Nationwide vs Lemonade Pet Insurance: Is Newer Better?

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.

When it comes to pet insurance, Nationwide had almost seven times the gross written premiums (GWP) amount of Lemonade in the U.S. in 2022.1 But bigger doesn’t always mean better. Nationwide Pet Insurance (formerly known as VPI) was founded in 1984 and was the first pet insurer, selling its first policy to Lassie, the heroic TV Collie. Nationwide has had decades to build its reputation and grow its customer base. Although Lemonade is only a few years old (founded in 2020), it is disrupting the pet insurance marketplace and is quickly increasing in GWP.

Let’s compare Nationwide and Lemonade head-to-head and choose a clear winner. We explain our reasoning along with each company’s strengths and weaknesses to help you better understand what each has to offer.

Policy CoverageLimitedLimited
Customer Service & ReputationGoodUncertain, New
Claim Processing Average4 Days2 Days
Average Policy PriceLowerAverage
Plan CustomizationsRestrictedMany
Overall WinnerBrown checkmark (Yes)
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Policy Coverage

Policy Coverage Tie

The table below shows what Nationwide and Lemonade cover.

Note: Both companies cover 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.

Neither covers pre-existing conditions, burial costs, pregnancy and breeding, or unnecessary cosmetic procedures.

Illness Waiting Period*14 Days14 Days
Accident Waiting Period*14 Days2 Days
Hip Dysplasia Waiting Period*14 Days14 Days
CCL Surgery Waiting Period*12 Months6 Months
Behavioral TherapiesBrown checkmark (Yes)Extra Fee
Alternative/Holistic TherapyBrown checkmark (Yes)
Wellness Care For An Extra FeeBrown checkmark (Yes)Brown checkmark (Yes)
Exam FeesBrown checkmark (Yes)Extra Fee
CremationExtra Fee
UnderwriterNational Casualty Company
Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (California only)
Lemonade Insurance Agency LLC
A.M. Best RatingA+

*Waiting periods for California, Maine, and Mississippi are as follows:

  • Accidents - 0 days
  • Illnesses - 14 days
  • Cruciate Ligament Conditions - 30 days
  • Routine Care - 0 days

One of the key things that Nationwide and Lemonade differ in is how their plans are set up. Nationwide uses a benefit schedule for some of its plans, which outlines the maximum coverage amount you can expect to be reimbursed for each condition. Meanwhile, Lemonade’s plans are set up like other pet insurers, where the claim reimbursement is based on your vet bill and the deductible, payout, and reimbursement percentage for your plan. Nationwide also offers these types of plans, but they come with limited deductible and reimbursement percentage options.

Another significant coverage factor is that Nationwide doesn’t enroll pets after their 10th birthday. On the other hand, Lemonade has breed and plan restrictions for specific ages. Additionally, Lemonade is only available in 37 states and Washington, D.C.

Lemonade has a shorter accident waiting period and is more in line with the competition. However, Nationwide offers alternative/holistic therapy coverage. Because they each have their shortcomings, we’ve declared this category a tie.

Customer Service & Reputation

Customer Service & Reputation Winner

Nationwide has various complaints regarding reimbursement concerns, unexpected renewal changes, drastic premium increases, and more. Finding negative reviews isn’t difficult for Nationwide across various departments.

However, Lemonade’s pet insurance plans have only been around since 2020, so it’s hard to say what you can expect from them over the long haul. Once Lemonade has been around for five or more years, we’ll be able to get a better idea of their customer service.

Claim Processing

Claim Processing Winner

Nationwide averages four days for claim processing. This is shorter than many other companies in the industry, which often proves enough for it to win this category. However, Lemonade’s claim processing technology is hard to beat.

Lemonade averages a speedy two days for claim processing, a quick timeline compared to competitors. A big selling point for Lemonade is that it has an Artificial Intelligence (AI) -driven claim process. AI allows Lemonade to pay the most straightforward claims within seconds of submission. This has really disrupted the pet insurance space and caused competitors to look for ways to step it up.

Price Of Policy

Price Of Policy Tie

Nationwide has no enrollment fees but charges a $2 monthly transaction fee unless you pay your annual premium upfront each year. Lemonade doesn’t have any one-time or recurring transaction fees. 

Your premium price quote is based on your pet’s details (age, breed, location, etc.). We recommend obtaining quotes from each company for your specific pet below. You can also visit our pet insurance comparison quotes to see a few sample prices we’ve gathered.

Comparing prices for Nationwide and Lemonade is difficult because they don’t offer the same plan types and options. If you opt for Nationwide’s benefit schedule style plan, you’ll most likely see a lower monthly premium than Lemonade. However, if you opt for a traditional-style pet insurance plan, prices for both companies may fall around the same price point. This is why we’ve declared this category a tie.



Nationwide Pet Insurance offers the following discounts:

  • 5% off for 2-3 pets covered
  • 10% off for 4 or more pets covered

No promo code is needed. Use this link to take advantage of the best possible price.

Lemonade Pet Insurance

Lemonade offers the following discounts: 

  • 10% off if you bundle with your Lemonade renters, homeowners, auto, condo, or co-op insurance
  • 5% off for multiple pets 
  • 5% off if you pay annually

Use this link to take advantage of the best possible price. No promo code is needed.

Plan Customization

Plan Customization Winner

Finding a company with the coverage you need that fits your budget is crucial. Look below to see what plan options each of these providers offer.

Deductible Options$250$100, $250, $500
Payout OptionsLimited Per Condition, Unlimited$5,000, $10,000, $20,000, $50,000, $100,000
Reimbursement Options50%, 70%, 90%70%, 80%, 90%
Accident-Only Plan

Lemonade has many customization options to help fit your coverage to your needs and budget. On the other hand, Nationwide uses a benefit schedule for some plans, which limits your customization options. And for its other plans, Nationwide still has minimal customizations. This is why Lemonade wins this category.

What’s The Verdict?

Overall, Lemonade wins our comparison due to its speedy claims processing with advanced technology and its plan customization options. However, we always recommend getting multiple quotes from pet insurance providers, so it’s good to consider Nationwide too. And if a company with a more established history is crucial to your decision, definitely keep Nationwide and some other key players in mind.

If you didn’t find what you were looking for, our experts dig even deeper into each company in our individual reviews of Nationwide and Lemonade.

Our experts have spent thousands of hours researching to bring you our comprehensive and frequently updated pet insurance reviews, including our top picks and details on each of the most popular pet insurance companies. We give awards for the best value, multi-pet discounts, fastest claim processing, and best newcomer. You’ll even see winners for exotic pets and cats.

Sources: [1] NAPHIA

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