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Petco and Nationwide to Develop Insurance Plans Together

They’re expected to be available in 2023.

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Petco Health and Wellness Co. Inc. (Nasdaq: WOOF) and Nationwide announced plans to develop insurance offerings together.

The plans are expected to be available in 2023.

The companies “will leverage their collective infrastructure, expertise and more than 150 years of insights from a rapidly growing customer base of more than 25 million pet families,” according to a press release.

“Receiving the medical support pets need throughout their lives is critical for both pets and their families,” said Jenny Wolski, Petco senior vice president for omnichannel customer experience. “The customized, data-driven pet insurance solutions we’re developing in partnership with Nationwide will be designed to expand families’ access to Petco’s full range of pet care services, giving them longer and healthier lives together.”

Only about 2.5% of pets in the U.S. are insured, according to 2021 data from the North American Pet Health Insurance Association. At the same time, a 2021 VetSuccess study sponsored by Nationwide found dogs and cats insured by Nationwide visited veterinarians 73% and 43% more often, respectively, than pets without health insurance.

“Forty years ago, Nationwide issued the first pet health insurance policy in the U.S. for TV’s Lassie. For every year since, more customers have trusted us to protect their pets than any other insurer. Sustaining our market leadership has been driven by continuous, customer-focused innovation — including as the first to offer voluntary benefits plans, avian and exotic coverage, telehealth, and preferred pricing on prescription drugs,” said Heidi Sirota, Nationwide pet insurance president and CEO. “Our partnership with Petco is another game-changing move that will reshape the pet care industry by expanding access to care, delivering actionable health insights, and improving outcomes for millions of pets and their families.”

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These new offerings “are expected to focus on end-to-end pet care fulfilled through Petco’s pharmacy, veterinary hospitals or clinics, and other health and wellness offerings, including Petco’s revolutionary Vital Care program,” according to the release. Coverage will include routine preventative care like vaccinations and unexpected medical needs related to accidents or serious illnesses. Petco insurance offerings available to customers and Petco partners employees are expected to be delivered exclusively through Nationwide pet insurance in the future.

“With a growing number of pets in U.S. homes, and a need and desire from their loving families for them to live as healthy and happy as possible, expanding pet parents’ access to the care that supports all elements of a pets’ whole health — including access to veterinary care as well as physical, mental, social and home health — is a key component of Petco’s focus on purpose-driven performance,” said Dr. Whitney Miller, chief veterinarian at Petco. “Nationwide’s proven track record of enabling extraordinary care for millions of pets is perfectly aligned with our mission of improving lives. With our combined efforts focused on what’s best for pets, we aim to streamline the pet insurance process not only for our customers but the veterinary community at large.”

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