The 2017 Executive Excellence Awards: Darryl Rawlings
January 16, 2017
While most executives find success through building relationships, Darryl Rawlings prospers by redefining them. His company, Trupanion, offers to make insuring your pet more like buying health insurance for your family, providing comprehensive value for the life of the animal. Spurred by his own boyhood trauma of losing a beloved dog to a treatable but costly illness, Rawlings resolved that Trupanion would rethink the paradigm of what is wanted by pet owners. Ditching the reimbursement model of most pet insurers, Trupanion Express lifts the barriers of out-of-pocket cost and paperwork by directly paying veterinarians 90 percent at the time of the invoice. The veterinarians it works with become Trupanions strongest advocates for the product. Since its founding in 2000, Trupanion has become one of the fastest-growing pet insurers in North America, with more than 320,000 pets enrolled. Trupanion Express now partners with more than 500 veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada, and pet owners can work with any veterinarian they choose. That strong market response helped Rawlings lead the company in 2014 through a $75 million initial public offering of stock. Rawlings notes that there remains ample room for growth, driven through a national network of territory partners who work closely with veterinarians and pet owners. A recently announced teaming up with online dog boarding and pet services firm DogVacay suggests other service synergies ahead. Yet what Rawlings finds most rewarding is the daily stream of pictures of pets from grateful customers. There are not many people who get to go to work and have that feeling, he declares.