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Employers offer pet insurance as employee perk

LOS ANGELES — Melissa Yoakam jokingly calls her dog Shadow her "car payment" because she pays $250 a month for the 12-year-old's cancer treatments.

She'd pay far less if she had pet insurance, but she didn't take advantage of it when Shadow was younger and when he got cancer it was too late. She uses her experience to convince colleagues not to make the same mistake.

"I should have it but I don't," she lamented.

Yoakam is well-versed in the subject as benefits manager at Chipotle Mexican Grill, which is one of a growing number of companies that discount and subsidize pet insurance as a perk to workers.

The nation's oldest and largest pet insurer, Veterinary Pet Insurance, offers policies at one in three Fortune 500 companies, as well as 3,400 other companies and associations across the nation, said company president Scott Liles.


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