Pet Insurance Coming to Japan

August 23, 2005

According to a report from Japan’s Kyodo news agency, the country’s pet owners may soon be able to take out insurance coverage for the cost of medical treatment for injured or ill pets.

Pet coverage, while fairly common in the U.S., hasn’t been readily available in Japan, but the pet insurance industry is setting out to change that.

The bulletin notes that Japanese pets now enjoy a relatively long life span, but that carries with it an increased risk of illness, as the pets age. The expense of treating a sick animal for cancer or other diseases is also rising, as veterinarians more frequently use “state-of-the-art medical tools” in their treatments.

Kyodo’s report notes that “according to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association, the Japanese owned about 24 million dogs or cats as of 2004. ‘Of them, only 1 percent is covered by insurance,’ a pet insurance industry watcher said.”

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