Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness is one of the most comprehensive pet insurance policies on the market, but it’s priced accordingly so that may not be the best option for your pet.
The Major Medical plan is more in line with typical coverages and costs with the Nationwide reputation and financial stability behind it.
Our team has been pleased with their work to earn a better reputation with consumers since the switch from VPI.
It’s important to view your coverage contracts carefully since certain breeds have different coverages and benefits.
If Nationwide is not the best insurer for your pet, this list of the best pet insurance for 2019 can help you decide.
Nationwide Pet Insurance Formerly VPI
In 2015, the reputation and service level of VPI had improved enough for Nationwide to bring them under the company brand.
Since then, customer sentiment has continued to improve.
How Does Nationwide Pet Insurance Work?
Nationwide plans are structured differently than most providers who either don’t offer wellness at all, or offer an add-on for limited wellness coverage.
With Nationwide, you either get the full Wellness benefits via their Whole Pet plan or you only get wellness via their Wellness plans. Wellness is not an add-on with Nationwide (making them pricier).
Nationwide’s Pet Health Insurance Plans
The 3 Plans Are The Following
Whole Pet Wellness Plan
The wellness plan is one of the more comprehensive pet insurance policies in the market. In addition to the normal accident and illness coverage, it also includes:
While this is beneficial, it is a little more expensive than most due to its comprehensive coverage.
The Whole Pet with wellness plan includes hip dysplasia. This is the only plan that offers unlimited coverage, where some of the other pet insurance providers we reviewed, like Healthy Paws, offers it in the standard plan.
Major Medical Pet Insurance Plan
Is more in line cost and coverage-wise with the standard accident and illness plans offered by most companies.
Pets under this plan are covered for common medical costs.
These may include injuries or illnesses related to:
Chronic conditions covered at no extra cost; however, pet owners with a major medical policy are not reimbursed for wellness visits each year.
You can just purchase its Major Medical plan without the wellness or purchase the wellness plan separately.
With this plan, each potential illness/accident has a listed maximum payout. So you receive set benefits up to the maximum for each potential incident. This coverage also comes with a $250 deductible and no annual maximum.
The Pet Wellness Plan includes wellness exams and test, wellness exams & tests, flea/heartworm prevention, microchipping and vaccinations. When purchasing on its own, the plan is relatively inexpensive.
Nationwide is one of the only pet insurance companies that offer policies for most birds and a wide range of exotic pets, including the Whole Pet with Wellness coverage.
This exotic pet insurance plan covers accidents and illnesses as well as examinations, lab fees, prescriptions, X-rays, hospitalization and more. We cover most birds and a wide range of exotic pets, including:
Nationwide Pet Wellness Plans
The company has two pet wellness policies that reimburse you for routine pet care. Routine pet care includes regular exams and preventative treatments.
The lower priced option, Nationwide’s Wellness Basic plan, has a $400 annual maximum benefit and reimburses a maximum of $25 per exam, for up to two exams per year. The Wellness Plus insurance plan has a $500 annual maximum and reimburses up to $30 per exam (maximum two exams per year).
Additionally, both plans offer reimbursement for pet health tests. Wellness Basic reimburses $50 per year, and Wellness Plus reimburses $75 per year.
However, Nationwide limits its pet insurance benefits to one type of test per year.
Covered Medical Conditions and Treatments
Under the Major Medical plan the, following treatments are covered and is line with the other pet insurance providers:
The medical treatments that are covered are:
Both Nationwide plans — Whole Pet with 90% reimbursement, and all other plans with a benefit schedule — offer unlimited annual maximums.
If you want unlimited annual benefits, however, you will have to purchase the Whole Pet plan. Its lower tier plans don’t offer unlimited benefits, but rather, they limit the dollar amount that can be spent on conditions and services based on a benefit schedule.
Benefit schedules tend to be limiting because it actually puts a limit on the most you will be reimbursed for a specific accident or illness. For example, if your pet has cancer or diabetes, your dog or cat will need on-going treatment and it can become very expensive and you can hit the scheduled limit before you know it.
That is why unlimited annual benefits are always preferred.
With its top tier plan, you get 90% reimbursement of the actual vet bill. As mentioned above, you will pay a higher premium because there is no option for choosing a lower reimbursement. Its lower tier plans reimburse based on a benefits schedule, which includes individual payout caps for each condition or service.
This could be problematic if your pet is susceptible to certain conditions that have low coverage limits.
Benefit schedules and less flexibility in customizing the reimbursement percentage in the top tier plan makes Nationwide’s offerings more limiting.
With all of their plans, just pay your veterinarian at the time of treatment, and then send them the invoice. They will then send you a reimbursement check less any applicable deductible or co-pay.
Nationwide offers just one annual deductible of $250. That makes it an easy choice, but it can also make your premiums more expensive. Without any additional options, you don’t have the chance to lower your premium by choosing a higher deductible as you would with other pet insurance providers.
Most of the other providers that we review, like Embrace, offer a range of deductibles to choose from.
The annual deductible needs to be met just once each 12-month policy term for full coverage to kick in.
How Much Does Nationwide Pet Insurance Cost?
The Whole Pet with Wellness is a fully comprehensive plan which includes wellness, but you pay for it. Their monthly premiums are a little on the high end as opposed to our other companies.
Whole Pet plans currently start around $60 for dog insurance and $32 for cat insurance. The Major Medical plan currently starts around $34 for dog insurance and $18 for cat insurance.
You can get a 5% discount on all packages if you already have Nationwide Home or Renters Insurance. They also offer a 5% discount if you insure more than one pet with them.
How to File a Claim with Nationwide Pet Insurance
Nationwide’s claims procedure is standard for the pet insurance industry. Like other companies, you t first pay the vet directly, then download Nationwide’s claim form, and submit the form with all paid invoices. You can submit via mail, fax or email.
Nationwide estimates that it will take from 14 to 30 days from receiving all of the necessary information to process your claim. If they have all the information right away, the process is faster.
Enrollment & Waiting Period
Nationwide will enroll dog, cats, and other pets starting at 6 weeks old. Unlike the other companies we reviewed, Nationwide has a relatively lower age restriction with older pets at 10 years. However, if the pet is enrolled before age 10, and the policy never lapses, they will be covered for the duration of their lives.
Waiting periods are industry standard at 14 days, although Wellness starts 24 hours after approval.
You’re free to visit any licensed veterinarian, anywhere in the world—even specialists and emergency providers.
Their accident and Illness waiting period is 14 days.
Nationwide’s “free look” period is only 10 days which is shorter than most. The free-look period means that if you change your mind after enrolling, you can get a full refund. This helps if you are not sure if your dog or cat’s illness is a pre-existing condition and have time to confirm.
There is a 12 month waiting period for CCL (ACL) surgery for Major Medical plan which is longer than some of the other pet insurance companies we reviewed.
Nationwide does offer a very nice benefit that all policyholders have access to the vet helpline – a 24/7 hotline offered at no cost that provides guidance on general pet concerns and how to identify urgent pet care needs. Nationwide pet insurance also provides a variety of resources online, from a comprehensive pet buying guide to detailed articles on common pet conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
What do Nationwide’s pet plans cover?
Of more than 2,000 customer comments on Consumers Advocate, the overwhelming majority describe a positive experience with coverage and claims processing.
However, a notable amount describes difficulties with payouts take months to get paid or never get paid.
One reason for this is complexities in the specifics of Nationwide’s coverage. It will vary across breeds and ages, so it is important to read your coverage closely.
Does Nationwide Pet Insurance have exclusions?
According to “disappointed” and “outraged” Yelpers, Nationwide refuses to cover medical emergencies despite customer and veterinarian appeals.
But, as advertised on their site, they do not cover most conditions that are similar to other pet insurance companies, such as spaying and/or neutering (which is covered in their wellness plans), pre-existing conditions, pregnancy, breeding, or any cosmetic procedures like tail docking, ear cropping, and declaw removal unless medically necessary.
Can I use my own veterinarian?
Yes, with Nationwide you can still use your own vet or pick any licensed veterinarian in the country.
However, many members complain about not being reimbursed as expected and getting nowhere with customer service.
How does Nationwide reimburse vet bills?
With Nationwide there are two types of reimbursements: actual vet costs and a benefit schedule.
With actual vet costs, you’ll be reimbursed based on the actual amount you pay. With a benefit schedule, there are caps and limits on the payout amounts.
How do I reach Nationwide by Phone?
You can also call them at 1-877-263-6000
Does Nationwide insure older pets?
According to their policy, your pet’s coverage will never be canceled due to age.
As long as your pet is enrolled before age 10, the coverage will never be dropped.
Do premiums increase if my pet is injured or sick?
Nationwide claims to not raise premiums regardless of how many claims you file.
Find the Perfect Pet Insurance Plan
While Nationwide is not our top choice, you can always see for yourself if they are the right fit for you and your pet.
If not, there are many reputable, well-reviewed pet insurances that will honor their policies and provide you with great service.
Want the best for your pet? See our 2019 Pet Insurance Comparison Chart.