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Survey: 44% are unaware of pet insurance

Many see value in coverage, but the cost and the perceived necessity are stumbling blocks.

Survey: 44% are unaware of pet insurance

Pet health insurance might have a marketing problem — and an opportunity.

The personal finance website Lendedu.com found that 44% of U.S. pet owners surveyed did not know insurance coverage existed. But if awareness is the sticking point, the fact that 9 in 10 policyholders thought the expense was worthwhile might do the trick.

The survey results, released Aug. 12, came less than two weeks after the American Veterinary Medical Association enacted a policy encouraging veterinary health care teams to proactively educate clients about the existence of pet insurance.

Among those who declined to buy insurance, according to the survey, 40% cited the cost and 39% thought coverage wasn’t necessary.

The online questionnaire of 1,000 pet owners also revealed:

  • The average owner spent $327 to purchase a dog and $90 to buy a cat.
  • The average monthly spending on a dog was $153 versus $95 on a cat.
  • Food consumed 55% of monthly pet expenses.
  • 11% of respondents delayed having a child and 8% put off marriage because of a pet.
  • When it came to health care dollars, 46% spent just as much or more on the pet’s needs as they did on themselves.
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