Nationwide Pet Insurance 2021: Is It the Best Option for Your Furry (or Feathery) Friends?

Nationwide has multiple coverage options for your pets, and existing Nationwide customers can save 5% on their pet insurance premiums.
Last updated Jun 19, 2021 | By Kat Tretina
Happy couple with dog

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When I got home from work, I knew something was wrong. My dog, Anya, didn’t greet me at the door. I found her in my bedroom, whimpering with her jaw jutting out at a weird angle. I rushed her to the vet and found out she had shattered her jaw and broken three teeth while chewing a bone. She needed emergency dental surgery to remove the teeth and fix the jaw right away — to the tune of $2,000.

Luckily for me, I had signed Anya up for Nationwide pet insurance six months earlier. Knowing that I had Nationwide coverage gave me peace of mind as I handed over my credit card to the vet. And within a few weeks, Nationwide sent me a check reimbursing me for the full cost, minus my $250 annual deductible.

While I had a great experience with a quick and easy claims process, you may not be sure if Nationwide is right for you. If that’s the case, here’s a breakdown of Nationwide’s policies, benefits, and costs to help you choose the best coverage for your pet.

In this article

What is Nationwide insurance?

Your dog swallowed a sock and has an intestinal blockage. Or your cat broke her leg and needs surgery to repair it. Whatever the case may be, pets can be prone to accidents or illnesses and might require expensive veterinary care. Pet insurance can be an essential safeguard for owners and might help offset the high costs of veterinary care.

Many different companies offer pet insurance, but they vary in their coverage options, policies, and cost.

Nationwide — a major company that sells multiple types of insurance, including renters, homeowners, and auto policies — is the top writer of pet insurance policies in the U.S. As of 2021, Nationwide insures over 950,000 pets.

Unlike some other insurance companies that only cover cats and dogs, Nationwide insures a wide range of animals, including exotic pets. Whether you have a goat, iguana, or macaw, Nationwide coverage might be available to you.

Is Nationwide a good company?

Nationwide is a reputable company with a long history. It was founded in 1925 as the Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Company. It gradually expanded its insurance offerings and changed its name to Nationwide in 1955.

To meet growing customer demand, Nationwide acquired Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (VPI) in 2009. VPI was the first pet insurance company to launch in the United States. It had been selling policies since 1982, so it was a significant decision to add VPI to Nationwide’s group of companies.

When shopping for insurance, it’s a good idea to look into the companies financials to ensure they will stay in operation and can afford to pay out claims. AM Best, a credit rating agency that evaluates the financial stability of insurance companies, issued an A+ (superior) rating to Nationwide. A strong rating from AM Best indicates that a company could be reliable, financially sound, and able to pay customer claims.

Anya, feeling better after surgery.

How does Nationwide pet insurance work?

If you’re wondering how pet insurance works, most insurance companies, including Nationwide, work on a reimbursement model. Unlike your own health insurance — where the insurance company pays the doctor directly — you’re typically responsible for paying the vet’s bill if your pet requires any medical services.

After your pet receives any treatments or procedures, you can submit the vet’s invoice along with a claim form to Nationwide. It will then review the invoice to determine if the procedure was a covered service. If it is, Nationwide may issue you a check to cover all or part of the cost.

With Nationwide pet insurance, you can choose a plan that works for you, your pet’s needs, and your budget. There are a few things to consider when getting coverage:

  • Reimbursement amount: Depending on which Nationwide plan you choose, you could be reimbursed either a percentage, such as 90% of the procedure’s cost, or your plan might cap reimbursement at a set amount for each condition.
  • Deductible: Your deductible is how much you have to pay before the insurance company starts covering procedures. In general, the lower your deductible, the higher your monthly premiums. Common deductible options are $250 or $500.
  • Covered services: Nationwide has different plans, ranging from major medical policies that may cover accidents and emergencies to wellness plans that may only pay for preventative care.
  • Annual maximum: Like other pet insurers, Nationwide caps how much they’ll pay for your pet’s care each year. For example, the coverage limit could be $7,500; if your pet has emergency vet bills that exceed that cost, you’ll probably be responsible for the remaining amount.

For example, my policy for Anya was a major medical plan with a $250 deductible and 90% reimbursement. Her surgery was $2,000; I was responsible for paying the $250 deductible, and Nationwide paid 90% of the remaining $1,750, so they sent me a check for $1,575.

When you purchase pet insurance from Nationwide, you can also access the company’s VetHelpline. Through the helpline, Nationwide customers can get 24/7 expert advice from veterinary professionals at no additional cost. The helpline might help you determine if a situation is urgent and needs emergency care, and you can also choose to call for general care tips and advice.

What coverages does Nationwide pet insurance offer?

Nationwide offers three different pet insurance plans:

  • Whole Pet with Wellness Plan: The most comprehensive of the three plans, Whole Pet with Wellness can include preventive care, vaccinations, surgeries, and may also cover hereditary conditions.
  • Major Medical Plan: Major Medical policies might cover surgery and treatments for most illnesses or injuries. However, they don’t typically include preventative care.
  • Pet Wellness Plan: Wellness plans typically cover wellness exams, vaccinations, and flea and tick prevention.
Whole Pet with Wellness Major Medical Pet Wellness
Vaccinations Yes No Yes
Flea/tick prevention Yes No Yes
Heartworm prevention Yes No Yes
Tests and x-rays Yes Yes No
Surgeries and hospitalization Yes Yes No
Treatments for chronic conditions Yes Yes No
Treatments for hereditary conditions Yes Some conditions No
Spay/neuter Yes No No

Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness and Major Medical plans have a 14-day waiting period that starts after your insurance application is approved and your first payments are received. For Pet Wellness plans, coverage begins 24 hours after your policy is issued and payment is submitted.

All Nationwide policies have a 10-day money-back guarantee. If you change your mind about your plan, you’ll get a full refund if you cancel your policy within 10 days after your policy is issued.

How to get insurance coverage from Nationwide pet insurance

Purchasing pet insurance coverage through Nationwide is simple. The application process takes just a few minutes and can be completed in five steps:

  1. Get a quote online: On Nationwide’s website, www.petinsurance.com, click on “Get a Quote.” You’ll be prompted to enter information about your pet, and the site will list your coverage options.
  2. Add other pets: If you have multiple pets, you can choose to get coverage for all of them at once. And, you could potentially save money by insuring several pets together.
  3. Select a plan: The site will list your available options. Choose the insurance plan that you’d like to purchase for your pets.
  4. Review policy documents: Before checking out, review the policy’s documents for the plan you chose. Make sure you understand what’s covered and what services are excluded.
  5. Pay your first premium: If you’re satisfied with your policy choice, you can enter your name, address, and credit card information to pay your first premiums. Once you submit that information, you’ll receive the policy documents within two to three weeks.

How to maximize your savings with Nationwide pet insurance

Keeping in mind that the pricing for your policy will likely vary based on your pet's health and age, there are several potential ways to save on your Nationwide pet insurance premiums:

  • Bundle policies: If you are an existing Nationwide customer and purchase pet insurance, you could get 5% off your premiums.
  • Employer discounts: Nationwide partners with some companies to offer their employees discounted pet insurance. Check with your employer’s human resources department to find out if pet insurance might be an available benefit.
  • Payment schedule: If you pay your premiums annually rather than monthly, you might save on monthly processing fees.

Nationwide pet insurance FAQs

Which states is Nationwide pet insurance available in?

Nationwide sells pet insurance policies in all 50 states. However, your policy will be underwritten by another company.

In most states, your policy will be underwritten by National Casualty Company, a subsidiary of Nationwide. In California, your policy will be underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance, another subsidiary.

Is Nationwide good pet insurance?

Nationwide is a reputable insurance company and has insured thousands of pets. Whether it’s a good fit for you and your pet depends on your budget and your pet’s medical needs.

Does Nationwide pay the vet directly?

Nationwide doesn’t pay the vet directly. Instead, you pay the vet at the time of service, and Nationwide might reimburse you for covered services later.

How much is pet insurance through Nationwide?

Nationwide pet insurance premiums are dependent on a range of factors, including what plan you choose, your pet’s age, and your location. In general, plans start at $35 per month. If your pet is older, premiums might be significantly higher.

For example, the premiums for my dogs are vastly different. Anya is nine, and her premium for a Major Medical with Wellness Plan is $130 per month. By contrast, my other dog is seven months old. The premiums for the same policy are just $52 per month for him.

Does Nationwide pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Like most other pet insurers, Nationwide doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. If you are thinking about getting pet insurance, it may be a good idea to purchase your policy while your pet is young or as soon as you bring it home because you’ll typically pay less for coverage. Chances are a younger pet might not have as many health concerns as an older pet, which could make pet insurance less expensive.

Does Nationwide have age restrictions for pets?

While Nationwide won’t drop your pet’s policy just because it’s gotten older, the company does have some enrollment restrictions on what pets are eligible for coverage. You must purchase a policy for your pet before it reaches 10 years old to get coverage through Nationwide.

Bottom line

For me, pet insurance is worth it for the peace of mind it provides, and if you’re shopping for a policy for your pet, Nationwide deserves a careful look. As a leading insurance company, Nationwide pet insurance is reliable and has a strong reputation within the industry. It has multiple coverage options that could help you pay for preventative care and major medical expenses, and you might qualify for discounts that could make your premiums more affordable.

Embrace Pet Insurance Benefits

  • Pet insurance designed by real pet parents
  • Diminishing deductible
  • Coverage for exam fees
  • Up to 90% back

Author Details

Kat Tretina Kat Tretina is a freelance writer based in Orlando, Florida. Her work has been published by publications like The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, MarketWatch, and more. She specializes in producing content around paying down debt, increasing income, and maximizing credit cards. You can view her work at www.KTretina.com, or contact her on Twitter @KatTretina.