Our pets are more than just animals. They comfort us when we’re sad, they can make us laugh at a moments notice and they just seem to know us better than we know ourselves. They are family. In the year 2017, the pet health insurance industry hit a new record for the number of pets insured in the U.S and Canada; 2 million, a 17 percent increase from 2016.

This increase is not surprising. According to Willis Towers Watson–which compiled the data for the NAPHIA report, “Pet health insurance is one of the most requested voluntary benefits and is expected to grow to 60 percent by the end of 2018.”

Pet health insurance stats

The following stats are from the NAPHIA report.

The pet health insurance market surpassed the $1 billion mark in 2017, a 15 percent increase from 2016.

98 percent of insured pets were covered by an accident and illness plan, compared to just 2 percent of insured pets covered by an accident only plan.

The annual premiums for dogs and cats in the U.S. in 2017 were:

Accident and illness:

– U.S. dogs – $535.95 (USD)

– U.S. cats – $335.19 (USD)

– Canada dogs – $703.76 (CAD)

– Canada cats – $374.09 (CAD)

Accident only:

– U.S. dogs – $190.08 (USD)

– U.S. cats – $152.66 (USD)

– Canada dogs – $226.75 (CAD)

– Canada cats – $170.95 (CAD)

The combined total premium volume for North America from 2013-2017:

– 2013: $585.4 million

– 2014: $676.5 million

– 2015: $774 million

– 2016: $940 million

– 2017: $1.15 billion

As you can see the trend, people want to be prepared for the worst when it comes to their family member of another species. Employers looking to attract and attain top-level talent for their organization should be looking into voluntary benefits such as this.

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