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Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group - Interview With Bob Capobianco

station description Health Insurance Isn't Just For People Anymore
Pet Insurance Guide Podcast
Duration: 20:09
Interview with Bob Capobianco, Vice President at Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group discussing the various pet insurance brands within the group, most notably ASPCA Pet Insurance.
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Interview with Bob Capobianco, Vice President at Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group discussing the various pet insurance brands within the group, most notably ASPCA Pet Insurance.
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day. In this episode, I'm talking with bob Capobianco, a senior vice president at Crum and Forster pet insurance group. Even though A. S. P. C. A. Pet health insurance is Crumb. And Foresters most identifiable brand. They also have several other penny insurance brands as partners, bob's excellent explanation is quite frankly. The first time I've been able to understand exactly how all of these brands are associated with Crumb and Forrester, I'll have some additional comments about things we discuss after the interview bob. How long have you been with Crump? Forster pet insurance group and what are your responsibilities there? I'm joined from enforcer back in January 2019. So a little over a year and a half and probably the easiest way to describe what I'm responsible for is I take care of the welfare of a little over 200 terrific employees who in turn are responsible for helping tens of thousands of pets live longer happier, healthier lives. That's what we're in business for. And uh I've got a great group of people who live and breathe out every single day. Well I've visited there several years ago and I can attest to that. You've got a great staff there. Well thank you, thank you. I appreciate you coming to visit, explain the relationship between Crumb and foster and your pet insurance brands. We manage house brands as well as partner brands. And the best way to describe the distinction is that we've got a long term marketing relationship with A. S. P. C. A. So we, to the market, R. A. S. P. C. A. Pet insurance. Um We also have our own house brand Hartsville pet insurance. That's what we were known as in the marketplace years and years ago when we started in Hartsville Ohio. So those are two brands that we manage directly. So we are the underwriter, we are the administrator, we handle everything and to end marketing claims handling and everything in between for brand partnerships, anybody who is a marketer of health insurance products to the marketplace. They may be the top end of the funnel that drives business to the crime enforcement platform. And then we take on the responsibility of servicing those customers from the time of bind through the entire rest of the, of the life cycle of their relationship with us. And right now that Number of brands is about eight or 9. And we also have a number of new opportunities that are in various stages of future implementation. Well, I did not realize you had that many brands. Uh and just from my research in the web on the websites that I go to pet premium. What about prudent Pet? Yes, we are their provider. So it's Prudent Pet, also pumpkin spot. Petco are all partners that we bring their value propositions to life. And uh a couple of others, as I mentioned in the uh in the development stages, What is your relationship with 24 pet watch? They are a sister company of ours. We are there underwriter. Um They they do business in the U. S. And Canada and um they are an agency and we are their underwriters. They do all of the processing of the business but we provide them paper here in the United States. Do all of your brands have basically the same policy premiums and so forth. But they all leverage of the same product platform. But each brand has the opportunity to customize their quote experience what they present in terms of their offering whether they're targeting a different audience and want to show a lower price, more economical options. Do they want to emphasize coverage? Each partner has the ability to present whatever combination of offerings we have filed so that they can appropriately target the audience that they want to serve. Okay, so the policy itself coverage is basically the same. It's just the all of those policies are built off the same chassis and that we adjudicate claims the same way and handle those customers needs the same way. But if you will re channel their voice in the engagement with the customer. Okay. Just to give people an example of that, just two companies I know of that you mentioned pumpkin has a, if I'm remembered correctly a $10,000 annual maximum and that's all they offer. Whereas Spot has the identical coverage as far as their policy but they give a wide range of customization opportunities to pet owners. Yeah that was a decision that pumpkin and their leadership team decided that they wanted to present that as being their, their singular option that they would offer to the market place. But it is all again part of the same filing that uh from enforced er has put in place, you know, the stat that I saw on their website and it's the first time I'd ever seen this information is that annual claims In 99% of cases totalled less than $10,000 and that's how they came up with their singular $10,000 annual maximum that they offer. I found that very interesting in light of so many companies are offering larger annual maximums, even unlimited, You know, options. But in in my conversations with several pet insurance companies, the most common coverage selected by far are those less than $10,000 every provider in the market pick their own approach. Many, many are offering and emphasizing unlimited annual benefits. And again, the fact that pumpkin shows their approach doesn't necessarily reflect our own internal purchases. The customer really is in a position to whether they're choosing for economy or peace of mind through having the largest limit available. We certainly understand that in many cases they want to choose what fits their wallet and fits their I and again, that's the, that's the great thing about this industry and about the uh the future for it is that there's still plenty of opportunity for people to engage with a brand that speaks to them that offers them something that they're comfortable with and that there are plenty of different ways to satisfy the insurance coverage needs of pet owners. Okay I'm going to ask you some questions about your coverage, your policy itself. Um The terms and conditions and I pretty much know most of these answers but this is primarily for the benefit of those listening particularly those who haven't heard the previous podcast. Do you cover behavioral conditions? We do um we cover those conditions if they're provided by a veterinarian or a written referral from a veterinarian to an animal behaviorist. So yes it is a it is a covered condition. Okay do you cover dental illnesses as well as dental accidents? So if the customer has an illness plan then we do cover dental illnesses that are listed. Root canals and crowns are not covered options. But for every other dental illness we do provide coverage. What about supplements that are prescribed for covered conditions? The answer to that is yes. If it's prescribed to treat a covered conditions they are reimbursed. Okay And what about prescription diets for covered conditions? That would be the same thing. Yes it would be covered if it's prescribed to treat that covered condition. Okay. You know I remember when I visited the S. P. C. A hurtful group they had just launched their new policy and that was one of the things that they made a big deal out obvious that we now cover prescription diets which from my perspective as a veterinarian. I think that is important because we prescribe prescription diets all the time diagnostically and as treatments and those diets are significantly more expensive than what most pet owners are used to feeding their pets. And and I've had a number of pet owners that you know, they might buy the first bag or two and then they quit buying it after that because they just simply can't afford it. It's just not in their budget if if they don't have help with that. So uh that's one of the new coverage is that some of the companies have started offering. Although some still do not. Yeah, but we are seeing that become a rising portion of our costs that we're paying very close attention to proper pricing associated with that coverage. But we are seeing it being very much utilized. It's been a nice benefit to our policyholders who have been able to take advantage of it. And and certainly we're watching it as part of the cost of care continue to rise here over years. Yeah. I mean I've heard companies that don't cover it say, well it's food the dogs got to eat anyway. You know, if we're there trying to help you live longer happier healthier lives than that. This is one of those, one of those things that you're either on. I guess one side of the fence or the other. Yeah. And I know some companies cover it totally in their policies subject to the deductible and copay. Some companies have limits, you know, dollar amounts or time amounts or whatever. I wouldn't even be averse to having some kind of limit on it. If insurance companies were just at least covered and give some help. And I think the underwriting and pricing sophistication of our other products are going to continue to evolve. We're still in the very, I don't say early stages because we've been in the industry has been around for a number of years. But I do think that as we look at being able to provide meaningful coverage and certainly give us an opportunity to manage our costs and manage the overall profitability of the product. We will always be exploring alternatives that make the coverage available to folks who genuinely can help their cats recover or live a healthy life. So I think there's always going to be those kind of discussions about what's the best way in presentment and pricing and offering so that it's clear to the customer what the benefit is? Good assessment. Do you cover alternative therapies? We do when it's provided by the veterinarian or a facility with a supervising vet on staff. So I think from the therapies perspective we cover acupuncture chiropractic hydrotherapy and the list goes on. Okay. And what are your waiting periods From the perspective of a 14 day waiting period for accidents illnesses, uh, ligament knee conditions. Um and uh there are a number of conditions that occur that if they go treatment free for six months, then there's no exclusion for the policy. So 14 days for most things. And then certainly there are those that can be cured after a six-month waiting period. So other other than the 14 days, there's not any other special waiting periods for specific conditions. That's correct. Ok, wow, that is significant. This is something that I see in pet insurance company policies. We can change coverage or we can cancel or not renew the policy. So I'm gonna ask you two or three questions here uh In in regard to that, will you increase premiums or downgrade individual pets coverage based on claim experience? The answer's no. We don't change rates or downgrade based on an individual pets claimed history. We look at the book in its totality. Uh we look at various rating factors that could influence premium, but by no means. Is it based on the individual claiming history of an individual pet? Okay. Will you pay the veterinarian directly in case of a large bill where the policyholder cannot afford to pay the whole bill upfront. So we can do that if it's agreed upon by the policyholder and by the veterinarian, we can certainly pay directly to the vet. Okay. And will you do a medical record review after sign up to let pet owners know if there are any pre existing conditions that won't be covered that's available upon request. That's a question that is coming up more and more I think as uh the visibility around pre existing conditions and the questions. Uh So yes if if it's requested by a customer we're more than happy to do that on their behalf. Okay will you cancel or not renew a policy based on claim experience? No we do not. Okay. Do you reimburse veterinarians who diagnose and treat their own pets? No we do not. Okay bob. I really appreciate you being a guest on the podcast today and giving us an update at Crumb Foster S. P. C. A. And uh it's good to talk with you. I've not talked with you before and I've I've thoroughly enjoyed the conversation and just thanks so much for giving this update. Absolutely thanks so much and we'll talk soon. Okay. Thanks bob. All right bye bye. Besides bob's explanation of crime and forester's house brands and partner brands of pet insurance. The other thing I found interesting is that all of their brands work off the same policy as far as what's covered and not covered but they have the freedom to choose what options to show prospective policyholders on their quote pages. Keep in mind that if you are looking for more catastrophic coverage and don't see higher. Annual limits on the company's quote page. Call the company and see if they are available. This is especially true if you otherwise like what you see about the company limiting what a company shows on their quote page isn't specific to Crum and Forster brands, but other companies do this. Also interestingly, when I've asked companies about why they do this, The standard answer I've always gotten is that it is confusing to people when they put all of their options on the quote page. Quite frankly, I don't buy that answer at all. To me, it is frustrating when getting a quote to have to call the company to find out if there are other options that they don't show on their website. Sometimes. I wonder if the reason some companies don't do it is because the higher options they offer aren't competitive with the rest of the industry. I believe that bob gave the first honest answer to that question that I've ever gotten.
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