United States citizens have about 130 million pets. Veterinarian Debbye Turner states that pet insurance reduces incidents of “financial euthanasia.” This occurs when pet illness or injury results in unexpected and unaffordable veterinarian costs to a pet owner and leads to a decision to put a suffering pet to sleep. Although more popular in European countries than in the U.S., pet insurance companies are growing in the states and offer different types of coverage against the financial risk associated with caring for a sick or injured pet.
Contact the state(s) department that regulates the insurance industry where you'll operate your business for licensing requirements and additional credential opportunities. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website provides a link to each state’s insurance regulatory department.
Learn the different types of insurance policy options and costs. Some pet insurance policies include immunizations and check-ups, whereas other policies are limited to illnesses and accidents. There are various policy cost considerations, such as premiums, deductibles, exclusions and annual or incident limits.
Set up the business in a commercial office or online. Whether operated as a home-based business with a website interface or in a brick-and-mortar office, purchase standard office furniture and equipment to operate the business, such as a computer with word processing and accounting and database management software programs. If you choose an Internet-based pet insurance company, have a professional design your website, and include strong security features.
Maintain sound record-keeping, accounting and billing systems. Insurance companies are document-intensive businesses. Develop strong computer-based and hard-copy organizational systems early in the life of the business.
Market the business in pet and animal publications. Print professional business cards and brochures that you can post on local cafe and library community boards. Get permission to leave brochures with veterinarian offices. Pet stores are also a great place to leave brochures. Talk with pet store owners to obtain permission to conduct free in-store information sessions about pet insurance options.
Obtain your insurance license before soliciting or selling insurance.
Contact an attorney, accounting or tax professional with specific business-related questions and concerns.
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