Lemonade is insuring pets for as little as $10 a month — and it's time get onboard

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/12/24/lemonade-is-insuring-pets-for-as-little-as-10-a-month-and-its-time-get-onboard.html

they do not; however, cover reptiles, avians, ferrets, or other so-called “exotics”.


By depending on their AI and machine learning-driven technology, Lemonade can offer lower rates than those bigger companies.

why do i smell bs

really, they use both AI and machine learning? what about the blockchain tho?


At this point “AI” is just the new word for “computer”


I can’t speak to Lemonade but pet insurance is totally worth it.

Veterinarians are expensive, but they are still mostly affordable for a lot of people. Also, if a person can’t afford a $1k vet bill, are they alternatively going to be willing/able to take on another monthly cost?

My concern is pet insurance is adding another entity in our pocket which will cause vet care costs to increase. You know, like human health care now? With rising vet costs and people unwilling to buy insurance, I’m afraid pets are going to bear even more of burden with less health care.

Insurance exists to make money for the insurance companies.

Do they insure Lemmings?

As a veterinarian, I’m going to argue this.

We see a lot of pets that get euthanized because the rising expenses of modern high quality medicine are slipping out of the reach of your average person.

If you approach pet insurance like house insurance, that’s a good approach. Don’t rely on it for the usual expenses (i.e., do not buy the “wellness” plans etc…), and get a plan that will help make a large unexpected expense affordable for you (animal hit by car, bad but survivable with care disease process etc…).

I’m biased though. I’m the person who has to give the injection when someone’s pocketbook can’t handle a trip to the specialist etc…


I think for me the issue is trying to find insurance that actually provides value. Insurance companies are betting that they will pay out less than I pay them. And they have actuaries and coverage limitations to make sure that is the case.

So, on average, I won’t’t spend any more without insurance than I will with insurance on veterinary care unless the insurance companies get negotiated discount rates that allows them to get more medical care than I could for the same price.

I realize the importance of the point you make which is that when people get sudden large charges and are uninsured, they may make the sad choice that they can’t afford the medical treatment their pet needs to survive, whereas insurance that helps even out the expense over time can help with that.

I’m not trying to argue that insurance is a bad thing, it’s just a value proposition that can be hard for me to evaluate properly since I don’t have an army of actuaries on my side helping me get the best value in pet insurance coverage.

Well, that’s a very reasonable point. Insurance does not pay off for the average person. Even for a “mutual” insurance company, there’s still the overhead of running a business, so your average person is statistically guaranteed not to get back the money you put into it. Insurance is only worth it as a bet that you’re going to be the person with particularly bad luck. But this is true for all insurance. It’s basically a method of spreading risk from an individual to a much larger group.

I tell my clients that if they have the money and discipline to put a bit of money away each month (say, the amount that an insurance policy would cost), then on average they’re likely to come out on top in the long run. If they need the money, it’s there. If not, then well… vacation fund. Then there’s the folks who do suffer an unexpected catastrophic event where their cache is not enough to cover expenses. They’re the population where insurance would help.

As far as I know, they don’t. The percent of total insured pets is like 5% or something like that, and so the insurance companies don’t have that sort of pull with vets. Also, the margins on vet care are considerably thinner than human med, so there would be a lot less wiggle room anyway.

The big problem is that people buy insurance and don’t know what they’re getting (i.e. don’t read or understand their policies). There are cheap plans out there that don’t cover crap, and piss people off, and there are fantastic plans that cover about 90% of expenses across the board with no limits (and are relatively expensive). I’ve seen the expensive plans pay off for individuals (say a $25k+ bill from the specialists), but as you note, statistically that just can’t be the case for the average person.

To argue that insurance isn’t worth it because you aren’t (on average) going to get out what you put into it is a bit of an illogical argument. That’s not the point. The point is to buy into a much larger group to share assumed risk. And there are of course expenses involved with doing that. Insurance will never (on average) pay off for the average consumer. It simply can’t.

Like house insurance, the average person won’t get their principle back. But if you’re unlucky enough to have a house that burns down, is blown over by a derecho, or gets severely damaged by an earthquake, that policy was sure worth it eh?


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