Pet Health Insurance One of Fastest-Growing Workplace Perks

Millions of U.S. employees will soon be electing their 2019 workplace benefits during the fall open enrollment period. Pet health insurance is quickly becoming one of the most requested voluntary benefits as its popularity continues to skyrocket among U.S. employers looking to attract, engage and retain pet-owning employees.

A recent study conducted by Nationwide, in partnership with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), reveals that 90 percent of employees in pet friendly workplaces feel highly connected to their company’s mission; fully engaged with their work; and willing to recommend their employer to others. In contrast, less than 65 percent of employees in non-pet friendly workplaces made the same claims.

Additionally, more than three times as many employees at pet friendly workplaces report a positive working relationship with their boss and co-workers, significantly more than those in non-pet friendly environments. Moreover, these employees are more likely to stay with a company long term. The findings held true even among non-pet owners in both pet friendly and non-pet friendly workplaces.

Below are key findings from the Nationwide/HABRI pet friendly workplace effectiveness study:

A pet friendly workplace is defined in the study as one that allows pets in the workplace (regularly or occasionally) and/or offers a pet friendly employee benefit, such as pet health insurance.

Employee Respondents: 2,002 U.S. full-time employees who spend a majority of their time working in an office environment with businesses that have 100+ employees.

Work in Pet Friendly Workplace

Work in Non-
Pet Friendly Workplace

Engagement

  • Feel fully engaged with their work
  • Feel their work is rewarding and exciting

91%

83%

65%

46%

Attraction

  • Would recommend their place of employment to others

88%

51%

Retention

  • Plan to stay at the company for next 12 months
  • Would decline a job offer with another company at similar pay
  • Feels the company supports their physical health and wellness
  • Feels the company supports their mental well-being

88%

72%

91%

89%

73%

44%

59%

53%

Relationships

  • Report a positive working relationship with their supervisor
  • Report a positive working relationship with co-workers

52%

53%

14%

19%

Presenteeism

  • Rarely miss a day of work for well-being and/or recuperation

85%

77%

“The results of the Nationwide/HABRI study clearly indicate a significantly higher level of employee engagement, retention, attraction and presenteeism among employees that work in pet friendly work environments,” said Scott Liles, vice president and chief pet insurance officer for Nationwide. “In consideration of the discernable cost of employee turnover, adding pet friendly benefits such as pet health insurance can provide significant savings to a company’s bottom line.”

When viewed across generations, millennials are far more likely than their Generation X and baby boomer counterparts to value a pet friendly work environment, according to the Nationwide/HABRI pet friendly workplace effectiveness study:

If my workplace was pet friendly…

Millennials

Generation X

Baby Boomers

  • I would be more satisfied

58%

45%

36%

  • I would feel more engaged with my work

51%

39%

30%

  • I would be more likely to recommend my employer to others

55%

40%

31%

  • I would likely decline a job offer with similar pay

46%

34%

25%

“Pet owners increasingly think of their pets as members of the family,” said Steven Feldman, executive director of HABRI. “When employers offer pet friendly benefits, it sends an important signal that the company cares about every member of the family, even the ones with four legs.”

With more than 700,000 insured pets, Nationwide is the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the United States. Nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies, and more than 6,000 U.S. companies overall, offer Nationwide pet insurance as a voluntary employee benefit.

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