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Indiana pet insurance provider purchased by MetLife

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind (Inside INdiana Business) — An Indiana-based insurance provider for pets has been purchased by one of the biggest life insurance companies in the U.S.

MetLife Inc. (NYSE: MET) has acquired Jeffersonville-based PetFirst. Financial details were not disclosed.

PetFirst started 15 years ago to provide health insurance for dogs and cats to help reduce the financial worries often associated with a veterinary visit.

“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 Chief Executive Officer Katie Blakeley. “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 company employs 60 people in the Jeffersonville office. PetFirst expects all workers will keep their jobs.

Blakeley said that in the long term, the acquisition could mean even more jobs in Jeffersonville, as MetLife will be offering the product to more companies around the country as an employee benefit.

MetLife says beginning in the summer of 2020, it 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.

“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,” said Ramy Tadros, president of U.S. Business for MetLife.

Blakeley says the company currently administers insurance coverage on more than 40,000 pets.

“We have seen pet insurance continue to gain importance as a valuable product for families,” said Blakeley.

The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020 subject to customary closing conditions and approvals.