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Pet insurance continues double-digit growth

Owners of 2.5 million U.S. dogs and cats paid $1.56 billion in premiums in 2019.

Pet insurance continues double-digit growth

U.S. dog and cat owners spent $1.56 billion on pet health insurance in 2019, a 24.3% jump, as the number of covered animals rose by 16.7%, to just over 2.5 million.

The performance was outlined in the North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s 2020 State of the Industry Report, an accounting of business in the United States and Canada. The 13 companies participating in the report, such as Crum & Forster, Nationwide and Trupanion, sold 97% of all the active policies in 2019.

“Over the past five years, our industry has experienced double-digit increases, with the U.S. average annual growth rate coming in at 22.6%, while Canada’s annual growth rate was 15.4%,” said Rick Faucher, president of NAPHIA’s board of directors. “All indicators point to continued growth in our sector even in 2020, despite some of the COVID-related challenges our market and others continue to face.”

The population of U.S. dogs and cats is estimated at 135 million to 184 million, depending on the source, giving the insurance market a penetration rate of anywhere from 1.4% to 1.9%.

The NAPHIA report, available at bit.ly/3egweBu, also showed that in 2019:

  • 83% of insured U.S. pets were dogs.
  • U.S. dog owners paid an average monthly premium of $48.78 for accident and illness coverage and $16.17 for an accident-only policy. Among cat owners, the numbers were $29.16 and $10.51, respectively.
  • The number of insured U.S. dogs and cats has grown by nearly 1 million since 2016 — from 1,555,224 to 2,517,122.
  • California dogs and cats made up 19.4% of the insured U.S. population and represented 21.4% of the gross written premiums. In Canada, 39.2% of the insured pets lived in Ontario.
  • Combined business in the United States and Canada was $1.717 billion in U.S. dollars. That was a 21% improvement over the 2018 total of $1.42 billion.

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