Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
PetFirst, a small player in the pet health insurance market, has agreed to a takeover by one of the world’s largest financial services companies.
MetLife Inc. reported that its purchase of privately held PetFirst is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. Terms were not disclosed.
MetLife plans to work with other companies to promote PetFirst insurance as an employee benefit.
“Pet insurance has become an increasingly important voluntary benefit, and this transaction allows us to capitalize on this rapidly growing market opportunity,” said Ramy Tadros, president of U.S. Business for MetLife. “Today’s employees have an increasing expectation of their employer to support their lives holistically, and offering pet insurance provides our customers’ employees additional support against unexpected out-of-pocket pet health expenses.”
PetFirst insures more than 40,000 pets across the United States. Industry giants Nationwide and Trupanion have more than 750,000 and 600,000 policyholders, respectively.
MetLife and PetFirst stated that they view the pet insurance market as “underpenetrated and fast-growing.” Fewer than 2% of North American pets are insured.
“With MetLife’s tremendous reach and resources, we see a strong opportunity to help more pet parents get access to pet insurance and alleviate the potential financial burden of a sick or injured pet,” said PetFirst CEO Katie Blakeley.
PetFirst, headquartered in Jeffersonville, Indiana, will become the third small insurer to be sold in recent months. Pets Best is now owned by CareCredit and Embrace Pet Insurance was acquired by NSM Insurance Group.
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