Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert

UPDATED: Jun 10, 2021

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In 2015, VPI  or Veterinary Pet Insurance Company was rebranded as Nationwide Pet Insurance Agency and can be found by searching www.petinsurance.com.

All of their plans are underwritten by the National Casualty Company and the company headquarters are in Brea, California.

VPI had below-average customer service marks across several sites. But since it was brought into the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company brand, policyholder sentiment has improved dramatically.

Low ratings tend to be focused on frustration with payouts–VPI’s pet insurance policy coverage has so many pet insurance plan options that it’s important to review your coverage very carefully before purchasing a policy.

Be sure to check out the wellness coverage options and if your medical plan covers congenital conditions. No pet insurance company will offer coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Need Pet Insurance?

FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!

About VPI Pet Insurance

Customer complaints note that the company’s benefit schedule is confusing and makes it difficult to calculate reimbursements once you meet your annual deductible.

Currently, they offer a percentage of invoice or a benefit schedule for reimbursements. The invoice percentage option comes only with the wellness plan leaving a benefit schedule for their major medical option.

As the nations’ oldest pet health insurance company, VPI offers some of the industry’s broadest coverage. Some pet insurance companies will penalize you for filing a claim, adding restrictions to your policy.

Nationwide promises to keep your coverage at the same level, making sure you are never penalized for your pet’s accident or illness.

Because deductibles affect your coverage rate, Nationwide offers an annual deductible OR no deductible, letting you customize your plan for your budget.

Established in 1982, the company covered Lassie, TV’s original pet celebrity.

In 2014, VPI and Nationwide Insurance joined together to provide coverage for pet owners across the country. They widened their coverage past dog insurance and cat insurance. In fact, Nationwide offers coverage of exotic animals such as rabbits, snakes, and birds to name a few.

Real Cost Savings from PetFirst Clients

Luna

PetFirst saved his parents

$6,712

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.

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Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) Coverage Plans

Plans for pet insurance through VPI offer flexible coverage and as much as 90% reimbursement on vet bills.

Because the company is part of Nationwide Insurance, a highly rated company, VPI is positioned to offer competitive rates with these three plans.

Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness

  • Starts at $64 per month
  • Exams and treatments
  • Lab tests and X-rays
  • Prescription coverage
  • Accident coverage
  • Surgical and hospitalization
  • Hereditary conditions, no waiting period
  • Chronic conditions
  • 90% reimbursement on vet bills
  • No maximum benefit
  • Dental cleanings

Nationwide’s Major Medical

  • Starts at $34 per month
  • Exams and treatments
  • Lab tests and X-rays
  • Prescription coverage
  • Accident coverage
  • Surgical and hospitalization
  • Some hereditary conditions, waiting period
  • Reimbursements per schedule

Nationwide’s Pet Wellness

  • Starts at $17 per month
  • Wellness exams
  • Vaccinations and tests
  • Flea and heartworm prevention
  • Reimbursements per schedule
  • Dental cleanings

VPI earned an average rating of 2 stars out of 389 reviews on Yelp.

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Additional VPI/Nationwide Plans

VPI once covered pet health care basics with these additional budget-friendly plans. Their whole pet wellness plan has a copayment and deductible schedule for all items, including preventive care.

However, these older plans have been phased out and replaced by the plans above.

VPI Medical

  • Starts at $20 per month
  • Flexible deductible
  • Illness and emergencies
  • Some chronic conditions

VPI Injury

  • Starts at $10 per month
  • Accident coverage only

VPI Feline Select

  • Starts at $20 per month
  • 15 common cat conditions
  • Some chronic conditions

VPI Pet Insurance FAQs

Do I have to use an in-network vet?

No, you can still use your vet. In fact, you can use any vet anywhere in the world.

What kind of reimbursements does VPI offer?

The Whole Pet plan reimburses 90% of vet costs.

The remaining plans base reimbursement on specific benefit schedules with limits and caps on payout amounts.

Unfortunately, you need to pay the vet bill and file a claim. Once your claim is processed, you will be reimbursed, minus the deduction, according to your reimbursement schedule.

Is there a surcharge for emergencies?

Customers who need emergency pet care don’t pay a surcharge for emergency clinic services.

There is no surcharge for examination by a specialist, and no referral is required to make the appointment.

How soon is a policy effective?

Whole Pet and Major Medical require a 14-day waiting period after application approval and payment receipt.

Pet Wellness goes into effect 24 hours after the policy issue and payment receipt.

How are claims handled?

The customer pays for treatment and then sends in a claim form along with invoices documenting payment.

VPI processes the claim and mails reimbursement to the customer.

Real Cost Savings from PetFirst Clients

Gidget

PetFirst saved his parents

$2,194

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.

Can a pet be dropped because of age?

As long as a pet is enrolled before their 10-year-old birthday, it enjoys lifetime coverage. However, the older your animal becomes, the more your premiums will increase.

The policy stays in force unless the customer decides to cancel. This can be done through the customer’s online account or in writing.

How does VPI cover birds and exotic pets?

The company’s Bird and Exotic Pet Insurance covers illness, accidents, exams, and more.

Most pet bird species are covered, and the exotic pet list includes hamsters, rats, lizards, turtles, and ferrets.

 

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