Pet insurance has been available in the USA for more than four decades, and yet the latest statistics from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) say that only about 4 million pets in the USA are insured – that’s only 4% of dogs, and a mere 1% of cats. That stands in stark contrast to some other countries; for example, in the UK 61% of dogs and one-third of cats are covered by health insurance; and in Sweden 9 out of 10 dogs, and half of all cats, are reportedly insured.
A higher proportion of insured pets would be a plus for the veterinary profession – more pet owners able to afford the kind of “gold standard” care that all veterinarians wish for their patients. The good news is that growth in insured pets is outpacing overall growth in the pet population. NAPHIA reports that average annual growth in the number of insured pets in the USA since 2017 has exceeded 20%, and the pace is accelerating: in 2021 the growth was close to 30%. Maybe we can only aspire to reach coverage levels in the UK or Sweden, but we’re moving in the right direction.