Pioneer of U.S. Pet Insurance Launches Pets Best Insurance

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Boise, Idaho, January 5, 2006 — Pets Best Insurance, a pet health insurance company for pets and a division of General Fire & Casualty Company, today announced that it will begin providing comprehensive insurance plans for pet owners and their pet family members. Initially, the company intends to offer its programs in 24 states, including California, and anticipates expanding into additional states by the end of the year.

Founded by pet insurance pioneer, Jack Stephens D.V.M., the company’s insurance plans for pets are designed to provide the peace of mind that comes when consumers want “simply the best.”  Pets Best Insurance offers its policyholders generous benefits, reasonable premium options and the ability to use the veterinarian of their choice.

Dr. Stephens draws on 33 years of veterinary experience and a lifelong passion for animals in delivering this new innovative product. “My mission is to provide pet owners with broader protection, straightforward claims reimbursement and options to fit every budget. Pets Best’s goal is to be worthy as the best choice for pet insurance,” said Dr. Stephens.

As a veterinarian and pet lover with eight dogs and two cats, Dr. Stephens brings a unique perspective to the pet insurance industry. “I know all the many problems that can unexpectedly happen to pets. In creating this new product, I focused on what pet owners and their veterinarians wanted in price, coverage and benefits,” continued Dr. Stephens. “I knew from experience that I could provide more benefits and higher reimbursement for pet care by utilizing new automation for internal processing of claims, and passing along the advantages to pet owners in a number of ways — fewer coverage exclusions, more coverage options, and higher limits to meet increasing veterinary care. I have had a lifelong passion to help pets and providing pet insurance for the unexpected health needs of pets is the best method. I wanted no hidden schedules or complicated method of calculating the reimbursements for pet care, simply by paying 80 percent of covered claims after the deductible.”

  • Pets Best insurance plans provide for direct reimbursement to the pet owner or to the veterinarian of their choice. Plans include:
  • Pets First. The premier and highest per incident benefit plan for pet owners.
  • Pets Basic. An economical plan with the same coverage as Pets First with lower per incident limits and higher deductibles, but at a lower cost.
  • Pets Accident. A simplified, inexpensive, specific accident-only plan.
  • Pets Wellness. For an additional premium, pet owners can receive wellness benefits with their Pets First and Pets Basic plans, which includes coverage for spaying/neutering, teeth cleaning, vaccines and annual pet health examinations. Also included in the wellness benefits package are important diagnostic screens, such as EKGs, general health screens, heartworm tests, feline leukemia tests, internal parasite tests and much more.
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 Pets Best Insurance is entering a field with enormous growth potential. In the U.S. , the pet health insurance market is still virtually untapped, with only five companies offering coverage. A 2002 report by Market Trends states that, while consumer spending on veterinary services has increased by 83 percent since 1996, less than one percent of the more than 136 million dogs and cats in this country are covered by pet insurance. That figure is higher in other parts of the world. In the United Kingdom , for instance, 14 percent of dogs and five percent of cats are covered by about 60 insurers.

Dr. Stephens, who has the most experience in the industry, attributes the lower market penetration in the United States to previous industry restrictions on coverage limitations, too many coverage exclusions, and complicated claims reimbursement processes as reasons why pet insurance has not taken off in the U.S. Additionally, he believes there is a lack of awareness of the many benefits pet insurance can provide pet owners. “More competition and meeting pet owners expectations will be the driving force for future growth,” stated Dr. Stephens, who anticipates increased pet insurance sales in the United States with the launching of his new pet insurance program and his promotion of increased consumer awareness of program benefits.

About Pets Best

Pets Best, headquartered in Boise, Idaho, is a division of General Fire & Casualty Company, which specializes in agribusiness, livestock and animal-related insurance products. The company provides comprehensive insurance plans for pet owners whose pet is a family member. Its insurance plans provide the peace of mind that comes when a pet owner wants “simply the best.”  Pets Best takes pride in offering its policyholders high limits, generous benefits and a variety of options for every budget. Pets Best knows that making the statement, “Simply the best pet insurance,” means it must live up to its name each and every day, and with each and every interaction with its policyholders.

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Pets Best offers a generous 80 percent coverage of covered claims (after the deductible), liberal wellness benefits, the ability to choose your own veterinarian, and prompt claims settlement. Pets Best employees understand pet insurance and the needs of pet owners, as Pets Best’s founder, Dr. Jack Stephens, pioneered the pet insurance industry in 1981, has over 30 years of veterinary experience, and has instilled his passion and commitment to pet insurance in each and every one of his employees. For more information, visit or call 877-PETS BEST (738-7237).

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