Pet insurance growth, technology focused

Pet insurance is predicted to reach $12 billion by 2027, a compound annual growth rate of around 7.2% from 2020-2027. With that growth, pet insurance companies are also becoming more technologically advanced, especially as attitudes toward pets change.

Younger consumers, especially in the millennial age bracket, seem to view their pets as family, leading to a greater interest in pet insurance, said Bob Capobianco, senior vice president of Crum & Forster Pet Insurance Group, providers of ASPCA® Pet Health Insurance.

“Accordingly, just as other members of the family, pet parents want to do everything they can to be able to help provide the very best for their four-legged companions,” said Capobianco.

Pet insurers, like other insurers, have become increasingly technologically advanced, but the pandemic has led to an acceleration of digital advancement, according to Nick McClish, director of U.S. growth and partnerships at Bought by Many, the Britain-based pet insurance that expanded into the U.S. under the name Many Pets. McClish said they have a hypothesis that customers will ask for digital products that are present in other forms of insurance.

For example, telehealth for pets became more popular over the course of the pandemic, in a similar way that it first became popular in human health, according to Heidi Sirota, chief pet officer at Nationwide. The company launched a pet RX Express program this year, which allows its members to present a card and pay less for pet medications at Walmart and Sam’s Club.

Eusoh, a comprehensive accident, illness and wellness community health sharing plan for dogs and cats, found that its telehealth partnership with First Vet, an online video veterinary service, became more popular during the pandemic because of the increase in pet adoptions, said Joe Cayetano, marketing director for Eusoh.

Wagmo, a pet insurance company, which raised $12.5 million in Series A Financing last month, offers a wellness plan in addition to its traditional coverage. The wellness plan covers routine exams normally excluded by pet insurance and includes annual exams, exam/ office calls, technician appointments and mobile exams/ in-home care.

As other insurance industries introduce concepts like usage-based insurance or artificial intelligence to create discounts for home and car insurance, pet insurers use markers like breed, location and age. Looking forward, some pet insurers may look to pet trackers as an opportunity to appraise exercise, rest and holistic health.

“There’s a lot of people dabbling and wanting to get into that space,” said Sirota. “It’s something that we may consider, and I’m sure other insurances may as well.”

For some companies, like Eusoh, pet tracking devices could be a part of a more robust option to get discounts, according to Cayetano.

Eusoh plans to construct a membership database that marries their application programming interface with tracking devices. At the moment, their partnerships with pet trackers like Animal ID are reciprocal campaigns. In the future, Eusoh’s records and pricing could be merged with the tracker’s records and database for potential discounts.

“We hope that we’ll have something very robust where we can combine the tracking with our membership database, and with our pet database so it comes together,” said Cayetano.

Consumers have found an ease of access through insurtechs in other areas and now pet insurers are trying to disrupt their segment of the market and respond to those demands.

“Whether it’s telematics in the car space or introducing different IoT into the home—being able to bring that to the pet insurance world is ultimately, what we have a hypothesis, customers are increasingly asking for, » said McClish.

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