Animal pharmaceutical maker Zoetis is launching a new pet insurance business amid a spike in pet adoptions during the coronavirus pandemic, The Post has learned.
The Parsippany, NJ-based business plans to announce its new Pumpkin Pet Insurance, which it created with entrepreneur Alex Douzet, of dog food company Ollie, on April 30. It will be marketed as the first pet insurance package that will include preventive coverage, a Pumpkin spokeswoman told The Post.
The $60 billion Zoetis, which develops and manufactures medicines and vaccines serving veterinarians and livestock producers, will start offering its pet vitamins to individual pet owners covered by Pumpkin’s insurance package, sources said.
Customers with a pet insurance policy can add preventive care for an extra $15.95 a month for dogs and $10.95 for cats, and get 12 monthly doses of flea, tick and heartworm disease chewables made by Zoetis sent to their homes.
“No one can buy this medicine directly,” Douzet said. Zoetis has formed a pharmacy specifically so it can distribute medicine as part of this insurance offering, he added.
The preventive coverage will also include a wellness visit with a veterinarian and two vaccines, the Pumpkin spokeswoman said.
Presently, only about 2 percent of the 100 million dogs and cats in the US that are pets have health insurance, Douzet told The Post.
“When you look at England, it is 20 percent to 30 percent,” Douzet said, adding that he thinks the same could happen here in five to 10 years.
On average, a dog or cat costs an owner $16,000 over its lifetime without insurance, he said.
Demand for pet insurance could spike thanks to surging demand for pets during COVID-19 lockdowns, which has resulted in a flood of homebound celebrities promoting animal adoption.
“Adopt a dog! Everyone should go out and get a dog. If you don’t have a dog in your life, especially during this time, you’re missing out,” Chris Evans of “Captain America” gushed in a recent video interview with USA Today.
Applications to foster pets have increased by double and triple digits in some cities as people seek furry friends to keep them company during their coronavirus quarantines, according to news reports.
Zoetis shares have also benefited during the pandemic — up 12 percent over the past month, to close Wednesday at $125 a share.
The company is slated to report a 3.7 percent jump in revenues, to $1.51 billion, when it reports earnings on May 6, according to Zacks Equity Research.
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