National Guardian Life partners with New York insurer on dental and vision business

In what’s being characterized as a strategic partnership, Madison’s National Guardian Life Insurance Co. and the New York-based Insurance Capital Group, a prominent investor in the mutual insurance industry, have joined forces to develop and launch a national dental and vision insurance business called BrightBenefits.

The two companies, through their Federal Life Group affiliate, say they have made a “significant” equity investment in Commercial Travelers Insurance Co., which will issue BrightBenefits policies. The closing of the investment is subject to certain regulatory approvals, including the New York Department of Financial Services and the Wisconsin Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Knut A. Olson, president and CEO of National Guardian Life, says the partnership with Insurance Capital Group allows NGL to diversify its investments into new markets without losing its focus on preneed insurance, its core business. “ICG brings exceptional talent and additional capital to this partnership that will allow growth in new and exciting ways,” Olson states.

BrightBenefits, which will offer both employer and employee-paid dental and vision insurance, will be led by insurance industry veteran Danny Bentley. He most recently served as president of Davis Vision, the nation’s third largest vision insurer.