When it comes to their furry friends and family members, pet owners often face myriad options for managing health and wellness. The pet industry consumer encounters a special kind of investment that implies life-long commitment to their furry pals. And with the increase in overall pet adoption and ownership during the pandemic, the idea of carrying some type of pet insurance has not only become more appealing, but also somewhat necessary.

To ease the burden of unexpected — and often expensive — veterinary visits, more and more insurance companies offer a wide range of pet policies. But what exactly are the most popular reasons for purchasing pet insurance and just who is making the spend? CivicScience looked into consumers’ current thoughts on the market.

Overall, the total adoption rate among pet owners who currently carry an insurance policy is still somewhat niche (8%) according to a survey of more than 3,300 U.S. adults. A combined 14% of those have held a pet insurance policy at some point. However, a respectable 7% of additional Americans intend to purchase one soon.

When it comes to specific reasons for purchasing pet insurance, folks primarily favor policies that cover expenses related to urgent needs or accidents. Thirty-three percent of the 2,524 people asked selected the option of ‘emergency care’ as their most likely reason for purchasing pet insurance. Routine wellness (20%), long-term treatment (16%), and caring for older pets (17%) follow and are all somewhat similarly valued.

Dog Owners Lead

Interestingly, when crossed with dog and cat owners, Americans who have dogs are the most likely to currently carry some type of pet insurance (7%), as well as be more favorable to the possibility of buying a policy in the near future (7%). Those who own both cats and dogs are equally likely to have pet insurance right now (7%). Cat owners tend to be the least likely adopters (6%) or intenders (4%).

In terms of preference, dog people may have more experience with pet insurance overall, but cat people who do have insurance are the more likely pet owners to consider getting it to cover both wellness care and emergencies. Among people who prefer cats, 39% said they would be most likely to purchase pet insurance to cover emergency care, compared with dog people at 31%.

Man’s Best Friend

Finally, men (9%) are 40% more likely than women (6%) to currently have a pet insurance policy, as well as be more likely to purchase a policy for almost every reason except for chronic and long-term care and treatment for exotic pets. Women do outweigh men when it comes to considering near-future insurance purchases by three percentage points, as well as when covering potential care expenses in the longview (by 5 percentage points more). This may indicate a correlation with the general proclivity of women to make plans; men generally seem to prioritize coverage for wide-ranging and immediate needs.

Growing Adoption

After analyzing the results of this CivicScience study, it’s easy to see the room for growth in pet insurance. Interest appears to be here to stay and will likely be fed by remote workers choosing to share their spaces with animal pals.

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