DO PET INSURANCE CONSUMERS NEED PROTECTION?

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The market for pet insurance is a big one, especially in California. According to the California Department of Insurance (CDI), there are approximately 1.2 million dogs and 1.65 million cats owned in Los Angeles County. Statewide, the pet insurance market is expected to generate $750 million in premiums. The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA estimates that at the end of 2012 there were just over 1 million pets insured nationwide. These statistics are not surprising, considering the number of “My Cat is My Kid” and “My Grandchild has Four Legs” bumper stickers seen daily.

As in any rapidly growing market, an increase in sales means an increase in complaints. The CDI receives nearly 100 complaints regarding pet insurance coverage every year. After investigation, the majority of complaints result in findings for the consumer. One of the most common issues pet insurance consumers face is coverage of pre-existing conditions. Pet owners often purchase policies either not knowing that pre-existing conditions are not covered or the policy language is unclear as to what constitutes a pre-existing condition, which leads to coverage denials by the insurer.

For the rest of the story, read the July issue of BIG Times Magazine at www.biginsusa.com/big-times-magazine.