Author Archives: Donna Cejalvo

Pets Best Insurance Introduces Innovative Cancer-Specific Plan

New Plan Provides Pet Owners with Access to Affordable Coverage for Expensive Pet Cancer Treatment

Pets Best Insurance, a leading U.S. pet insurance agency, announced today the company has launched a new low-cost plan designed to help pet owners afford life-saving, though often expensive, cancer treatments for their four-legged family members.

While Pets Best Insurance has offered comprehensive coverage since 2005 for pet accidents and illnesses, including cancer, the company developed its new Cancer Only plan to provide customers with budget-friendly coverage options for what is widely considered the most expensive medical condition among pets. With prices starting as low as $3 per month, the Cancer Only plan offers coverage for the diagnosis and treatment of malignant cancers, including chemotherapy, MRIs, examinations, blood work, surgeries, medications and other cancer-related expenses.

Victoria Ochoa, DVM, MS, DACVIM of WestVet 24-Hour Emergency & Specialty Center in Idaho, examines cancer patient.

“As a growing number of pet parents seek to extend and improve their pets’ lives through increasingly effective cancer treatments, Pets Best Insurance recognized the need for an affordable plan designed to limit the high out-of-pocket costs typically associated with treating the disease,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, the founder and president of Pets Best Insurance. “Without the right insurance coverage, veterinary bills for the treatment of lymphoma, leukemia, malignant mast cell tumors and other common forms of cancer can wreak havoc on a family’s finances.”

Cancer is responsible for nearly half of deaths among pets older than 10, with dogs experiencing the disease at about the same rate as humans, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.[1] Fortunately, cancer treatment for dogs and cats has advanced rapidly in recent years, with veterinary oncologists now performing less invasive procedures that result in fewer side effects and improved outcomes.Read More…

Animals Swallowing Candy and Ingesting Seasonal Decorations Top Fall Pet Insurance Claims

Pets Best Insurance Releases List of Bizarre, Expensive Claims

Pets Best Insurance, a leading U.S. dog and cat pet insurance agency, announced five bizarre claims in honor of the 2012 fall season.  The Boise-based company has seen its fair share of seasonal claims since first opening its doors in 2005.

“Fall is a time filled with Halloween candy, fun decorations and, unfortunately, quite a few pet-related accidents,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, president and founder of Pets Best Insurance. “When putting out seasonal decor and everything associated with it, don’t forget to think about the health and safety of your four legged friends.”

Some of the more unusual fall pet insurance claims the agency has received include*:

A Halloween Vampire?

Cheyenne, an Australian shepherd, was recently admitted to her local veterinarian hospital for a mysterious bite wound on her neck. The wound could have taken a bite out of Cheyenne’s parents’ wallet totaling over $1,600, but fortunately they had pet insurance. Cheyenne’s owners received a reimbursement of nearly $1,200 for the wound.

A Corn-Dog

Tacoda, an Alaskan malamute, was trying to give her best impression of a corndog, literally. The dog ingested a corn cob decoration and was admitted to her local veterinarian with intestinal issues. The surgery to remove the cob cost nearly $2,200, but because Tacoda has a Pets Best Insurance plan, her owners were reimbursed nearly $1,700.Read More…

Boise-Based Pets Best Insurance to Ring Closing Bell at NASDAQ on November 12

Three-Pound Teacup Chihuahua to Ring Bell in New York’s Times Square

Pets Best Insurance, one of the leading pet insurance providers in the United States, will preside over the closing bell at the NASDAQ stock market on Monday, Nov. 12.

Pets Best Insurance's Greg McDonald, CEO, and Dr. Jack Stephens, President and Founder, with Torrey the chihuahua at the NASDAQ.

Greg McDonald, chief executive officer of Pets Best, and the company’s president and founder, Dr. Jack Stephens will ring the closing bell, along with Jeff Smedsrud, president of American Independence Corp (AMIC).

“We are honored to join AMIC in New York City to represent the pet insurance industry, our dedicated staff and our policyholders nationwide,” said Stephens. “Pet insurance is experiencing swift growth in the United States. We are thrilled to showcase, on a national platform, the unique, affordable plans that we offer pet parents.”

Dr. Stephens’ 3-pound Teacup Chihuahua, Torrey (short for “Tornado”), will actually be the one to “ring” the bell. Torrey is Pets Best Insurance’s “Customer Care Advocate” and is the animal ambassador of the company.

“Torrey may need a little help, given the whole opposable thumbs predicament, but she’s surely looking forward to it as much as I am,” laughed Dr. Stephens. “Torrey was invited to participate in the closing ceremony and I know she will do a great job.”

The North American pet insurance market grew 114% between 2005 and 2009 and is expected to grow an average of 20% annually through 2014 to reach $880 million.(1) And according to the American Pet Products Association, in 2012 alone, it is projected that veterinary spending will top over an 8 percent increase to $13.59 billion from previous years.(2) Pets Best is the fourth largest pet insurance company in the U.S.(3) and has had 20 percent yearly sales increases since 2005.

Dr. Stephens is recognized as the founder of pet insurance in the United States and issued the first pet insurance policy to TV dog Lassie in California in the 1980s.Read More…

Pets Best Insurance Announces Third Quarter Finalists of National My Vet’s The Best Contest

Finalists hail from six states, previous winner spays and neuters 14 kittens with contest winnings.

Pets Best Insurance, a leading U.S. pet insurance agency, is pleased to announce the finalists for its third quarter My Vet’s the Best Contest. The finalists were hand-selected by the Pets Best Insurance staff and include six veterinarians from across the country. The finalists are:

  •     Dr. Rene Lefranc – Second Avenue Animal Hospital – Columbus, Ga.
  •     Dr. Irvin Ingram – All Creatures Animal Clinic – Phoenix, Ariz.
  •     Dr. Deanna Tickle – Burlington Animal Hospital – Burlington, N.C.
  •     Dr. Brett Bauscher – Canyon Small Animal Hospital – Caldwell, Idaho
  •     Dr. Monique Weldon – Loving Family Animal Hospital – Centennial, Colo.
  •     Dr. Glen Roiland – Amityville Animal Hospital – Amityville, N.Y.

Pet owners who think their veterinarians have gone above and beyond for their pet are asked to submit their nominations through a form on the Pets Best Insurance Facebook page and website. Each quarter, an internal panel selects six finalists from all received nominations. The six veterinarians and their client-submitted stories are then posted to Facebook for public voting.

“We are proud to recognize veterinarians across the United States who are positively impacting their local communities,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, founder and president of Pets Best Insurance. “Each of these finalists is a winner in my mind and I commend their compassionate and impactful efforts.”Read More…

Pet Insurance Agency, Pets Best Insurance, Celebrates Company Anniversary During September’s National Pet Health Insurance Month

One of the nation’s leading pet insurance agencies is set to celebrate its 7-year company anniversary during the North American Pet Health Insurance Association’s (NAPHIA) National Pet Health Insurance Month.

Dr. Jack Stephens, the veterinarian who founded the first U.S. pet insurance agency and issued the first pet insurance policy to celebrity TV dog Lassie in the 1980s, said the company’s 7-year anniversary on Sept. 17 is particularly special to him because it also falls within National Pet Health Insurance Month and within the same year as the 30th anniversary of U.S. pet insurance as a whole.

“It amazes me to reflect on the introduction of the country’s cat and dog insurance industry,” Dr. Stephens recalled. “As a veterinarian, a client once brought her dog into my practice and decided to euthanize her instead of providing treatment because of the cost alone.”

Dr. Stephens said he ran into the family a few weeks later, and the client’s young daughter remembered him as “the man who killed” her dog.

“This encounter is what ignited my decision to find a better solution than euthanasia for pet owners who cannot afford to treat their sick animals,” Dr. Stephens said. “And so, U.S. pet insurance was born.”

After pioneering the nation’s pet health insuranceindustry, Dr. Stephens was an integral part in the formation of NAPHIA, which is a comprised of pet health insurance companies and industry professionals who aim to set and keep industry transparency and standards high.

Dr. Stephens said the pet insurance agency plans to celebrate its anniversary during NAPHIA’s National Pet Health Insurance month with a veterinarian “Yappy Hour” open house event in September at the Pets Best Insurance headquarters.

“We’re overjoyed to be celebrating another successful year at Pets Best Insurance,” Dr. Stephens said. “And as the human-animal bond continues to grow stronger, we’ll be here to help owners and their beloved animals afford the best health care they can get.”

About Pets Best Insurance

With the goal of reducing economic euthanasia and his commitment to the health and well-being of all pets, Pets Best Insurance president Dr. Jack Stephens founded pet insurance in the United States in 1981. A true industry visionary, Dr. Stephens presented the first pet insurance policy to famous television dog Lassie. Dr. Stephens leads the Pets Best Insurance team with his passion for quality pet health care and his expert veterinary knowledge. The Pets Best Insurance team is comprised of pet lovers who strive to deliver quality customer service and value.

Pet insurance plans offered and administered by Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company, a Delaware Insurance company. Independence American Insurance Company is a member of The IHC Group, an insurance organization composed of Independence Holding Company, a public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and its operating subsidiaries. The IHC Group has been providing life, health and stop loss insurance solutions for nearly 30 years. For information on The IHC Group, visit In states in which Independence American Insurance Company’s new policy form has not yet received regulatory approval, Aetna Insurance Company of Connecticut will underwrite policies. Each insurer has sole responsibility for its own products. To determine the applicable underwriter in your state visit or call Pets Best at 1-877-738-7237.

For more information, visit Pets Best Insurance at or call 877-PetsBest (738-7237). You may also follow Pets Best Insurance on Facebook at

Dr. Jack Stephens is available for interviews.


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