Pet Insurance 2006
The market for pet insurance continues to exhibit strong growth and shows no signs of letting up in 2006, with both consumers and corporations buying more policies than ever before. The Wall Street Journal reports that pet insurance is currently offered by 5% of companies, up from 1% in 2000, and that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Hilton Hotels (NYSE:HLT) and Mercedes-Benz USA (a wholly-owned subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler North American Holding Corporation) plan to offer it as an employee benefit in 2006. The newspaper also reports on the fees submitted to VPI, the largest pet insurance provider in the U.S., for the most frequent claims. For dogs, the number one claim is for soft-tissue trauma costing an average of $88 each ("More Employers Are Offering Pet-Insurance Benefits," by Kerry Hannon, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 12-13, 2005).
I think the primary driver of this segment is still the trend of humanizing pets, not only for insurance but for medications, veterinary care, pet health products and clinical trials. Treating pets just like their own children, pet owners are increasingly willing to spend large amounts of money on medical care.
The potential impact of the trend of humanizing pets may change the pet insurance industry in 2006. Pet industry followers currently cite the lack of lawsuits in the pet insurance industry as another factor in its growth, but assuming pet industry trends will once again mirror human trends implies a potential increase in lawsuits against veterinarians and pet insurance companies.
Marketing Vet or Health Services?
Market research explores health trends and consumer spending in the pet industry. Ideal for marketing, advertising and product development.
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