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Pet insurance growing as an employee benefit option

Originally posted on https://www.stockhouse.com

An increasing number of companies in North America are offering pet insurance to employees in an effort to attract better hiring candidates, U.S. experts say.

According to Veterinary Pet Insurance president Scott Liles, around 3400 companies and associations offer the benefits as an employee enticement and retention tool.

Nevada’s largest employer, MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM, Stock Forum), added pet insurance for employees in 2006 and Chipotle (NYSE: CMGStock Forum) has been offering the benefits since 2002.

Of the 165 million pets estimated to reside in the United States, only a small portion are covered by pet insurance, but as veterinary costs rise, an increasing number of employers are providing it as part of their benefits package, with Chipotle subsidizing $10 per month, per pet, for up to three per employee.

The organization says only around a hundred employees take them up on the offer, which covers the low end of pet insurance costs of anywhere up to $57 a month, according to a company official talking with UPI.

Pet retailer PetSmart (NYSE: PETMStock Forum) offers insurance for employee pets, offering comprehensive coverage for illness and accidents, coverage for tests, X-rays, medication, hospitalization and surgery, a 5 per cent group rate discount and enrolment fee waiving, and death benefits.

-Chris Parry, Stockhouse.com