Pets Best invests in digital to accelerate claims, drive company growth
With the increase in pet adoptions and virtual appointments over the pandemic, pet health insurance company Pets Best has invested in its digital initiatives to bring an improved insurance experience and affordable coverage to its customers through its mobile app and API-driven technology.
The Pets Best mobile app offers a streamlined approach to pet health insurance; through the app, available on any mobile device, customers can directly manage their payments and account information, access coverage information, and submit claims fully through the platform. The claims process begins with a photo of the customer’s invoice uploaded through the app – after answering some questions, Pets Best will immediately start on the claim.
Walter Haugland, vice president of marketing at the company, explains that Pets Best ensures a faster claims process by investing in technologies that improves the quality of photographs for claims submission.
Pets Best integrated “machine learning techniques and OCR to make sure we capture really good photos and make sure that we’ve got the best possible information from our customers at the time of claim submission,” Haugland explains. “That is going to make that claim submission [and] that claim process faster and easier for the customer.”
Another key feature of the app is the ability to upload your pets’ medical records to one place. This is especially helpful for pet parents with records from specialty veterinarians or history from multiple veterinarian offices. Customers may also use the app’s customer support and Pet Helpline, which is accessible 24/7, to discuss any health-related questions they have with pet experts.
Pets Best has also invested in its API-driven technologies as a part of its distribution strategies. Partners can integrate Pets Best’s APIs to receive real-time quote information, receive payments, and build upon their digital user experience by displaying insurance coverage options and products.
“We want to make it as easy as possible to distribute our product,” says Haugland. “It allows our partners to have more trust in the product that they’re offering… and that the customer’s experience is going to be even better. That’s an area that we’ve really invested in a lot.”
Melissa Gutierrez, Pets Best senior vice president and general manager, adds that the APIs are drivers for the insurance company’s growth.
“Pet insurance has not always been distributed through conventional insurance channels… I would say when I arrived [at Pets Best], it was really clear to me that we were ahead on [digitizing]…you’ve got a customer facing capability or a website, and allowing that customer to be able to quote insurance and even make a payment through that organization’s digital interface to the customer, I think it is a great capability,” she says. “So it’s been really exciting to see we’ve continued to enhance it.”
Pets Best continues to plan its investment in digital, especially in its claims processes and mobile app features. According to Gutierrez, the pet insurance company plans to continue working on its image capture feature to improve image quality, accelerating claims timeframes. Pets Best is also looking at digitizing medical records in its systems, “which is a complex undertaking,” Gutierrez adds.
“We’re trying to make claims quicker, faster…” says Gutierrez. “We are looking at machine learning on the back-end for adjudicating claims and using smart models to really be able to make the process faster and faster for the pet parent. That is a big part of our priority. And it has a lot to do with our mission, which is that we do want people to buy this insurance and then be able to use it and actually extract the value for the premium they’re paying.”