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Perks for pet parents: Fortune 500 companies now offering pet insurance

Published: Friday, July 12 2013 9:00 p.m. MDT

This happy cat may be insured through a Fortune 500 company's benefits.

Quintin Lin, "quintin913" via flickr

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Insurance for families has long been a staple of part of the benefits companies offer their workers. Now it is Fido's turn.

The Associated Press says one-in-three Fortune 500 companies now offer employees a discount on Veterinary Pet Insurance as part of their benefit packages: "Thousands of other companies also give employees a chance to buy discounted VPI insurance for their pets. VPI is the oldest and largest U.S. pet insurance company with 61 percent of the market and over half a million covered pets."

This includes companies such as Procter & Gamble Co., Hewlett-Packard Co., Ford Motor Co., Walgreen Co., Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co., FedEx Corp., Delta Air Lines Inc., Kellogg Co., MGM Resorts International, W.W. Grainger Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Comcast Corp.

Another AP article talked about how "the nation's oldest and largest pet insurer, Veterinary Pet Insurance, offers policies at one in three Fortune 500 companies, as well as 3,400 other companies and associations across the nation."

VPI has 61 percent of this niche insurance market with about 500,000 covered. With 165 million pets in the country, it shows a lot of room for growth.

A press release from a digital marketing agency, Greenlight in the U.K., found that there were more Google searches in that country for pet insurance than for health insurance.

Pet insurance in the U.K. got a blot on its name, according to the Daily Mail, with the recent case of Vicky Hughes approving emergency surgery for her dog Emma, a 6-year-old Dogue de Bordeauxe — which looks like sort of a cross between a bulldog and Voldemort.

The pet insurance company refused coverage — causing Hughes to have to "sell her clothes on eBay to save her dog."

The La Jolla (Calif.) Light gave some tips on whether pet insurance is a good idea: "You may be the right candidate for pet insurance if you have an outdoor cat, you have an older pet, your pet travels often, you have children who are very attached to the pet or you have a breed especially prone to certain diseases."

You also may consider whether you have a lot of clothes you could sell on eBay.

EMAIL: mdegroote@deseretnews.com

Twitter: @degroote

Facebook: facebook.com/madegroote

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