In 2023, the average annual premium for accident and illness pet insurance for a dog in the U.S. was $675.61, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), which also reported the number of covered pets increased 17% this past year.

Although most humans view their dogs as part of the family, the animals are considered property and this is why pet insurance is a P&C line.

Dogs comprised the vast majority of covered pets in 2023, with more than 78% of policies covering dogs. NAPHIA Executive Director Kristen Lynch calls the discrepancy the "cat conundrum" and explains there are several reasons for it, including:

  • Cats are less likely to visit the vet due to their dislike of leaving the house, leading to lower medicalization.
  • Owners of indoor cats may underestimate the likelihood of accidents, focusing on perceived lower risk.
  • Misconceptions about smaller size lead to the false belief that vet bills for cats will be manageable.

Whether it is coverage for dogs or cats, U.S. consumers are showing increasing interest in pet insurance. The sector's gross written premium grew by more than 20% this past year. This growth followed a 24.2% increase in gross premium in 2022 and 30.4% gains in 2021, the NAPHIA reported.

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Steve Hallo

Steve Hallo is managing editor of PropertyCasualty360.com. He can be reached at [email protected]