Canada’s Leading Pet Insurer Becomes 1st Dedicated Pet Insurance Underwriter

VenGrowth Private Equity Partners Assists Petplan in Establishing SecuriCan General Insurance Company

Winnipeg, MB (March 30, 2005) – Until very recently all of Canada’s pet insurance providers have operated as brokers, with third party Canadian insurance companies operating as their underwriters. Petplan, Canada’s leading and oldest pet health insurance broker, was no exception — previously employing the underwriting services of Sovereign General Insurance Company, a member of The Co-operators group of companies. Wanting to assume full control over its future and profitability, Petplan has now successfully completed the task of capitalizing itself as a Federally regulated insurance company under the governance and guidance of the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (“OSFI”).

To achieve full autonomy, Petplan and parent company HED Insurance have established a new insurance company that specializes in underwriting pet insurance programs — SecuriCan General Insurance Company (“SecuriCan”). The name SecuriCan was chosen as the operating insurance company name, while Petplan has been retained as the company’s core branded insurance product. SecuriCan is now licensed to do business across Canada — receiving its final provincial licence (Quebec) in December 2004.

To assist in this undertaking, Petplan and HED presented the proposal to the Canadian venture capital market, successfully raising $7.5 million from VenGrowth Private Equity Partners, one of Canada’s premier private equity managers with over $1 billion in assets under management on behalf of individual and institutional investors.

“Petplan and HED represent the types of companies we like to partner with — established, forward-looking businesses with a strong, sustainable market niche,” said Graham McBride, Managing General Partner of VenGrowth. “The partnership with HED in establishing SecuriCan will assist both companies in advancing their core business and we see the potential for excellent future growth.”

“It has been a huge investment of resources, but now with our Federal license we have complete control over our own destiny” said Randy Valpy, President and Chief Operating Officer of SecuriCan. “Over the last three and half years our business has almost doubled in size and now as Canada’s only licensed pet insurance underwriting company, the organization is extremely well-positioned to capitalize on market trends and opportunities for growth.”

Statistics show one in three pets will experience a new illness or injury requiring veterinary care this year, with one in six pets sustaining two or more illnesses or injuries. Pet insurance, which follows a model not unlike dental insurance, enables pet owners to take advantage of the highest standards of veterinary medicine. Even though today less than one percent of pet owners in Canada actually subscribe to pet insurance, in other countries with more developed pet health insurance industries, participation is considerably higher. By comparison, the United Kingdom has 15 percent of its pets insured and Sweden has the highest percentage of insured dogs and cats in the world with 42 percent penetration. This bodes well for SecuriCan and the industry across Canada in the immediate future.

Since 1989 Canadian pet owners have been able to purchase pet insurance, and Petplan was the first to offer pet insurance in the country. Today Petplan remains Canada’s leading pet insurance provider. In addition to their own brand Petplan, SecuriCan also underwrites pet insurance programs for other companies including a new partnership with President’s Choice Financial. PC Financial Pet Insurance launched on March 31, 2005. More information can be retrieved from

About HED Insurance

Established in 1982, HED Insurance and Risk Services is a multi-faceted organization. HED operates as risk management consultants, commercial and personal lines insurance brokers, employee benefits consultants and group administrators. Above all, HED’s insurance professionals are risk negotiators who buy optimum insurance coverage for their clients from responsive and qualified insurance companies. HED’s overall mission is to make its clients aware of their risks, so that they can take the appropriate action, giving clients the piece of mind to concentrate on their day to day business. As Art Elias, President of HED, said, “There will be greater benefits for our clients if we help them with understanding and management of risk, rather than just sell them insurance.”For more information, please visit

About VenGrowth Private Equity Partners Inc.

With over $1 billion in assets under management, VenGrowth is Canada’s largest private equity and venture capital firm managing both retail and institutional assets. Since 1982, VenGrowth’s accomplished private equity managers have invested over $1.1 billion in 180 companies, building a strong track record of successful portfolio transactions. These investments have been made on behalf of over 180,000 individual investors and leading pension funds, banks, insurance companies and family foundations. Portfolio companies benefit from VenGrowth’s substantial experience, resources, and hands-on investment style. VenGrowth’s offices are located in Toronto (Corporate Headquarters) and Ottawa.For more information, please visit

About Petplan Insurance

Petplan Insurance’s vision is to promote a better quality of life for Canadian pet owners and their cats and dogs, through a suite of insurance products that provide for optimal pet health care. Established in 1989, Petplan Insurance is Canada’s leading pet health insurance company. Headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, the company has representation from coast to coast. Petplan Canada is affiliated with Petplan U.K., the largest pet insurance company in the world. For more information please visit

About SecuriCan General Insurance Company

SecuriCan became a federally licensed property and casualty insurance company in April 2004. SecuriCan specializes in underwriting pet insurance programs, currently underwriting Petplan Insurance, CAA Pet Insurance, Save-on-More Pet Insurance (for Overwaitea Foods), and President’s Choice Financial Pet Insurance. SecuriCan is a subsidiary of HED Insurance, one of the largest Canadian-owned insurance brokers, consultants, and group program administrators.

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