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Assurant Employee Benefits, a subsidiary of Assurant Inc. (AIZ - Analyst Report), a global provider of specialized insurance, is leading the Dental Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Market in the U.S. by strengthening its dental network.

As per the Sep 2013 Netminder report, for the second year in a row, the company has emerged as the largest dental PPO network in the nation. The company has expanded its network taking its dentist count to more than 100,000.

Recognizing the demand for increased dental care across the nation, Assurant has created a network of a large number of dentists who are popular among employees and are contracted with the Dental Health Alliance, L.L.C. and other accessible dental networks. As a result, patients within the Assurant Employee Benefits’ dental network are able to choose from a wide range of in-network dentists. This provides patients with some control over their dental care bills by reducing out-of-pocket expenses. As a result, the network is successful in ensuring customer satisfaction and is able to retain customers.

Assurant Employee Benefits boasts of a wide range of employer and employee-paid products comprising dental, disability, vision, life, accident, cancer, critical illness etc. With the current status of its dental network, Assurant Employee Benefits has succeeded in strengthening its service portfolio. However, so far in 2013, group dental premiums earned suffered a 3.4% decline over the prior year numbers. We believe the leadership position of its dental network will enhance the membership base of the company thereby recovering premiums and bolstering top line growth going forward.

Assurant currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other players in the insurance industry, which look attractive at current levels, include American Equity Investment Life Holding Co. (AEL - Snapshot Report), ACE Limited (ACE - Analyst Report) and The Allstate Corporation (ALL - Analyst Report). All these stocks carry the same Zacks Rank as Assurant.

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