Pets And Health Insurance

Courtesy of iii.org

The pet insurance industry got its start almost a century ago in Sweden where about half that country’s pets are now insured. In North America, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., a subsidiary of Nationwide, sold its first pet insurance policy in 1982 to cover the dog playing Lassie on television.

The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) reports North America’s pet health insurance sector posted record growth in 2017, with combined gross written premiums hitting $1.2 billion. This represents a 23 percent increase in gross written premiums over 2016. The total number of pets insured in the U.S. and Canada reached 2.1 million at year-end 2017 up by 17 percent from 2016. According to NAPHIA, there are 12 major pet insurance companies in North America.

Pet ownership in the United States

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). This is up from 56 percent of U.S. households in 1988, the first year the survey was conducted.

NUMBER OF U.S. HOUSEHOLDS THAT OWN A PET, BY TYPE OF ANIMAL

PetNumber
Dog60.2
Cat47.1
Freshwater fish12.5
Bird7.9
Small animal6.7
Reptile4.7
Horse2.6
Saltwater fish2.5

Source: American Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

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TOTAL NUMBER OF PETS OWNED IN THE UNITED STATES, BY TYPE OF ANIMAL

(millions)

PetNumber
Freshwater fish139.3
Cat94.2
Dog89.7
Bird20.3
Saltwater fish18.8
Small animal14.0
Reptile9.4
Horse7.6

Source: American Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

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TOTAL U.S. PET INDUSTRY EXPENDITURES, 2007-2017 (1)

YearExpenditure
2007$41.2
200843.2
200945.5
201048.4
201151.0
201253.3
201355.7
201458.0
201560.3
201666.8
201769.4 (2)

(1) Includes food, supplies and over-the-counter medicine, veterinarian care, live animal purchases and grooming and boarding.
(2) Estimate.

Source: American Pet Products Association’s 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey.

BASIC ANNUAL EXPENSES FOR DOGS AND CATS (1)

ExpenseDogCat
Surgical vet$474$245
Routine vet257182
Food235235
Food treats7256
Kennel boarding322164
Vitamins5846
Groomer/grooming aids8430
Toys4730