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Nationwide Pet Insurance Policy Discussion

From Audio: Veterinary Pet Insurance (Nationwide) Launches New Whole Pet with Wellness Policy - Episode 35 - Interview with Dr. Carol McConnell

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station description Health Insurance Isn't Just For People Anymore
Pet Insurance Guide Podcast
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Duration: 45:39
Interview with Dr. Carol McConnell
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Interview with Dr. Carol McConnell
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right. I'm excited today to interview dr carol McConnell, the chief veterinary medical officer at veterinary pet insurance or V. P. I. And discuss their brand new policy that is being launched on october 22nd, 2000 and 15 called whole pet with wellness. They are saying it is the best policy offered in the pet insurance industry and she'll tell us why. But during the first part of the interview we'll talk about VPs association with the national brand nationwide and the transition that has taken place in the last year. So let's get right to the interview. You know, I think I was telling you when I arrived Back in 2004, you know, Jack Stephens was still was the ceo and running things and very much a animal focus veterinary focused company and of course VP veterinary pet insurance with his vision, his baby And started the company in 1982 and then was licensed here in California. And then as the company grew and became stronger, he thought, well let's start selling policies outside of California. But there's two ways to do it, number one and you go to the department of insurance of all 49 other states and you obtain authorization to sell as an insurance company in that state or the easier way to do it is to go to another company that already has a presence in those 49 other states and have them underwrite your policies meaning it's really them they are the ones carrying the insurance policy and you become more of the marketing arm for them. You know you you advertised, you sell you service the policies, you engage in supporting the policyholders. But when push comes to shove the actual insurance Contract, if you will belongs to your underwriter. And that's what Jack did back in 1984. So August of 1984 was when we sold our first policy outside of California and our underwriter was nationwide through one of their subsidiaries called national casualty company On our policies. You'll see in the, you know, sort of the print at the very bottom that were underwritten by NPC or National Casualty Company, which is a nationwide company. So the roots of nation, like a way back to, as I said, August 1984. So is that company sale underwriting your policies today? It absolutely is yes in all for the United States other than California. And so we have been selling in California as our own company For you know, those 33 years and then selling out of state With national casualty or effectively nationwide for 31 years. And then another consideration of the department of insurance though is they because they make sure that you are a valuable company. That's the other thing they got to make sure, you know, you're good to your word meaning if all of your policy holders, how to claim all at once do you have enough money in the bank, Just a solvent to meet all those needs and that's to begin consumer protection is their goal. And so they require a certain amount of money in the bank. Old money in reserve if you will. And so that mandated reserve requirements is something that as a company grows and has more policies out in the marketplace. They're mandated reserve goes up. And so that's where nationwide really helped out little VP over the years is as a company continued to grow or if the company needed money for whatever reason nationwide would help fund that. And when I arrived at the company in 2004, In that same time period, 2004, Nationwide transferred, I think at the time is up $15 million dollars over two little VP to help keep it going. And so I think that speaks to how much they really believe in the concept of insurance. Yeah. What does being part of the nationwide family mean to VP I going forward. Well, so that's really interesting. So, uh, there are a number of individuals who are veterinarians who put in original seed money to start the company. They started asking, hey nationwide, can you buy us out? And if you think about it, a lot of years of tasks and these individuals were probably many of them retirement would want, you wanted the money out. So upon the request of the stockholders nationwide did by the rest of the shareholders out And that completed things in December of 2008, but we still kept the name VP and that was intentional because I think the concern was that veterinarians preferred to work with a small company that was an animal health focus and so Nationwide, wholly owned little VP as I said, starting in December 2008, but chose not to do anything with that and then starting a year ago 2014 and actually a year of about September October 2014 nationwide had across company initiative and this wasn't just specific for VP but across all of their company and there are actually not only in the insurance space but they're in the financial services space and things like farm insurance, a key man life insurance policy annuity stuff like yeah, they're actually really really big in that space. And even tensions pension funds for government entities. They're huge. In fact, they're bigger in that kind of world financial sources and they are even in in the insurance, but you and I lay people know them as an insurance company with the auto and home policies that we have because we see the tv commercials. So the thought was from nationwide starting about a year ago was it's very inefficient to do business under so many different branding and so they spread the blanket wide, they, you know the Castanet broadly and they said all of our company will be nationwide and all of our companies will gain efficiencies by um using, you know the one name, the one brand the one company and V. P. I was just one of those brexiteers that was brought in under the brand name nationwide. This is a fantastic thing if you think about it because our ability to go from a brand name either veterinary pet insurance or V. P. A. And it was well known within veterinary circles but not necessarily well known amongst the lay folks. You know lay people, if you ask them have you heard of NPR that I intend insurance you're going to get a pretty low number. Not that many people know even amongst pet owners surprisingly. But if you ask people have you heard of nationwide a lot of them will finish the jingle they launch into oh yeah nationwide is on your thought. You know what I mean? Very well now and it was really amazing. God is Children's Children will launch into the jingle and it always startled parents because they have no idea that their kid is even pick this stuff up. You know I'm not kidding. It's startling the power of television and and what nationwide found after doing quite a bit of research, market research is that their jingle is what really embeds itself in people's brains. And so you'll see in their marketing or their branding efforts going forward is they spend a lot of time with the jingle which is why on the newer tv commercials that include Peyton manning, you hear him humming the jingle right? And they're doing that purposely because they know that they tested and they have feedback that, that jingle is actually really, really powerful. But for those of us who work in the pet insurance products side of the business, it's fantastic because think about it, we can go from a little little relatively obscure VP to what is a household name, you know, and yet hopefully, you know, down the road, some additional recognition and some of the large national advertising that nationwide does. And to those of us who are veterinarians, you and I specifically doug when I see nationwide vision of really getting pet insurance known out there broadly. Um, and their goal of Having even their agents talk about it. Think about it, you know, it's 12,000 agents who sell insurance to talk to people about auto and home and, or commercial policies for small businesses or what have you, if they have in their portfolio or two blocks things to talk about pet insurance. They have a working knowledge of penetrates. Think of the number of pets are, can be insured. I think of the number of people who are more willing to say yes to the veterinarian in an exam room because they're less concerned about costs. So I think it's fantastic and I'm really hoping for great things as far as being able to expand under the nationwide banner. Yeah. So what will the company be known? It, would it be called nationwide pet insurance? You know, it's a really good question. And um, they, they nationwide marketing department. Uh, really, I think wrestled with that because the goal here is to be known as nationwide across the board, not necessarily with a modifier. And so it's not necessarily like you call it nationwide auto insurance, you just by your auto insurance from nationwide. And I think that's where they'd like the pet to sit as well. I bought my pet insurance policy from nationwide. So will the marketing directives be aimed primarily? Not so much anymore through veterinarians as in other avenues because it's known as a nationwide. Now, I, I don't think it's necessarily that we're not going to continue to place our brochures in veterinary hospitals. Our goal is still very much to work with practitioners, but nationwide, also given their strength and their breath has the ability to look at different ways to get the pet insurance message out there as well. One of the sides of our business that is doing exceedingly well is we have employers who come to us and say, hey, I offer health insurance, dental insurance, A 401K. What happened to my employee base? I'd like to offer pet insurance and um, the difference. So the caveat is they don't necessarily pay part of the premium of the pet insurance, but they're more than happy to pass through the cross of that premium and put it through on that employee's paycheck. So it appears on the pace stop if you will that a certain amount was pulled out every other week or payment of their pet insurance policy for the dog. And I think the reason it's growing so well is it, it's really kind of need for families to position themselves as being very forward looking. And I think it fits nicely with the redefinition of families. You know, not everybody has two kids, right? And and a house with a white picket fence and all of that. You know, the definition of family is very, very different today than it has ever been. And I think for companies the position, hey, we even have pet insurance for those of you who have patch in the house. It positions the employer in a nice life. Their goal of course, is to attract and retain the best and the brightest in the workplace, you know. So it is an area that's growing tremendously. And then, and then the other area kind of touched on very briefly is truly does have, as I said, 12,000 agents. Some of those agents, our exclusive to them, meaning all they sell our nationwide titled policies of kind and others are are what are called independent and they can offer a portfolio of different name brands of insurance or financial service product. And the goal is to make available pet insurance is something that both those kinds of agents. The exclusive agents and the independent agents have in their portfolio of things to talk about. Well, since I started researching pet insurance, virtually all the companies have tweaked their policies in an attempt to remain competitive or gain an advantage in the industry. They're offering more options, deductibles, copays, added coverage for hereditary and chronic conditions but policies can only be tweaked so much. And you are coming out with a new policy this month that you are touting as the best pet insurance plan ever made. So I take it that this isn't a tweet to your existing policies. It's very very different in its fundamental design and as you know, because you're seeing well studied in this space. Dog is to date most of our policies have been based around what what we call a benefit schedule basically a list of diseases or things that will cover And on the Fed Chair side are major medical plan is about 440 different diseases on that list of all the different things that can happen to your touch And and it represents buckets of money that are reimbursable. Um the new product that we were announcing this month and in fact we're going to start spelling it broadly on our website on October 20 seconds. So that is coming up. It's called whole pet and it is not benefit schedule based product is a percentage of invoice product. And of course our goal is to not get in the middle of that conversation between you, the veterinarians and the pet owner. That's for you guys to decide how to treat the cat, whether you're going to do in the treatment plan A Plan B, but how do you? But once that's all decided, said and done and invoices generated, we will reimburse the percentage of that invoice. And what makes it really interesting is the breadth of coverage that we're offering. And I think that's why we're very confident that it is the best products out there because we're actually covering things that typically have been excluded by policies in the past. And so examples of that include The veterinary exam fee, some 10 insurance companies just don't cover it at all. Some cover it. But the percentage in which has covered various depending upon whether it's your primary care doctor or the emergency facility or a specialist or what have you. We discover it, it's in there and it's at the same percentage as the whole rest of quality. Other examples of things that we cover that traditionally has not been in some of the elective procedures such as a gastro pixie, you know, so you have a detested a great dane or something like that. And while you're in there was to stay, you decide to pack down that summit because obviously we all know these before she kept the dogs are prone to returning your stomachs well in the past that was not covered because it was considered elective in nature and the owner was choosing to do that. And then we've always covered uh in the world of X rays, MRI cT scans, ultrasounds, all of it. That's sort of the newer cutting edge stuff. You know how there's some working gun treating knee problems that we have you with stem cells. So we're happy to cover all that. In addition to alternative therapies are policies cover veterinary services. So that means a veterinarian needs to have examined the animal, established that client patient relationship. And then after that veterinarians prescribe something that would be considered an element alternative therapy like a chiropractic or acupuncture or something like that. Whether that veterinarian conducted herself or whether she refers that out as long as it's under her prescription are, you know, reformation or referral. We will cover it. It's sort of an extension of that. And this is new and different to is when a veterinarians prescribe or recommend a prescription dog food, you know, as part of the treatment plant or management of an animal with a chronic disease. Uh we will cover those. And also supplements. So typically that insurance policies sort of universally never covered supplements. What makes this different as we are covering supplements with the caveat that your veterinarian said it's necessary and part of the treatment of, of the path, the other one that we used to not cover. Um, and I think many of the other pet insurance companies haven't covered our reproductive diseases. So the space of uh the reproductive animal, You know, the reader who has the female dogs who you know perhaps she's a bulldog and it's of course the most C. Section with a bulldog. We typically never covered those because often these were considered breed specific type of things are breeding related. Of course cleaning or pet is elective. Um, but this new policy because the intent is to cover everything and stand true to the title of the of the product called whole pet as we are now covering reproductive things in the past. So it's an exciting time to offer this kind of breath. The marketplace and start covering things that typically will not covered. And that includes the age old question about what about hereditary and congenital? You know, we used to cover hereditary congenital but it had a waiting period and only if you have a major medical plan and only at a certain dollar limits. Um, well with hope that all those restrictions are are gone. We do cover hereditary. We do cover congenital problems and there's no waiting period on them either. We cover our behavior as well. And that's one that we did a lot of market research for where consumers perceptions of what we should cover was not being met by policies that are in the workplace and the consumer appetite for really having getting help with veterinary advice when it comes to behavior issues for their pets very, very high. And I think it is always confusing to them that number one veteran areas don't seem to spend as much time on behavior counselor coaching for the cat when it is such a pain point for them at home. But number two, the insurance never covered it. And that's very different now. Under whole pet, we will cover behavior not not the traditional obedience training or anything like that, you know, puppy classes, but true behavior consultation like cats that missed the litter box. Right. The inappropriate elimination, That kind of stuff. What about bilateral conditions? Yes, not a problem. Um, in fact, we used to in our older policies and it's not like major medical going away, we're still going to happen. So I'm going to offer it to the marketplace. We're very proud of. The product is performed exceedingly well. So it's not like it's going away. Hope it will be added. In addition to major medical, non major medical, we have always covered bilateral conditions. The example being say, the pet had an interior cruciate tear, the ligament of the knee terror on one leg. Some pet insurance companies will then not cover the other leg. And older plans. They do medical plants. Put a waiting period meaning if you're a brand new policy to us. We had a waiting period of six months before we recover on something like an anterior cruciate ligament structure and surgery with the whole pet, the waiting period is gone. The whole pad is true to its name, it covers walnuts and preventive care as well. So it meant to meet all of the pet owners needs whether the pet as well or the pet. So the wellness coverage is also a percentage of the invoice subject to the deductible and copay. Exactly. Yes. And that makes it a little different because our wellness with a writer in the past was not subject to the deductible but with the wellness embedded in the whole pet, it's all in the same pot if you will and that whole pot is subject to the deductible and cocaine. Okay. So You have one reimbursement rate 90%. Right. Okay. And you have to deductibles. Yes. The 100 and the 250, I'm just curious since it's an annual deductible, why don't you have offerings of higher deductibles? You know, that's an excellent question dog. And having been doing this a long time, I'm sure you know that there was a period of time when the industry they've been on air protection if you will, was really promoting the high deductible plans. The thought was that the average pet owner would, or should be able to afford The less expensive things, you know, things under say $500. But it was really the catastrophic and the large, unexpected type of events with their pet that they needed the most helpless And so, you know, major medical in fact, when we introduced that into the marketplace in 2009, Um, and in the end of the day comes in four deductibles, $100 to 50, We sell very little of the $500 or $1,000 deductible. What we have found is consumer appetite for really high deductible is exceedingly low, uh, exceedingly low. In fact, most people want the lowest deductible possible. Then of course they have to wait the pros and cons of, Well that lower deductible say $100 needs are paying a higher must come on premium. And you know, what can they afford in that month month premium. So there's a little bit of a, a delicate back and forth deciding that. But for the most part, I mean overwhelmingly We see that pet owners prefer the lower deductible products. And so that's why we came to market with whole pet, which is the $200 and the $250 deductible. And thank you for pointing out that it is an annual deductible. And I think you more than anybody know the importance of that is a big difference in a policy is whether you're hit with that deductible With every incident or every time. You know, you have an event with a pet or if it suggests you need it once and you're satisfied the full 12 months a year of the insurance contract. You know, if I were buying a policy And with the coverage being this good and it being an annual deductible, I would be very tempted. You know, if I couldn't pay $70 or $80 for the $100 or $250 deductible, I'd be willing to pay 40 or 50 for the $1,000 just to have that good of coverage. And absolutely I agree with you. And you know, there are people who are educated into the principles and insurance and they understand that the trade offs of deductible versus premium are really significant and that insurance Works even better if you just think of it as catastrophic coverage, right? That's what you would use it for. You know, the self less than $500,000, you'll cover that yourself. But if the dog was hit by a car, you know, or had some major, you know, trauma or cancer or something like that you would want that covered. So yeah, you and I get it. You and I would want a high deductible plan. Uh in fact, you know, I have a high deductible plan on my owner's policy and my auto policy, I mean I carry higher deductibles because it's just, you're basically saying I'll take a little bit of that risk myself, right is what you're saying. But we have found and my guess is the auto and home insurance company who know this too is the most popular deductible to the ones with the lowest out of pocket. It's kind of the, of the incident or the hit if you will and consumers really, really, you know, they just don't have a lot of extra money unexpectedly. They'd rather put things for a month, a month of unknown expense because they can manage to that even here in southern California where we have the land of the amusement parks, you know, we have Disneyland and Universal Studios and um, no, it's very farm six flags down down in san Diego where I am now we have, you know Seaworld and Legoland and all this stuff and all these places offer now monta monta payments on your family afford to go to lego land Can be so expensive. You know, it can just, your admission alone could be almost $400 and they realized that literally to keep the turnstile, I'll turning bodies flowing in. They've got to come up with some way that fits with the american budget and that month a month payment seems to be what americans can handle. And culturally that's what they want. And so I, I think that also speaks to your question about deductible people just really don't want that big out of pocket. They'd rather just pay a higher month to month. Okay, what are the policy maximums, is there an annual maximum or it's an open ended, there is no annual maximum on this. I'm just going to kind of go down through here and mention some things that are commonly excluded in other policies and just you tell me yes or no. Pretty much much tail docking. Yes, it is covered because it's considered an elective procedure and we know now cover the okay sharecropping. Yeah, declining yes. Microchipping and that would be the insertion the microchip, not the monthly subscription fee. That's right. Yeah. So let's say yes to that. And if I'm wrong, I'll get back to a comment. Okay? Air cleaning. It's part of treating otitis external. Absolutely. If it's part of the husbandry meaning part of the grooming, we're still not going to be cover covering grooming because grooming is typically not considered a veterinary service. Does that make sense? Yes. Yeah. Okay. Duclaw removal. Yes. Because someone wanted procedure right up there with the decline and the air coughing nail trims. No, that would be a grooming. Okay, anal gland expression, wow, you're really getting into the details. I know anal gland infections are covered that has typically in the past been in the exclusions, a lot of clients just come in monthly to have their dogs anal glands expressed, you know, because because they don't want to do it and they don't go to the groomer, groomer is a lot of rumors will do it. I'm going to say no to that. But like the microchip. I promise. I'll get back to you to clarify. Okay, medicated bathing or dipping for medical conditions like piled Irma yeast infections or mange. Yes because that would be all part of the treatment of that disease. Okay. Do you cover working dogs? Always have. Yes. In fact, in fact we have a number of police dog in our system already. Okay. Periodontal disease. Yes. Uh That was a little tricky in that. You need to make sure that it's not pre existing to the policy. So Jack, maybe I talk a little bit just a ticket quick handed over to what is not covered and the whole cut his whole pet is meant to cover everything under the sun because again think about it. Insurance agents are going to be selling this right? So that's why we needed to come to market with something that's really really simple and easy to understand. Not only for the pat owner who lives the product for the insurance agent who sells the product. Insurance agents typically are not that knowledgeable to animal diseases. So that's why whole pet covers so much the list of things that does not cover. Okay. Like I said it's much easier to read that it does not cover anything related grooming. Okay. And I think that's why that nail trimming would not be covered in the climate special would not be covered. But again I'll double check that anal glasses on. It does not cover things like tax, write taxes on the invoice, any kind of waste sees a lot of veterinary hospital charter waste. Obviously anything having to do with boarding an animal now and then we're being hospitalized because it's under care, veterinary care or medical management. That's very different. We'll pay for the hospital and pre existing now. I'm certainly back to terry donald disease. If the pet comes with the puffy it's obviously a healthy mouth it hasn't even lost this decision with teeth yet. What how do you? Yes. Well absolutely cover para Donald disease if the pet however is older and comes up to us as a middle aged animal and already had significant gum recession and you know and and some changes of the bones and the teeth and stuff like that then you know that's going to be considered this thing. So I'm sorry that along with the answer to that one. Okay. But it falls within the is it? Okay But it would be covered if the client already had a policy and develop periodontal disease later. Absolutely. Yes. And that is of our policies now. That's no different than what our policies are now Gingivitis, dermatitis. Yes same thing. So we're in the whole world of dental as long as it's not. Okay so things like Fillon resort of lesions or tooth fractures, root canals, crowns all that would be covered and we cover them cover those. Okay uh cyber knife, radiation for treatments for cancer. Yeah. Absolutely. Okay. You already said you all covered physical therapy, acupuncture chiropractic and all that. As long as it's prescribed by a veterinarian. Now this is something that you see in most policies and this may be a little bit out of the rim here, but conditions arising from repetitive activities like multiple ingestion of foreign bodies or dogfight got in a fight with another dog in the household or something like that. We do cover that and we have always covered back other policies. I have seen it where you're not going to cover more than two of these are three of these or wherever they're going to draw the line. We've actually not done that. We have covered them and we will continue to cover them the repetitive type of stuff. Um incidences. Okay, now when the policies go live on October the 22nd pet owner that goes to your website, will that policy be up as an option? Yes, it will. That is the date in which we are public now. We actually are selling it currently on our phones. So if someone were to call us right now, our sales agents are well versed in this product already and it's through that conversation with the person on the phone. They feel that it's appropriate to talk about it. They'll bring it up. Okay And you already said your other policies will continue to be available, correct? The major medical is the one that will definitely keep going long term. It's a really good policy. It works really, really well at controlling that premium costs, meaning how much the policyholder chase for her policy month to month. In fact, it's an outstandingly good job at that. We introduced our product in 2008, and we are in, what are we in 2015. And we're just now for the first time doing our first price increase from major medical, it's been that stable and that is really meaningful to to pet owners when they buy something And they expect in their head. Okay. I'm going to pay $35 a month for this thing. It's really important that that stays in of all parts, it's reasonable to them. Now, of course the pets getting over and we will adjust our premiums slightly for the pet aging. But for the most part, major medical does Apple is fantastic job controlling that premium for the policyholder. And that's why we're keeping major medical because there are people who are looking for price stability in the marketplace. What they choose to buy. There are others who want the broadest and the best coverage possible or they just wanted to be clean and simple and that's why we're bringing whole past the market. So what happened? So on your wellness? Uh, it'll cover vaccinations, teeth cleaning, spay neuter and all that. Right? Yes. Okay. Can existing policyholders transition to the whole pet policy if they want to. Oh boy. Now you're going to make me dig into my notes here. I did have a little tip it on that. I believe there is an age limit on transferring from an existing policy holder over. That is something I should point out on the whole pet whole pet does not have an age limit. However, if the policy holder or owner has an existing policy with us now and they want to move over to whole pet and needless to say their pet probably already have stuff going on right. You know, headed middle aged or older. Uh, we do have a very strong look at what does that pet health before we move them on over to a policy that is broader or deeper coverage like this And it is possible to move on over. They just have to apply. It's just that I believe there's an age limit on it. And I believe I'm just looking at my notes here to see what that is. I think at age 10. So if the test under can and they're an existing policy holder, they can request to be moved over to the stranded whole pet policy. Um, it's a head over 10. I think they're, they're going to say, I'm sorry you're too old for that transition. If they're able to move over what will the conditions the pet has had before be considered pre existing with the new policy. No, that's why we have a look and we were going to let someone move over and we used to cover, you know, um gosh, I'll pick something at 80. And their pet. So say the pet campuses a puppy totally healthy. Everything normal, you know, in this puppy. And then the puppy developed at a P as a four year old and now we've been paying attitude claims for two years and is now a six year old dog, but otherwise completely healthy. And the person who says, hey, I want to move over to hold pet, they would apply. Our underwriting department would have a look and see this is a perfectly healthy six year old dog other than an attitude which we're covering because it happened on our watch. If you will, we'll transfer them over the whole pet and then we will continue to cover the attitude. We won't let them transfer over unless we want, unless we're going to cover, right, we don't want to leave them out there without coverage. Okay. So in theory anyway, it might be not only they have to be under 10, but they have to not have like six different problems. You're dealing with our underwriters would look at that and go, ooh, I don't know if we would want to take this pet on over and whole pet where we're now covering such a large percentage of the bill on everything because we have to be careful about, you know, the amount of risk that we take on. This is why it's an application process. The other example of why we would look at the pet tells history and say yes or no. And moving over to pull pet is saved, had already has a major disease, a major multi organ disease, say it has lupus or say it has cancer, say it has diabetes, you know, we're not going to allow a pet that already has a major disease like that. Move over the whole pet. Does that make sense? This does bring up an interesting point since you pretty much cover almost everything, Let's say a pet owner calls you up and they have a six year old dog and they want to buy pet insurance from you and they want to get the whole policy uh, assume your underwriting policy uh would just simply go through that pets medical history or through a number of questions you might ask or whatever. Exactly. It's just like we've done in the house, we just asked them a few questions about their pet health history and it's a pet owner answers the questions and for all intents and purposes, this is a healthy pet or nothing really. You know, there's no rich flags. Well, we'll just write the policy if however, there is something in the series of answers of that yet about the health history that pops up in those questions, then we'll ask for medical records and we'll go a little deeper. Our goal is to make it as smooth as simple for the policyholder and quite frankly are other goal is not to tax the veterinarian excessively with requests for medical records. One option is to get medical records for every single new application. We don't do that. We intentionally staff veterinarians and over 100 engineering technicians so that we can do a lot of this work behind the scenes without having to ask for medical records office. Okay. So let's say that client calls up and their dog has diabetes. Is that going to be one of the conditions that it is just going to disqualify it for illness coverage altogether? Yes. Okay. Yes. So in the category of major chronic disease and the pet already has like a multi organ disease, like a diabetes, like a cancer, um, an immune disorder. We're going to say, I'm so sorry. We can't cover your pet for a broad medical policy. A pet like that may still be available for them to apply for an injury policy which covers accidents, random events, but not the whole battery of diseases. If you will, okay, if their pet didn't have anything like that, but say their pet had two or three other problems that they're dealing with. But it's nothing that you would consider major like that, you would probably allow them to buy the whole policy. Those would just be considered preexisting and not covered is Exactly yes. Exactly. You're all over it. You are well versed in the space. Okay, now the $64,000 Question Here, How much does it cost? Well, I think that depends. This is not going to be inexpensive, but what we have done is we have looked at how this product compared to the other percentage of invoice product in the marketplace. I mean, you like policies, 90% coverage with similar deductibles and it is uh, is competitively priced. So depending upon the age of the path the region of the country, those are all variables that go into the pricing. And so I'm not, I'm not trying to be coy with saying it depends, but you know, it really, it really does depend if you're, it's just like auto insurance, you know, if you're driving a BMW here in southern California, where a lot of car accidents happen on auto insurance company is going to say that's a higher risk. You're driving a luxury car in the metropolitan area where there's a lot of car accidents versus if you're driving a P. S and you're living in rural Montana, um, they're not going to charge, you know, as much exposure. Their exposure, I should say isn't as much. And so that's true for us, the labrador who's, you know, an older geriatric labrador in the metropolitan area where we know that any price is a little bit more expensive. Yeah, those policies are going to cost a little bit more if you have a mixed breed dog and you're in, you know, I'm going to pick, I don't know, a suburb of austin texas or something, you know what veteran medicine isn't necessarily that expensive or what have you. Uh, it could be a very, very different price points. So you know, I don't mean to to say jokingly. It depends and it really really does depend, you know, how does it look compared to the other policies that are currently in the marketplace and we are very competitive. In fact, there are times when our policies are less expensive but it's definitely all in the same ballpark of what's out there in the market but certainly well, the coverage is definitely impressive and it's just a matter of, um, you know, I guess my question was will it be affordable? And I think you've answered that, uh, it pretty much has to be to compete with the other companies, although the coverage does look to be about the best on the market. Well that's why that's why I'm marketing people chose work best, you know, and when they first started using that, um, you know, we were, we were really making sure that in saying a phrase like that, are we accurate? Is it truly the best? And we do believe it is. The other thing we're trying to do here and if you think about it more broadly does is we're trying to really blonde our portfolio of offerings to the pet owner because not all pet owners have the same need nor do all pet owners have the same price point that they can tolerate. And so you know, years ago we had major medical and medical, okay, those are two products and and we came down the middle and we really stuck with the benefit schedule because we felt that that was the best way to control the premium. I've heard talked about that and that by coming down the middle we meet the most people at their point of need. The goal now is to from the middle expand both directions. So you've seen this expand down market if you will by offering the wellness only the preventive care as a standalone product which was our everyday care product that we offered this time last year um at a much lower price point. Right? So every day here is less expensive month to month but it doesn't cover when a pet is sick. Right? So you're really you know you're giving up whole section of coverage. But there are a lot of people out there who want that. There are a lot of people who are, you know, very price sensitive, even the preventive care for event, they want to buy the product from us, pay a monthly payments when they go to the vet, they get a nice reimbursement check from us and it makes it a lot more affordable or manageable to go to the veterinarian for preventive care and they have no desire for care coverage. So that's going down market. Okay. We're still home from in the middle with major medical, as I said, it's a really, really good product to data center flagship product. And we know that its ability to control that premium that month amongst lots of the pet owner is fantastic. And so we're holding on to that one in the middle and then we're going upmarket. Okay. And that's what whole pet does for us, basically this whole pet is for that discerning pat owner who is less price sensitive but really want absolutely everything covered, wants broad coverage and hence it's got the wellness in it and everything and is less price sensitive as a result. And we do believe that there are people who are willing to buy a product in that market category. You know, our competitors are doing it needless to say right. And so there are people out there who are willing to pay, You know, the $70, a month premium for for the pets coverage. Anything else changing that I need to know about? Well, let me tell you what I am going to tell you about, which is really exciting for me is, as you know, we're the only ones who offer any kind of coverage for um avians, the burden and the exotics. The pocket text. You know, the, the reptiles and rodents. What have you uh, bunny rabbits. You'd be amazed how many bunny rabbits reinsure. Um, we are in the process of creating whole pet. So the same product I just talked to you about. But for birds and the exotics, wow, yeah, really exciting. And again, because we're the only ones in the marketplace who have done it, we're the only ones who probably have the ability to do it. You will understand the disease is covering these diseases and the claims processors to process these claims. And so our goal is to bring whole pet for avian exotic. The market place next summer. I think we're looking at about june for that one. Okay.
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