Katie Alatorre adopted not one but two mutts thanks to a company perk.
TCWGlobal, a San Diego-based staffing company, offers employees a $100 reimbursement to offset adoption fees or supplies costs. Since 2017, it also began providing a 10 percent discount for pet insurance via Healthy Paws that covers accidents and illnesses.
“It’s amazing that they care about this,” said Alatorre, a global operations training lead who adopted Odin in 2020 and Nala last year. She also took advantage of her company insurance for Odin.
A growing number of companies are becoming more pet-friendly. By providing discounted pet insurance and adoption reimbursements as well as permitting pets at work, companies hope to decrease employees’ stress and increase their productivity.
“As an animal shelter,” said Nina Thompson, director of public relations for the San Diego Humane Society, “we know that pets are one of the greatest joys in life. We want to ensure that our staff has the tools needed to take care of their own pets.”
In addition to pet insurance, employees at the San Diego Humane Society receive discounted Purina for Professionals food and pet training classes. Spay and neuter services, microchips and adoptions are free.
Thompson adopted a 9-year-old pit bull terrier mix late last year. Because she adopted Chica from her employer, Thompson was able to activate 30 days of free pet insurance thanks to the San Diego Humane Society’s partnership with MetLife.
“It gives you peace of mind” to know that Chica was covered while she figured out insurance. She decided to continue with MetLife after the free period expired. Thompson pays $95 a month, which includes her company’s 15 percent discount for employees and $20 wellness program. The wellness addition covers 100 percent of preventative care, which includes vaccines for rabies and leptospirosis, a bacterial disease spread through urine.
Insuring animals is a rising trend. The number of both cats and dogs insured in the U.S. has nearly doubled in three years to 4.85 million in 2022, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.
Sempra, which owns San Diego Gas & Electric and has more than 5,000 employees in San Diego County, began offering pet insurance in 2021. Its employees enjoy an average savings of 30 percent compared to similar plans from other pet insurers. Workers can choose plans that offer 50 to 90 percent reimbursement and can see any veterinarian they choose. The plans cover accidents, illnesses, surgeries, hospitalization, prescription medication or therapeutic diets.
Since 2019, Kidder Mathews, a commercial real-estate firm, has been providing insurance for cats and dogs that costs less than $10 a month.
Other companies provide different pet perks. For example, Ro Health, a San Diego-based staffing company, since 2019 has been letting dogs come to the office on Tuesdays.
In 2020, Dr. Bronner’s, a Vista-based consumer goods company, introduced the bring-your-dog-to-work policy.
“Being a company that advocates for animals, it only made sense to allow employees to bring their fur friends to work,” said Nicky Mujica, HR specialist for Dr. Bronner’s. “Having such a benefit allows employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance … Studies have shown that having a pet and spending time with them can reduce anxiety and stress and boost mood and productivity.”
Clinton Mora is a reporter for Trending Insurance News. He has previously worked for the Forbes. As a contributor to Trending Insurance News, Clinton covers emerging a wide range of property and casualty insurance related stories.