Nationwide Pet Insurance Reviews: A Different Way Of Doing Pet Insurance

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Dog with owner in backgroundDid you know that Nationwide sells pet insurance and that it sold its first policy to Lassie? We don’t know about you, but we think it’s pretty cool that Lassie’s pet parents loved her enough to have pet insurance for her. 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. They display things differently than other companies. For example, they list exact illnesses that are or aren’t covered, which can be good if your dog’s breed is prone to a specific illness. After digging a little deeper, we unraveled the complexities and offer up a thorough review to help you learn about this product.

Visit Nationwide’s Website

Article Overview

Key Features

  • Underwriter: National Casualty Company (outside CA); VPI (in CA)
  • 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
  • Claims should be paid within 30-days after all documents are received
  • Claims must be submitted within 90-days of treatment
  • Submit your claim via fax, mail or mobile app

Nationwide Pet Insurance Review

3.7 / 5
Nationwide Pet Insurance Review
Policy Coverage 4.8
Customer Service & Reputation 2.0
Timeliness of Claim Payment 3.8
Price of Policy 4.3


  • 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
  • Among the lowest monthly cost options


  • 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

Plan Options

Nationwide has two different plan options: Whole Pet with Wellness and Major Medical. The Whole Pet with Wellness plan is more like the other pet insurance companies in that it reimburses a percentage of what you paid the vet for treatment. On the other hand, the Major Medical plan is very different from the competition because it uses a benefit schedule to outline the capped amount for any given condition or treatment and that is the maximum amount that you can ever expect to be reimbursed, regardless of how much your vet bills you.

What Does Nationwide Cover?

Nationwide doesn’t list what is and isn’t covered like other pet insurance companies do. Instead, it is extremely specific with what’s included in your coverage. Below are some pages we suggest looking at, and please be sure to read carefully since there could be exclusions.

Coupon Code

There are no active Nationwide Pet Insurance coupon codes at this time.

Nationwide Pet Insurance Quotes

Nationwide offers an unlimited annual maximum, 90% reimbursement (Whole Pet with Wellness) or benefit schedule reimbursement (Major Medical), and a $100 (Whole Pet with Wellness) or $250 (Major Medical) deductible. You can go directly to Nationwide’s site to get a better estimate of what your specific price would be. Quotes are from May 2018.

BreedLabrador RetrieverEnglish Cocker SpanielGerman ShepherdYorkshire TerrierYorkshire TerrierYorkshire TerrierMixed Breed Cat (Medium Hair)
Age28466 months6 months2
LocationIowa (Zip code: 50125)Illinois (Zip code 60604)California (Zip code: 90001)New York (Zip code: 10001)New York (Zip code: 10001)Iowa (Zip code: 50125)Ohio (Zip code: 44101)
Annual MaximumUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Major Medical Price Per Month ($250 annual deductible)$26.65$70.96$42.81$61.50$35.55$25.85$15.57
Whole Pet with Wellness Price Per Month ($100 annual deductible)$91.85$202.07$97.97$125.80N/AN/A$36.87
Major Medical + Wellness Plus (with no deductible)N/AN/AN/AN/A$53.55$43.95N/A

Hip Dysplasia Coverage

Hip dyslplasia is covered by Nationwide 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

Waiting Periods

Customer Reviews

Positive Reviews

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

Negative Reviews

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

Exotic Pet Insurance

Nationwide 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. For more information on this plan, checkout their page here.

Why You Need Pet Insurance

Check out our video explaining why we think it would be wise to get pet insurance for your furry companion.

What We Don’t Like

We hope you’ve made your own decision on Nationwide pet insurance. Our opinion? We feel they strong arm 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 are getting but does it cover enough to justify having pet insurance at all? Then, the price for the Whole Pet with Wellness plan can be pretty high. We feel there are better options available. To learn more about your other choices, take a look at our Pet Insurance Reviews.

Why are you considering getting pet insurance from Nationwide?

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new pet health insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.
Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.
Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

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Marie Lynott
Don’t join. They cover nothing. Even at death they opt out. Not even euthinization which you would think would be a humane way to go but noooo they would rather let your pet bleed out than pay for it
Joshua Leventhal
Complete rip off. I have been paying into the policy for over 12 years. They have more than doubled the premiums but when he needed a life saving surgery they covered only 20%.
No point in having insurance if they don’t pay legitimate claims when you need it most
Nationwide pet insurance is a complete scam. Don’t waste your money, save it for the actual vet bills.
Nationwide pet insurance was offered through my employer so I bought the policy. My dogs were healthy but when one of them had gotten sick it was ridiculous to get reimbursed. My vets office faxed three claims with medical detailed information.
Nationwide continued to ask repeatedly for medical records which had been faxed three times by my veterinarian hospital. It went on for two months then I just decided to Cancel and they continue to deduct from my check . I called and asked why I was told because it’s a fee for canceling the plan early. This company does not care about animals just how much money they can get from clients. Don’t waste your money and time it’s not worth it.
I can’t find any evidence that they will cover a dog under their Whole Pet with Wellness plan. I have a cat under that plan and it is fantastic – she has zero pre-existing conditions because she started as a kitten. They reimburse 90% over my deductible and it’s great. But why can’t we pay for dogs to be covered the same way?? Their major medical + pet wellness plan for dogs is a JOKE with so many exclusions and so many ways to deny coverage (if your dog is diagnosed with, say, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, that is usually considered an INHERITED form of myopathy with is on their exclusion list!!). They also have a benefit schedule that’s ridiculous. NOT IMPRESSED with their coverage for dogs!!!
DO NOT FALL FOR PURCHASING THIS INSURANCE! I l had used their wellness policy for a couple of years and then upgraded my policy last year to the Whole Pet with Wellness so that I could rest assured that my fur baby was completely covered. I was sold on this policy my the mere fact that it included dental where other companies did not. Unfortunately I discovered that the dental coverage offering is just a big lie. Basically if you take you pup in for their first routine dental cleaning they are not going to cover it because if there is any tarter it is considered a pre-existing condition!!! I just spent $900 at the vet only to find out the hard way that none of it was covered!! My vet, who also had this insurance, was appalled because she said ALL dogs have tarter! Needless to say, I believe neither of us will be using this fraudulent insurance company any more!!! Don’t be fooled!
Steven Opdyke
I finally cancelled our Nationwide pet insurance because it never covered anything. No matter what I put in for in the way of coverage, it was denied because one time – before I took out the policy our dog had an operation. What I found out over several years that no matter what our dog was operated on the claim was denied because in whatever way the company could come up with, it was somehow related to the pre-existing condition. That condition, folks, never goes away, and is used no matter the relationship to deny future claims. This is why obamacare got rid of pre-existing conditions. Insurance companies, especially Nationwide, use them to deny any future claims. Don’t waste your money buying a policy from Nationwide. Nationwide is bad for you!! I learned the hard way and hope I can save you from the same disappointment.
We are VERY pleased with Nationwide They have been paying very quickly on our claims. Their new electronic payments make it even faster – and no lost/misplaced checks. We have an older dog on an older policy so our reimbursements for her are based on a schedule but have generally been good and quite timely. She had a pre-existing condition but because she went a long time without a flare up they actually reimbursed us for her most recent treatment after we submitted her records to show the time span. We were very pleased. Our almost 2-year old cat is on the newer policy and they’ve paid well on it, also. Of course, she hasn’t needed very much so it SEEMS a bit expensive but since we’re in it for the long haul we expect it to pay off eventually. The only complaint we have is that prescription foods are not covered now. (We heard they did cover them at one time.) Nationwide was wonderful when our previous dog died after complications from Kennel Cough. (He’d been vaccinated against it but the Kennel Cough strain was bad that year). Their payments for the treatment and tests were good and, again, very timely. That same year we also lost our young cat due to several factors including renal disease and cardiovascular shock. These were all covered minus the deductible which was a great help and comfort. We also appreciated the notes of sympathy we received on their passings.
We paid for a superior dog plan with a cancer rider. For15 years we paid and every year. The premiums increased. Our beloved Westie became ill at the age of 13. At first it was thought his cough was due to bronchitis. Frisky had cancer! Nationwide was not on his side. Every time the Vet gave them additional information Nationwide requested more. Bottom line, we were not reimbursed as stated on the contract. Nationwide made thousands of dollars from us and did nothing to help out dog. Please be very careful before you enter into a contract with Nationwide Pet Insurance. Nationwide is only on their side! Watch out on social media for remembering Frisky!
Stephanie, we had the same exact problem with our pet. We got reimbursed practically no money. And for years we faithfully paid them a premium every month. So sorry to hear about your pet. Nationwide is heartless.
Very unsatisfied with the responses to submitted claims. Everything we submit request additional information or medical records. Everything is on a medical receipt and includes an itemized receipt. We have no “additional” medical information, as Hitchcock is a rescue dog that we adopted in October 2016. Each and every bit of medical records we have have been submitted.

We are seriously reavaluatig whether the cost of this insurance is worth the cost. They sell themselves to us, then all we get for our money are more requests for more information. Trust me, we do not hold back any information and if the expenses come from our vets office and are itemized, they are legit. My husband and I both work at major teaching institutions and you can trust that we have discussed this issue with many colleagues who agree that our experience has been very negative.

We have carried Nationwide Pet Insurance for several years. We are not happy with the constant review of each and every charges and the constant request for additional information. You do not feel as if a partner in the care of our family pet, but an adversary. Our claims are thorough and complete and all requests have been met with information, yet we are still barraged with additional requests.

Kelli.. I agree with you, as my experience is the same. Started with Nationwide Nov. 2016. Will give them two more weeks to honor my claims. If no results, it is wiser to self insure. I will end it with Nationwide.
Nationwide is a rip-off. Their premiums are high and they reimburse you practically no money. Please read all the fine print on their policies. They are very deceiving. Purchase your pet insurance with someone else.
Stephen Reese M Ferguson
I purchased pet insurance for our dog (AKC Registered Doberman with 4 blue ribbons) who is a pure breed and just about perfect dog. We purchased this insurance knowing in the future he may have hip or joint issues. Or heaven forbid he get into an accident or eat poison or whatever issues could arise. So we adopted our dog on 4/16/2016 from a reputable breeder and she shows all of her dogs. On 4/21 we bought the pet insurance and on 4/25 our account was debited the money. We had to attest that there were no per-existing conditions on our pup. We even sent every medical record from the previous owners vet. He was eating Fromm Dog Kibbles (really good food) and we continued with the Fromm brand, just changed the type of kibbles he was eating. On 4/26 he was getting a rash all over his body and was getting pustules on his hind legs. I called the vet and we got him in. The vet was not 100% sure if it was the food or environmental allergies. (We live in Central Florida and this year was a bad year for dog allergies supposedly.) So I knew our insurance would not cover this, but I thought it was important to have him looked at and I will just pay out of pocket. The vet said she was not 100% sure but there have been a lot of dogs coming in the last few weeks with allergies. So I told her I thought it may be the food since we changed it a week ago. She went ahead and started him on prednisone and an antibiotic. I left out of there paying $185.00 (got his physical since it was his first visit). No biggie, I did not send that in to the insurance as I knew he was not covered. His rash went away as we went to another food. Fast forward to July 2016, we noticed he had skin bumps starting on his belly and a growth (tumor) on his right side of his rib cage. The vet did some scrapping and found the bumps to be either allergies or bug bites (he is on flee and heart worm meds as well, that I did not send it to the insurance company). So they put him on another drug and said he will be fine in a few days. Come to find out the growth was a benign tumor and needed to be removed as he would not leave it alone and kept licking and scratching it. So we had it removed. I sent forward the paperwork with all of the vet notes, just to be told they will not pay as this is a PRE EXISTING condition. WHAT? So I called and escalated to a manager (Alesia) and she said since we took him in before the insurance policy date started, the diagnosis of “allergies” was documented and they will not pay for per-existing conditions. I attempted to argue the point that it was food allergies and they told me it was allergies, so all allergies fall under that. I was completely shocked. After being in medicine for 20 years, I had never heard of that garbage. So at the end of the day, we have shelled out $892.12 for vet bills (tumor removed and spayed as well) and have received only $72.39 in return. They will NOT reimburse us for the others. I know I can get legal representation and fight this and get it ALL back but will end up spending $5k to get $800 back is not logical. They are banking on this I am sure. I am going to post this on EVERY FORUM out there for others to be cautious of this rip off scam. DO NOT BUY PET INSURANCE FROM NATIONWIDE! You have been warned!
Stephen, this is a great review. People really need to know how Nationwide works. My poor dog needed surgery and I thought he was covered for $7,000 per year. Well, because I did not read all the fine print in their policy, it turns out the $7,000 has to be SPLIT BETWEEN 150 different illnesses. So for a surgery that cost $4,300, Nationwide will only reimburse me $155. YOU HAVE TO READ THE FINE PRINT IN NATIONWIDE’S POLICY. I was so blindsided by this. So paying a $60 per month premium for years got me absolutely nowhere. STAY AWAY FROM NATIONWIDE. The managers also told me (in other words) to go screw myself. So sad.
I first enrolled my bulldog Abby with VPI about 8 years ago when she was a few months old (before Nationwide took over). I had mixed feelings about the value, but after a couple of TPLO procedures later in her life I finally hit the break even mark and decided pet insurance was a worthwhile investment (especially with bulldog breeds).

I was optimistic when Nationwide took over and I signed my new puppy Bleu (French Bulldog) up for their Whole Pet With Wellness plan. Around the time I signed Bleu up, we started to notice his paw turning outwards, got xrays, and consulted with an Orthopedic Specialist who diagnosed him with Congenital (likely) Angular Limb Deformity. Per the specialist, there were no prior signs of injury or infection (aka pre-existing condition) which meant he very well could have been born with it (congenital).

The surgery cost about $2,500. I filed my claim, provided ALL medical records, and waited more than TWO MONTHS with this open payable on my Care Credit account before I finally heard back from Nationwide with the disappointing news that they would not cover a dime. Even though congenital disorders ARE COVERED, since we OBSERVED the resulting symptoms as they worsened (the curved paw got worse as he began to grow) before my policy started they said it is a pre-existing condition.

They stopped just short of accusing me of getting insurance because of this issue when I have been a long time pet insurance holder with them through my original VPI contract. I will likely not renew insurance for either of my dogs with them once up for renewal. I had a very competitive quote with Healthy Paws that I should have stuck with.

Morgan Jean Young
I have Nationwide on my side for car insurance but had no clue that they also sold pet insurance. And really glad to hear they also offer exotic pet insurance because I have a snake that is very expensive to get treated when he gets sick so will look into that too. Thanks Kimberly!