An Interview with TrustedPals Founder Places Pets First - 3/2019


  • Author Adam Lavine
  • Published April 7, 2020
  • Word count 695

An interview in March 2019.

It’s easy to see the opportunities in the pet insurance market.

Pet medical care is a major expense. And owners are treating their pets more like a part of the family than ever before. They’d do anything to keep their pets safe and well – they’re no longer pet owners, they’re pet parents.

When Manny Rivera, creator and head of marketing of TrustedPals Pet Insurance Program, says "we don’t want to leave a single pet behind," he means that from the perspective of an insurance professional – and as a pet parent.

With the backing of Marsh, and Zurich North America acting as the insurance carrier, it’s safe to say that the program is in good hands. But Rivera knows there’s more to pet insurance than financial stability.

"Cats and dogs are treated more like children than pets these days – and you wouldn’t treat a child the way some insurers are treating cats and dogs," Rivera continues. "We want to provide the best pet insurance that lets them get the care they need, without delay – just like a human would."

Looking after every whisker

We have just one simple plan, rather than offering different levels of cover which make it harder to tell what’s covered – and what’s not – under each plan.

"Cheaper doesn’t always mean better," says Rivera. "Sometimes it sounds like you’re getting more than you really are. For example, no plan covers pre-existing conditions, but not every plan provider thinks about whether a pet’s been cured or not – which we don’t really think is fair. With our plan, if a pre-existing condition is fully cured, the same condition would be covered if it crops up again."

And then there are injury-only plans which only look out for one set of problems and leave pet parents high and dry if their pet falls sick. We don’t want to put humans or animals in that situation. It’s not fair to offer products that do half the work and leave pets in a sticky situation.

We want to make sure that if they ever need help, they get it from a licensed vet they feel comfortable with. Our plans are comprehensive, with coverage for examinations, treatments, surgeries and prescription medicines – so they get back on all four paws, sooner.

Playing fair

Like all insurance products, TrustedPals plans have exclusions, but Rivera has made sure these are clear as day to customers doing their research. Pet Advisors are experts at educating pet parents to understand every aspect of the scenario.

For people who’d rather look for themselves, there’s a comprehensive FAQs section on the website, which tells them key details about the plan, and answers many questions about pet insurance in general.

We think it’s only fair that pet parents know exactly what they’re buying, and exactly what they can expect. And when you put our plan side-by-side with other plans in the market, you’ll see the difference across the board.

Going further and giving back

Pet parents understand that there are pets less lucky than their own out there – and so do we. Major hurricanes and other natural disasters can displace hundreds of thousands of pets at once.

While it’s important that families have a plan in place for situations like this, in a crisis things can change quickly. And pets can lose their way.

That’s why Rivera set up the TrustedPals donation program – we’re giving away 1% of our profits to help pets affected by natural disasters find new parents. And we’re sending out free pet tags for all the pets who have our plans, to help reunite them with their owners if they can’t find their way home.

"TrustedPals is all about the connection between pets and pet parents," explains Rivera. "It was important to us that we looked beyond the insurance product and found other ways to help pets every day."

"You’d expect the best for any other member of your family," he concludes. "Why should you expect less than the best for your pet?"

I am a freelance writer focused on new startups that make a social impact to society.

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