With the rise in both pet insurance providers and technology for helping pets and pet parents live easier, safer, and healthier lives, it’s really no surprise to see one company, Figo Pet Insurance, bring the two together. Figo is a relatively new pet insurance provider underwritten by Markel American Insurance Company. Figo is based in Chicago and appears to be first and foremost a technology company offering a handful of convenient cloud-based services to help pet parents manage their pet’s activities and health. Their smartphone app, available through both the Apple and Android app stores, promises a one-stop convenient access to all of your pet’s medical records, claims, insurance documents, reminders, and access to the Figo customer service representatives via SMS text messaging services.
Unfortunately, the features of the app are only available to their insurance subscribers. On the one hand, it’s understandable why they chose this route, but it strikes us as exceptionally shortsighted. Many of the features and benefits of the application could be quite useful to any pet parent, and would be an excellent means to help spread the word about Figo pet insurance and generate more customers for the company. We’re willing to bet they’ll figure this out on their own in the near future and open it up to all pet parents, but only time will tell.
Until then, here is what their app, known as the Figo Pet Cloud, promises:
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Inbox and Docs. Each account links with a unique email address so documents can be emailed and easily uploaded and/or shared with your veterinarian, etc.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Pets & Tags. Along with your account you receive a unique pet tag. When your pet is found the person can enter the tag information on their site (or app) and it will immediately notify multiple persons of your choice by test and/or phone calls.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Near Me. Location-based listings for nearby pet-friendly parks, hotels, services, etc.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Shots & Reminders. Keep record of vaccinations and appointments and receive text or email reminders.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Insurance Policy. Your policy information at the tip of your finger.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Claims. Easy online filing for all claims.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Pet GPS.** Partnering with Gibi, a collar-attached GPS monitor, the Pet Cloud app allows you to monitor your pet’s location and set safe zones to alert you if your pet strays.[/list_item]
As for the Figo Pet Insurance plans, they appear at least on paper to be pretty good. As we cover in our How To Shop For Pet Insurance post, Figo does offer all the desirable features and benefits.
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Comprehensive Coverage. You always want a plan that covers all accidents and illnesses, including any congenital or hereditary issues.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Unlimited Benefits. Figo does have lesser plans, but one of their policy options, called Ultimate, offers unlimited coverage in terms of total costs.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Annual Deductible. Having to pay your deductible only once each year, regardless of the number of claims, is always better. This means even if your dog gets multiple sicknesses or injuries you do not need to continually first pay the deductible in any given year.[/list_item]
[list_item icon=”fa-caret-right” color=”696868″]Actual Veterinary Bill Payout Model. Some veterinarians and some markets will charge more for the same injury or illness than others. With a payout model based on the actual veterinary bill you don’t need to worry about being short-changed by your insurance company claiming they only pay up to a certain amount based on nationwide averages.[/list_item]
This isn’t intended to be either a recommendation or a review. We learned about Figo from an industry trade show and were interested in learning more. As we are not a customer we couldn’t test the full features of the application and have no insight into just how well the company handles claims, reimbursement, etc. Overall, we like what Figo is offering but our assessment is they are still very early in development and we look forward to taking a closer look in the months to come to see how it evolves. The combination of an application including your pet’s healthcare management along with your insurance policy and extra features like a GPS tracker and the Near Me listings promise to be really helpful and convenient. We expect others will begin to combine the same in the near future.
** The Pet GPS feature with Gibi requires a separate purchase for both the device and a service plan. While researching the option, the device appears to cost around $100, but the service plan costs are unknown.