Nationwide Pet Insurance Reviews: Claims, Coverage, Customer Service, Plans, Coverage, Cancellation, And More

This content was reviewed by our licensed insurance agent, Michelle Schenker.

To keep the lights on, we receive affiliate commissions via some of our links. Our review process.

Dog wiht owner in background (caption: Nationwide Pet Insurance Review)

Nationwide pet insurance can be a little overwhelming to understand. It offers a more traditional type of pet insurance plan as well as one with a benefit schedule. Read below to unravel the complexities of these plans, get a better understanding of how it all works, and learn how it could benefit you.

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.

Nationwide Overall Rating

2.9/5.0

Our pet insurance experts read through each pet insurance companies’ policy to provide detailed comparisons and information regarding how a provider fares against others in the industry. We also speak with customers, read online feedback, and communicate one-on-one with the pet insurance companies to obtain a well-rounded, unbiased analysis of a company’s standings.

Our team rates pet insurance companies based on several factors, including A.M. Best ratings (an indicator of financial stability), claim processing reputations, contract coverage, customer service, pricing, plan customizations, and more.

Alternatives To Nationwide

2 yellow dogs in grass (caption: Pet Insurance Reviews)

Don’t like the score you’re seeing? Our experts have analyzed over a dozen pet insurance providers. Check out our pet insurance reviews to learn more about this year’s top-ranked companies.

Pros & Cons Comparison Table

ProsCons
Track claims in real-time online and submit them through your smartphoneHigh number of complaints overall (finding negative reviews is not difficult)
Unlimited payout limits for Whole Pet with Wellness plans1 year waiting period for CCL (ACL) surgery for Major Medical plan
One of the only pet health insurance companies to offer exotic pet insuranceMajor Medical Plan has annual payout limits per condition
Covers your pet if they travel outside the U.S. with you$2 transaction fee for monthly payment
Optional wellness planAllows 30 days for claim processing
5% multi-pet discount for 2-3 pets (10% for 4 or more pets)Age restrictions for pets older than 10 years old

Key Features

Cartoon of veterinarian petting dog next to piggy bank (Caption: Start Saving Money On Vet Bills, Compare Pet Insurance Rates In Minutes; Button Text: Get My Quotes)
  • Underwriter: Nationwide Casualty Company (outside of CA), Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA only)
  • No bilateral exclusions (a condition or disease that affects both sides of the body)
  • Claims process:
    • No time limit for claim submission
    • Submit your claim via the Pet Account Access page, fax, mail, or email
    • Claim processing averages 4 days, and direct deposit and check reimbursement are available
  • Doesn’t offer pre-approval of estimates/procedures in advance of treatment
  • An average annual rate increase due to the aging of pets is approximately 12%

Customer Service Options & Hours

Nationwide Pet Insurance waiting periods
  • Phone, email, and live chat:
    • Monday-Friday 5am-7pm PST and Saturday 7am-3:30pm PST

Waiting Periods

  • Whole Pet with Wellness and Major Medical plans: 14 days
  • Cruciate Ligament: 1 year
  • Hip Dysplasia: up to 1 year*
  • Wellness: 1 day

*Depends on the plan you choose.

Plans Offered (With Wellness Options)

Nationwide has four different plan options:

  1. Whole Pet with Wellness
  2. Whole Pet
  3. Major Medical with Wellness
  4. Major Medical

The Whole Pet plan is similar to 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 plans differ significantly from the competition because they use a benefit schedule for any given condition or treatment that outlines the maximum amount you can expect as reimbursement, regardless of how much your vet charges you.

Benefit Schedule vs Usual Pet Insurance Repayment

Nationwide uses a benefit schedule to outline the maximum coverage amount that a pet parent should expect to be reimbursed per incident when they make a claim. Visit the website to see an example of Nationwide’s benefit schedule for pet insurance.

This is different from other pet insurance companies where the claim repayment calculation is based on your vet’s receipt, and thus, the amount you actually paid your vet vs a figure reflected in the benefits schedule that may not cover what you paid.

We asked Nationwide why it chooses to use a benefit schedule since it’s the only pet insurance company we review that does this. Nationwide responded with the following:

In general, benefit schedule plans are subject to less frequent rate increases since the per condition limits make losses more predictable for the insurer. Inflation, changes within veterinary industry and frequency and/or severity of claims received have less of an impact. Therefore, benefit schedule plans can be priced lower, while still offering benefits for a wide variety of conditions. Those in areas with a higher cost of veterinary treatment, may see lower reimbursement on a benefit schedule plan; however, those in areas with a lower cost of veterinary treatment may find that a benefit schedule plan meets their needs and provides more robust reimbursement.

What Does Nationwide Cover?

Please know that none of the providers in our pet insurance comparison charts cover pre-existing conditions, cremation and burial costs, pregnancy and breeding, or unnecessary cosmetic procedures.

All of them cover the following items when deemed medically necessary: emergency care, surgery and hospitalization, specialized exams and specialty care, X-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, cat scans, MRIs, rehabilitation, cancer, chronic conditions, euthanasia, hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, non-routine dental treatment, and prescription medications. However, this coverage may have limitations, so please check your policy.

ConditionCovered By Nationwide
Behavioral Therapies
Alternative/Holistic Therapies
Exam Fees
Wellness CareExtra Fee

Price Quotes And Available Discounts

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 2021.

BreedLabrador RetrieverEnglish Cocker SpanielGerman ShepherdMixed Medium Hair Cat
Age2842
LocationIowa (50125)Illinois (60604)California (90001)Ohio (44101)
Major Medical with Wellness ($250 deductible, limited benefits per condition)$51.36$145.12$70.80$33.51
Major Medical ($250 deductible, limited benefits per condition)$31.20$124.42$52.80$12.81
Whole Pet (70% reimbursement, $250 deductible, $10,000 annual limit)$63.09N/A$65.61$19.54

You can get personalized price quotes for your pet(s) from reputable companies when you fill out just one short form. Also, visit our pet insurance quotes page to see how the cost of Nationwide stacks up against the competition.

Discounts

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

Reimbursement Stories

Below are two reimbursement stories for you to see how claims could be handled if you chose Nationwide.

Senta’s Claim

  • Dog: Senta the Weimaraner, 2 months old
  • Plan: Whole Pet with Wellness
  • Diagnosis: Hypertrophic osteodystrophy, allergic reactions, and foreign object
  • Treatment Cost: $7,770
  • Nationwide Reimbursed: $6,609

Max’s Claim

  • Cat: Max the Siberian, 1 year old
  • Plan: Major Medical Plan
  • Diagnosis: Urinary blockage
  • Treatment Cost: $14,168
  • Nationwide Reimbursed: $6,432

Customer Reviews

Positive Reviews

I have never dealt with an insurance company that has been spot on with attending to my claims.  They have been very prompt on payments and even pay electronically which is very convenient.  You can file your claims on line which also makes it very easy.  I have talked in person with them as well and they have been genuinely concerned and comforting with my pug’s issues.  I highly recommend them.  I don’t know why they would get any bad reviews because my experience has been awesome so far.

– Sandy T., Yelp 12/9/2021

So far I do not have any major complaints. There are some items I wish they covered like prescription food and teeth cleaning. They have been very prompt in resolving the claims that have been submitted.

– Ann, Consumer Affairs 9/14/2021

Negative Reviews

Terrible! Avoid at all costs. They do not cover anything. Emergency use is subject to them connecting dots to non existent pre existing conditions. I should have read the reviews before signing up. The negative reviews are 100% accurate. DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY AVOID!!!!

– Carole K., Yelp 12/21/2021

My 5 year old Rottweiler was diagnosed with IBD in 2017. The monthly policy payment went from $131.17/month to $218.15/month for 2022 – an yearly increase of 166%. Can you imagine what that monthly cost will be by the time that the dog is 10 yoa. I am through recommending Nationwide to friends/acquaintances with pets.

– Don, Consumer Affairs 11/30/2021

Does Nationwide Offer Exotic Pet Insurance?

Pet parrot in birdcage (Caption: Exotic Pet Insurance Comparison)

Nationwide also offers pet insurance for exotic pets, and is the only pet insurance company we know of that offers exotic pet insurance.

Exotic pet parents can get back up to 90% on vet exams and treatment, including preventative care. Plans average $11 per month for reptiles, $13 per month for birds, and $19 per month for rabbits. Premiums can vary based on your pet’s species, age, and state.

What Pets Are Eligible For Coverage?

Below is a table including pets that are and aren’t available for coverage.

Available For CoverageNot Available For Coverage
BirdsFarm animals (e.g., horses, cows, sheep, and goats kept for milk or meat production)
RabbitsMiniature horses
Reptiles and amphibians (e.g., snakes, lizards, chameleons, iguanas, tortoises, turtles, axolotl)Kangaroos
FerretsWallaby
Miniature pigsFennec fox
Guinea pigsCapybara
GoatsWallaroo (wallaby and kangaroo mix)
Sugar glidersPrimates (e.g., spider monkey)
ChinchillasKinkajou
Other small mammalsDegu
 Spotted genet
 Tarantula
 Madagascar hissing cockroach
 Patagonian cavy
 Anteater
 Armadillo
 African giant millipede
 Jerboa
 Coatimundi
 Fiddler crab
 Sloth

What Is Covered?

  • Common injuries
  • Illnesses (e.g., cancerous conditions)
  • Treatment for internal or external parasites
  • Teeth trimming/floating/filing if associated with disease
  • Reproductive diseases and egg production disorders
  • Congenital or hereditary diseases
  • E.cunculi, trichomoniasis, and other viral, bacterial, and fungal infections
  • Behavioral conditions including self-mutilation or regurgitation
  • Surgical removal of reproductive organs, expression, or removal of scent glands
  • Vitamins and mineral supplements prescribed to treat an eligible condition
  • Routine care, examinations, vaccinations, and dental (only if wellness coverage is purchased)

Most Common Exotic Pet Insurance Claims

Find out the most common claims for exotic pets, so you have an idea of what type of expense you could have covered for your unique pet.

Birds

Nationwide has insured various birds at different ages, including a 90-year-old macaw. Various conditions are commonly claimed for birds, including infections and reproductive conditions to self-mutilation and soft tissue trauma.

Rabbits

Rabbits are among the most popular pet for Nationwide’s exotic policy. An average of $5,000 worth of claims are submitted annually for conditions like ileus (i.e., gastrointestinal status), overgrown teeth, conjunctivitis, arthritis, and cystitis/urethritis.

Small Mammals

Common claims for small mammals totaling almost $10,000 include skin masses, hoof/horn diseases, overgrown teeth, gastrointestinal status, bacterial infections, and urinary tract issues.

Reptiles

The most popular insured reptile for Nationwide is bearded dragons. Common claims for the species include internal parasites, enteropathy, upper respiratory infections, and bacterial infections. The oldest reptile insured by Nationwide is a 100-year-old tortoise.

Visit Nationwide’s Website

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding Nationwide pet insurance we’ve received from our readers.

Does Nationwide Cover Spaying?

As you can see in our what does pet insurance cover guide, spaying and neutering (desexing) isn’t covered through accident and illness pet insurance policies. However, it may be covered by one of Nationwide’s wellness plans.

How To Cancel Nationwide Pet Insurance?

According to Nationwide, you can cancel anytime at my.petinsurance.com or by letting them know in writing. Their member mailing address is P.O. Box 2344, Brea, CA 92822-2344. They have a 100% money-back guarantee if you cancel within ten days of when your policy went into effect and if Nationwide hasn’t reimbursed you for any claims to date (terms may vary by state). If you decide to cancel later, they will refund your unused premium on a pro-rata basis.

If you’d like a replacement for your Nationwide pet insurance policy, look at our pet insurance reviews to see which pet insurance companies we recommend.

Does Nationwide Pet Insurance Have An App?

Yes, Nationwide has a mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and Android. Note that it’s not only for pet insurance customers, it’s for managing all your Nationwide insurance accounts. Note that they have discontinued support of the VitusVet app, so if you see a site say that’s their app, they’re wrong.

Why Do I Need Pet Insurance?

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

Nationwide vs Other Companies

Interested in seeing how Nationwide stacks up against other popular pet insurance companies? We’ve written comparison articles for you to see how Nationwide and other leading pet insurance companies compare in coverage, customer service and reputation, claim processing, plan customization, and price.

How Do We Rate Nationwide Pet Insurance?

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 they cover 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 reviews.

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Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing, availability, 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 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.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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