NEW JERSEY— U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), at the Glen Rock Dog Park, Monday called on the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance (NJDOBI) to reject applications for proposed and unreasonably high annual rate increases.
As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, Gottheimer has also asked the Federal Insurance Office at the Department of Treasury to investigate pet insurance fees nationally that are making life more expensive for families.
The costs of veterinary services have risen about 10%, yet the rate increases requested and implemented by many pet insurance companies are far higher than that. As an insurance pool grows — which it has significantly during the pandemic — rates should decrease, especially with healthier, younger animals.
As of 2023, 66% of U.S. households, 87 million homes, own a pet. Nearly 50% of households in Jersey have pets. Since 2018, the number of insured pets in the U.S. has risen almost 23% a year.
Rising Cost of Pet Insurance:
- Pet problems, which include health problems owners couldn’t handle, accounted for 47% of rehomed dogs and 42% of rehomed cats.
- Since 2018, average dog insurance premiums have increased nearly 40% and average cat insurance premiums have increased 36%, for the highest-coverage plans.
- Some pet insurance companies are planning to increase prices by more than 50% — that could be another $40 or $50 a month.
Three pet insurance companies looking to hike prices in Jersey — Healthy Paws, MetGen, and Trupanion — far exceed the 10% increase in vet services. Trupanion requested to increase rates by 33%, Healthy Paws Pets by 44%, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company by 56%.
“I’m here with our family pup, Rosie — short for Rosalita, one of our favorite Springsteen songs — because our pets are part of our families and deserve to live happy and healthy lives without their owners having to break the bank. But, many families across New Jersey, including mine, recently received a letter that their pet insurance rates were set to increase as much as 56% this year alone. The bottom line is that veterinarian cost increases of 10% should not lead to insurance rate increases of 56%. That’s nuts. A rate hike this high could mean owners not being able to afford their animals and having to give them up,” Gottheimer said. “Another rate hike this high could mean owners not being able to afford their animals and having to give them up. We need to make life more affordable for hard-working Jersey families who simply want to care for their beloved pets. And Democrat or Republican, we all love our pets!”
Gottheimer was joined by Glen Rock Councilmember Jill Orlich and local dog owners.