NEW YORK, Nov. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- American Independence Corp. (Nasdaq:AMIC) will preside over the closing bell at the NASDAQ stock market on November 12, 2012, marking the company's expansion into new, niche markets, including pet insurance with partner Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC ("Pets Best").
Pets Best will act as guest of honor at the event, with Greg McDonald, chief executive officer, and its founder, Dr. Jack Stephens and his Chihuahua, Torrey, ringing the closing bell, along with Jeff Smedsrud, president of American Independence Corp ("AMIC").
"AMIC strives to be an innovator in unique insurance markets, offering customized and online solutions, either direct-to-consumers or through agents exclusive to our companies," said Smedsrud. "NASDAQ is the perfect venue for us to celebrate our growth and welcome new partnerships within the AMIC family."
Also attending with AMIC leadership are leaders from IHC Risk Solutions, LLC, Independent Producers of America, LLC, IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc., plus online companies healthinsurance.org, LLC, dentalinsurance.org and healthedeals.com.
The North American pet insurance market grew 114% between 2005 and 2009 and is expected to grow an average of 20% annually through 2014. 1 At this rate, the North American pet insurance market will grow to over $880 million by the end of 2014.2 In 2012 alone, it is projected that veterinary spending will top over an 8 percent increase to $13.59 billion from previous years.3 Pets Best is the fourth largest pet insurance company in the U.S. and has had 20 percent yearly sales increases since 2005.4
"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 rapid growth in the United States. We are thrilled to showcase, on a national platform, the unique, affordable plans that we offer pet parents."
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.
A live stream of the NASDAQ closing bell ceremony will be available beginning at 3:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
AMIC, through Independence American Insurance Company and its other subsidiaries, offers health insurance solutions to individuals and employer groups. AMIC provides to the individual and self-employed markets health insurance and related products, which are distributed through its subsidiaries, IHC Risk Solutions, LLC, Independent Producers of America, LLC, IHC Specialty Benefits, Inc. and healthinsurance.org, LLC. AMIC is a member of The IHC Group.
About The IHC Group
The IHC Group is an organization of insurance carriers, and marketing and administrative affiliates that has been providing health, life, disability, dental, vision and medical stop-loss insurance solutions to groups and individuals for over 30 years. With over $1.3 billion in assets as of March 2012, members of The IHC Group include Independence Holding Company (NYSE:IHC), American Independence Corp. (Nasdaq:AMIC), Standard Security Life Insurance Company of New York, Madison National Life Insurance Company, Inc. and Independence American Insurance Company. Each insurance carrier in The IHC Group has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best Company, Inc., a widely recognized rating agency that rates insurance companies on their relative financial strength and ability to meet policyholder obligations. Collectively, the companies in The IHC Group provide insurance coverage to more than one million individuals and groups. For more information about The IHC Group, visit www.ihcgroup.com.
About Pets Best
With the goal of reducing economic euthanasia and his commitment to the health and well-being of all pets, Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC 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. 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 www.petsbest.com/underwriter or call Pets Best at 1-877-738-7237.
For more information, visit Pets Best Insurance at www.petsbest.com or call 877-PetsBest (738-7237).
1 Packaged Facts, Pet Insurance in North America, 4th Edition, November 2010.
2 Packaged Facts, Pet Insurance in North America, 4th Edition, November 2010.
3 Industry statistics & Trends in 2012. American Pet Products Association. http://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp
4 More Owners Buy Pet Insurance for Furry Pals. Sarah Meehan. USA Today. March 7, 2012. http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/insurance/story/2012-03-06/pet-insurance-veterinary-expenses/53388516/1