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Pet Insurance Information — What’s Important to Know as an Agent

With two-thirds of American homes having pets, the market for pet insurance is large. Pet ownership has always been popular in the US, but numbers increased even more after the pandemic. And this new wave of pet owners wants to protect their pets, so they need helpful and timely pet insurance information.

Find out more about this booming market and what you should know about pet insurance as an independent agent.

Pet Insurance Information to Share With Your Policyholders

Since so many households own pets, you may want to discuss pet insurance information with your policyholders at renewal and when writing a new policy. Many people are looking for the best ways to protect their pets, and having the right pet insurance policy can help pet owners access veterinary care and provide peace of mind.

Here are some facts about pet insurance you can share with your policyholders and use to help them with their insurance needs:

  • Pet insurance was first introduced in 1980 in the US, and it has grown — and evolved — in the forty years since.
  • Many different insurance companies sell pet insurance, although many use a different brand name for their pet insurance line of business.
  • Most insurers sell two types of pet insurance policies: accident only and accident and health. The accident and illness policy includes some wellness benefits and is the more popular policy with consumers. Some insurance companies also sell optional and preventative coverage plans.
  • Many insurance companies write pet insurance for household dogs and cats only. Some write exotic pet coverage. For individuals seeking coverage for horses, there are equine insurance policies that cover various perils, like illness, loss of use, and liability.
  • Like any insurance policy, there are conditions and exclusions. Many plans have limits, deductibles, and co-pays. While pet insurance is a P&C product, it has similarities to health insurance.

Insurers Use Many Variables to Rate Pet Insurance  

The next question you may be asking is how insurance carriers rate pet insurance. Many factors go into rating the coverage:

Policy Limits, Co-Pays, and Deductible

Similar to other P&C policies, consumers who choose to retain a higher deductible pay less in premiums for pet insurance. Higher co-pays also result in lower premiums since the insured will pay more for their services. And as you would expect, policyholders who choose higher coverage limits will have higher premiums to match.


Where the policyholder resides can affect the cost of veterinary services, so costs can fluctuate for pet insurance policies. Urban areas are sometimes more costly than rural ones.

Pet Characteristics

The individual characteristics of the pet factor into the rating plan, including the species, breed, general health, and age of the pet. Very young pets or seniors may not qualify for coverage. Pets with pre-existing conditions may not be eligible for coverage for those conditions. Most pet insurers break dog breeds down into categories for rating purposes. Smaller breeds and mixed breed dogs often cost less to insure compared with their larger cousins. While cats are also listed by breed, the costs are flatter across breed types for cats.

Other Discounts

Some insurers offer discounts based on various factors, like having multiple pets insured with the same insurance company. Rate reductions are also commonly offered for spayed or neutered pets, policyholders in the military, microchipped pets, and pets that are service dogs. If policyholders remain claims-free or stay with their current insurer at renewal they may also be eligible for a discount.

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