Japanese Pet Insurance Market

Not only is pet insurance growing in the US, but it is also growing at a rapid pace in Japan. The Fuji Research Institute estimates that there were 380,000 policies at the end of 2005.

Mr. Nobuo Shiraishi, a Japanese entrepreneur and founder of the iPetClub, estimates there are 13 million dogs and 12 million cats in Japan, which puts the penetration of pet insurance at approximately 1.5%. That's much larger than the US at under 0.5% but much less than the current estimate of 20% in the UK.

I met Mr. Shiraishi at the International Pet Insurance Conference early this year and he mentioned in a presentation that he had $200 million to spend on expanding through acquisition in the UK and the US over the next 3 years. He's more than welcome here in the US - I'm sure he'd spend a lot of marketing dollars that would benefit the whole pet insurance industry.

iPetClub is not specifically mentioned here because it launched in 2006. It has made a big entrance into the Japanese market and is growing fast. Mr. Shiraishi says the company had about 30,000 policies as of April 2005.

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