By 2023 the global pet insurance market is expected to be worth a whopping US$7.1 billion.  “This growing market trend is reflected in South Africa, with 64% of our households having dogs and having covered more than 100 000 pets,” says David Roache, Managing Director of

Roache says that the consistent growth of the pet insurance market can be attributed to the global growth of pet humanisation and pets being regarded as part of the family, more now than ever.  Regardless of economic hardships that might be facing us, pet parents continue to spend money on their pets and often put their needs above their own. Roache says that in 2018, Americans spent $72 billion on their pets. We don’t have local data, but we do know that our pet parents are no different from our global counterparts and for many, daily spoils, festive season gifts, birthday parties and pet spa days are a part of their furry family members’ lives.

In addition, consumers have, and continue to be, more health-conscious and preventative healthcare has become an integral part of our lives for all family members, including our pets.  “This has had a direct effect on the growth of the pet insurance market, as pet parents are able to have a policy that can take care of their pet on a daily basis, from annual vaccinations, to illness and accident cover,” adds Roache.

He believes that 2020 will continue to see an upward trend in the local pet insurance market.  Pet ownership is on the rise in South Africa, with a focus on responsible pet adoption and with single homeowners, empty nesters and couples delaying having children, and turning to pets for companionship. In addition, the health benefits of having a pet have been proven repeatedly, with pets providing emotional support, a fitness partner and faithful companionship after a long day at the office.

Technology advancements are supporting the growth of the pet industry with fintech companies launching products specifically targeting pet parents.  Roache sites the launch of the iPhone portrait mode for pets in September and the continuous launch of apps that provide pet parents with easy and convenient platforms to interact with their pet community, from finding pet caregivers, vets and pet-sitting services.

“For the pet insurance market, the drivers that will continue to accelerate growth is our unconditional love for our pets and trying to give them the very best. With the rising costs of daily living, veterinary and pet care services, pet insurance will become a staple for South African pet parents,” concludes Roache.


About is the first and only insurance provider in South Africa to insure cats, dogs and a range of exotic pets. is a product of Oakhurst Insurance Company Limited (FSP 39925) and Oakhurst Life Limited (FSP 44793), authorised financial services providers.

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