China's Pet Insurance Industry Growing At Unprecedented Rate

China Pet Industry
A dog licks a groomer at a pet beauty salon (Photo: Reuters)

With more Chinese families now taking in pets into their households, the industries surrounding the support of these furry animals have now become very lucrative for various types of businesses. Aside from the pet food industry, which is currently reaping in hundreds of millions of dollars each year, the relatively new pet insurance market is reportedly now growing at an unprecedented rate. As the rate of pet ownership grows in the country, China's pet insurance market is now seen as a new type of business with a bright future ahead.

According to local data, more than 73 million Chinese households last year became homes to different types of pets including cats, dogs, and birds. Industrial reports have revealed that China's pet market has now reached well over US$25 billion. Around 15 percent of that industry revolves around the medical care for dogs and cats. The industry includes the manufacturing and distribution of medicine, medical aid, and medical equipment specifically for veterinary use.

In China, the average annual cost for medical care for dogs is around US$230, while cat owners typically spend around US$215 annually on average. Pet insurance aims to drastically lower that cost for Chinese pet owners. On average, the annual cost for pet insurance with the different insurance firms is around US$50 to US$70. One pet owner had claimed that the US$60 insurance he had bought for his cat had actually saved him from paying for a US$230 operation his pet cat recently had.

China's pet insurance is currently still in its infancy. In most cities, pet owners would be hard pressed to find a company that provides the service. However, with the growing pet ownership in the country, more and more firms are now starting to consider offering the service. Analysts predict that it will only be a matter of time before the market will hit US$1 billion as more large institutions get into the game.

The brand manager for a firm that provides pet insurance recently revealed that the orders for their pet insurance products have recently skyrocketed. The company's sales were apparently helped by its decision to market their products online. The industry of course still needs a lot of fine-tuning before it can really penetrate into the big leagues. There is currently no regulatory body that oversees the operations of these pet insurance companies, and there still needs to be a standardized business model for everyone involved. Despite the lack of development, the entire industry still looks to be quite promising. 

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