How Many Pet Owners Have Pet Insurance in 2021?

by Kari Steere, Licensed Insurance Agent
Pawlicy Advisor
>
Pet Insurance Blog
>
How Many Pet Owners Have Pet Insurance in 2021?
Learn about the number of pets with insurance in the U.S., industry growth projections, trend insights, and more in our report on pet insurance statistics.

We know that 67% of U.S. households (85 million families) own a pet1, but how many of those people have pet insurance?

According to the latest State of the Industry report published by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) in 2021, 3.45 million pets have health insurance in the U.S. and Canada.2

For more statistics on how many pet owners have pet insurance, navigate by using the links below:

U.S. pet insurance rates continue to grow

The steady increase in vet visit costs combined with the sharp rise in pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic helped fuel another year of growth for the pet insurance market in 2020. The pet adoption boom following coronavirus lockdowns strengthened a growing sentiment among 85% of dog-owners and 76% of cat-owners who think of their pets as family members.3

The record-breaking number of 3.45 million pets insured at the beginning of 2021 accounts for the fifth consecutive year of growth in pet insurance rates, increasing at an average rate of nearly 24% each year.2

As more and more pet parents see the peace of mind and value that pet insurance provides, more friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers, and veterinarians hear success stories about how pet insurance helped save hundreds of dollars or an animal’s life.

Additionally, the growing number of pet insurance companies and their competitive marketing endeavors also help strengthen product awareness among pet owners, leading to more pets insured in the U.S.

Statistics on the number of insured U.S. pets

NAPHIA, which is composed of about 20 companies that underwrite and/or market pet insurance products under one or more brands, conducts an annual, industry-wide survey. Its data participants — which includes brands such as Figo, Embrace, and Nationwide Pet Insurancerepresent approximately 99.9% of policies in effect in North America, and help inform the State of the Industry (SOI) report each year.

Total number of insured pets in the U.S.

In the United States alone, 3,101,956 pets had health insurance by the end of 2020. This figure includes 2.571M pet owners with dog insurance and 0.531M with cat insurance, but does not account for those with policies on small animals, birds, horses, or exotic species.

When combined, we see a 23.2% annual increase in the number of dogs and cats with pet insurance — which is substantially higher than the annual growth witnessed in 2019 (16.7%), 2018 (18%), and 2017 (17.5%).

Insurance policies by pet type

The majority of insured pets are dogs (82.9%) versus insured cats (17.1%). Data reflects a 22.5% increase in the number of dogs with pet insurance from 2019 to 2020, resulting in a combined growth rate of 18.4% between 2016 and 2020.

Although dog insurance accounts for more than three-quarters of the market share, pet owners are beginning to insure cats at a rate that outpaces dogs. In 2020 alone, the number of cats with pet insurance increased by 26.7%.

Insured pets by plan type

The majority of the dog owners (81.6%) opt for Accident & Illness plans that offer comprehensive coverage for out-of-pocket expenses such as diagnostic tests, surgeries, emergency care, poison ingestion, urinary tract infections, digestive problems. broken bones, bite wounds, burns, and more.

Accident-Only plans (which exclusively cover pet injuries) made up just $6.42M in gross written premiums (GWP) throughout 2020. In contrast, combined insurance policies — including those with embedded pet wellness plans — drove the industry with $1.855B in GWP, which is about 97% of the total gross value of all pet insurance policies written in 2020.

Insured pets by state

By and large, California is home to the most pet owners with pet insurance (19.2%), followed by New York (8.7%), Florida (5.8%), New Jersey (5.5%), and Texas (4.8%), which account for 45% of all pet insurance policies issued in the U.S.

In addition to having a large population, these figures might be explained by the fact that California is home to some of the best cities for dogs with an abundance of off-leash dog parks, pet-friendly establishments, and fair-weather days. California residents also know the importance of pet fire safety, which may contribute to the greater volume of insured pets.

Projected growth for pet insurance industry

Over the past five years, the pet insurance industry has grown at an average of 24.2% each year. It shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon, and is projected to surpass a $10 billion market valuation by 2025.4


Key Takeaways

  • The number of pet owners with pet insurance increased by over 23% between 2019 and 2020.
  • Of the 67% of U.S. households that own cats and/or dogs, approximately 3.1 million pets are enrolled in an insurance policy.
  • More dogs have pet insurance than cats, but the new data shows number of insured cats is growing at a rate faster than dogs.
  • Pet owners of both dogs and cats prefer to enroll in Accident & Illness plans for the most comprehensive coverage.
  • In California, there are more pet owners with pet insurance than anywhere else in the U.S.
  • The pet insurance market is expected to surpass $10 billion by 2025.

References

  1. American Pet Products, “Industry Trends” Accessed Dec. 30, 2021.
  2. NAPHIA , “State of the Industry Report 2021” Accessed Dec. 30, 2021.
  3. Phys.org. Sociologist confirms what pet parents know: pets really are part of the family” Accessed Dec. 30, 2021.
  4. GM Insights, “Pet Insurance Market Analysis” Accessed Dec. 30, 2021.
Kari Steer, Licensed P&C Insurance Agent at Pawlicy Advisor

About the author

Kari Steere, Licensed Insurance Agent

Customer Support - Pawlicy Advisor

Kari Steere is a licensed P&C insurance agent in all 50 states and has focused entirely on pet insurance since 2019. As an animal lover with a rescued Terrier named Barry, when she's not helping pet owners find the perfect plan on Pawlicy Advisor, she runs a ranch in Oregon and rehabilitates any animals that come across her path.

More you might like

woman hugging dog at desk
5 minute read

Is ManyPets Pet Insurance Good? Here's How It Stacks Up

vet checking dogs teeth
3 minute read

How & Where To Buy Pet Dental Insurance

cat on table
4 minute read

Is There Cat Insurance That Covers Everything? It Depends


6 minute read

Which Cat Breeds NEED Pet Insurance?


5 minute read

Does Free Cat Insurance Exist?

family photo with dog
4 minute read

American Modern Pet Insurance Review

woman using app with dog
5 minute read

24PetWatch Pet Insurance Review

dog interrupting woman on laptop
5 minute read

AAA Pet Insurance Review

outdoor cat
5 minute read

5 Reasons Why Outdoor Cats NEED Pet Insurance

happy woman holding cat
4 minute read

How To Get Cheap Cat Insurance Rates

Back to Blog
A family with pets that are insured by Pawlicy Advisor
Pawlicy Advisor is the leading independent marketplace for finding the best coverage for your pet at the lowest rate.
Join 2,438,795+ insured dogs and cats across the US.
Get a Quote
Our pet insurance partners
Pets Best Pet Insurance Logo
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance Logo
Figo Pet Insurance Logo
Petplan Pet Insurance Logo
MetLife Pet Insurance Logo
Hartville Pet Insurance Logo