Veterinary care is expensive, and like almost everything else these days, it’s not immune to inflation. The average cost of emergency pet care is between $800 and $1,500, yet 97% of pets in the U.S. are uninsured.
And, as a friend described it so succinctly to me recently, think of it this way: Pet insurance was the health insurance for the American people before the Affordable Care Act. Meaning, there is no pet insurance for pets with pre-existing conditions. Therefore, any treatment for pets with pre-existing conditions is at their own expense and expensive. Millennials are the largest group of pet owners who are willing to spend twice as much on pets as previous generations, but given these insurance rates, not enough pet owners are financially prepared for emergencies .
Human health insurance is hard to figure out, but pet insurance is a whole different animal (pardon the pun), not to mention given the constraints that exist Say how hard it is to compare plans between different providers. What is the biggest pain point of pet insurance at present, and how is Fursure better than the insurance currently on the market? The whole process of finding the right pet insurance policy sucks. First, people don’t know what pet insurance covers, and it doesn’t work like human health insurance, so it’s doubly confusing. As you said, no policy will cover pre-existing conditions, and on top of that, most insurance companies do not cover routine health expenses, so preventive care (which accounts for the bulk of your annual veterinary care expenses) is the same as Accidents and illnesses are separate and generally excluded unless added or purchased separately. Second, people don’t know who the players in the pet insurance market are. They’ll Google and see names like Trupanion, Pets Best, Figo, etc., but don’t know who to trust to keep their loved ones healthy. In the end, people end up just wanting to know what’s best for them and their particular pet, there’s a lot of noise in the market. Our national pet insurance marketplace solves these problems by making pet insurance approachable, with a modern buying process, giving pet parents time, money and the confidence to protect their entire family. With Fursure, there are no hidden charges or surprises when you work with one of our pet insurance experts. We’re an unbiased and free-to-use resource that makes the process as seamless as possible. We start by explaining in plain language what is covered, what is not covered, what the various terms mean, how providers compare and what factors are important when buying a plan. We then provide you with personalized advice and guidance on the best policy for you and your situation. We make sure you know from the start how much you’ll pay your provider for your coverage, help you get your policy, and provide an end-to-end solution for policy management and renewal. Responsible pet owners do a lot for their cats and dogs, and we are all used to getting basic checkups and vaccinations for food, treats, toys, grooming, and routine trips to the veterinarian Enhancer’s budget. However, pet insurance is probably the one cost that most pet owners ignore but should consider the most. How does Fursure get these pet owners to buy pet insurance? We believe the most important things that deter pet parents from choosing pet insurance are transparency, trust and education. Purchasing pet insurance shouldn’t be expensive, confusing or time-consuming, we strive to make it a quick and easy process while also explaining the importance of pet insurance. Pet accident and sickness insurance is almost like auto or home insurance…you hope you never need it, but if you must use it, you will appreciate it. Too many pet parents have to choose between emptying their bank accounts or saying goodbye to their beloved pets. Having pet insurance means you can confidently know you’ll never have to make that harrowing choice. On the other hand, a health plan is more similar to health insurance, and you will feel a greater impact on the daily value. Wellness plans cover those costs you’d typically see on healthy pets, such as vaccines, heartworm prevention, spay/neuter, and even teeth cleaning. Almost all insurance policies don’t cover these costs, so it’s a best practice to bundle these two services together so you can fully protect your pet and yourself. Our Fursure Card is an alternative for those without a health plan, as the points you earn can be used for all veterinary care, so you can offset those costs in a smart and simple way. Not every pet parent needs pet insurance; considering the restrictions on pre-existing conditions, for pets with many existing conditions, it may not make sense to buy an expensive plan that doesn’t cover everything one might want to cover . The same goes for older pets and pet parents who can pay tens of thousands of dollars out of pocket and can afford self-insurance. But for many people, they can use pet insurance or a savings account, or both, to protect against unexpected large bills in a lifetime and give you peace of mind. More and more pet parents have insurance on their inventory when they first get a pet from a shelter or breeder.
How is the company funded? Is it self-funding or are you contacting investors? What is the financing process like? When we conducted research and interviewed hundreds of pet parents, veterinarians, insurance companies, and shelters, we launched the company to understand the biggest pain points. We raised a friend and family round as pre-seed in March 2020, which just happened to be the start of the pandemic, with shelter-in-place lockdown restrictions in the Bay Area, investors running around trying to help their portfolio companies, many of them Income figures plummeted. In hindsight, it was the worst time to raise money for an early-stage company in years, but I’m grateful for Fursure’s first check, and those who believed in me worked with me at Facebook, or saw me from childhood. We raised an oversubscribed seed round in April 2021 after we built a customer base that loved us and had strong early traction. Since then, we have launched the first-of-its-kind rewards debit card, offering great value points for pet spending, with broad appeal and expanding our reach to pet parents; proposed by existing and new investors Investing in the seed plus round, we are now closing. The market is crazy, so raising capital is not easy, but it’s amazing how the process helped us find extraordinary investors who believed in us and the problems we were solving. Looking to the next five years, how do you want Future to grow? What kind of services do you want to add in the future? We plan to continue to iterate on our foundation as the first financial well-being platform for pet parents. We’ve been talking to our customers, so I know we’ll continue to build the best solutions for the pain points they face. We did this with the Future Card, and after countless conversations, we’ve learned that pet parents want to be rewarded for their pet spending, and provide an easy solution for a rainy day fund. Our market is just the tip of the iceberg where pet parents around the world need to feel confident and empowered with their pet finances, so we plan to build solutions for this pain point and innovate on their behalf.
This is part of Startup Year One, a special series of interviews with founders about what they learn immediately after their first year of business to the main lesson.