The Hartville Group, Inc., based in North Canton, Ohio announced that it became a full reporting public company on September 12, 2002. The company’s announcment explained that “On that date Hartville Equestrian, Inc., a privately-held company, was 100% acquired by Venturelist.com, Inc. Concurrently with the acquisition Venturelist.com, Inc. changed its name to Hartville Group Inc. and changed its stock symbol to HTVL:OTC BB.”
The company serves a rapidly expanding niche market in pet health insurance, equine, and farm/ranch and animal mortality. The bulletin stated that “With limited competition due to specialization, which afford sizeable underwriting returns,” the company is among the largest pet health insurance companies in the U.S.
Hartville indicated it has written “an estimated 20,000 policies, which represents more than $5 million in annualized written premiums since inception of the Company in 1998.”
It’s a big market. The company’s bulletin pointed out that “The United States has the largest population of pets in the world. Approximately 59 million households own over 112 million dogs and cats. Pet owners spend more than $10 billion each year on veterinary care. Therein lies a fast growing business of pet health insurance as reported by Forbes Magazine (November 1998). More recently, Veterinary Practice News reported that pet insurance is to quintuple in five years (March 2002). “