Empowering pet lovers in Japan: Rakuten Pet Insurance

For many, the pandemic has resulted in more time than ever spent at home. While this sudden shift in the collective social life hasn’t been the best for fans of karaoke, clubbing or international travel in Japan, for pet lovers across the country, it’s been a great opportunity to spend more quality time with their four-legged friends, or even welcome new pets into the family.

Pets on the increase

According to a survey on pets published by Rakuten Insight in February this year, nearly 20% of respondents reported becoming new pet owners since 2020, an increase of more than 10 percentage points from the previous year and the year before. In addition, 14% of those who started owning pets after April 2020 stated that this was a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a period characterized by more time at home and fewer opportunities to interact with people outside their households.

Embarking on a new journey with a furry friend is an exciting feeling, but along with that excitement comes a sense of responsibility and perhaps even anxiety about whether you have prepared everything necessary to welcome your new pet. In recent years, pet insurance has become a popular method of ensuring the health and safety of precious family pets. 

The pet dogs of Rakuten Pet Insurance staff and an Okaimono Panda stuffed animal. From left to right: Chappie-kun, Okaimono Panda, Cookie-chan, Okaimono Panda and Toni-kun.
The pet dogs of Rakuten Pet Insurance staff and an Okaimono Panda stuffed animal. From left to right: Chappie-kun, Okaimono Panda, Cookie-chan, Okaimono Panda and Toni-kun.

In fact, in response to the question about the status of pet insurance in the previously mentioned survey, about 40% of dog owners and 20% of cat owners answered that they currently have pet insurance, and about 20% of both answered that they have never had pet insurance but are considering it.

For those unexpected expenses

In Japan, more than 70% of the cost of medical care for humans is regularly covered by public insurance, so oftentimes, until their pets become ill, people might not be conscious of the fact that the cost of treatment can be more expensive than for human medical costs. Having to pay for expensive treatments and hospitalizations can also become a source of anxiety.

To learn more about how these concerns are being addressed, Rakuten Today spoke with a representative from Rakuten Pet Insurance .

Pet Insurance and the Rakuten ecosystem

Rakuten Pet Insurance’s product offering is dubbed “Zutto Issho [Motto],” (Japanese for “Together Forever [More]”) and has three main features.

First, the range of coverage is wide, and the expense limit is high — one of the broadest in the pet insurance industry.

Second, there is a variety of benefits for policy holders. In addition to aid in emergency situations, there are also services that cater for more everyday concerns, including free phone consultations with veterinarians 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. All policy holders also receive an annual gift of a 500 yen shopping coupon that can be used at pet supply stores in Rakuten Ichiba.

Third, with a service unique to the Rakuten Group, policy holders can earn Rakuten Points equivalent to 1% of the annual premium*.

As Rakuten Ichiba is already a popular shopping destination offering special pet owner benefits, the Pet Insurance team is keen to foster a “pet ecosystem” with a broad range of convenient and appealing services for pet owners and their pets.

*For details on the point program, please refer to the Rakuten Pet Insurance website. Please note the website is only available in Japanese, and applications for Rakuten Pet Insurance can only be accepted from people living in Japan.

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