under their policy. Claims administrators (or “adjusters”) will receive the claim, report it to the carrier, determine how much the carrier needs to pay, and provide the approved settlement money to the insured. It’s important to note that not just anyone can process an insurance claim. By law, claims administrators and adjusters must be specifically licensed. Additional coverages that the insured person or business can choose to add to a policy. This is commonly used for specific things that fall outside a standard insurance policy. For example, a business might add an endorsement to their cyber insurance for social engineering, that pays out if certain employees are tricked into transferring money to a fraudster. Without the endorsement, their cyber insurance policy wouldn’t cover that loss. Specific costs that an insurance policy will not pay for. For example, a standard Accident & Illness pet insurance policy might exclude costs for alternative therapies like acupuncture. Endorsements often extend coverage to costs that are otherwise excluded from a policy. The total sum of the premiums that an insurer expects to receive, based on the policies the insurer has written. GWP is also used to describe the value of specific insurance segments (for example, “$2B in 2020 pet insurance GWP” means that if you added up the premiums customers paid for all pet insurance policies active in 2020, the total would be $2B). Generate policy documents and deliver them to the insured. This process typically takes place after the “binding” step and officially confirms that coverage is in place for a customer during the policy term. A cost incurred by the policyholder. Costs that qualify for reimbursement under their policy are sometimes called covered losses or qualified losses. Most policies also spell out exclusions and specific losses that are not covered, and will not be reimbursed. Unlike insurance brokers, who are typically only authorized to sell other carriers’ products, MGAs are delegated full underwriting authority by one or more carriers. This means the MGA can do things like evaluate the risk of a potential policyholder, decide whether or not to offer them a policy, and quote them an expected premium based on their expected risk. MGAs also have the authority to actually issue the policies to customers rather than wait for their insurer to complete that process for them after the fact. The insurance company’s balance sheet, used as shorthand for the company itself. “A-rated paper” means a policy provided by a company with an A rating from AM Best.  The amount that the customer pays for their insurance policy. This amount will vary depending on the level of coverage, and the risk associated with the individual policy. For example, a pet insurance policy covering an elderly dog who is more at risk for health issues would likely be higher than a policy covering a puppy.  An estimation of the premium that a potential customer would pay for their insurance policy, based on the information they provided and the insurer’s underwriting guidelines.  Pricing for an insurance product. Insurance rates are calculated using complex algorithms that are created by licensed actuaries and must be approved by state regulators before the insurance product can be offered in that state. A score given to an insurance carrier by third-party agency AM Best, evaluating the insurer’s financial strength and ability to pay out its customers’ claims. This is important: if an insurer has a low rating, it means there’s a risk they may not be able to pay all the benefits their customers are entitled to. Insurance coverage taken out by an insurance company to protect against losses and guarantee that claims can be paid. While reinsurance is complex, the basic concept is a way for insurance companies to share financial risk with the reinsurance companies that back them, increasing overall stability in the insurance market. The evaluation of a potential policyholder and the risk associated with covering them. Underwriting is the process used to determine whether or not an applicant is eligible to purchase an insurance policy. A framework used by an insurer or financial institution to decide whether or not they will take on a risk. In insurance, this means taking on the risk of covering that particular policyholder. Outside of insurance, underwriting guidelines apply to financial products like loans (in which the risk is whether or not the borrower will be able to pay). Also called underwriting standards. Some insurance policies don’t go into effect immediately. Instead, there is a certain amount of time (for example, a week or a month) that must pass before the insurer will start paying costs. This is called the waiting period. Certain endorsements may come with their own waiting periods, separate from any waiting period that applies to the rest of the policy. After reading our glossary of insurance terms, we hope you’re feeling more comfortable with the insurance terminology we commonly use in the industry. Boost makes it easy for any company to get started offering embedded insurance. Learn more about our digital insurance products, or talk to an expert about how embedded insurance can fit into your business.
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