Trupanion vs Nationwide: Does A Higher Price Mean Better Pet Insurance?

Two dogs nose to nose (caption: Trupanion vs Nationwide)Trupanion and Nationwide aren’t among our most recommended pet insurance providers, but there are instances where we think they may be better options for your pet. We explain their coverage, price, reputation, and the scenarios when we think you may want to consider one of them over our top picks.

Visit Trupanion’s Website | Visit Nationwide’s Website

Dog under covers (caption: Policy Coverage Winner)Policy Coverage

The table below shows specifically what Trupanion and Nationwide cover. Both companies cover blood tests, MRIs, rehabilitation, surgery, hospitalization, emergency care, specialty care, non-routine dental treatment, chronic conditions, hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, diagnostic treatment, alternative/holistic therapy, behavioral therapies, and prescription medications.

Overall Ranking in our Pet Insurance ComparisonNot RankedNot Ranked
Pre-existing Conditions
Preventative Care Available For An Extra FeeCheckmark
Illnesses Waiting Period30 Days14 Days
Accidents Waiting Period5 Days14 Days
Hip Dysplasia Waiting Period30 Days14 Days
ACL Surgery Waiting Period30 Days12 Months
Enrollment Fee$35 ($25 in WA and $0 in MD and MI)None
30-Day Money Back GuaranteeCheckmark
(30-Day Certificate)
Payout OptionsUnlimitedLimited Per Condition Or Unlimited
BBB RatingA-A+
UnderwriterAmerican Pet Insurance CompanyNationwide Casualty Company (Outside CA) & Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA Only)
A.M. Best RatingUnratedA+
No Exam Required to Set Baseline for Pet's HealthCheckmarkCheckmark

One thing that both Trupanion and Nationwide have going for them is that neither company lists any bilateral exclusions for CCL injuries. Many other pet insurance companies we review exclude CCL injuries if one leg has experienced pre-existing issues. This makes Trupanion and Nationwide good options 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 read your contract carefully because the sample policies we’ve examined may be different from yours.

Nationwide offers a wellness plan (only available in some states) for an extra fee, whereas Trupanion doesn’t. In regard to waiting periods, Nationwide’s are fairly short at only 14 days for illnesses, accidents, and hip dysplasia; however, its ACL surgery waiting period is 12 months, whereas Trupanion’s is only 30 days.

Nationwide wins here because of its shorter waiting periods, wellness plan for some states, and its underwriters’ excellent A.M. Best rating (for financial strength).

Nationwide logo

Policy Coverage Winner: Nationwide

Customer Service & Reputation

Unfortunately, finding negative reviews for Trupanion and Nationwide isn’t too difficult. However, both are relatively large companies with a lot of customers to satisfy. Unfortunately, it’s more common for people to post poor reviews when they’re upset than positive reviews when they’re happy.

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

In our comment section for Trupanion and across the internet, there are complaints regarding them denying claims, classifying unwarranted items as pre-existing, having higher monthly premiums than competitors, having long claim repayments, and more.

Meanwhile, our Nationwide comment section has complaints of its benefit schedule not including enough coverage, not paying out claims, low claim reimbursements, being told false information about coverage, high premiums, and more.

Neither has an unblemished reputation, but we do feel Nationwide’s is slightly better than Trupanion’s.

Nationwide logoCustomer Service & Reputation Winner: Nationwide

Doctor's office papers: Timeliness Of Claim Repayment

Claim Repayment

Nationwide allows 30 days to pay out its claims but averages 5 to 15 days. Meanwhile, Trupanion allows 60 days but averages 14 days. Both of these are on the longer end of their competitors claim repayment schedules.

Since Nationwide can have a slightly shorter claim repayment period, it’s the winner of this category.

Nationwide logoClaim Repayment Winner: Nationwide

Plan Customization

Several types of dogs sitting together (Caption: Plan Customization)Trupanion has a set 90% reimbursement and a set unlimited annual payouts, so their policies aren’t nearly as customizable as many other pet insurance companies. Trupanion also has a per-incident deductible (choose from $0 to $1,000), which means you’ll have to meet the deductible multiple times in a policy year if your pet has more than one emergency or illness. This can result in more expenses for you.

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, outlining the maximum reimbursement amount you can expect, regardless of how much your vet charges.

Plan Customization Winner: Trupanion

Price Of Policy

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

Trupanion offers one plan and charges a $35 enrollment fee, but it offers a 30-day money-back guarantee. Meanwhile, Nationwide has two different plans. The quotes below are for its Whole Pet Plan, but its other plan uses a benefit schedule, which means there’s a maximum amount that you can have covered per incident. Nationwide has no enrollment fee but charges a $2 transaction fee which can add up over time.

Below are some quotes from January 2, 2021. All information is for pets who are spayed/neutered and not an assistance or therapy animal.

 BreedBirthdayGenderLocationDeductibleReimbursement %Annual PayoutWellness CoveragePrice Per Month
TrupanionYorkshire TerrierDecember 2018MaleOhio (43205)$250/incident90%Unlimited$52.20
NationwideYorkshire TerrierDecember 2018MaleOhio (43205)$25090%UnlimitedCheckmark$67.25
TrupanionLabrador RetrieverApril 2017FemaleCalifornia (90024)$250/incident90%Unlimited$210.35
NationwideLabrador RetrieverApril 2017FemaleCalifornia (90024)$25090%UnlimitedCheckmark$99.13
TrupanionMedium Mixed BreedDecember 2015FemaleNew York (10012)$250/incident90%Unlimited$174.54
NationwideMedium Mixed BreedDecember 2015FemaleNew York (10012)$25090%UnlimitedCheckmark$122.52
TrupanionStandard PoodleNovember 2019MaleTexas (77005)$250/incident90%Unlimited$51.19
NationwideStandard PoodleNovember 2019MaleTexas (77005)$25090%UnlimitedCheckmark$66.57

When we ran additional price quotes, Trupanion was consistently among the most expensive while Nationwide was typically much more affordable. Quotes for these two companies can be very similar or different, depending on your pet and where you live, which is why we always recommend gathering quotes from multiple companies for your pet(s).

Overall, Nationwide tended to be less expensive than Trupanion in the many quotes we ran. Trupanion’s per-incident deductible is a driving force in determining the winner for this category.

Nationwide logoPrice Of Policy Winner: Nationwide



Looking for a Trupanion promo code? Click here for the best deal we could find.


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

What’s The Verdict?

Trupanion and Nationwide aren’t our first picks for pet insurance. However, if your dog has pre-existing conditions, these two companies may be better options if you need a condition or disease covered that can affect both sides of the body but has only presented itself on one side.

If you didn’t find what you were looking for in this comparison, our experts have gone in-depth with individual reviews of Trupanion and Nationwide so you can expand your comparison.

Nationwide logoOverall Winner: Nationwide

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 Trupanion or Nationwide you’d like to share?