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Do Veterinarians Get An Incentive for Selling or Promoting Pet Insurance

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Do Veterinarians Get An Incentive or Kickback for Selling or Promoting Pet Insurance?

Do veterinarians make money by recommending vet insurance? Are they really looking out for your pet's best interests or are they just looking to make a quick buck? Today I want to address the question of vets and pet insurance kickbacks and incentives.

I am a veterinarian but I also work in the pet care industry. I've been to lots of trade shows and talked to a lot of people, both inside insurance companies and outside them. And I've heard lots of concerns from clients who were concerned that their vet's recommendations weren't trustworthy.

The truth is, veterinarians don't get a kickback from pet insurance companies.

Some veterinarians are busy and may not make time to talk about pet insurance. As some vets may see it – they personally don't make any more or less money if a client has an insurance policy. The charges are the same. The difference is to the pet parents wallet.

Other veterinarians and veterinary staff make the time to talk about pet insurance because they understand and daily see the value and importance of pet insurance. Vets that have had experience with pet insurance see how pet insurance allows them to provide better pet care because the owner says "yes" to things that otherwise they may not have been able to afford.

Some veterinary hospitals may recommend a particular pet insurance company because they have worked with them in the past and seen positive results or have done their homework to narrow down the many options out there. Veterinary staff also may have preferences based on their knowledge of working with pet insurance companies that have extra fees or loopholes in coverage.

Many veterinary clinics work hard to educate pet parents on the value of pet insurance. They are not looking to sell the policy (they can't sell policies) but rather inform pet parents about options to be financially prepared during their pet's life. Most hospitals have some type of financial policy and pet insurance is one way for hospitals to help clients be prepared.

For example, a dog or cat may come in with a history of vomiting and sudden weight loss. A client with pet insurance may be able to authorize procedures like blood analysis and x-rays to help diagnose the problem, while owners without insurance might be reluctant to spend the money. Without insurance, an owner might opt for a less expensive treatment that addresses just the symptoms.

In short, vets that recommend pet insurance don't do so because of a kickback, instead they do so because pet insurance helps pet parents and vets provide the best possible care for their furry family members.

I hope this has helped you understand vets, pet insurance, and incentives or kickbacks.

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