Pet insurance is far from new. While, of course, every pet parent wants to keep their furry loved one happy and healthy, until recently, pet insurance has not necessarily been top of mind – even for the most well-meaning animal lover. But the world of pet ownership is evolving.

What does the future of pet insurance hold? CivicScience dove into the data to find out. Here are four key insights to know:

1. Roughly one-third of pet owners have pet insurance or are interested in it.

Current survey data show that a total of 19% of U.S. adult pet owners (who are aware of pet insurance) hold some type of insurance policy – and the majority of these owners are satisfied with it. Although most pet owners don’t have pet insurance, 14% intend to enroll – which means these numbers could look very different in a few months’ time as intenders make the switch. 

2. Dog owners have the highest rate of pet insurance enrollment. Mixed species homes have the most interest.

The data show that 1-in-3 ‘dog-only’ owners have pet insurance, which is slightly higher than ‘cat-only’ owners. Dog- or cat-only owners are roughly twice as likely to have pet insurance compared to those with both dogs and cats, but mixed-home owners display a strong interest in future enrollment (27%).

3. Age and income play a role in pet insurance enrollment, but perhaps not the way you’d expect.

Current data also show that among pet owners, adults under age 25, those who make less than $50K per year, and those who are financially better off than they were pre-pandemic are the most likely to already have pet insurance.

So although it’s likely that older, more affluent adults have greater flexibility to take on a monthly pet insurance premium, as of right now, that doesn’t seem to be a priority. This also suggests that being “better off” than before the pandemic may not mean changing income brackets in a major way, but in ways that do allow for extra expenses, such as pet insurance, to be a viable option. 

4. Pandemic pet parents think differently.

Given the stress of the last two and a half years, combined with the shift to a more home-based lifestyle for many Americans, it comes as no surprise that 16% of current pet owners became pet parents during the pandemic. More than one-third of these new pet parents are under the age of 25. 

And while we can’t say for certain that the COVID-19 health crisis has impacted how Americans prepare for potential future health concerns, it’s clear that those who became pet parents during this time have a different view of pet insurance than their pre-pandemic pet parent counterparts. 

Among those who became pandemic pet parents, 80% already have pet insurance, compared to just 16% of those who owned pets in pre-pandemic times.

So has our collective awareness of health crises led to the rise in pet insurance interest and enrollment? The data suggest that this could be at least part of the story. But no matter the origin, what’s clear is that pet insurance in 2022 is becoming something to bark about. 

More insights to discover:

Where Does Your State Rank in Ownership of Dogs and Cats?

5 Things You Didn’t Know About People Who Got Pandemic Pets

Virtual Veterinary Care Usage on the Rise