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Nationwide Review

Thursday, May 30th

2024 Pet Insurance Company Reviews

Nationwide Review 4 Star Rating


4 Star Rating
  • Coverage for cats, dogs, and even exotic pets
  • Some pre-existing conditions are covered
  • Offers illness/accident, wellness only, and "whole pet" coverage
  • Acquired the oldest pet insurance company in the US

"Nationwide is on your side" is a newer jingle, but this insurance company has been around since 1926. You're singing it right now, aren't you? They sell homeowners, renters, car, and life insurance, as well as investments. Pet insurance began with Nationwide in 2009, both individually and through employers. They acquired Veterinary Pet Insurance in 2009 - which was the oldest pet insurance company in the US.

They've been around a long time

Nationwide has quite a bit of experience and it shows in how much they will cover in comparison with those who cover only the basics. You can choose major medical or other plans, and they are praised for their customer service. However, pet owners would often like more choice in their premiums and plan prices. Nationwide offers no choice in deductible, and very little choice for reimbursement percentage and max payout.

Four possible plans

Most pet insurance companies offer one plan, accident/injury coverage, but this company with longevity has choices for you.

  • Avian & Exotic Pet Plan. Nationwide is the only one to offer a plan for birds, reptiles, rodents, sugar gliders, goats, ferrets, chinchillas, and hedgehogs. One other offers for horses, but that's as far as it goes.
  • Pet Wellness. It covers features to keep your fur baby healthy with wellness exams, testing, and vaccinations.
  • Major Medical. This is the typical plan most companies offer, including exams, prescriptions, chronic conditions, surgery, hospitalization, and certain hereditary conditions.
  • Whole Pet. In addition to what Major Medical covers, Whole Pet adds prescribed pet food, supplements, parasite treatments, gingivitis, and Cesarean sections.

Typical exclusions in coverage

The enrollment age limit with Nationwide is ten years old. Some pre-existing conditions aren't included unless the condition has been considered cured for at least six months. Cruciate ligament problems within the first 12 months of the policy aren't covered. Wellness and preventative care (unless you purchase the wellness plan), experimental treatment, dental cleaning, and spaying or neutering aren't covered, either. The Major Medical excludes, in addition to the above, some hereditary conditions, various dental issues, behavioral therapies, age-related issues to the eyes or ears, parasite treatment, prescribed supplements or food, and breeding or pregnancy. It sounds daunting, but most or all of these exclusions are the norm with pet insurance, no matter who you choose.

Easy and quick to enroll

Fill out a quick survey about your pet. Click which type of insurance you want, and voila, there's your price. You have a choice with your policy, but you don't have many choices when it comes to what you pay. You must take the $250 deductible, where most companies let you choose the deductible and reimbursement level. With Nationwide you only can choose 50% or 70% for your reimbursement. There's no obvious information on their max annual or lifetime payout. Be sure to check the fine print or contact customer service if this is an area of concern for you.

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Waiting period is the standard 14 days

Most pet insurance companies have a waiting period, which is the time between when your policy starts and when you can file a claim. Nationwide is 14 days, which is common.


  • Dogs start around $31 per month (for a one-year old mixed breed)
  • Cats start around $15 per month (for a one-year old American short hair)

Discounts if you have more pets or Nationwide policies

There's a 5% discount if you have any other Nationwide policies. Add an additional pet and save 5%.

Consumer feedback

On the Nationwide website, you can get a quote, apply for a policy, file a claim, and get free access to their VetHelpline to consult with a vet. The app offers help for their other policies, but not much for the pet insurance - mainly the VetHelpline and information on previous claims. Many consumers are happy with Nationwide, especially their customer service. Complaints have included the length of time to receive reimbursement and that policy premiums can increase greatly as the pet ages. Policy-premium increases are common with most companies because when a pet gets older, they may need more care.

They're good but could offer more flexibility

With Nationwide's history in the pet insurance industry and insurance as a whole, they've got this down pat. They give you choices of plans, where other companies may not. They are the only pet insurance company to cover birds and exotic pets, and they have great customer service. Where they lack is in flexibility, and Nationwide could easily earn our top ranking in the future if they provide an app that does more, along with a wider range deductibles, quicker reimbursement, and a specified max annual payout.

Which Pet Insurance is the Best?

We love our fur babies and want to help them live as long and as healthy as possible. Pets take daily care, and they also require vet visits, whether for wellness, to update vaccinations, if they are ill or in an accident. Veterinarian bills can be expensive, so many owners have chosen pet insurance.

Pet insurance has only been around since 1982, so if you don't know much about it, that's understandable. Pet insurance can be similar to human health insurance where you can see a provider for wellness visits, illness, or accidents. There are in-office visits, telehealth, and 24/7 availability for answering questions.

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Pet Insurance Company FAQ

Generally speaking, all ages are welcome when it comes to providing your pet with pet insurance. As the pet gets older rates may be more expensive than if you would have gotten coverage at a younger age. Please keep in mind some companies have age restrictions for when they can accept a dog or cat into their insurance plan. Typical restrictions are around 12+ years of age.
No one can forecast when your dog or cat is going to digest something they shouldn't have or have an accident related injury. Luckily, pet insurance helps to protect the pet owner against unexpected veterinary bills that can reach into the $1,000s.
It is recommended to get pet insurance before winter or summer seasons. During those seasons, there are more dangerous elements that are exposing your pet to potential illness and accidents. As far as age goes for the puppy, insurance companies recommend getting your pet insurance when your new best friend arrives home.
Typically, insurance companies only insure cats and dogs. But some companies will insure dogs, horses, other large animals, cats, other small animals, rodents, reptiles, and birds.
Depending on the company, a pet insurance claim can be sent via several different methods. Methods can include email, fax, or regular mail. When completing a claim make sure to include all of your paid vet bill invoices, and any other required documents. When the claim is processed it will either be accepted with a reimbursement, more information needed (i.e. incomplete claim form), or denial (i.e. due to non-coverable services)
Of course, your pet insurance travels with you, wherever you go. Some insurance companies may have restrictions when it comes to international travel. Make sure to check with your pet insurance company if you plan on taking your furry friend across the border.
It depends greatly on which company and plan you decide to go with. Most pet insurance companies cover accidents and illnesses after a waiting period. If the illness is a preexisting condition, you're likely not to receive any coverage. It's important you understand the fine print of any plan you may decide to go with.
In general, veterinarians do not handle pet insurance claims. Veterinarians and the owner make choices for the pet's medical care and overall health. If the care is covered by the insurance, the insurance company will reimburse the owner a percentage of the bill (depending on the chosen insurance plan's coverage) after the care and service has been performed.
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Continued from above...

However, you should be aware of some essential differences between human health insurance and pet insurance. The vet doesn't file a claim, like your own provider would. You pay the vet bill, submit the claim online or on your phone, and then you're reimbursed by the insurance company - the vet doesn't get involved. Wellness care can be an add-on rider to cover a routine exam, vaccinations, spay/neuter, teeth cleaning, and so on.

Although accidents are the most common to be covered, many companies don't cover illnesses such as diabetes, allergies, or infections. Younger pets may cost less to insure, but that will greatly increase as they age; and when they are elderly, the company may even drop the coverage, so be sure to ask about aging pets, even when your pet is young. You can choose your deductible, copay, max annual reimbursement, and optional add-ons. Find out what coverage they recommend for your breed, and ask about multiple-pet or other discounts.

More dogs have pet insurance than any other animal, and the rate for cats is about half that of dogs. Owners of indoor cats might think they don't need pet insurance, but older felines can have chronic or recurring conditions which might require costly care or frequent vet visits.

While you might not expect your pet to become ill or have an accident, those vet bills can be quite costly, especially if a procedure, surgery, or ongoing care is needed. Unless you're budgeting in anticipation of these, pet insurance could be quite the relief for when you need it. If you have an older pet or pet prone to certain conditions, prices can vary greatly between companies, so we suggest getting quotes from a couple of your favorite companies before you make your final decision. In addition, even if you are getting a puppy or kitten, ask about coverage and premiums as if they were older so you get a look into the future.

When choosing which pet insurance provider is right for you, here are a few things to consider:

  • Your pets and their age(s). You may have a cat or dog now, but if there's a possibility of someday adding a hamster, bird, or turtle, will your pet insurance cover the exotic pet? Is there a multiple-pet discount? As your pet ages, he might be prone to diabetes, accidents, and more-frequent office visits, so be sure to ask if coverage lessens, gets more expensive, or even stops with these conditions.
  • Reimbursement. If you have a pet that might require a lot of medical bills, you should consider a plan with up to 100% covered on the vet bills.
  • Choice of vet. Similar to a human's health insurance, your pet's health insurance company may have in-network vets and others that are out-of-network that they won't cover fully or at all.
  • In-office or at home. Typical plans will offer in-office visits. You should consider telemedicine, in-home care, or availability in other countries if you plan on traveling.
  • Pre-existing conditions. See if your potential pet insurer will look at your pet's medical record to find out upfront if there are any pre-existing conditions that wouldn't be covered, so there are no costly surprises. Do this even before you purchase.
  • Type of plan. You might want your insurance to cover more than just routine vet visits. Consider accidents, wellness care, routine care, preventative care, behavioral treatment, and alternative therapies. Your pet could have better health coverage than you!
  • Discounts and rewards. Some companies will give a multiple-pet discount, and others offer rewards for wellness and routine care.
  • Helpline. Whether you're new to owning a pet, have a different breed than you're accustomed to, or just worry about your pet, some insurance companies are available 24/7 for help or even for telehealth visits.

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed the best pet insurance companies available today. We hope this information helps you to get the best pet insurance for your fur baby so they can be well cared for in a long, happy, and healthy life!

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