Dog Eat Dog Healthcare (PR FAIL #2 Pets Best Insurance)

my doggyDo you love your pet?  Sure you do. Me too!  So much so that my family had gone out and purchased health insurance for my dog.  specifically i did this 5 years ago when my pup was young(er) and really healthy.  For five years my family has paid the fees with out fail. Fast forward to today when my dog has slight Arthritis, and required some healthcare.  Mostly lucky for us still extremely healthy!

We use a company called Pets Best Insurance.  Shortly after making a visit to the veterinarian we received this email that alerted us that if wanted to continue using the insurance services our premiums would triple!

I would like to remove the governing politics of national (human) healthcare as it is a divisive issue.  What can be said is that after paying a premium for five years and then using the service as intended should by no measure triple your rates.  While the issue is not much different from that of many in the actual healthcare system, this is a different type of story altogether.

Here is where a PR fail happens.  Our family at this point appeals to the company to reconsider their decision as it is majorly unjust.  we received an email from the company that was labeled as from Customer Service.  I would describe it more as customer diservice.  Here is what they wrote:

Thank you for contacting Pets Best Insurance regarding the increase in your premium.  We understand your concern.We recognize that you are experiencing a significant increase in your premium at your renewal date this year. We are dedicated to helping you find a lower cost option and still maintain coverage for Juno. However, we would like to stress that the price increase is not based on your personal claims filing history-Customer Service

What that means in laman terms is this.  The decision is final, and if you want to pay less we can provide you a lesser service for a lesser fee.  I personally believe that this treatment of customers is an event that could be litigated, but this blog article is not about legal or politics.  Its about business and public relations.  So here are the mistakes they made and earned the second of many articles in the PR FAIL SERIES.

1) Do not mess with peoples pets – There are many things a company can do and get away with, or be able to repair.  hurting, or being perceived as hurting the pet of a loved one is a deal breaker ladies.  The owner will NEVER forgive you, and these activists (much like gun activists) do not relent or forgive.  Most people I know will curse the name of the person or entity that negatively effects a pet till the day they die.  This is definitely the case here.

2) Kindly wording excuses and disclaimers do not make them any less irritating.  In this, I must admit that “grammatically beating around the bush” is not a problem faced by Pets Best Insurance.  This is an issue plaguing many companies.  I suggest using common tongue, and be real with people.

3) Stop Lying to your customers, we are not stupid – Do not email your consumers and tell them that something has nothing to do with a situation when it clearly does.  No one will believe you when suddenly after a five year track record that a rate could triple and has nothing to do with usage.  If that is the case one of two things must be the case.

a) Your underwriters need to be fired

b) Your business model is so unsound that staying in business means you have to be in optimal market conditions in order to succeed.  Thats an untenable position to be in for an insurance company.

This company among many healthcare insurance providers needs to understand one very important thing!

Your product is a delicate formula of how to protect a member through his whole life.  If your formula works based on a premium increase based on age, well thats fine!  Just make sure that it is created to span the entire life not just when its monetarily convenient for you.

Wouldn’t it be lovely to know what NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association) thinks about one of their members scamming people and their pets

In this case the company is dead to me and my family, if you have a pet that is insured please sound of if you had a similar experience.