I got an unexpected primer in Japanese pet insurance from one of the veterinarians who attended my November lectures in Tokyo. Dr. Asako Shimamura, a 2002 graduate of the Nippon Veterinary and Life Sciences University, introduced herself as an employee of Anicom Holdings, a growing pet insurance company that markets exclusively in Japan. http://www.anicom-sompo.co.jp/
In discussions with Asako, and also with Tokyo veterinarians who have benefited from her expertise, I became intrigued by the recent success of her company. From a very small beginning in 2000, they now have more than 60% of the domestic market share for pet insurance in Japan.
When I asked Asako to explain her company’s success, she said, “Many people now regard pets not just as companion animals, but as members of the family.” Because of her company’s vision―An insurance group aiming to lessen tears and brighten smiles―Anicom is on the march, with sales tripling to over 9B Yen ($110m US) in the last five years.