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Thursday, December 8th
"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.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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:
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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