Trupanion announces sweeping 60-month plan, change to mission statement, Furkin

It’s a new era for Trupanion, America’s second-largest provider of pet health insurance.

The Seattle-based, self-underwritten insurance provider [keen to underscore that they do “medical insurance for the life of your pet” and not simply “pet insurance”] to 577,000*** pets in its flagship monthly subscription business issued its 2020 Annual Shareholder Letter Tuesday afternoon.

***Update: On April 29, 2021, Trup held its Quarter 1 Earnings Call. Q1 2021 Subscription enrolled pets was reported at 609,835 at March 31, 2021, an increase of 20% over the first quarter of 2020.

The letter included what was obviously a well-thought-out, sweeping 60-month strategic plan to expand the company with everything from food to Furkin. Yes, Furkin.

The company has had phenomenal growth over the short period since its founding and it’s been able to accomplish that growth without streamlining its renowned 24/7 live customer support, which has only improved in recent years.

On the food front, there are many more questions than time to list here. The company’s announcement of a yet-to-exist “Landspath” therapeutic/wellness food brand under the auspices of little-known Rayne Nutrition, which seems to be a subsidiary of Trupanion, is, thus far, getting a lukewarm reaction from Vet World and a fair amount of head-scratching.

On the Furkin Front: “Furkin” and “PHI Direct” will be Trupanion-owned pet insurance products at lower price points. Per Trup’s letter from CEO Rawlings:

“Over the next 5 years we are excited to launch two new subscription products—PHI Direct and Furkin—into the North American market….These new pet medical insurance products will offer pet owners different price point choices. Critically, each will offer the same high value proposition as our Trupanion-brand product (the targeted 72% spent paying invoices). The brands will not be marketed together but by being
available, they will help pet owners to clearly understand the difference in coverage.
We believe that when we can educate pet owners about the real differences between high, medium and low ARPU products—Trupanion (high ARPU = broadest and most comprehensive coverage), Furkin (med ARPU = mid-level coverage) and PHI Direct (low ARPU = lowest level coverage)—we can grow penetration of the industry and Trupanion Inc.’s overall share of market. In short, we know that some consumers may enroll in brands other than Trupanion, which is OK if they are informed and understand the difference in coverage.If that occurs, we want them to make an educated decision and enroll with a brand that we own that provides high value and is not misleading.”

Much more detail needed here, but an interesting and smart way to frame the discussion.

Even the mission statement was overhauled.

Old Mission Statement: “To help the pets we all love receive the best veterinary care.”

New Mission Statement: “To help loving, responsible pet owners budget and care for their pets.”

Trupanion’s Q1 results are due out tomorrow at 4:00 p.m. EDT.

Meantime, we are digging for details–including the genesis of “Furkin.” More to come.