Established in 2004, PetFirst Healthcare currently administers insurance coverage on more than 40,000 pets in the US


MetLife to enter into the pet insurance market with PetFirst Healthcare acquisition. Photo: courtesy of Rodrigo.Argenton/Wikimedia Commons.

MetLife has agreed to acquire US pet health insurance administrator PetFirst Healthcare for an undisclosed price in a move to enter the pet insurance market.

PetFirst Healthcare, which was established in 2004, is said to currently administer insurance coverage on more than 40,000 pets. Its pet insurance products are currently distributed via animal welfare agencies, direct-to-consumer channels, and employers.

The company is said to have an easy enrolment process and a short waiting period. Furthermore, the pet insurance administrator is claimed to offer simplified policies with coverage for hereditary, chronic, and breed-specific conditions with no per-incident limits.

PetFirst Healthcare is the program administrator, which had been authorised to underwrite and administer pet health insurance policies and claims on behalf of The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (ISOP), New Hampshire Insurance, and Independence American Insurance in approved states.

PetFirst Healthcare CEO Katie Blakeley said: “For more than 15 years, we have proudly focused on developing products and services to meet the growing and evolving needs of pet parents across the U.S. During this time, we have seen pet insurance continue to gain importance as a valuable product for families.

“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.”

MetLife said that the annual growth rate for the pet insurance industry has been over 20% since 2014.

Post-acquisition, PetFirst Healthcare will continue to sell pet insurance through its existing channels. Starting from the summer of 2020, MetLife will provide the pet insurance to employers via its group benefits distribution channel.

MetLife US business president comments on PetFirst Healthcare acquisition

MetLife US business president Ramy Tadros said: “Pet insurance has become an increasingly important voluntary benefit, and this transaction allows us to capitalize on this rapidly growing market opportunity.

“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.”

The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions and approvals, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.