The US pet insurance market – and the number of pets insured – increased by nearly a third between 2020 and 2021 but experts say there's still "a long way to go"
The US pet insurance market increased by nearly a third last year and could be worth a staggering $4.68 billion in 2022 if it keeps growing at its current rate. Figures released by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) show that, in terms of gross premiums, it was worth $2.59bn – a remarkable 30.4% rise in the year from 2020 to 2021.
The number of pets insured also increased by 28.4%, reaching total of 3,979,282. A similar leap would see around 5.1 million pets insured in 2022. Both sets of figures were partly fuelled by a swell in pet numbers since the beginning of the pandemic.
“The societal and behavioral changes we are experiencing around our relationships with pets have contributed greatly to an unprecedented period of growth for our industry,” Kristen Lynch, Executive Director of NAPHIA, said during the launch of its State of the Industry 2022 report. “A record number of household pet adoptions and purchases during the pandemic, combined with continued work-from-home arrangements, and pet owners’ desire to mitigate unexpected veterinary costs have contributed to even higher growth rates in the past several years.”
When a single claim can cost in excess of $10,000 for conditions like cancer and broken bones, this clearly good news for those animals who have been insured, not to mention the pet parents whose finances and minds will have been eased by getting cover – but industry experts have warned that there’s still much to do.
“It’s great to see that more Americans are making the smart move for them and for their pets,” said Alex Stone, CEO of Petted.com. “However, we’re on a mission to get every pet in America insured and right now the numbers are tiny in percentage terms. The report shows that, while the rates have increased, only 2.48% of pets in the US are insured, and 3.1% in Canada. They’re also concentrated in certain areas – California, New York and Florida account for over a third of all insured pets in the US. There’s a very long way to go, so I implore pet parents to get their pets insured.
“Vet bills are rising and 59% of Americans have less than $500 in savings. According to NAPHIA, the average monthly premium is just $28.57 for a cat and $48.66 for a dog, which is less than in 2018. Pet insurance covers you when the worst happens and protects you from the agony of not being able to pay for your pet’s medical treatment. It literally saves lives.”