Linda Markland, a tenured technician at Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), came by my office last week for a visit because they are familiar with my book. Dr. Carol McConnell and others were kind enough to share some of the insights they have into pet insurance when I was doing the research for the book. It was the first face to face visit I've had with a representative of VPI although they are good about calling or e-mailing me about interesting articles or podcast they discover from time to time about pet insurance. I was fortunate enough to form relationships albeit via e-mail and by phone with company CEOs, veterinarians, and others at most of the insurance companies who I continue to contact trying to keep up with changes as they occur. To all of them, I am extremely grateful.
Linda had spent three days in Memphis visiting several practices and even giving them seminars about pet insurance. I asked her what she learned. She told me that veterinarians in general don't know a whole lot about pet insurance and sometimes this includes even the companies that they recommend to their clients, whether it is VPI or another company.
This confirms a suspicion that I've had and even wrote about in my book. Insurance companies are very willing to send brochures to veterinary hospitals about their company to give out to pet owners. Many veterinarians don't know much about pet insurance and it's nice to have something that they can put into the hands of clients who inquire about pet insurance. Some veterinarians will even openly recommend pet insurance to their clients and give out the brochures, but really not know much about the company itself.
On the other hand, I believe that there are some veterinary hospitals whose staff has been adequately trained by the pet insurance company they recommend and can answer accurately specific questions pet owners ask.
I've had veterinarians tell me that they don't have the time or inclination to learn everything they can about pet insurance - that's the pet owner's responsibility because they are the ones who ultimately decide if they want pet insurance and which company they will purchase it from.
If your veterinarian gives you a brochure from a pet insurance company, be sure to determine if it is a wholehearted recommendation and why they recommend that particular company. Then, go do your own research and see if you come to the same conclusion before purchasing a policy.