Harrisburg, Pennsylvania-based insurance company, Capital Blue Cross, has teamed up with pet insurance provider, PetPlan, to make pet insurance available to central Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley pet owners.
PetPlan pet insurance offers life-long coverage for all hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions in pets. With both comprehensive and affordable policies available, the plan covers unexpected vet bills due to accidents, illness or injury to the pet.
“We’re excited. We think we’re the first” Blue Cross affiliate to offer pet insurance, Stacy Balaban, Capital’s senior director for strategic development reported.
With a $12 billion dollar pet industry, Americans are dedicated to their pets and that includes their general health, well-being, and medical needs. Many families consider health insurance for pets a “must have.” Charmaine Morrisey, registered nurse at Capital BlueCross, said pets “just relax people.”
Capital Blue Cross will receive a paid commission on each policy sold. At a recent Harrisburg, Pennsylvania pet and people health fair, approximately 500 people attended, many gathering information on PetPlan and its offerings.
Chris and Natasha Ashton, cofounders of PetPlan, started reviewing data from the United Kingdom when their cat took ill. The Ashtons moved to Philadelphia from England as graduate students in 2001. As they began investigating security business opportunities, their cat became ill and required a kidney. The Ashtons knew that millions of pets in Britain and Scandinavia were ensured, as they did their research. It was then that the couple licensed the PetPlan brand from Allianz SE, a German insurer.
At first, Ashton reports United States vets resisted the notion of pet insurance. However, they began to realize that with today’s uncertain economic climate, people would not fear the costs of veterinary services.