Insurance giant MetLife announced Thursday, Dec 5, it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Indiana-based pet health insurance administrator, PetFirst.

In a press release, the U.S. life insurer confirmed that the acquisition comes as part of the company’s broader effort to leverage MetLife’s position as a market leader in the U.S. and provide a new benefit that is growing in popularity.”

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.”

Life Insurer MetLife

Established in 2004, PetFirst operates as a pet insurance program administrator that offers cost-effective pet insurance plans for cats and dogs. To date, the company covers health costs for about 40,000 pets and is available in all 50 states.

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“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.,” said PetFirst CEO Katie Blakeley. “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.”

According to the post, the transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020, and MetLife is most likely to offer the pet insurance to its 41 million employers in the summer of 2020.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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