History of Pet Insurance

In 1982, the first United States pet insurance policy was issued by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) to the famous TV dog Lassie.1 Since then, Trupanion has entered the marketplace along with several other pet health insurance plans under the brand names ASPCA, Embrace, PetFirst, Petplan, Pets Best, PurinaCare, and 24PetWatch. To see how Trupanion's plans compare to other providers, visit our pet insurance comparison page.

Still, only approximately 1 percent of pets in the United States are covered2, but that percentage is on the rise. Advances in veterinary technology have made procedures available to pets that were once impossible, including joint replacements, laparoscopic surgery, and chemotherapy. More and more pet parents are opting for these costly treatments to give their pets the best chance of recovery and are looking for financial support. Pet medical insurance helps provide pet owners peace of mind in the event of an unexpected accident or illness.

Pet Health Insurance in Europe

European countries have historically recognized pet health insurance as an important way to protect pets. The first pet insurance policy ever written was for a dog in Sweden in 1924, followed by a policy written in Britain in 19471. According to a study from 2008, the percentage of insured pets has grown to 70 percent of pets in Sweden and 42 percent of pets in Britain.2

Pet Insurance Adoption Rates

Europe has continued to embrace pet medical insurance, with Germany, France, Spain, and The Netherlands covering a higher percentage of pets than the United States.2 See the following chart for a breakdown.

Bar graph showing the percentage of pets with pet insurance in Europe

1Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved February 13, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pet_insurance.
2Finaccord Study - Pet Metrics: Consumer Approaches to Pet Insurance in Europe, July/August 2008. Study available at http://www.finaccord.com/reports.htm.