(BOISE, IDAHO–AUGUST 18, 2006),-Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC DBA Pets Best Insurance (Pets Best Insurance) has been formed to acquire the 25-employee pet insurance division from General Fire & Casualty Company (General Fire) and other intellectual property rights from GF&C Holding Company, General Fire’s parent corporation. The pet health insurance company is a General Agency that will be focused on accelerating growth by contracting with General Fire and other insurance companies to underwrite its products nationwide before the end of the fourth quarter of 2006. Due to growth and expansion to more urban states, Pets Best Insurance anticipates a six-fold growth in annualized premium to over $31 million in 2007, its second year of business.
The new company includes founder and president, Jack Stephens, DVM, a former executive vice president of General Fire and the pioneer of the pet insurance industry in the United States. Also included is chairman and CEO, Greg McDonald, the former chairman of GF&C Holding Company. Between these two leaders they have over fifty years of experience and leadership in the insurance industry. Pets Best Insurance will pay General Fire and GF&C Holding Company in excess of $10 million dollars in exchange for the pet insurance division. Both McDonald and Stephens will continue to hold limited investments in GF&C Holding Company, but have resigned as directors and officers of General Fire and GF&C Holding Company, respectively, to devote their full time and attention to the pet insurance company.
Stephens acknowledged the new collaboration. “By creating Pets Best [Insurance] we will greatly increase growth and revenue potential for our pet insurance business. We have been very pleased with the results of Pets Best [Insurance] and the response from veterinarians and consumers. Making Pets Best [Insurance] products available in all states will help us become a proven and sustainable leader in pet insurance,” McDonald added, “The general agency structure will allow us to concentrate our capital on marketing and advertising. Our continuing underwriting relationship with General Fire and other contracted insurance carriers will be central to our success and will continue to be a source of excellent support and services.”
According to Dan Crandall, Chairman & CEO of General Fire, “Pets Best’s marketing and internet strategy, including contracting other insurance company providers, will increase the potential for more written premiums nationwide. We look forward to continuing to underwrite and provide policyholder support to Pets Best Insurance as a valued general agent.”
Pets Best Insurance markets and manages pet health and accident insurance for the consumer through www.petsbest.com and its integrated call centers 877 PetsBest (738-7237). Additionally, they market to the veterinary trade through the above channels and regional representatives. With online sales, customer service portal, and electronic delivery of policies, the customer benefits by receiving a more simplified convenient experience. The insurance underwriter reimburses pet owners for services from the veterinarian they choose. Pets Best Insurance product brand includes a choice of four affordable coverage plans with a straightforward 80:20 claims reimbursement structure and NO benefit schedule. The Pets Best team is a highly skilled and professional group of pet lovers who have developed products based on innovation and insight into veterinary care. Pets Best Insurance is truly “Pet insurance that really pays!” Pets Best Insurance is underwritten by General Fire & Casualty Company.
General Fire is a specialty property and casualty insurer. Its home office is located at 2710 Sunrise Rim Road, Boise, Idaho 83705. General Fire’s mission is to “be our customer’s best choice for the placement of their insurance business and personal trust.” The corporate objective of General Fire is to generate property & casualty insurance underwriting profits in selected specialty niches. General Fire is licensed to transact property and casualty insurance in 24 states: AZ, CA, CO, ID, GA, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, ND, OK, OR, SD, TX, UT, WA, WI, WY.