The team at Pets Best Insurance is comprised of pet owners and pet lovers, many of whom have veterinary backgrounds and are involved with animal rescue. We understand the special bond that exists between humans and their pets, and we work to ensure pet owners across the country can better afford the best veterinary care.
- Founded in 2005 by Dr. Jack Stephens, DVM, founder of pet insurance in the U.S.
- Underwritten by Aetna Insurance Corporation of Connecticut
- Proud member of NAPHIA, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, dedicated to educating and promoting the values and benefits of pet health insurance. Most employees recruited directly from the veterinary trade
- Strong and stable with a history of excellent customer service
- Highly favorable reviews at the independent site Pet Insurance Review
See contact info for the Pets Best Insurance Sales, Customer Care and Media teams.
Our Mission Statement
At Pets Best Insurance, we strive to help pet owners achieve financial security and protect the health of their pets by providing quality insurance coverage, prompt claim payment, and unsurpassed service both before and after the sale.
Meet the Team
Jack Stephens – Founder and President
In 1981, Jack had to euthanize a dog because his owner couldn't afford treatment. Shortly after, the owner and her child saw Jack in a local store. When the woman asked her child if she remembered Dr. Stephens, she said, “Yes, he's the one who killed our dog."
Determined to stop economic euthanasia of pets, Jack founded the first U.S. pet insurance company the following year.
A former practicing veterinarian, Stephens is a pet enthusiast who shares his home with multiple dogs, two cats and several horses. Jack's driving passion to increase the quality of pet care encouraged him to found Pets Best Insurance.
Jack has written and published numerous articles about pet health insurance, was a contributing author for a leading veterinary trade magazine, and is a vocal advocate for the positive effects pets have on our lives.
For all things pet related, Jack is the guru people turn to. If he doesn't know the answer, he personally knows the person who does. His leadership and experience make him our very own Captain Jack.
or call Pets Best at 866-440-2020
Torrey - Customer Care Advocate
As the Pets Best Insurance Customer Care Advocate, Torrey, Dr. Stephens' one-and-a-half pound tea-cup Chihuahua, works on your behalf to remind us all on a daily basis why we're here: for the pets!
Torrey accepts e-mail questions at email@example.com. Of course, the human staff must answer the questions, but Torrey is in the office every day when she is not traveling with Dr. Stephens as an ambassador for Pets Best. Though small, she has the heart of a lion and fiercely protects her policyholders.
Greg McDonald – Chief Executive Officer
With nearly 35 years of experience in the insurance industry, Greg brings a wealth of knowledge to Pets Best Insurance. A graduate of University of Idaho, Greg served as an officer in the U.S. Navy before beginning his insurance career in Denver and eventually moving to Boise.
As the co-founder of General Fire & Casualty Company and the founder of InsurServ, Greg brings his experience and passion to Pets Best and has been a major force in Pets Best's quick success.
Greg's upbeat personality and unparalleled energy level keep us excited about what's happening next for Pets Best Insurance.
Chris Middleton - Chief Operating Officer
Chris joined Pets Best Insurance in 2010 after an 18 year career in the hi-tech field working for Hewlett Packard. He's thrilled to be working for Pets Best Insurance not only because it's a business devoted to helping pets live longer healthier lives, but because he gets to bring his dog, Attie, to work where she patiently sits at his office door and waits for treats and head pats from passing Customer Care and Claims team members.
A native of Boise, Chris and his wife of 22 years enjoy supporting their children's activities, riding motorcycles and walking Attie in the extensive Boise foothill trail system.
Chris learned the need for pet insurance in 2007 when his previous dog, Guido, needed emergency surgery for what turned out to be terminal cancer. Making the decision to pay $3800 in the vet's office at 11:30 at night in the course of 15 minutes was difficult and Chris had a lot of trade-off decisions to make pretty quickly - Could he still pay his kids' school tuition? Would they be able to go on vacation? Chris says, "Not only did my family and I ultimately have to cope with the death of a beloved friend and family member, but I had to pay a $3,800 veterinarian bill." Now that Chris has insured Attie, he knows he and his vet can make the best medical decisions possible, with cost being a distant factor, and that gives him a lot of comfort.
Chris has an MBA from the University of Oregon and is a certified public accountant.
Jared Hight – Claims and Compliance Director
Jared comes to us after more than a decade in veterinary nursing and hospital administration. Born in Ontario and raised outside Seattle, he made his way to Boise in 1999 and has been with Pets Best Insurance since before we officially launched in 2005. A Boise State graduate, Jared spends his time focused on designing, implementing and improving the claims processing procedures as well as ensuring Pets Best Insurance complies with all state and federal laws.
When he isn't at work making sure that our policyholders are having their claims processed in the quickest and most efficient
manner possible, he is spending time with his four dogs, three cats, wife and two kids.
Paul Crane - Technology Manager
Paul poured concrete to put himself through college, which may be a clue to why he's so devoted to making sure our technology is rock solid.
He earned a BBS in Computer Information Systems from Idaho State University and worked as a programmer/business analyst for 5 years before becoming the Technology Manager at Pets Best Insurance. Here, he works hard to ensure the continued functionality of the Pets Best Insurance website as well as our internal systems.
When he isn't caring for our technology, he cares for his small family, including his wife and two sons. Somehow, he also carves out time to run marathons, play softball and strike fear in the hearts of his fantasy football opponents.
Donna Cejalvo - Director of Partner Programs
Donna is a native of Vancouver, BC where she earned a Marketing degree from Simon Fraser University. After moving to the Treasure Valley, she sought a position that she truly loves. As the Director of Partner Programs, Donna works closely with veterinary hospitals, insurance agents and other marketing partners to help pet owners understand the value and benefits of pet insurance.
She is the proud owner of an American Pit Bull Terrier (Piper) and English Pointer mix (Dodger), both of whom are cuddly clowns who bring constant warmth and laughs to her and her husband Gary.
In the summer you can find Donna, Gary, Piper and Dodger on their boat enjoying the summer sun and clear waters. If not on the water, the golf course on which they reside is always available for them to engage in hooking or slicing a few golf balls into one of the houses, including their own!
Lonnie Johnston – Sales Manager
Lonnie spent nearly 20 years in the health, property and casualty insurance business before joining the Pets Best Insurance team. As Sales Manager, he calls upon much of his past professional experience while overseeing a team of highly skilled, licensed, in-house agents whose goal is to make the process of beginning a new policy as informative and comfortable as possible. His best pal, Lucky the Beagle, often assists in the quoting process from the comfort of a pet bed under Lonnie’s desk.
When he’s away from work, you’ll probably find Lonnie at home with his wife and two daughters, or, if he can find the free time, calling “Fore!” out on the links, camping in the Idaho wilderness, or sprawled out on the couch, eyes affixed to a Lakers game or one of the many Blu-Ray action movies in his collection. (Old Schwarzenegger flicks are his favorite.)
Skeeter - Former Chairman, Pet Relations
No other pet we know of has held an honorary Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, but Skeeter did! Recognized for his powerful presence and inspiration for a commencement speech given by Dr. Stephens in 1999 at the University of Missouri Veterinary School, he received his honorary DVM degree. Skeeter was also the inspiration for the Skeeter Foundation, an organization that works to bring therapy pets to hospitals and nursing homes.
Sadly, he passed away in October 2008.
Skeeter had been an honorary board member of the Western Veterinary Conference, the largest veterinary conference in the world and is responsible for breaking the no-pet barrier at veterinary conferences back in the 1980s. He participated in numerous speeches, both at conferences and universities, and at two veterinary graduations where he sat patiently on stage in his own cap and gown.
Hugged by movie stars and children alike, Skeeter has inspired and funded research on the positive effect pets have on our health, and has been recognized by having his photo hung in the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, in their hallway of stars.