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U.S. Uninsured Total Hits 180 Million (if you include dogs and cats)

by Clive Riddle, September 2, 2009

Who knew that September was North American Pet Health Insurance Awareness Month? Not I, until I visited the North American Pet Health Insurance Association web site and discovered their press release. The association informs us that “about 60% of U.S. households have at least one dog, cat, bird, or other companion animal. Many have more than one….. Projected 2009 pet expenditures for North America are over $45 billion, of which $25 billion will be spent on veterinary medicine.”

Now inspired that the calendar had indeed turned to September, and that there was only 29 days left of North American Pet Health Insurance Awareness Month,  I dug deeper. I came across the article Pet Insurance Shows Promising Market Growth, from InsuranceNewsNet, Inc., which informs us:

  • “The U.S. pet insurance market recorded 107 percent increase in total growth from 2003 through 2007”
  • “It is estimated that there are more than 70 million pet cats and 68 million pet dogs in the country but only 1 to 4 percent of pets are covered by health insurance.”
  • “The cost of pet insurance also varies greatly. Accident-only coverage may cost as little as $9.50 while fuller benefits above $60 but typically the cost is about $30 to $50 a month.”

So doing the math, if there are 138 million pet cats and dogs, and we assume 3% are insured and 97% are uninsured, we have approximately 134 million uninsured Fidos and Tiggers. Add this to the 46 million two-legged uninsureds, and the health care reform debate is re-framed. What’s more, there is a huge market opportunity if anyone can get the owners of these 134 million pets to pony up and buy some insurance.

The plans represented by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association certainly think the opportunity exists. Participating plans include:

And now health insurance giant Aetna has been bitten by the pet insurance bug. Right on the Aetna Home Page, under the "Find the Right Plan" section, resides a link "For Pet Insurance" in which Aetna proclaims “We have offered insurance products to help our members for more than 150 years. Now we can help you with pet health coverage for your cat or dog, too.”

Aetna inked a deal at the end of last year to underwrite Pets Best. This July Aetna and Pets Best announced a program to “provide 50,000 local businesses and 79 working Chambers of Commerce in Connecticut and Western Massachusetts access to discounted rates on pet insurance plans.”

Gretchen Spann, Aetna’s very own Head of Pet Insurance tells us “in these difficult economic times, many people are having difficulty keeping up with the rising cost of veterinary services. Some people might find that the predictability of a monthly premium helps them budget for the care their dog or cat might need in the future.”

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    Response: Köpek Mamaları
    i m tracking your blog

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