JEFFERSONVILLE — A Jeffersonville-based pet insurance company has outgrown its digs and is expanding its headquarters to a new location with more room to grow.
PetFirst, a nationwide company that offers varying levels of protection for cats and dogs, will be moving to the 400 building in Water Tower Square in August, after nine years in Quartermaster Station. It was founded in 2004.
With an in-house cafe and more open work spaces, the new spot will offer the company more room for group collaborations and more employees.
“We have worked diligently to design an innovative, relaxed, and pet-friendly work space that will meet the needs of our growing business and represent the fun culture PetFirst is known for,” Katie Blakeley, CEO of PetFirst said in a news release. “While PetFirst is a national company, we are excited to invest locally in Indiana.”
The new location will also allow the company to keep up with a quickly-growing health insurance sector. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, pet insurance experienced a growth of 11.5 percent from 2015 to 2016, with 1.6 million pets insured in the U.S.
“Like people, pets get sick,” Clint Lawrence, vice-president of sales for PetFirst, said. “And veterinary costs continue to increase as veterinary technology has increased. You’re able to treat pets for cancer, diabetes … things that you haven’t always been able to treat pets for.”
He said cultural shifts have also contributed to the growth of the industry.
“More and more people are treating pets like family,” Lawrence said. “In the U.S., pets have kind of moved in from the backyard to the bedroom.
“Millennials are treating pets like kids and putting off having kids.”
He said the company strives to give pet parents peace of mind when taking care of the health of their pets. The insurance works like a reimbursement plan, with the company paying pet owners up to 90 percent of their approved veterinary bills. They can visit any certified veterinarian in the country for services.
All breeds and ages of cats and dogs are insurable through PetFirst, Lawrence said. But like other pet insurance companies, animals with a listed pre-existing condition are not insurable.