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JAB Digs Its Paws Deeper Into Pet Care

By The Daily Upside – Oct 19, 2021 at 9:00PM

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Protecting our furry family members is no small matter. The pet health insurance sector exceeded $2 billion last year, recording its sixth straight...

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Protecting our furry family members is no small matter. The pet health insurance sector exceeded $2 billion last year, recording its sixth straight year of double-digit growth, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association.

JAB Holding Company sees plenty more growth on the horizon, announcing on Tuesday it has taken a majority stake in Cardif Pinnacle (a pet insurance subsidiary of BNP Paribas) and acquired Chicago-based Figo Pet Insurance.

JAB-Of-All-Trades

Better known for its appetite for consumer snacking brands like Krispy Kreme, investment firm JAB is also deeply invested in pet care. The company runs 1,400 veterinary hospitals after picking up Companion-First Pet Hospitals and National Veterinary Associates in 2019.

Senior partner David Bell said JAB clandestinely got into the pet insurance business earlier this year using a decoy entity called Iguana Capital to purchase the pet insurance arm of Independence Holding Company. The intent was to not tip the firm's hand strategically, but with two more moves this week, JAB's secret is officially out:

  • A new partnership with BNP via a stake in Cardif Pinnacle will support a range of pet insurance and healthcare services in the UK, Europe, and Latin America. According to Bell, consumer spending data from JAB's existing veterinary clinics will help it price pet insurance premiums better than "legacy players who by their own admittance don't understand the pet care market well."
  • Meanwhile, JAB's acquisition of Chicago's Figo equips it with the Pet Cloud app, a cloud-based platform offering 24/7 access to live veterinarians, pet records, claims processing, and even a social network for pet owners.

Traveling In The Wrong Direction: On the less fluffy side of the underwriting industry, one of the largest insurers of U.S. businesses, Travelers just posted a 20% decline in net income in Q3. The property-casualty insurer is grappling with over $500 million in pre-tax catastrophe losses thanks to storm damage and auto-wreck claims in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Analysts peg Ida's industrywide damage at over $30 billion. Time to break out the rainy day fund.

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