Healthy Paws vs Nationwide: Which Is More Dependable?

Two dogs looking at each other (caption: Healthy Paws vs Nationwide)Healthy Paws and Nationwide are two of the big dogs in the pet industry space. However, the way their business models are set up, the customer experience, and the cost are entirely different.

Both companies offer thorough coverage, but there’s a big difference in their reputations, claim repayment time frame, and price. We explain why we rank one company much better than the other below.

Visit Healthy Paws’ Website | Visit Nationwide’s Website

Policy Coverage

Dog under covers (caption: Policy Coverage Winner)The table below shows specifically what Healthy Paws and Nationwide cover. Both companies cover x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, cat scans, MRIs, rehabilitation, specialized exams, surgery, hospitalization, emergency care, specialty care, hydrotherapy, chronic conditions, cancer, diagnostic treatment, alternative/holistic therapy, euthanasia, non-routine dental treatment, hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, and prescription medications.

 Healthy PawsNationwide
Overall Ranking in Our Pet Insurance Comparison2ndNot Ranked
Pre-Existing Conditions
Preventative Care Available for an Extra FeeCheckmark
Illnesses Waiting Period15 Days14 Days
Accidents Waiting Period15 Days14 Days
Hip Dysplasia Waiting Period12 Months*14 Days
ACL Surgery Waiting Period15 Days12 Months
Enrollment Fee$25None
30-Day Money-Back GuaranteeCheckmark
(30-Day Certificate)
Payout OptionsUnlimitedLimited Per Condition or Unlimited
BBB RatingA+A+
UnderwriterWestchester Fire Insurance Company/ChubbNationwide Casualty Company (Outside CA) & Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA Only)
A.M. Best RatingA++A+
No Exam Required To Set Baseline for Pet's HealthCheckmark

*Healthy Paws only offers hip dysplasia coverage to dogs enrolled before the age of 6.

If you want a pet insurance policy that offers a wellness plan as an add-on, Nationwide is the better option. Healthy Paws doesn’t currently offer preventative care options.

As for waiting periods, they’re pretty similar. If hip dysplasia is more concerning for your dog, Nationwide may be a better choice, but if ACL (CCL) injuries are on your radar, Healthy Paws could be the better pick.

However, Nationwide doesn’t list any bilateral exclusions for CCL injuries. The rest of the pet insurance companies we review (except Trupanion) exclude CCL injuries if one leg has experienced pre-existing issues. This makes Nationwide a good option for those of you who have dogs with pre-existing knee conditions because they’re more likely to cover a second, currently healthy knee than their competitors. However, it’s always important to carefully read your contract because the sample policies we’ve examined may be different from yours.

Nationwide is the winner for policy coverage because of its comparable waiting periods, wellness plan option, and no bilateral exclusions for CCL injuries.

Nationwide logo

Policy Coverage Winner: Nationwide

Customer Service & Reputation

Person holding phone next to dog: Customer Service & Reputation Winner

Healthy Paws has one of the best reputations in the pet insurance industry. The majority of Healthy Paws customer complaints are from customers who, unfortunately, didn’t read or understand their policy (a common customer complaint about all pet insurance providers).

This is why we feel it is crucial to explain all the pet insurance details, so pet parents fully understand what is and isn’t covered. We also focus on explaining the policies in layman terms, so it is easy to comprehend and feel confident about what you are getting before you buy.

Unfortunately, finding negative reviews for Nationwide isn’t too difficult. However, it’s more common for people to post poor reviews since they’re upset instead of positive reviews when they’re happy, especially with such a large customer base. According to feedback from our readers, consumer complaints about Nationwide include its benefit schedule not having enough coverage, not paying out claims, low claim reimbursements, being told false information about coverage, high premiums, and more.

Both companies have A+ ratings from the BBB. Healthy Paws’ underwriter has a better rating (A++) than Nationwide’s, which is an A+. In the end, Healthy Paws has a better, longer-standing reputation.

Healthy Paws logo

Customer Service & Reputation Winner: Healthy Paws

Doctor's office papers: Timeliness Of Claim Repayment

Claim Repayment

Healthy Paws averages a two-day claim repayment, which is the fastest in the industry. Nationwide allows 30 days to pay out its claims but averages 5 to 15 days, which is pretty long in comparison to Healthy Paws.

Healthy Paws logo

Claim Repayment Winner: Healthy Paws

Plan Customization

Several types of dogs sitting together (Caption: Plan Customization)Nationwide offers three different basic plan options: Whole Pet, Major Medical, and Major Medical With Wellness. Each has a set $250 deductible. With their Whole Pet plan, you can choose 50%, 70%, or 90% reimbursement options, and the payouts are unlimited.

However, Nationwide’s Major Medical plans differ significantly from the competition because they use a benefit schedule for any given condition or treatment. It outlines the maximum reimbursement amount you can expect, regardless of how much your vet charges you.

Healthy Paws has unlimited payouts on all plans, but there are some restrictions on reimbursement and annual deductible amounts, depending on your pet’s age at enrollment. Additionally, Healthy Paws doesn’t enroll pets older than 14 years old.

  • Dogs and cats 5 years and under:
    • 90%, 80%, and 70% reimbursement
    • $100, $250, and $500 deductible
  • Dogs and cats 6 and 7 years old:
    • 80%, 70%, or 60% reimbursement
    • $250, $500, or $750 deductible
  • Dogs 8 years and older: 
    • 50% or 60% reimbursement
    • $750 or $1,000 deductible

Healthy Paws logoPlan Customization Winner: Healthy Paws

Price Of Policy

Dog laying next to money: (text in image: pricing winner)

Healthy Paws has a $25 enrollment fee and a 30-day money-back guarantee. The annual maximum is unlimited, and the deductible is annual. Meanwhile, Nationwide uses a benefit schedule, which means there’s a maximum amount that they will cover per incident. Nationwide has no enrollment fee but charges a $2 transaction fee, which can add up over time.

One thing we don’t like about Healthy Paws is that it limits or even excludes coverage for some pets. So in the quotes below, you may see less comparable quotes between Healthy Paws and Nationwide. That’s because Nationwide isn’t very customizable in its policies, and Healthy Paws only offered one or two options for some pets. Below are some quotes from January 2, 2020.

 BreedBirthdayGenderLocationDeductibleReimbursement %Annual PayoutWellness CoveragePrice Per Month
Healthy PawsYorkshire TerrierDecember 2018MaleOhio (43205)$25090%Unlimited$32.45
NationwideYorkshire TerrierDecember 2018MaleOhio (43205)$25090%UnlimitedCheckmark$67.25
Healthy PawsLabrador RetrieverApril 2017FemaleCalifornia (90024)$25080%Unlimited$89.58
NationwideLabrador RetrieverApril 2017FemaleCalifornia (90024)$25090%UnlimitedCheckmark$99.13
Healthy PawsMedium Mixed BreedDecember 2015FemaleIllinois (60604)$50070%Unlimited$45.58
NationwideMedium Mixed BreedDecember 2015FemaleIllinois (60604)$25090%UnlimitedCheckmark$108.18

When we ran additional price quotes, both Healthy Paws and Nationwide could be among the least expensive or more toward the middle of the pack, it just depended on the scenario. Quotes for these two companies can be very different, which is why we always recommend you get quotes from multiple companies. Overall, Healthy Paws was less expensive than Nationwide in the quotes we ran.

Healthy Paws logo

Price Of Policy Winner: Healthy Paws


Healthy Paws

Use this link to receive the best price we can offer you and get a quote for your pet from Healthy Paws. You can also visit our dedicated Healthy Paws promotions page.


Looking for a Nationwide Pet Insurance promo code? Click here for the best deal we could find.

What’s The Verdict?

Healthy Paws is the clear winner in this comparison against Nationwide. With its outstanding customer service and reputation, fast claim repayment, and commonly lower policy prices, it’s hard to beat Healthy Paws. However, if your dog has pre-existing conditions, Nationwide may be a better option for you. This is especially possible if your pet has a condition that can affect both sides of the body but has only presented itself on one side at time of enrollment.

If you didn’t find what you were looking for in this comparison, our experts have gone in-depth with individual reviews of Healthy Paws and Nationwide.

Healthy Paws logo

Overall Winner: Healthy Paws

Our experts have spent hundreds of hours researching to bring you our comprehensive pet insurance reviews, which includes more than 20 companies.

If you prefer to see winners by category, we award the best price, multiple pets, 100% reimbursement, unlimited payouts, and “best for” categories, including puppies, older dogs, dental, wellness coverage, bilateral conditions, behavioral therapy, and more in our best pet insurance comparison. You’ll even see winners for exotic pets and cats.

Do you have an experience with Healthy Paws or Nationwide you’d like to share?