ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Securian Financial Group surveyed 903 pet owners and 44 percent say they have made formal or informal plans for their pets’ future care.
For one-fifth of those owners, according to the survey, “Pet heirs: Financial planning with pets in mind,” those plans are financial.
Pricing a pet’s life
The pet industry has more than tripled in 20 years from $17 billion in 1994 to an estimated $59 billion in 2014, according to the American Pet Products Association. The pet owners who took Securian’s survey in May 2014 provide evidence of that growth. When asked how much they would spend to save a pet’s life:
- 16 percent say they would spend $10,000 or more.
- 29 percent would spend $2,000 to $5,000.
Cost of care
When asked about ongoing maintenance and veterinary costs, respondents in the Securian survey indicated their expenses can be substantial:
- Nearly 60 percent spend up to $1,000 a year on food, grooming, toys, etc.
- Three-fourths spend up to $1,000 a year on veterinary bills.
- 18 percent say their largest single pet-related expense was $2,000 or more.
These costs add up to many thousands of dollars over the years, especially for long-lived pets.
“If the owner suddenly dies or becomes disabled, the person who inherits the pet may not be financially prepared for the added expense of ongoing care or life-saving procedures,” said Michelle Hall, manager, Market Research, Securian Financial Group. “Our survey shows a significant percentage of pet owners make financial plans to ensure their pets will always be well cared for.”
Life insurance, annuities and cash
Nearly one-fifth of all respondents in Securian’s survey say they have financially planned ahead for their pets’ future care. When those respondents were asked to select all that apply:
- 38 percent said they added the pet’s future caregiver as a beneficiary to a life insurance policy.
- 35 percent added more coverage to their life policies.
- 13 percent purchased annuities naming the pet’s caregiver as the beneficiary.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals urges owners to financially plan for their pets’ care. Many tools are available: Forty-six states have passed “pet trust” laws. Pet protection agreements, wills, powers of attorneys and letters of instruction are also be available.
“Pets may provide opportunities for financial advisors whose clients consider their pets members of the family and spend large sums on their care,” said Hall. “They can work with their advisors to modify their financial plans to include line items for pets.”
Since 1880, Securian Financial Group and its affiliates have provided financial security for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, investments and retirement plans. Now one of the nation’s largest financial services providers, it is the holding company parent of a group of companies that offer a broad range of financial services.