JACKSON, Mississippi (AP) — More Mississippi dogs, cats, reptiles and birds could be insured against high medical bills thanks to a law passed in the Mississippi state Senate Wednesday. there is.
Senate Bill 2228 was created by Republican Senator Walter Michelle from Ridgeland to create a “comprehensive legal framework under which pet insurance can be sold” in Mississippi. The bill would amend Mississippi law to allow health and life insurance agents, as well as brokers licensed to sell property and casualty insurance, to sell pet insurance.
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, annual premiums for the pet insurance industry in 2021 will increase more than 30.5% from 2020 to reach approximately $2.8 billion.Approximately 4 million pets in the US are insured
Insurance companies are advocating pet insurance bills across the country so they can provide consistent health coverage for animals, Michelle said.
“When your health insurance agent is at your parents’ house and you’re talking about selling insurance for Bobby and Susie’s family, they can also insure Buddy and Fluffy,” says Michelle. said on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday.
Dogs and cats are the main beneficiaries, but some plans also cover reptiles and birds.
“It’s not a big deal to understand, Senator,” Michelle said with a slight chuckle on the floor after a colleague asked for clarification on what kinds of proceedings would be covered.
Insurance mainly covers diseases such as bone fractures and cancer. Injuries that are expensive to treat, such as ACL tears in dogs, can have a one-year waiting period under most policies, Michelle said. not.
Brokers should disclose whether their plans exclude animals with pre-existing health conditions or other chronic diseases.
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Cheney will have the authority to regulate the industry. After passing the Senate, the bill will head to the House of Representatives.
Michael Goldberg is a member of the Associated Press/Reports for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a non-profit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to cover hidden issues. Follow him on Twitter. twitter.com/mikergoldberg.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.