History of Pet Insurance 2023

The United States is home to around 172 million domesticated dogs and cats, most of which are kept as companion animals. Each year, the number of animals kept as pets in homes across the United States and the rest of the world increases. Concurrently, the amount of time and money invested on the happiness, well-being, and care of these animals also rises. As more and more households adopt pets and these companion animals become more like members of the family, there is a growing need to safeguard them and ensure that they have all they require.

In light of recent developments in veterinary medicine, pharmaceuticals, and overall health care for animals, an increasing number of people are opting to purchase health insurance policies for their pets in the same manner that they do for themselves, in order to safeguard their animals in the event of an unexpected illness, accident, or disease.

As people place a higher priority on the safety of their animals, the demand for pet insurance has increased not only in the United States but also in other parts of the world. The first known instance of health insurance for animals may be traced back to 1890, when Claes Virgin established the practice in order to safeguard the wellbeing of his herd. In 1924, Sweden became the first country in the world to issue a policy for a dog to be covered by a pet insurance company. Since then, there has been a proliferation of pet insurance all over the world, as well as improvements in terms of coverage, price, and public recognition.

Pet Insurance Timeline

Claes Virgin creates the first known health insurance policy for animals to protect the health of his livestock.

The first pet insurance policy is written for a dog in Sweden.

The first pet insurance policy is sold in Great Britain, starting a wave of pet insurance purchases throughout Europe. To this day Britain is one of the most protected countries in the world in terms of pet health insurance with over 23% of pets having an insurance policy, second only to Sweden.

The first pet insurance policy is sold in the United States to protect television’s Collie dog Lassie.

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) partners with The Hartville Group, Inc. to provide pet health insurance and begin writing policies.

Veterinary costs begin to rise more rapidly in the United States and pet owners begin to realize the benefits of pet insurance. Pet insurance policy purchases begin to steadily rise.

Kroger Personal Finance teams up with PetFirst Healthcare to offer comprehensive pet health plans for both dogs and cats ranging from accident coverage to senior care for older pets.


Pet owners are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits that pet insurance may provide, including assistance in the payment of veterinarian expenses, coverage of emergency medical expenditures, and peace of mind in the event that something unexpected occurs. Is your animal companion safe? Look at different plans with monthly premiums starting at less than ten dollars and different coverage options to pick the one that offers the most comprehensive safety for your pet right now.

In the United States, the demand for veterinary services, as well as the amount spent on those services, has skyrocketed since the early 1990s. Pet owners spend a combined total of several billion dollars annually on veterinarian care, which includes medication, treatments, medical examinations, and laboratory tests. The demand for veterinary services and overall spending on the health of pets continues to rise, which in turn drives up the demand for, and the necessity of, more reasonably priced pet insurance policies.

Consumer Spending on Veterinary Services (in billions of dollars)

Pet Insurance Snapshot

  • In the U.S. alone, over 10.0 billion dollars were spent on pet medications in 2007. – NPR, Morning Edition.
  • Total worldwide sales of animal medicines was $19.2 billion in 2008, up 7.2 percent over sales the previous year – British research firm Vetnosis Ltd.

U.S. Market

  • According to the National Pet Owners Survey conducted between 2007 and 2008, 63 percent of families in the United States own a pet, which translates to 71.1 million homes.
  • As of the year 2006, 77% of dog owners and 52% of cat owners provided their pets some kind of prescription or drug, which was an increase from 50% and 32%, respectively, in the year 2000.
  • Estimated Sales for 2008 inside the United States Market It is anticipated that pet owners in the United States would spend a total of $43.4 billion on their animals in 2008 (the spending will be broken down as follows): Food$16.9 billionVet Care$10.9 billion Supplies/OTC Medicine$10.3 billion Purchases of live animals totaling $2.1 billion Services for Pets Including Grooming and Boarding $3.2 billion
  • 2007 Actual Sales Achieved Within the United States Market The following is a breakdown of the $41.2 billion that was spent on our pets in the United States in 2007: $16.2 billion worth of food Vet Care$10.1 billion Supplies/OTC Medicine$9.8 billion Purchases of live animals totaling $2.1 billion $3 billion in revenue is generated from grooming and boarding services for pets.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA) obtains its expenditure information from a variety of market research sources. These statistics are not included in the organization’s twice-yearly National Pet Owners Survey.

Do you own one of the nearly 94 million pet cats in the United States, or does your dog make up a portion of the estimated 77.5 million companion dogs in the country? As the cost of veterinary care for pets continues to rise, pet insurance can assist with the payment of veterinary bills and provide the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will never have to choose between your pet’s health and your own personal finances. The increase in the number of people around the world who keep animals as companions has a direct correlation with the rise in the cost of veterinary care. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the price of pet insurance has increased by twenty percent for each period of time consisting of five years, and it is anticipated that these statistics would rise even higher by the year 2022. Shouldn’t your pet have some level of protection?

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