Nation's Largest Pet Insurance Company Reaches 5,000 Exotic Pets Insured

Hedgehogs, Sugar Gliders, Pythons and More Make Up Insured Pet Population

Mar 01, 2010, 09:00 ET from Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.

BREA, Calif., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- An Eclectus parrot, chinchilla, or Sulcata tortoise might not be everyone’s idea of the perfect house pet. However, for those who consider these or any number of exotic animals “man’s best friend,” Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance and the only pet health insurer in the country to offer policies for exotics, has them covered. In fact, VPI reached 5,000 in-force exotic pet policies in February 2010. A look at VPI's database of more than 475,000 insured pets offers just a few of the more unusual and noteworthy species insured:

  • 33 Caiques (South American parrot)
  • 10 doves
  • 7 ducks
  • 1 goose, hawk, and pigeon
  • 334 Guinea pigs
  • 38 hedgehogs
  • 19 pot belly pigs
  • 1,437 rabbits
  • 18 sugar gliders
  • 60 iguanas
  • 1 anaconda
  • 4 boa constrictors
  • 18 pythons
  • 1 Uromastyx (spiny-tailed lizard)

"People frequently assume insurance policies only cover dogs and cats," said Dr. Carol McConnell, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. "At VPI, our statistics show that exotic animals become ill and suffer injuries the same as or more than common pets and, therefore, deserve quality veterinary care. Additionally, exotics usually experience conditions unique to their species that might require specialized treatment, which can oftentimes be expensive. It's also important to keep in mind that some amphibians and avian species can live for decades, which means many years of trips to the veterinarian. What we want to stress is that maintaining your pets' health insurance is a part of being a responsible pet owner – regardless of what type of pet you own."

In addition to the above sampling of pets, opossums, non-venomous toads, canaries, peacocks, ostriches, hummingbirds, and goats are just some of the exotic pets for which VPI offers medical coverage. The Company has even been known to insure the occasional penguin. However, there are some exotic or high-risk animals VPI will not insure. Alligators, monkeys, squirrels, spiders, horses, fish, and venomous animals such as certain snakes, lizards, and toads are examples of some of the animals excluded from VPI's list of insurable pets.

For more information about insuring any pet, no matter how exotic, please visit To enroll an exotic pet, call 1-888-899-4VPI.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 475,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the nation's oldest and largest pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America's pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional Pet CareGuard(SM) for routine care is also available.

Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,000 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wisconsin. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

SOURCE Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.