Just in time for National Pet Day on April 11, Mississippi has become the second state in the nation to approve legislation that would outline regulations for pet insurance sales.
After July 1, Senate Bill 2228 will allow pet owners to purchase insurance for their animals on a monthly basis, with the cost expected to vary on the species, breed, gender, age, location, and level of coverage.
Mississippi Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney has since stated that pet insurance will — like human health insurance — include exclusions, various levels of coverage, deductibles, and payment limits.
“Pet insurance may seem like a joke to some but it is big business,” Chaney said. “As of 2020, there were 3.1 million pets insured. That is billions of dollars in premiums and that big business is coming to Mississippi.”
Chaney warned that the monthly cost for policies may depend on several variables, including the species of animal, breed, gender, age, location, and the coverages and deductible chosen. Most pet insurance companies may exclude pre-existing conditions and hereditary or congenital conditions, as well as not accepting certain animals after a certain age.
Chaney added that it will be up to each Mississippi owner to decide if they should purchase pet insurance for their animals, as it can help individuals save money in some cases.
“Pet owners must decide for themselves if insurance is right for them. In some cases, it could save you money,” Chaney explained. “The number of insured pets is growing every year. So is the number of companies offering these types of policies.”
According to a report by Consumer Reports, the average accident and illness premiums cost $594 a year for a dog and $342 for a cat in 2020.
There were 3.1 million pets insured in the U.S. alone over three years ago, with the number expected to rise with Mississippi’s passing of SB 2228.