ICYMI 2021: ‘They like their pets’: Boise based pet insurance co. booms during pandemic; high percentage of Boise pets insured


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If you own or have ever owned a pet, you know that vet visits can be a bit… expensive. That is why many Americans are turning to pet health insurance.

One of the nation’s top pet insurance companies is located right here in Boise.

Pets Best Insurance’s national “paw-ffice” office is located off Vista Ave with more than 100 local employees.

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The founder of Pets Best, Dr. Jack Stephens, is “widely considered the ‘founding father’ of the pet insurance industry in the US,” according to the company. He started, and then sold, the first US pet insurance company in the early 1980’s. Years later Greg McDonald who owned and ran a successful insurance company in Twin Falls and Boise joined with Stephens to start Pets Best in Boise in 2005.

Today, more than 350,000 dogs and cats across the US have Pets Best Insurance which can cover accidents, illnesses, and sometimes routine care. According to Pets Best, the company paid out more than $200 million in claims to date.

Idahoans & pet insurance

“A lot of people in Boise have insurance for their pets, even though our marketing efforts are spread across the whole country,” VP of Marketing Walter Haugland said.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, Idaho over-indexes in pet ownership to population.

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“I think it is also a reflection of how much people in Boise love their pets! It makes sense – with great access to walking and hiking trails, and dog-friendly businesses downtown – Boise is a great place for Pets Best to be,” Haugland said.

Today’s Veterinary Business reported in October that 11.38 million U.S. households adopted a new pet during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The industry has been growing in recent years, and grew significantly following the pandemic as more people adopted pets and took an increased interest in making sure they planned for their pet’s future health needs,” Haugland said.

For more information on Pets Best Insurance, head to their website here.

Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporter
Anna Daly - BoiseDev Reporterhttps://boisedev.com/author/annadaly/
Anna Daly is a reporter for BoiseDev. She's an Emmy-winning journalist, and a professor at the College of Western Idaho. Contact her at [email protected].

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