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Did you know that Nationwide sells pet insurance and its first customer was Lassie? We don’t know about you, but we think it’s pretty cool that Lassie’s pet parents loved her enough to get pet insurance. This first sale by Nationwide (formerly known as VPI) quickly grew into multiple sales throughout California and now the rest of the United States.
While researching Nationwide pet insurance, we found ourselves a little overwhelmed. (To learn how top-ranked pet insurance carriers work, visit our pet insurance reviews.) It displays benefits differently than other companies. For example, it lists specific illnesses that are or aren’t covered, which can be good if your dog’s breed is prone to a particular disease. After digging a little deeper, we unraveled the complexities to help you learn about this product.
Nationwide Pet Insurance
- Track claims in real-time online and submit them through your smartphone
- Unlimited claims for Major Medical and Whole Pet with Wellness plans
- One of the only pet health insurance companies to offer exotic pet insurance
- BBB rating: A+
- Wellness plans are not available in all states
- High number of complaints overall (finding negative reviews is not difficult)
- 12 month waiting period for CCL (ACL) surgery
- 14-day waiting period for Whole Pet with Wellness and Major Medical plans. 24-hour waiting period for Pet Wellness plan
- Nationwide BBB page has an alert about fraudulent checks
- Major Medical Plan has annual limits per condition
- $2 transaction fee for those who pay monthly
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- Underwriter: National Casualty Company (outside CA); VPI (in CA)
- A.M. Best rating: A+
- No exam period
- Pre-existing conditions defined by Nationwide:
- Any condition that began or was contracted, manifested, or incurred up to twelve months before the effective date of this policy or during any waiting period, whether or not the condition was discovered, diagnosed, or treated. A chronic condition is a pre-existing condition unless it began after the effective date of this policy.
- No bilateral exclusions (a condition or disease that affects both sides of the body)
- Pays claims within 30-days after receipt of all documents (averages 5-15 days)
- Must submit claims within 90-days of treatment
- Submit your claim via fax, mail, email or mobile app
- Customer service hours:
- Phone, email and live chat: 24/7
Nationwide has three different plan options:
- Whole Pet
- Whole Pet with Wellness
- Major Medical
The Whole Pet and Whole Pet with Wellness plans are similar to other pet insurance companies in that they reimburse a percentage of what you paid the vet for treatment.
On the other hand, the Major Medical plan differs significantly from the competition because it uses a benefit schedule for any given condition or treatment that outlines the maximum amount that you can ever expect as reimbursement, regardless of how much your vet charges you.
Nationwide doesn’t list what is and isn’t covered the same way other pet insurance companies do. Instead, it’s extremely specific with what’s included in your coverage. Below are some pages we suggest you read carefully since there could be exclusions.
The table below includes what is and isn’t covered with the Whole Pet plan.
|Accidents and illnesses, including hospitalizations and surgeries||Pre-existing conditions|
|Chronic and ongoing diseases (e.g., allergies)||Diagnosis, treatment, tests or procedures associated with breeding|
|Cancer||Boarding, grooming and bathing|
|Dental surgeries and diseases||Non-veterinary services such as tax and waste disposal|
|Hereditary conditions||Any service or procedure used to prevent, preserve or improve general nutrition or health, even if prescribed by a veterinarian|
|Congenital conditions||Food or treats of any type other than prescription pet food|
|Prescription medications||Membership fees for medical, wellness, or preventive care plans, clubs, subscriptions, or cash back programs provided by your veterinarian or a third-party provider|
Nationwide covers hip dysplasia after a 14-day waiting period, but it has the following exclusions.
Certain bone or joint conditions associated with (1) hip dysplasia, or any luxation or subluxation associated with hip dysplasia, (2) elbow dysplasia, (3) patellar luxation or subluxation, (4) osteochondritis dissecans, or (5) any fracture, luxation, or subluxation associated with aseptic necrosis of a femoral head, but we do provide limited additional coverage for specified ineligible conditions
The cost of each policy is unique to your pet and depends on many variables, including your pet’s age, breed, location, health conditions and more. You can go directly to Nationwide’s site to get a better estimate of what your specific price would be. The sample quotes below are from December 2018.
|Breed||Labrador Retriever||English Cocker Spaniel||German Shepherd||Yorkshire Terrier||Mixed Breed Cat (Medium Hair)|
|Location||Iowa (50125)||Illinois (60604)||California (90001)||New York (10001)||Ohio (44101)|
|Whole Pet with Wellness (90% reimbursement, $250 deductible, unlimited annual benefit)||$85.45||$221.16||$111.86||$139.01||$36.98|
|Major Medical with Wellness ($250 deductible, limited benefits per condition)||$46.82||$113.74||$66.32||$92.37||$31.03|
|Major Medical ($250 deductible, limited benefits per condition)||$28.82||$95.74||$48.32||$74.37||$13.03|
You can get personalized price quotes for your pet(s) from reputable companies when you fill out just 1 short form. Also visit our Pet Insurance Quotes page to see how the cost of Nationwide stacks up against the competition.
Use this link to get the best deal we can offer from Nationwide Pet Insurance.
- 14 days: Whole Pet with Wellness and Major Medical plans
- 24 hours: Pet Wellness plan
- 12 months: Cruciate ligament events
I have had nothing but a positive experience with Nationwide (formerly VPI) in the many years I’ve had it. The entire claim procedure is easy and can be done online. Reimbursements are reviewed and paid within 30 days with a full explanation on their site. Payments are made directly to one’s bank. My cat recently had his eye removed due to glaucoma. For some reason the diagnosis was incorrect so only a small amount was paid. When I went back and got the diagnosis reviewed and changed by our doctor (he had no idea who created the first diagnosis) Nationwide reimbursed the difference (over $1000) within 30 days. Anytime I’ve called the representative has been helpful and informative. I would HIGHLY recommend Nationwide to anyone considering pet insurance. – Irish Lady G., Yelp 3/15/2018
Nationwide is not a typical insurance company, but it works. Breakdown: if your pet has a pre-existing condition the claim will not be approved. The older your pet is, the more expensive your plan will be. If you deplete your benefit amount for that policy year, it won’t be paid out if the same incident happens again. I have this insurance because it’ll cover PREVENTATIVE care which are the checkups, shots, flea medication, heartworm preventative, chips, etc. My plan also covers any major accidents, but the downfall is that whatever the diagnosis is there is a set amount for it for the policy year. If your pet suffers from that same condition and you’ve already been reimbursed for the amount, you may not get paid out again if you’ve been refunded the entire benefit claim amount until the next policy year. I have another insurance company for my dogs as a backup that will cover the remaining amount. – Jennifer, Consumer Affairs 3/23/2018
Beware! Nationwide Pet Insurance is a scam operation. With a new puppy, I thought it would be wise to immediately purchase insurance for him. After waiting a couple of weeks for final approval and providing Nationwide with our vet’s contact information, I assumed Nationwide contacted the vet for his medical records. When I submitted my first claims several months later, ALL of the claims were denied!!!! (I purchased the most expensive/comprehensive package available). They wrote and said they now need all of his medical records and that they mailed me forms for this!! 1) I never received the forms 2) why didn’t they obtain his records before taking our $$$ and not waiting until claims were submitted. Also, they claim to cover teeth cleaning…..what they have in small print is the cleaning MUST be done by a certified vet and not a vet tech (non-aesthetic cleaning)!!! – Rita G., Yelp 1/25/2018
My job started offering pet insurance and Nationwide is who provided it. I got insurance for two of my cats. My 9 year old Olive and 2 year old Grover. I got the most expensive and comprehensive plans they offer. Two months after getting the insurance Olive needed her teeth cleaned so I had to have bloodwork done before she went under. The bloodwork showed she had hypothyroidism. She had never shown any symptoms but I was so happy I had the insurance. Nationwide wanted all her records which I provided and I am hypervigilant about bringing my cats to the vet. They denied my claims for subsequent visits saying she had a pre-existing condition even though she did not. Then they told me she was ten years old and could not receive the coverage I applied for. I have her adoption paperwork and she wasn’t ten yet. – Mary, Consumer Affairs 5/2/2018
Nationwide also offers pet insurance for exotic pets, including birds, rabbits, reptiles, rodents or other exotic pets. The plan covers accidents and illnesses in addition to exams, lab fees, x-rays, hospitalization, prescriptions and more.
Check out our video explaining why we think it would be wise to get pet insurance for your furry companion.
From what we’ve uncovered, we feel that Nationwide strong-arms you into purchasing the Whole Pet with Wellness plan because it’s the only package that offers both prevention and illness coverage.
The lower packages are reasonably priced for the amount of coverage you get, but we’re not sure it covers enough to justify having pet insurance at all. And the price for the Whole Pet with Wellness plan is pretty high. We think there are better options available. To learn about your other choices, take a look at our Pet Insurance Comparison.
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