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. 91% of U.S. pet parents consider their pets to be family members and 81% consider their pets as equal members of the family
  3. 50% of pet insurance policyholders file a claim each year
  4. 35% of pet insurance claims are for chronic conditions (ongoing issues with recurring vet bills)
  5. Less than 1% of pet parents have pet insurance even though healthcare costs are increasing faster than human healthcare
  6. Pet insurance is one of the fastest growing voluntary employee benefits
  7. No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions, which is why you should cover your pet sooner rather than later
  8. Dog owners spend an average of $257 per year on routine vet expenses and $474 per year on surgical vet visits
  9. Allergies/atopy is one of the most common pet insurance claims for dogs
  10. In 2015, 1.6 million pets in the U.S. and Canada were insured which is a 12% increase from 2014
  11. Pet insurance premiums in 2015 were $774 million, a 17.2% increase from 2014
  12. In 2015, annual premiums averaged $464 per pet in the U.S. for accident and illness plans
  13. Accident-only average premiums for dogs have increased from $156.60 (2013) to $159.26 (2014) to $164.16 (2015)
  14. In 2016, $15.95 billion was spent on vet care for pets in the U.S.
  15. Vet care in America is estimated to reach $16.62 billion in 2017
  16. In 2017, 68% of U.S. households (84.6 million homes) own a pet
  17. 85% of all insured pets are dogs, while only 15% are cats
  18. Comparing pet insurance rates online can save up to 26% on your plan
  19. Every 2.5 seconds a pet receives emergency care in the U.S.
  20. A pet owner is given a vet bill of more than $1,000 every 6 seconds
  21. Every year, 1 in 3 pets need emergency vet care
  22. 1/3 of dogs get cancer, which can cost more than $10,000 and sometimes up to $20,000
  23. The average pet insurance enrollment age for a pet is 3 1/2 years
  24. The annual cost of owning a dog averages $1,843
  25. Owning a pet has many health benefits including heart disease prevention, stress reduction and lowering blood pressure
  26. Owners spend an annual average of $474 on dogs for surgical vet visits ($245 for cats)
  27. Sick pets who visit the vet cost owners $204 per year for dogs ($244 annually for cats)
  28. Emergency vet visits cost owners $349 per year dogs ($154 for cats and $471 for horses)
  29. Owners spend an average of $102 per year for heartworm medication for dogs ($65 for cats)
  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)
  31. Routine vet visits cost $257 on average for dogs ($182 for cats and $549 for horses)
  32. Dog owners visit the vet an average of 2.7 times per year (2.2 for cat owners)
  33. Routine physicals are the most popular service at the vet
  34. Purebred dogs are at an increased risk for health issues opposed to mixed breed dogs
  35. The most unhealthy dogs:
    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
  36. Dog breeds with the least health problems:
    1. Mixed Breed Dogs
    2. Australian Cattle Dog
    3. Beagle
    4. Border Collie
    5. Siberian Husky
  37. The 5 most common dog illnesses:
    1. Skin Allergies
    2. Ear Infections
    3. Non-Cancerous Skin Mass
    4. Skin Infections
    5. Arthritis
  38. The 5 most common cat illnesses:
    1. Bladder or Urinary Tract Disease
    2. Dental Disease
    3. Chronic Kidney Disease
    4. Vomiting
    5. Excessive Thyroid Hormone

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: American Pet Products, InsuranceNewsNetNAPHIA, Pet Life Today

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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3 Comments on "38 Pet Insurance Stats & Facts"

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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.?

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