Traditional pet insurance is known for a number of things in the veterinary community: complicated plans, surprises in the fine print, general unreliability. It’s a reputation that doesn’t exactly glow. (Honestly, it barely sparks.) Needless to say, the room for improvement has been immense—and that’s where we come in.
Outside of the traditional box, Trupanion might surprise you (in a good way, we promise). In this post, we’re debunking rumors and misconceptions about Trupanion and offering clarity on what our product can do for hospitals just like yours. So let’s jump in.
Here are some of the most common misconceptions we hear about our free, patented software:
“We don’t have time for it.” “We have too much staff turnover.” “We can’t afford a dedicated insurance person at our hospital.”
Just like insurance, the word “software” comes with a bunch of preconceived notions, none of which quite glow either. In general, software is associated with complicated user experiences, high costs, and time-consuming trainings. It leaves you wondering if the end result is really worth the headache.
patented software is different. Really different.
For one thing, it’s completely free. (That’s one jaw-dropping difference,
right?) It’s easy to use. So easy, in fact, that you don’t need a dedicated
person on payroll to manage or oversee it. It can also save you time and reduce
paperwork. So how is this even possible? Because we designed it with you—and
your workday—in mind.
Between working with patients and managing a to-do list that overflows with important tasks, your day is pretty packed (to put it lightly). And the very last thing you need is to implement something that requires more of your time. So what makes our software easy? The fact that it’s intuitive (because as you know, a lot of software isn’t). Ours was built to seamlessly integrate with your practice management system—so everything from installation to the user-friendly design is intuitive to you. And we even make training easy. We know what you’re thinking: it’s too good to be true. But stay with us.
Your local Territory Partner will drop by to train your whole team. And it’s not one of those day-long trainings, because who has that kind of time? Our training is straightforward and efficient. Plus, if your employees move on to other jobs, your Territory Partner will come back to your hospital for a training refresh—any time. It’s pretty great.
Here is the top misconception we hear related to data:
“You’re trying to take my data.”
Privacy is very important to us. You never have to worry about us selling your or your clients’ information. Because simply put, we won’t. We also won’t contact your non-Trupanion clients, unless you let us know if a pet is eligible for immediate medical insurance coverage through our software. In that situation, we’ll send your interested clients an email and text with an Exam Day Offer following the appointment. On another note, data is important to us too. That’s why we’re strict about our data use and security.
Curious how we can turn around claims at such a rapid pace? It’s because of our practice management integration, which prepopulates information in our software. With this leading-edge technology, we have security protocols in place that ensure your data is transmitted securely (and remains secure). This includes Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance on payment and banking information and secure technologies for communication between your system and ours. You’re even able to control what data we access.
We have two ways of accessing your data (and one of them is completely optional).
Real-Time Data: When a function is requested by a user in our software, we’re provided with your client, patient, appointment, invoice, and estimate data in real time.
Batch Data: This de-identified batch data transmits once daily and allows us to provide valuable reporting to you, including trends and breed-specific metrics. Here’s the thing, if you are not comfortable with sharing de-identified batch data, we don’t access it.
The bottom line: we take data use and security seriously.
Here are the top misconceptions we hear related to hospitals with rural clients:
“Our rural client base doesn’t believe insurance is affordable.” “Our rural client base is skeptical about the value of insurance for pets.”
Our pricing is based on a variety of factors, which all beautifully mesh together to ensure a fair number. Location just happens to be one of these factors. Meaning, we take into account the local cost of veterinary care for a pet, down to the zip code. (Because there’s a big difference between treatment costs at a hospital in rural Kansas compared to a hospital in downtown Los Angeles.) Pricing is also something we’re flexible with.
At enrollment, pet owners actually have the option to choose their deductible and decide what fits their own budget. So your rural clients, the ones that believe insurance is out of reach, may have more options than they think.
And then there are skeptical clients. The ones who question the value of insurance. They probably associate all insurance with the traditional reimbursement model (you know, the one that assumes money is accessible). That’s a huge issue, one that’s worthy of skepticism. Because most pet owners don’t have the upfront funds to cover a costly, unexpected treatment. (In fact, a recent report by the Federal Reserve finds that nearly 40% of Americans would struggle to cover an unexpected $400 expense*). Pet owners that do find the money can spend weeks—even months—waiting for a reimbursement check. Here’s a different take—one with much clearer value.
The Trupanion policy pays 90% of the eligible expenses on your clients’ bill at check-out. Your clients pay the remaining 10% of eligible costs. It’s a better approach, right? One with clear value.
are the top concerns we hear about insurance and veterinary hospitals as a
“We shouldn’t be selling your product.” “We don’t want to recommend just one insurance company.” “We want to practice medicine, not talk finances.”
We’ve said it before and we’re happy to say it again: it’s not your job to sell insurance. That’s something we’re in full agreement about.
Because you’re right, it’s absolutely not your job. You didn’t go to school to talk finances with your clients, you went so you could practice medicine that helps treat the pets we love. So hold the sales pitch. Instead, simply introduce the idea of medical insurance for pets, just like an introduction to any pet-related concept. We make it pretty easy with three simple steps, outlined here.
We’d also never ask you to exclusively recommend Trupanion. We love informed decisions and completely support pet owners that want to research and compare a healthy variety of insurance companies. You can actually support them in this process—see how here.
*Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households, 2018, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.
Jackie Thompson, blog contributor, is originally from Oregon but has been calling Washington home for the last four years. She is a content writer at Trupanion where she spends her days shining a light on the positive impact insurance can have on pets. When she isn’t writing, Jackie can be found exploring Seattle, chasing around her 15-month-old son, or hanging out with her husband and sweet dog, Coco.