By Gina Spadafori
October 16, 2007
At a time when the media is back to reporting “dozens of deaths” instead of the thousands of pets made sick or killed by tainted pet foods last spring, an analysis of claims from Veterinary Pet Insurance provides a necessary reality check. From the company:
Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI), the nationâ€™s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, reported a significant rise in the diagnosis of kidney conditions in the month of March â€“ the same month Menu Foods recalled 60 million cans and bags of tainted pet food. VPI, which insures more than 450,000 pets nationwide, has examined claims data to assess whether the recall had an effect on policyholder behavior and the diagnosis of kidney conditions. The company found that health testing increased by 37 percent in March and initial diagnosis of kidney conditions increased 33 percent for dogs and 46 percent for cats compared to expected seasonal averages.
At the time of the recall, VPI saw a rise in phone calls from concerned pet owners, but could not determine whether more pet owners were visiting the veterinarian, since policyholders may submit claims several months after treatment. A possible link between the recall and an increase in testing and diagnosis of kidney conditions became more apparent as claims were subsequently received and processed. Claims submitted for treatment of uremia, an excess of metabolic waste products in the blood, showed the largest spike, increasing 141 percent for dogs and 152 percent for cats in March.
The rest of the news release isn’t up on their site yet, but I’ll link to it when it is so you can read the whole thing. Here’s the rest.
Update: Other pet insurer notes … the ASPCA’s branded pet-insurance is a year old, according to their news release. The AKC’s isn’t much older, and Embrace also came on the scene not too long ago. Seems after struggling for a foothold for many years, the pet insurance industry is finally gaining as a viable idea in the minds of pet-owners.