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Nationwide Pet Insurance Reviews

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.

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

  • Whole Pet: comprehensive coverage, including hereditary conditions and wellness care
  • Major Medical: accidents, illnesses, and hereditary coverage only
  • Pet Wellness: partial reimbursement for basic like flea control and shots

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:

  • Physical exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Flea/heartworm prevention

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:

  • Accidents
  • Cancer treatments
  • Hereditary conditions

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.

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:

  • Accidental
  • Illness
  • Hereditary
  • Congenital
  • Cancer
  • Chronic illness
  • Accident dental ( i.e. your dog or cat’s teeth were damaged from the result of an accident or illness)

The medical treatments that are covered are:

  • Diagnostic testing
  • Surgery
  • Hospitalization
  • Surgery
  • Prescription medications
  • Emergency care
  • Specialty care
  • Alternative care
  • Behavioral therapy


Fetch a Quote with Nationwide

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.

Reimbursement Method

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.

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.

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.

  1. Reply
    Shelby 11/29/2015 at 3:37 am

    Before I knew about pet insurance, I spent so much on a puppy that got really sick. I thought I could never afford another dog again if something like that happened. With this insurance, I don’t worry anymore about high vet bills anymore. 🙂

    • Reply
      Holly Miller 10/24/2017 at 1:24 am

      Do NOT use this insurance. Horrible customer service and they are ridiculous when they deny claims. My cat developed Giardia symptoms ten days after I got him. He was insured a few days before (after the two week wait) being diagnosed. They claimed it was a pre-existing condition. How is something that wasn’t showing symptoms until two weeks after I got the cat pre-existing. He was never treated for it previously. Absurd

      • Reply
        Natasha 06/25/2018 at 7:05 am

        Unless you performed a fecal exam (that also looks for giardia) when you adopted the cat that was negative, technically, giardia could be considered pre-existing. Giardia symptoms come in waves and the animal could have contracted it ages ago before you would even know about it. Giardia, amongst other intestinal parasites, are extremely common in newly adopted pets, and frequently are not covered by insurance due to the fact that they are found on initial visits and routine screens.

        While this insurance company is one that I cannot believe is in business, for this particular denial, I do agree with the company.

  2. Reply
    Kelly 11/29/2015 at 4:04 am

    I found out about pet insurance the hard way. I had a puppy I spend hundreds of dollars on trying to save his life. He happily made it through, but my wallet did not. I now have pet insurance on all my pets and my wallet is my her happier!

  3. Reply
    Karen 11/30/2015 at 8:57 am

    Whole Pet with Wellness is what I’m thinking. Has anyone else had this one? My friend swears by Nationwide pet insurance. I want to get the one with all the bells and whistles if I’m going to get it at all. I like that it pays 90% of the vet bills.

    • Reply
      micol baldini 03/01/2018 at 9:59 am

      They suck!!!! They won’t cover my dog x-ray even though it is clearly stated I have been paying them for 11 yrs and now they won’t cover it that is B’s!!!!

    • Reply
      Marilyn 11/06/2017 at 9:18 pm

      That’s all a lie . I got the basic wellness plan. Was told it covered vet visits vaccines and preventative heart worm medication. But the kicker is you pay the vet upfront and submit a claim. They paid only 75 towards the 6 month preventative and said that was their portion for that year. The next 6 months were my responsibility ! And they were maxed out and couldn’t pay any towards the yearly vaccines . so they did quite well on my wellness plan. I had the plan through Banfield pet hospital in pet smart where I lived before and it was wonderful and they saved my sick rescue puppy. Wish they had one here

  4. Reply
    Kzoodad 01/25/2016 at 7:30 pm

    Thanks for the information. It is so much easier to shop when you can find detailed information like this. I hate going site to site digging through the sales copy to find out the information I am looking for. In this case nationwide my be a little too expensive for me, so the search continues. Thanks again!

  5. Reply
    Dylan Gonzalez 01/27/2016 at 9:02 pm

    I think I’m sold! What I like most about them is the fact that I can call them in the middle of the night in case our puppy feels sick. I hope our dog has zero health problems but it’s good to know that we’re covered in case something goes wrong.

  6. Reply
    Sydney 01/28/2016 at 9:21 pm

    I never knew pet insurance is a real thing! My doggy didn’t have any health problems until now but I don’t want to end up paying a fortune when I can sign up for a pet insurance and cut down the costs tremendously.

  7. Reply
    katylady77 01/29/2016 at 4:05 am

    I am so glad that there are options! Like sydney I don’t want to end up paying a fortune when insurance is needed. I will browse more in depth and then choose one thanks for the great info!

  8. Reply
    Veronica 01/31/2016 at 1:05 pm

    As a pet owner for only one year I can tell you I’ve had enough! We adopted a beautiful Rottweiler which turned out to have hip dysplasia along with other underlying issues. The vet bills raked more than 15k by now… I already contacted Nationwide, they look very promising!

    • Reply
      Jamie 02/16/2018 at 1:16 am

      Nationwide DOES NOT cover hip dysplasia ever!

      • Reply
        Julie 08/08/2018 at 5:56 pm

        Yes they do, depending on what plan you have.

    • Reply
      Justina Roberts 02/15/2016 at 7:53 pm

      Our mountain cur mix has hip dysplasia and it’s such a scary thing! Nationwide seems like a good fit for me because they won’t drop a pet due to old age. Our dog is only 8 and they take pets up to age 10, so it fits the bill for me.

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