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Increasing animal obesity, more and better pet care to help double industry’s size by 2012
Jeffersonville, IN. (February 7, 2008) – The insurance industry is going to the dogs. . . and cats. Officials with PetFirst Healthcare say more and more pet owners are insuring their furry friends and the growth trends for pet insurance are only going to accelerate in 2008. As a nationwide provider of health insurance policies for dogs and cats, PetFirst expects the $250 million pet insurance industry to double by 2012. Pet insurance works similar to human health insurance, covering the costs associated with veterinary expenses. PetFirst plans include routine care such as annual exams, vaccinations, flea control and spay/neuter services, as well as surgeries, x-rays or hospitalization that result from illness or injury. PetFirst CEO Brent Hinton said his company’s biggest area for growth will be through more companies offering pet insurance as a voluntary benefit to their employees.
“We’re hearing that, in recent months, pet insurance has become the most-requested benefit by companies’ HR and benefits managers,” Hinton said. PetFirst insurance plans are already available to hundreds of thousands of employees through the American Humane Association, the Kroger Co., and Eli Lilly Federal Credit Union. Last month, PetFirst announced a partnership with National Benefits Partners, a benefits wholesaler providing voluntary benefits to more than 3,000 employers and 3 million employees. Hinton said other trends in pet insurance are mirroring human health care. Obesity, for instance, is a growing problem for dogs and cats. In 2007, PetFirst saw a 19 percent increase in claims related to obesity, including conditions such as cardiac arrest, hypertension and hypothyroidism.
“Fortunately, we’re seeing pets live longer and better lives because of advances in care and treatment,” Hinton said. “But that also means morevisits to the vet and more costs associated with those vet visits, which is why we believe people are exploring pet insurance.”
PetFirst Healthcare is a privately owned pet insurance company based in Jeffersonville, Ind. Underwritten by an A-rated insurance carrier and available nationwide, PetFirst provides affordable and reliable coverage for dog and cat medical expenses along with fast and effective claims processing. For more information about individual and family plans and pricing, visit www.petfirst.com or call 1-855-270-PETS.