According to a study published by Packaged Facts in May 2008, only 1% of pet owners in the U.S. insure their pets’ health, compared with 20% of pet owners in the U.K. According to Trupanion, a Seattle based pet health insurance company, many pet owners in the U.S. have expressed strong feelings that pet insurance is expensive or does not have financial benefits and that responsible pet ownership will result in low veterinary costs over the life of the pet.
Trupanion believes that these feelings are based on misconceptions and is now offering customers the chance to set custom deductibles and choose optional add-ons such as hip dysplasia coverage, which may be helpful for pet owners with dog breeds which are susceptible. Customers can also choose their own level for deductibles, starting at $0.
"We believe our customers will find that having the choice to decide the deductible and premium without sacrificing coverage limits or policy benefits will help budget-conscious pet owners avoid difficult and costly pet care predicaments down the road," says Darren DeFeo, Senior Vice President of Trupanion.
According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA) National Pet Owners Survey, dog owners spent an average of $453 at the vet on surgical costs alone from 2007-2008. Pet insurance companies typically cover 80-90% of the veterinary bill. At an average cost of $25 for a monthly premium or $300 annually, the "average" dog owner would greatly benefit from pet insurance.