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New York, NY - The American Kennel Club is delighted with the announcement of the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan by Pet Partners, Inc. AKC Pet Healthcare Insurance, underwritten by State National Insurance Company, an A rated company by AM Best, features two comprehensive plans to fanciers and pet owners - the "Premier Plan" and "Premier Plus Plan".

The plan is available in all 50 states. The concept of pet healthcare is continuing to gain greater acceptance and attention among the general public.

There are some unique distinctions about the AKC Pet Healthcare Plan:

v It allows pet owners the option of selecting the right level of coverage for their pet based on their needs: "Premier Plan" or "Premier Plus Plan." One offers comprehensive healthcare coverage, and the other also includes preventive care expenses.

v Both plans are open to any dog under 9 years of age and carry a $100 annual deductible per pet (some competitive plans charge from $40-$50 deductible per incident). After the deductible is met, 80% of each covered claim is paid - up to the plan limit.

v All breeds are eligible for full coverage; there are no breed-specific hereditary conditions or illnesses excluded, and there are no higher fees for specific breeds.

v Claim payments are based on reasonable and customary charges for your geographic region, rather than dictated fee schedules.

This insurance program further expands the array of services that the AKC offers to fanciers and pet owners. As an enhancement to AKC registration, dogs registered with AKC on or after March 31 will be issued a free 60-day pet healthcare insurance policy. This complimentary policy offers injury coverage for the first 30 days and injury and illness coverage for the next 30 days including diagnostic procedures and laboratory tests.

We hope that by offering access to these plans, AKC can put continuing emphasis on the importance of providing veterinary care for pets. With healthcare being one of the most important aspects of responsible dog ownership, pet insurance allows owners to care for their pet's health in the same way they do for themselves and other family members. And, for the many dog owners who are put in difficult situations emotionally and financially when their dog becomes sick or is injured, it can help alleviative the heart wrenching decisions over whether they can afford treatment.

I am sure the fancy will recognize the importance of advocating pet insurance for pet owners. In doing so I believe we can all look forward to the improved welfare and health of our best friends.

For information on the plan or to sign up your dogs you may download an application from our website or call (800) 799-5852 to have an application mailed to you.