BOISE, Idaho, Sept. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The number of insured dogs and cats in the United States is currently over 1.2 million, however, that makes up only 0.75 percent of the total number of dogs and cats nationwide. With that startling figure in mind, and as part of National Pet Health Insurance month in September, Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC (Pets Best), a leading U.S. pet health insurance agency founded in 2005, has released this new customer data as a State of the Pet Insurance Industry Report to help raise awareness about pet insurance, consumer behaviors and trends. Pets Best collected and analyzed 8,430 customer responses in surveys issued in 2013 and 2016.
At Home, Pets Are More Than Just the "Family Pet"
In the study, over 82 percent of pet insurance customers reported that they consider themselves "pet parents," rather than simply "pet owners," which speaks to the human-animal bond and how Americans' relationships with pets has evolved over the past few decades. Pets are truly being considered as members of the family, not simply "the family pet."
Perhaps one of the most notable trends Pets Best has seen among its customers is that the fastest growing age group is now 25 – 34 year old millennials. From 2005-2010, 25 – 34 year olds represented 5.7 percent of Pets Best pet insurance customers, whereas from 2011-2015, that same age group grew to 16.9 percent of customers. This increasing trend among millennials may speak to another finding in the study, which shows that over half of pet insurance customers (52.8 percent) don't have human children. Additionally, 78 percent of pet insurance customers are female. This also aligns with the growing trend of young women choosing dogs over motherhood, as reported in the NY Post in 2014.
Lastly, 39.6 percent of pet insurance customers adopted their pet from a shelter or rescue, with another 6.4 percent of customers reporting that they adopted their pets when they found them as a stray.
How & Why Pet Owners Opt for Pet Health Insurance Today
According to the survey results, the majority of pet owners (39.2 percent) reported the reason they purchased pet insurance was because they had a previous experience with an expensive veterinary bill. And, prior to having pet insurance, over half the pet insurance customers (50.5 percent) used credit cards to pay for their veterinary bills; with another 7.2 percent of pet parents using a financing option through the veterinary clinic.
The study also found that pet insurance customers visit the veterinarian more often. According to information in the American Veterinary Medical Association's (AVMA) 2012 study*, on average, U.S. pet parents take their dogs to the veterinarian 1.6 times per year, and cats 0.76 times per year. Compare that to pet insurance customers who take their pet to the vet 1-2 times a year for routine care (66.1 percent) and 1-2 times a year for non-routine care (46 percent). Simply put, insured pets are under their vet's care far more often (for both routine and non-routine care).
A third of pet parents (33.7 percent) surveyed first learned about pet insurance at a veterinary clinic. Yet, this is low considering that 56 percent of all veterinarians wished their clients had pet health insurance, according to a recent study by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).
Pets Best is a leading pet insurance brand in the U.S., offering flexible and comprehensive coverage for cats and dogs. When a pet becomes ill or injured, insurance offered by Pets Best allows pet parents to take them to any licensed veterinarian anywhere in the U.S. Pet parents can pay the veterinarian directly and then submit a claim. Most claims are typically processed by Pets Best within five business days and pet parents will enjoy up to 70 - 90 percent off the veterinary bill for covered expenses after the annual deductible is met.
For media inquiries, interview requests or more information about this Industry Consumer Report or Pets Best, please contact Kerry Sutherland, Kerry@KsutherlandPR.com or Stephanie Fasi, Stephanie@ksutherlandpr.com or call (775) 360-6101.
*AVMA 2012 Study concluded the average number of dogs owned per household was 1.6 and for cats it was 2.1; yet the veterinary visits per household per year (mean) for dogs was 2.6 and cats 1.6. Which means each dog goes to the vet 1.6 times per year (2.6 / 1.6 = 1.6). And cats go to the vet .76 times per year (1.6 / 2.1 = .76). https://www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx
About Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC
Dr. Jack L. Stephens, founder of Pets Best, started pet insurance in the U.S. in 1981 with a mission to end euthanasia when pet owners couldn't afford veterinary treatment. Dr. Stephens went on to present the first U.S. pet insurance policy to famous television dog Lassie. Pets Best provides coverage for dogs and cats. Dr. Stephens' passion for quality pet care and his expert veterinary knowledge guides the Pets Best team. He is always available to answer questions regarding veterinary medicine, pet health and pet insurance. The Pets Best team is a group of pet lovers who strive to deliver quality customer service and value. Visit www.petsbest.com for more information.
Pet insurance coverage offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware insurance company. Independence American Insurance Company is a member of The IHC Group, an organization of insurance carriers and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing life, health, disability, medical stop-loss and specialty insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. For information on The IHC Group, visit www.ihcgroup.com.
Pets Best is a proud member of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA).
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SOURCE Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC