Insurance: Animal Actuaries

At Chicago's recent International Livestock Exposition, none of the hopeful breeders vying for blue ribbons were half so fidgety as a pair of Illinois businessmen named Frank W. Harding and Clinton Tomson. "One good fire and we would have had it," says Harding. The reason: Harding, 51, and Tomson, 53, are partners in the American Livestock Insurance Co. of Geneva, Ill., biggest and fastest growing of the U.S. companies that specialize in insuring animals.

Just ten years old, American Livestock now operates in 35 of the 50 states, writes 5,000 policies a year. When Harding and Tomson decided to form...

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