Pet insurance premiums in the United States have risen for the first time since the Great Recession, driven in part by rising medical costs and rising costs of new medical equipment, according to a new analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Pet insurance premiums for 2017 jumped 4.5 percent from 2016, according a study released Wednesday by the foundation, which analyzed the latest data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
The number of people who have purchased their own policies increased from 6.2 million to 6.4 million in 2017.
The average premium increased by 6.3 percent.
The findings underscore the continuing challenge for insurers to keep premiums low and prevent insurers from leaving healthy people on their rolls because of a shortage of coverage.
Pet coverage costs have skyrocketed as the cost of medical care has gone up for a number of conditions, including heart attacks, strokes and asthma.
Pet owners are often left with high deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.
Pet insurance is one of the few affordable coverage options for pet owners, according the foundation.
Some insurers are now trying to offer cheaper pet insurance.
The Pet Owners Protection Plan, or PetPOP, was announced last year and it offers policies for pets with incomes of less than $2,000 and up to $5,000.
The plan will be offered through the Pet Insurance Marketplaces beginning in 2019.