How Common Is Pet Insurance?

How Common Is Pet Insurance?
Thinking of adding a pet insurance policy to your insurance repertoire to protect Fido or Fifi from medical emergencies and yourself from the choice of paying an unaffordable vet bill or losing your precious pet?
Pet insurance has seen record growth in the US and Canada in the last few years and is now a billion-dollar industry. There are good reasons for insuring your pet, and many are jumping on the pet protection bandwagon – but how common exactly is pet insurance in America at present?

Insuring Our Dogs & Cats
The birth of pet insurance occurred 100 years ago in the land of Sweden, where today, more pets are insured (on a percentage basis, around 50%) than in any other country on Earth. In the US, only around 1% of pets are currently insured, but that number is growing by around 15% to 20% year on year – an amazing pace!

There are now over 2 million insured dogs and cats in the US & Canada combined and a dozen major providers of pet insurance, with many other smaller companies also taking a significant share of the market by offering lower rates and bundle up deals.

Sixty percent of US households own a dog, 47% a cat, 15% a fish, 8% a bird, 7% a rodent or other other small animal, 5% a reptile, and 3% a horse. But almost all insured pets are either canine or feline, aside from a few “exotic” animals that select companies will insure. And there is a big disparity between dogs and cats too: around 1.5 million US dogs are insured, whereas, the same can be said for only 200,000 US cats.

Overall, more than two-thirds of US households own one or more pets of some sort or another, and many of them could benefit by buying a smartly designed, affordable pet insurance policy.

What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Given the continually rising costs of veterinary care, and the prospect of being forced to pay thousands of dollars for a life-saving or otherwise necessary treatment for your dog or cat, managing that risk through pet insurance is a sensible option.

As with all insurance, you have to balance the risk against the cost. On average, most pet policies cost only $40 to $50 per month, but it depends on the breed of your pet, its health history and hereditary risks, and how much coverage you want to buy.

A basic pet insurance policy will generally cover all of the following:

  • Preventative care, such as a discount on your regular veterinary visits.
  • Spaying and neutering when deemed necessary or desirable.
  • Pet ER visits. This can be a big cost if you have to pay it all out of pocket.
  • Pet hospitalization stays, which are also rather pricey for major surgeries or extended stays.
  • Chronic and ongoing conditions, although congenital and hereditary conditions may be excluded unless you add them as a rider.
  • Prescriptions medications for your dog or cat.
  • Therapy meant to correct physical and/or psychological problems.

You pay a monthly premium and will have a deductible as with human insurance, but unfortunately, pre-existing conditions are not mandated under the ACA – so enroll before a serious condition arises!

To learn more about pet insurance, how it works, and why you might want it for your dog or cat, contact Flagler County Insurance Agency today!