Find the Best Pet Insurance on This Marketplace | Pawlicy Advisor

Animal Innovations Show - Episode 128 - Pawlicy Advisor

Find the Best Pet Insurance on This Marketplace | Pawlicy Advisor

Want to find the best pet insurance for your fur babies but have no idea where to go? Pawlicy Advisor is your answer!

A pet insurance marketplace, Pawlicy Advisor is a pet care financing platform that operates the same way as Kayak or Priceline. The difference is that they help you look for affordable veterinary care.

According to Woody Mawhinney, who serves as the CEO and co-founder,

“We help people navigate their options and choose one that’s the best fit for their pets’ individual needs and ultimately saves them money not only today but over their pets’ typical lifespan.”

Getting Started With Pawlicy Advisor

If you’re wondering how Woody got into the pet insurance space, it all started when he adopted his first furbaby, Wrigley.

Although he was the happiest pet parent when he got Wrigley, he didn’t know that his furry best friend was actually prone to a lot of different health concerns.

“I remember going to my vet, and they got really excited to see my new animal. Then they asked, ‘Have you thought about pet insurance?’ And I said, ‘No, I’ve never heard of it.’”

At the time, Woody was a Homeland security analyst. Being pretty good with numbers, he took pride in being able to navigate Google to look into pet insurance.

However, he admitted that it wasn’t long when he began researching the topic that he felt like he was in way over his head.

“I couldn’t tell what was best or why, or how many options were out there. Then when my animal ultimately came down with a very serious health condition that a lot of his breeds are prone to get, my vet handed me basically a bill for $200 that I would have to pay each month just for his medication.”

This incident made Woody realize the value of pet insurance pretty quickly.

Finding the Best Health Insurance With Pawlicy Advisor

pawlicy advisor pet insurance

Seeing the need for an insurance product that will help pet parents navigate their pets’ care, Woody believed there was an opportunity to develop a platform that will simplify their experience.

And this is what they’ve tried to build with Pawlicy Advisor.

“We found that over time, as we’ve onboarded more and more partners, we can save people up to 83% over their pets’ lifespan doing the analysis that we do. So, [there are] really tangible savings that people can receive looking at their options on our platform.”

If you’re curious about how it works, the good news is that you can complete the steps in five minutes!

All you need to do is enter your pet’s details in a simple form, and voila! You now have 100+ quotes at your fingertips.

Next, compare the top pet insurance companies you have in your options and filter them out based on your preferences.

Once you’re done, you can now purchase the pet insurance policy that’s perfect for you!

When asked how they make money, Woody said that they only do if and only if you hold on to the policy that they recommended.

So, if you’ve had a bad experience with your initial policy and choose not to go through with it, then Pawlicy Advisor won’t get anything.

“It’s really important because it fosters trust between us and the pet parent that we are going to do a really good matchmaking process… So, we look at pricing and all that and essentially give you what we think is the best option to save you money.”

Learn more about Pawlicy Advisor!

Visit their website at https://www.pawlicy.com/.

Have suggestions for who we should interview next?

Send us a message at [email protected]!

Woody: Hi, I’m Woody Mawhinney, and you’re tuned in to The Animal Innovations Show.

Chris: Excellent introduction, Woody. So tell us, who are you and what are you doing to help and innovate—help animals.

Woody: My name is Woody.

I’m the CEO and co-founder of Pawlicy Advisor. You can think of Pawlicy Advisor as priceline for pet insurance.

So, we’re a marketplace. We help people navigate their options and choose one that’s the best fit for their pet’s individual needs and a policy that will ultimately save them money, not only today, but over their pet’s typical lifespan.

And the way I got into this space is a personal story. I adopted my first animal, a Shar Pei named Wrigley. I adopted because he was adorable, he was cute, he was a good family dog.

And little did I know that Shar Pei’s are prone to a lot of different health risks and health concerns.

And I remember going to my vets, and they got really excited to see my new animal, and they said, “Have you thought about pet insurance?”

And I thought to myself: No, I’ve never heard of it. And hearing that my vet said that it was really important and that I should look into it got me to Google the topic.

Now, at the time, I was a Homeland Security Risk Analyst, so, pretty good with numbers. And I took pride in being able to navigate Google and pet insurance.

And when I began—you know, researching the topic, I felt like I was in way over my head immediately. I couldn’t tell what was best or why or how many options were out there.

And then when my animal ultimately came down with a very serious health condition that a lot of Shar Pei’s are prone to get, and my vet handed me basically, a bill for $200 that I would have to pay each month just for his medication.

I really realized the value of pet insurance pretty quickly, but it never really left me that I had kind of chosen pet insurance on a whim, and I didn’t know what was the best fit to cover that unique condition that my Shar Pei has.

And so, years later, as I was thinking more about the problem, I decided to essentially walk all of Manhattan and talk to as many pet owners as I could find to ask them: Did they have insurance?

And if they did have insurance, do they feel like they got a good deal? And ultimately, what I heard was two things.

If a pet owner did have insurance, they couldn’t tell me whether they got a good deal. If they didn’t have insurance, they couldn’t tell me whether it was worth the money or not.

And so ultimately, when I looked at the problem, I thought, there’s probably a great insurance product out there for every pet owner or a product that will help them navigate their pet’s care, but maybe there’s an opportunity to develop a platform or a product to help pet owners navigate their options to simplify the experience.

So, nobody should ever come away from their experience thinking to themselves, did I get a good deal? Is my pet really well protected now? Am I going to be able to afford that?

And that’s what we’ve tried to build in Pawlicy Advisor. We found that we can save people up to 83% over their pet’s lifespan doing the analysis that we do.

So, really tangible savings that people can receive looking at their options on our platform.

Chris: What a great way to get just some market data I get from people. And you didn’t have any background—It’s not like you are an insurance broker or anything were you?

Woody: No, I wasn’t and I had to—So, I launched Pawlicy Advisor out of business school in New York, and that meant that I had to go get a license to sell insurance.

So, I became a licensed insurance brokerage while I was in school, so I was doing night classes on top of my day-to-day.

And over time, the space has grown tremendously and the amount of research we do has become more robust.

So that, we can maintain sort of that cutting-edge research to be able to do what we do.

Chris: So now, how many years ago did you start this?

Woody: So, I started this in 2018. I was probably doing a lot of the research in the year leading up to April 2018, which is when we launched the business.

Chris: How many different pet insurance companies are there these days?

Woody: Yeah, there are over 30 in the US currently. If you look at more mature markets like the UK, where pet insurance has been around for decades longer, there are over 80.

In the US., it seems like anywhere from 5 to 10 new companies are popping up just about every year at this point.

When I first started the company, there were just over ten.

So, it goes to show how quickly the space is evolving, which is really exciting. It’s really good for consumers and pet owners, because it means that you’re being delivered the best products for the best value, really, today, more so than ever before, even just in terms of one of those categories, coverage or price, or both.

Chris: So now, how does this work, Woody?

Do I come to your site and I pay a fee or something for you to do all this research for me?

Woody: We’re absolutely free.

We really like talking about our business model and I think it’s important for people to understand, and I’m glad we can be transparent about it.

We are a licensed insurance brokerage in every State. So, I’m sure we’re going to get the question: How do you make money if you’re free for consumers visiting your site?

Well, we take an insurance commission from the sale of the products, but what we’ve done that’s different and unique is we standardize that across our partners.

So, when we make a recommendation it’s because we truly believe in it. And then, we only make money if you hold onto that Policy.

It’s really important because it fosters trust between us and the pet parent. That we are going to do a really good matchmaking process. Because we care that you have a good experience now, but also that you continue to have a good experience over time.

Chris: Yeah, I like that, I like the fact that you’re invested in me having a good relationship with whoever you’re ultimately recommending and whoever I sign up with.

Because like you said, you’re only getting paid if I stick with them. If I try them out and hate them and never go back, then that doesn’t do you any good. So, it’s in your best interest to really help me to find the right product.

So, where do you take this? What does the future look like for this?

Woody: As we grow, we expect to continue to grow our partnerships to bring more insurance providers on the platform.

As I mentioned before, there are probably 3 to 5 pet insurance companies launching every year. So, we’ve got to stay on top of that and work with the most trusted brands available.

So, my hope is that we can work a little bit more closely with the nonprofit community to simplify the application and administration of those programs.

Chris: Woody, it sounds like your journey has been short to this point, but you’ve gone through so many twists and turns.

What have you learned about yourself in the process?

Woody: I’ve really learned to rely on, my great team. As a founder, you are out there speaking with pet owners, you’re learning about your consumer.

You get to know them very, very well, but as you grow a team and the responsibility of the company grows as well to better serve customers. And it’s really exciting to see that growth occur.

We’re a small team of twelve, right now, currently operating across the country. We expect to double over time.

But one of the things that I’ve learned very early on is just this idea that: You have to lean on people, you can’t do it all yourself. And the more you can trust and support those people, it leads to a better company and ultimately a better consumer experience on the other end.

Chris: So, why don’t you spell Pawlicy? Because I know It’s spelled a little bit different and we want to make sure people get to the right website.

Woody: PAWLICY.COM and if you’re a veterinarian, you can visit PAWLICY.COM/VET

Chris: Very Cool.

Well, as I wrap up the show today, it’s been really exciting talking to Woody. And for somebody that’s not an insurance broker, by background, I mean, it always starts with an idea.

So just like Woody, if you’ve got an idea for something that can help animals or the people that love them, we want to know about It.

Just go to INNOVATIONS.SHOW and we’d love to have you on the show. And learn about what you’re doing with the product.

And if you can be a volunteer, we’d love to have you at DOOBERT, be a Dooberteer. Just go to DOOBERT.COM to sign up where you can do transport and fostering and help save even more lives.

Woody, thank you so much for coming on. Really excited to hear what you’re doing with Pawlicy and really excited to see what you’re going to do next.

Woody: Thanks for having me on, really appreciate it.

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