Following Generation X, the “Millennials” (also known as Generation Y) represent approximately one-third of the US population. Those in this demographic have birth years ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Most Millennials are just beginning their careers, with the older Millennials in their early thirties.
According to the report “15 Economic Facts About Millennials” by The Council of Economic Advisers (October 2014, whitehouse.gov), Millennials were 27 years old at most when the economic recession brought record unemployment rates in 2007 and 2008. This steered many Millennials into being financially cautious and frugal, causing them to delay home buying, getting married, and starting families.
According to research gathered by petfoodindustry.com, Millennials are the largest US pet-owning population, surpassing the Baby Boomer generation. Of the 75 million Millennials, 35.2% own pets (compared to only 32.8% of Baby Boomers).
Some have suggested that because many Millennials are delaying big life-altering financial decisions, they have more time and money to take comfort in and enjoy the companionship of pets. They also tend to have close relationships with their pets and are especially concerned about keeping their pets in the best shape. Pet health insurance, a relatively new development in the animal care world, is a great option for many of this generation (among others).
Here are reasons Millennials should consider pet insurance:
- Security - Like many Millennials, if you have a dog or cat, you want the best for him or her. Even if you have job security now, chances are that you have experienced how a recession can change anything and can happen at any time. Pet insurance helps you cover expensive vet bills if something happens to your pet and you don't have the financial resources to pay for all the care.
- Frugality - With a small monthly pet insurance bill, you can get assistance with large bills that would otherwise be difficult to pay. You don't want to have to dip into savings or rack up credit card debt to pay for your pet's veterinary care, and pet insurance provides an alternative.
- Being Proactive - Instead of waiting until your pet is REALLY sick, having insurance gives you the assurance that you can go to the vet at any time and insurance will be there to have your back. You want to be able to take your pet to the vet at the first sign of a problem, not wait until things get really bad because you're worried about the cost.
- Freedom - Pet insurance companies allow you to go to any vet anywhere in the US. This means you can move, travel, and change jobs and keep the same pet insurance company. You can see any licensed vet and know you'll be reimbursed.
- An Emergency Plan - Millennials know that bad things can happen with no warning. Trips to an emergency clinic or a specialist can be expensive, but pet Insurance covers both.
- The Good Times - Need to have your pet spayed or neutered? Microchipped? A dental cleaning? Pet insurance can help you even if everything is OK. Wellness care options can help pay for routine procedures, too, such as flea control, heartworm prevention, and vaccines.
- Alternative Treatment Coverage - Many Millennials are open minded and may consider treatment modalities other than traditional drug-based medicine. Depending on the pet insurance company you choose, you might very well have a plan that covers Eastern or alternative therapies!
- No Dropped Plans - Once your pet is covered, they're covered for life. You don't have to worry about them being dropped from coverage as they get older or if they have a lot of claims. Chronic conditions, like allergies and diabetes, can be covered for the life of your pet.
- Discounts - Many pet insurance companies offer discounts if your pet is spayed or neutered, if you have multiple pets on the policy, or if you pay annually.
- Pick Your Policy - Most companies allow you to select the coverage that fits both your budget and your needs.
As a veterinarian, I really like how pet insurance helps dog and cat owners do the best for their pets without worrying about medical care costs. Most veterinarians have euthanized hundreds, if not thousands, of pets because their owners could not afford the care. This is the #1 reason I personally recommend pet insurance. It helps me give the best medical care for my patients with as few restrictions as possible.
- “15 Economic Facts About Millennials.” The Council of Economic Advisers, October 2014 .
- “Baby Boomers, step aside: Millennials now own more pets.”