A few pet insurance facts
Back in 1890, Claes Virgin, the founder of Länsförsäkrings Alliance, wrote the very first pet insurance—he was then focused on horses and livestock. In 1982, the first pet insurance policy was sold in the U.S., issued to the owner of Lassie, the famous Rough Collie pup that starred in the 1943 movie Lassie Come Home.
Many pet owners believe that pet insurance is a variation of human health insurance; in fact, this policy is more of a form of property insurance, meaning that pet insurance reimburses the owner after the pet has received care and the owner submits a claim to the insurance company. In the U.S. and some other countries, pet policies also include third-party liability insurance, which will cover the costs if a dog bites someone. This type of coverage can also be attained through the Personal Liability Protection under a standard renter’s insurance, but some insurance companies might require the purchase of additional coverage.
The good news is that evermore people are insuring their pets. The American Pet Products Association (APPA) has published the results of the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey and these show that 68 percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet. The first ever survey conducted on the topic took place in 1988, when 56 percent of U.S. households were pet owners. The North American Pet Health Insurance Association reports that pet health insurance sector posted record growth in 2017, with combined gross written premiums hitting $1.2 billion. This translates to a 23 percent increase in gross written premiums over 2016.
The less good news is that if you’re a renter, your landlord might require you to present them your pet insurance. In some cases, having renter’s insurance may help, but some properties are now requiring additional coverage for residents’ four-legged friends.