The digital revolution has put us in control.
If we want to buy food, cinema tickets or find out what the President’s thinking at 3am, we can. If we finally get around to getting quotes for our new puppy’s insurance on our phone in the yard, at 5am while our darling puppy takes a comfort break, we can!
Many financial services companies understand this shift in power and are working hard to keep up with our demands. However, some are held back by processes and tradition and a gap is appearing between new digital-first entrants to every market and the older established institutions.
Trupanion have gone further than any other insurer and changed the landscape with their Direct Pay software, which allows customers to have their veterinarian bills charged directly to the insurer instead of having to pay the entire fee up front. How long will it be before others follow their lead?
Pet insurance companies are listening
New, agile, digital-first pet insurers think about what their customers want and integrate services into their business model from their launch.
FIGO pet insurance, one of the latest to join the pet insurance market, built a ‘pet cloud’ so their pet parent’s can manage their policy renewal, change coverage, store their pet’s medical history, manage payments and make claims from any device at any time. It’s as simple as photographing your bill and uploading it while still at the veterinarians.
But they are not alone in working out what pet parents want.
Petplan, Pets Best, Healthy Paws, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, and Nationwide (through VitusVet), have mobile Apps so uploading invoices to make a claim can be done quickly and easily. Embrace, Pet First, Pets Plus Us and all the above brands have online portals where bills can be uploaded or accept claims by email. All are listening to their customers and are working hard to make their websites user friendly and informative, and their claim processes slick and payments quick.
Trupanion has gone further with Direct Pay software
Many insurers are settling claims quickly, in some cases within a few days, but pet parents have, in most cases, had to pay the veterinarian invoice first, then claim.
Trupanion pet insurance have developed their own Direct Pay software which allows any of their customers to ask their vet to use the software to submit bills direct to Trupanion, so the pet parent doesn’t have the worry of covering all of the bill first. Trupanion pay their part of the bill direct, leaving the customer with only their deductible and co -pay percentage to pay. This is a step change in pet insurance; no-one with access to this technology will have to resort to credit cards to cover the full cost of treatment again.
Many pet parents never think the unthinkable is going to happen to their pet. When something awful happens, it is incredibly stressful, and the bills can quickly mount up to hundreds or thousands of dollars, so anything insurers can do to reduce stress will help.
The reviews you leave show the technology has been well received. Shirley told us how Trupanion and their Direct Pay software helped when her cat fell ill:
“Trupanion has come through for me more than once, but this last time was undoubtedly the most important. Michael (a Trupanion rep.) assured me that the company could set up direct payment to my vet hospital, and that I would not need to come up with all that money up front. I can sleep at night knowing that 90% of my babies’ care is covered, and that dealing with the paperwork will be easy. THIS COMPANY IS THE BEST!!
Helping pet parents helps pet insurance companies
Many pet insurers pride themselves on super quick claim settlement processes, so it will be interesting to see how long they take to follow Trupanion’s lead. A Forrester study comissioned in 2016 showed that digital innovation that delivered to customer’s needs increased customer engagement and satisfaction, so let’s hope that this development is the first of many, as what’s good for the customer is also good for the company!
Have you already used Trupanion’s Direct Pay software? We’d love to hear about it! Leave a review to tell us about your experience!