If it moves, it dies.
By ALMA J. BUELVA
PET owners can now avail of health insurance plans for their four-legged friends from Cebu-based Embrace Animal Care Insurance.
The insurance company is rolling out several types of health plans beginning March 18 for pet cats and dogs of any size and breed that will pass the screening process.
The first in the country to offer health insurance for pets, Embrace is banking on the fact that more Filipinos are now willing to spend for their pets' needs.
In an exclusive interview with MetroPets, Anastacio Muntuerto lll, CEO of Embrace Animal Care Insurance, said he believes pet owners in the country will be excited and willing to insure their pets for their own peace of mind.
“As the first pet care insurance the country, we researched what are the most common illnesses or diseases in dogs and cats, how to prevent those and the costs. To capture the class A to D, we created Bronze, Silver Gold and Platinum plans with payment schemes to make sure these are affordable for every type of client we have,” Muntuerto said.
PET CARE PLANS
Cats and dogs up to 5 years old can be insured for P20,000 (Bronze plan), P25,000 (Silver plan), P30,000 (Gold plan) and P50,000 (Platinum plan). These prices may still be subject to change.
Bronze and Silver offer basic medical coverage while Gold gives medical coverage for illnesses including cancer as well as accidents and medical emergencies. The Platinum policy is Embrace's most comprehensive pet health care plan.
Embrace has identified at least 50 leading medical conditions each for cats and dogs. Aside from coverage from these conditions, Embrace's health care plans include free grooming and anti-rabies shots once a year.
However, Muntuerto said they will have a different pricing plan for some breeds that are very large or prone to sickness. In addition, premiums would vary based on the age of the pet from 6 years or older.
“Some breeds, especially mix breed, can be sickly so we have categorized every breed with the help of our veterinary team for us to compute the premium cost,” he explained.
“We made sure these plans are affordable for the type of clients we (will) have. We created payments schemes for our clients' convenience,” he added.
Embrace offers its health plans to dogs and cats only. To avail of their policies, Embrace requires the submission of the following:
* Pet's microchip record (brand, chip number, date of implant, clinic)
* Vaccination record (signed by client's veterinarian)
* Medical history record (verified by client's veterinarian
* Current anti-rabies certificate (date administered, expiry date, clinic)
“We require our pet clients to be microchipped before they can avail of our plans. This is for their identification and for tracking purposes in case they get stolen or lost. If we are unable to recover our pet clients, it will be classified as accident,” said Muntuerto.
Tampering a pet's microchip will automatically void its health care coverage.
Muntuerto also said that their veterinarians will assess the pets' health conditions by doing laboratory tests so Embrace can offer the best plan possible.
At present, Embrace has accredited only members of Cebu Companion Animal Practitioners Association (CCAPA), but “are still hoping for more invitations from other group of veterinarians to expand our services in the country,” Muntuerto said.
Expanding its operations nationwide, particularly in Metro Manila, is definitely part of the plan. Muntuerto said they are currently looking for partner veterinary hospitals in Luzon and Mindanao.
He explained that their Cebu clients only need to coordinate with accredited veterinary hospitals in the province. In the meantime, for clients outside Cebu, he said Embrace must make special arrangements with veterinary hospitals and clinics to accommodate them.
Aside from pet owners, Embrace is also keen on signing up breeders and importers of pets.
“We can offer them special arrangements so they can offer Embrace pet care to their retail clients. We will make sure it's a win-win situation for us and our partners to earn using our services,” Muntuerto said.
Embrace plans to slowly roll out nationwide its pioneering pet insurance in the next six months.
“We make sure that this product will work to serve pet lovers nationwide. I'm now confident to say that we are ready.”
* Water hyacinths: the new cat's cradle!