NEW YORK & JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) (“MetLife”), and PetFirst Healthcare, LLC (“PetFirst”), a fast-growing pet health insurance administrator, today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which MetLife will acquire PetFirst.
Founded in 2004, PetFirst currently administers insurance coverage on more than 40,000 pets. It has a strong track record of delivering outstanding service to policyholders and maintaining trust through its emphasis on community and support of local humane societies and shelters. PetFirst currently distributes its pet insurance products through animal welfare agencies, direct-to-consumer channels and employers.
The acquisition will leverage MetLife’s position as a market leader in U.S. group benefits by enabling the company to offer a new benefit that is growing in popularity. Since 2014, the annual growth rate for the pet insurance industry has been more than 20 percenti.
“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 is a leading pet health insurance administrator and we look forward to welcoming the talented PetFirst team to the MetLife family.”
The pet insurance market is under-penetrated and fast-growing. The roughly 85 million families that own pets in the United States spend $18 billionii annually on veterinary care, yet, as of 2018, less than 2 percentiii of pets were insured. Following the acquisition, PetFirst will continue to market pet insurance through animal welfare societies and its direct-to-consumer channel. Beginning in the summer of 2020, MetLife will offer this pet insurance to employers through its leading group benefits distribution channel, reaching approximately 41 million employees and dependents across the U.S.
Katie Blakeley, CEO of PetFirst 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.”
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 subject to customary closing conditions and approvals.
Guggenheim Securities, LLC acted as financial advisor and Mayer Brown served as legal counsel to MetLife in connection with this transaction.
MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), through its subsidiaries and affiliates (“MetLife”), is one of the world’s leading financial services companies, providing insurance, annuities, employee benefits and asset management to help its individual and institutional customers navigate their changing world. Founded in 1868, MetLife has operations in more than 40 markets and holds leading positions in the United States, Japan, Latin America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. For more information, visit www.metlife.com.
PetFirst is a fast-growing pet insurance administrator in the United States. PetFirst has an easy enrollment process and the shortest waiting periods in the industry. PetFirst’s comprehensive coverage is unique in the industry providing simplified policies with coverage for hereditary, chronic and breed-specific conditions with no per-incident limits. PetFirst Healthcare, LLC is the program administrator authorized to underwrite and administer pet health insurance policies and claims on behalf of New Hampshire Insurance Company (NHIC), The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (ISOP), and Independence American Insurance Company in approved states. For more information about PetFirst Pet Insurance, visit www.PetFirst.com or call 855-270-7387.
This news release may contain or refer to forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements give expectations or forecasts of the future using terms such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “expect,” “project,” “intend,” “plan,” “believe,” “will,” and other terms tied to future periods. Results could differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions and expectations. They involve risks and uncertainties, including the “Risk Factors” MetLife, Inc. describes in its U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company has no obligation to correct or update any forward-looking statement.
i PetFirst Website
ii JAVMA Press Release “Pet ownership, spending going strong”
iii NAPHIA 2019 State of the Industry Report