What’s New in 2021 for Nationwide Pet Insurance
The Covid-19 pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives, businesses included. Read on to learn how it affected Nationwide Pet Insurance in particular.
How Has COVID-19 Affected Nationwide Pet Insurance?
Like any company, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound effect on how Nationwide Pet Insurance does business.
As of March 2020, almost all of Nationwide’s employees have transitioned from the office to working from home. A small number of mission-critical associates continue to work in person to maintain day-to-day operations.
Despite an influx in call volume and web traffic resulting from the pandemic, Nationwide’s systems and personnel have proven up to the task and continue to deliver the same level of service customers had come to expect before COVID-19.
The decision to allow employees to work from home has been so successful, that the company announced they’re permanently transitioning to a hybrid model where most employees can work from home indefinitely.
Nationwide also announced that a 60-day grace period is available to policyholders whose accounts are past due as a result of the COVID pandemic.
New Products or Changes
Nationwide has created a 24/7 veterinarian helpline, where policyholders can communicate over the phone with veterinary professionals.
The company has also unveiled a new partnership with Walmart. Through the Nationwide Pet RX Express program, pet parents can receive discounts on preferred medications for their animals.
Nationwide Pet Insurance in the News
Nationwide recently made headlines with the announcement of their Walmart partnership, which we’ve mentioned above.
The company also recently published a joint study with VetSuccess regarding the relationship between pet insurance and how likely pet owners are to seek care for their animals.
2021 Latest Nationwide Pet Insurance Reviews
Nationwide has built a sterling reputation that’s taken a bit of a hit through the COVID pandemic. While the lion’s share of their older reviews is positive, some policyholders have taken to review sites to express their displeasure with the service.
Some customers have complained of Nationwide rejecting valid claims because of pre-existing conditions. Others have had an issue with the claims process, which has stretched on for months for some customers, despite the company touting that all claims are handled within 30 days. A customer also took issue with the lengthy process of reviewing their pet’s prior medical records.
The recent reviews aren’t all bad, however. Many customers have recently offered glowing testimonials about the service they receive from Nationwide Pet Insurance.
One customer was impressed that Nationwide covered alternative treatments for her dog’s epilepsy. Another customer remarked on their quick and painless claims process which pays out at 90% once the pet has reached its deductible.
Overall, it seems like a mixed bag of positive and negative experiences. Make sure to carefully review their insurance offerings and get all your questions answered by their team before signing up for a policy.
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.
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FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!
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 different than other pet insurance companies.
With Nationwide, they have the Wellness benefits with 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
Nationwide’s 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 illnesses get coverage without additional fees, but owenrs with a major medical policy won’t get reimbursed for a wellness check.
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.
Real Cost Savings from PetFirst Clients
PetFirst saved his parents
A happy energetic Luna one morning couldn’t hold her food down. After months of multiple costly vet visits to specialists and an endoscopy, the problem was discovered and fixed. Luna put 22 pounds back on in no time and her parents were grateful for having PetFirst by their side to pay the bills.
Their Pet Wellness Plan covers expenses like wellness checkups, vaccinations, and microchipping, among other common costs. These policies tend to be very affordable.
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 with Nationwide
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:
Nationwide Benefit Limits
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 Deductible Type
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.
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.
Real Cost Savings from PetFirst Clients
PetFirst saved his parents
Artemis was a beautiful and friendly cat to all who were willing to pet him. Unfortunately, he developed feline diabetes which required regular vet visits and medications that his Mother could not otherwise afford on her fixed income. Having PetFirst insurance, she called and discussed the problem with a friendly PetFirst agent. To her surprise, she found out that Artemis’ ongoing required vet visits and medication would be covered by his PetFirst insurance. Artemis was able to live out the rest of his life with proper medical care and medicines thanks to PetFirst insurance.
Nationwide Pet Insurance vs Healthy Paws and Others
Healthy Paws has the lowest costs for mixed breeds up to age 2. Depending on the age and the breed of your pet, Nationwide compares well with Healthy Paws and other competitors.
Learn more about the cost of Nationwide Pet Insurance vs Competitors:
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.
Nationwide 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.[/vc_column_text]
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 2020 Pet Insurance Comparison Chart.
Other articles you may find helpful:
- American Modern
- Banfield Pet Hospital
- Blue Cross Blue Shield
- Healthy Paws
- Liberty Mutual
- Pet Assure
- Pets Plus Us
- Pets Best
- Pin Paws
- VCA CareClub
- Vetco Clinics
- VIP Petcare