The federal government will allow a small company to offer cheaper auto insurance for pets.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) announced Tuesday it will allow pet insurance companies to sell pet insurance through their websites and mobile apps, a move that would bring competition to the pet insurance market.
“This is the beginning of the end of a broken industry and the beginning, I think, of the beginning for a whole new era for pet owners,” AVMA President Scott Caccici said in a statement.
The organization said its members were encouraged to sign up for pet insurance.
The announcement comes as the federal government seeks to slash premiums for pet and family policies, and as some insurers have cut costs for pet policies.
“We’re working with states to find a way to expand access to affordable, high-quality pet insurance,” said Mike Balsam, chief executive of Pet Insurance Network, a company that helps pet owners access pet insurance, in a written statement.
The federal government is planning to slash premium rates for pet policyholders by an average of about 2 percent for 2017, and by 3 percent for 2018.
Some pet owners are pushing for the government to allow pet insurers to sell policies on their websites.
But other pet owners oppose the move, saying the government should only allow the carriers to sell insurance for animals.
In recent years, some insurers offered pet insurance plans for $250,000 to $300,000.
They were often more expensive than the current average pet insurance rates.
Many pet owners say the federal subsidy encourages pet insurance carriers to increase premiums.
Insurers are also asking the government for permission to expand their policies to include dogs and cats, or to offer higher-priced coverage for pets, which they say could help lower costs for families and small businesses.