38 Pet Insurance Stats & Facts

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Dog with reading glasses onPet insurance industry growth is going gangbusters and can likely be attributed to the increasing cost of veterinary care and the increasing stature of pets in the family unit. Also, the cost (aka insurance premium) remains super affordable for most plans. We review the major players in pet insurance every quarter and thought it’d be fun and helpful for our readers to see the commonalities and stats rather than always focusing on what makes each company different. Below are some pet insurance trends that fascinated us and we think may surprise you too.

38 Pet Insurance Statistics & Facts

  1. The #1 reason pet owners buy pet insurance is that they, “Want to make decisions about my pet’s health care without worrying about whether or not I could afford the procedure.”2
  2. 91% of U.S. pet parents consider their pets to be family members and 81% consider their pets as equal members of the family2
  3. 50% of pet insurance policyholders file a claim each year2
  4. 35% of pet insurance claims are for chronic conditions (ongoing issues with recurring vet bills)2
  5. Less than 1% of pet parents have pet insurance even though healthcare costs are increasing faster than human healthcare4
  6. Pet insurance companies allow you to use any licensed veterinarian, clinic or specialist in the U.S.2
  7. No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions, which is why you should cover your pet sooner rather than later2
  8. Dog owners spend an average of $257 per year on routine vet expenses and $474 per year on surgical vet visits1
  9. Allergies are one of the most common pet insurance claims for dogs4
  10. In 2015, 1.6 million pets in the U.S. and Canada were insured which is a 12% increase from 20143
  11. Pet insurance premiums in 2015 were $774 million, a 17.2% increase from 20143
  12. In 2015, annual premiums averaged $464 per pet in the U.S. for accident and illness plans3
  13. Accident-only average premiums for dogs have increased from $156.60 (2013) to $159.26 (2014) to $164.16 (2015)3
  14. More than 30% of dogs and cats in the UK are insured and greater than 40% in Sweden have pet insurance2
  15. Vet care in America is estimated to reach $16.62 billion in 20174
  16. In 2017, 68% of U.S. households own a pet (84.6 million homes)1
  17. 85% of all insured pets are dogs, while only 15% are cats2
  18. Comparing pet insurance rates online can save up to 26% on your plan2
  19. Every 2.5 seconds a pet receives emergency care in the U.S.2
  20. A pet owner is given a vet bill of more than $1,000 every 6 seconds2
  21. Every year, 1 in 3 pets need emergency vet care2
  22. 1/3 of dogs get cancer, which can cost more than $10,000 and sometimes up to $20,0002
  23. The average pet insurance enrollment age for a pet is 3 1/2 years2
  24. The annual cost of owning a dog averages $1,8434
  25. Owning a pet has many health benefits including heart disease prevention, stress reduction and lowering blood pressure4
  26. Cat owners spend an annual average of $245 for surgical vet visits and $182 for routine visits1
  27. Sick pets who visit the vet cost owners $204 per year for dogs ($244 annually for cats)4
  28. Emergency vet visits cost owners $349 per year dogs ($154 for cats and $471 for horses)4
  29. Owners spend an average of $102 per year for heartworm medication for dogs ($65 for cats)4
  30. Flea and tick control products cost an average of $85 per year for dog owners ($77 for cat owners and $102 for horse owners)4
  31. Routine vet visits cost $549 for horses4
  32. Dog owners visit the vet an average of 2.7 times per year (2.2 for cat owners)4
  33. Routine physicals are the most popular service at the vet4
  34. The most unhealthy dogs:4
    1. Cocker Spaniel
    2. German Shepherd
    3. Bulldog
    4. Golden Retriever
    5. Saint Bernard
    6. Basset Hound
    7. Labrador Retriever
    8. Rottweiler
    9. Newfoundland
    10. Miniature Poodle
  35. Dog breeds with the least health problems:4
    1. Mixed Breed Dogs
    2. Australian Cattle Dog
    3. Beagle
    4. Border Collie
    5. Siberian Husky
  36. The 5 most common dog illnesses:4
    1. Skin Allergies
    2. Ear Infections
    3. Non-Cancerous Skin Mass
    4. Skin Infections
    5. Arthritis
  37. The 5 most common cat illnesses:4
    1. Bladder or Urinary Tract Disease
    2. Dental Disease
    3. Chronic Kidney Disease
    4. Vomiting
    5. Excessive Thyroid Hormone
  38. The total U.S pet insurance market is approximately $651 million annually2

How Much Does Pet Health Cost Infographic

We put together some of the top pet health stats above in an informative infographic for you to visualize some of these facts.

Pet health infographic

To embed this infographic on your website, just copy and paste the code below:

Video: How Much Does Vet Care Cost?

This video summarizes some of these stats in visual form, feel free to watch and share with others who you might think could benefit from learning these facts about pet health and its cost.

95% of Americans consider their pet to be a family member, so why don’t you have pet insurance?

Sources: [1] American Pet Products, [2] InsuranceNewsNet, [3] NAPHIA, [4] Pet Life Today

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new pet health insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.
Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

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Wow these are super informative! I had no idea Cockers were the most unhealthy, I have a spaniel and she seems to be a little overweight but she’s a sweetie and I want to make sure she stays healthy so will look into getting her some insurance.

Jenn H
I love the number two statistic! Our pup Lassie is definitely a member of the family, we treat her with the same respect we do our own children. Are dogs the most popular pets in the U.S.?