Number of accumulated pet insurance contracts increases by 51.7% on-year in 2023

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 6, 2024, 17:32 Updated : March 6, 2024, 17:32
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[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- South Korea witnessed a remarkable surge of over 50 percent in the number of total pet insurance contracts in 2023. This increase can be attributed to the growing recognition of pets as cherished companions or even family members in a country where one out of four households owns a pet
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of pets adopted by new families surged significantly. People sought comfort and companionship from animals as they faced isolation due to strict social distancing guidelines issued by the government, as analyzed by KB Financial Group's financial research center in 2023. KB's survey data showed that more than 5.5 million households has at least one pet.

Simultaneously, the domestic pet product market experienced exponential growth, with an annual average growth rate surpassing 10 percent to reach 4.5 trillion won in 2023, according to findings from the KB Financial Group's research center. The study revealed that households spent an average of 154,000 won per month on pet food and other daily necessities last year. Notably, food and snacks accounted for over half (50.8 percent) of the total expenditure on pet-related items.

Data released by 10 major South Korean general insurance companies on March 6 revealed a total of 109,088 pet insurance contracts signed by the end of 2023, marking a significant increase of 51.7 percent compared to the previous year. Of these, 58,456 were new contracts, representing a substantial 66.4 percent year-on-year increase.

Despite this growth, the rate of pet insurance subscription in South Korea, estimated at 1.4 percent based on the government's estimate of approximately 8 million pets including dogs, cats, tortoises, birds, and reptiles, remains lower than that of countries like Britain (25 percent) and Japan (12.5 percent).
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