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      October 19, 2018

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ASPCA vs Nationwide

Best Pet Insurance

To help you find the Best Pet Insurance, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of ASPCA and Nationwide.

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Who has the Best Pet Insurance? Medical care is rarely cheap - and the same goes for our four-legged friends. While pet owners are grateful for advances in technology and medicine that make it possible to keep their "fur kids" healthy, these procedures and prescriptions often come with a hefty price tag.

Without pet insurance, a simple blood test can cost well over $200. Even a standard yearly checkup can set you back by hundreds of dollars. How's your wallet feeling now? Chances are, you would do almost anything to take care of your beloved pet - but you might find yourself having to make difficult choices, especially if your dog or cat experiences a traumatic injury or life-threatening illness.

Continue reading below reviews

Best Reviews

2018

Pet Insurance Reviews

3.5 stars
ASPCA

ASPCA Visit Site

Cost:

Starting at $11.05 for cats and dogs

Unlimited annual coverage plans available

$2 per-payment fee on all plans not paid annually

No enrollment fee

Who doesn't know the ASPCA and their heartfelt please to care for animals in need? As an extension of their great care and concern for animal welfare, the ASPCA has partnered with a leading, longstanding insurance company to offer policies to cover pets, making veterinary care more affordable for owners around the nation.

ASPCA's plans start out more expensive than many of their competitors. While many other companies cover kittens and puppies for less than $10/month (even less than $5/month for kittens), ASPCA starts at over $11 per month for both kittens and puppies. When we looked at their pricing for our dog, a 7-year-old male, mixed breed dog, their rates were more competitive with other plans. On a policy that included a $5000 annual limit, 70% reimbursement, and a $500 annual deductible, we would pay $38/month. On the upper end of the spectrum - unlimited annual limit, 90% reimbursement, and $100 annual deductible - our premium would be $114.97/month.

You can customize your plan as you like. Available annual limits are $5000, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 and unlimited. Reimbursement levels are 70%, 80%, and 90%. And, annual deductible options are $100, $250, and $500.

Once you've selected your plan, you can add preventive coverage if desired. ASPCA has two plans: Basic and Prime. For our pet, we were quoted $9.95/month for Basic and $24.95/month for Prime. Each wellness plan has annual benefits, such as $175 towards a dental cleaning (Prime only) or $20/$25 towards deworming. You'll want to add up the benefits to see if it would be worth your monthly premiums, since some benefits (such as a health certificate) may not be useful to you on a yearly basis, if ever.

ASPCA pet insurance policies all come with a $2 per-payment fee for all plans that are billed monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. You can eliminate this fee if you opt to pay your premiums in full on a yearly basis. We like that ASPCA doesn't charge any enrollment or set-up fees.

The underwriter of ASPCA's pet insurance policies, Crum & Forster, is both accredited and "A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau. In over a thousand independently-verified customer reviews, ASPCA's average was a near-perfect five stars. We found compliments praising the ease of submitting claims through the ASPCA app and fast payments on claims.

On the other hand, we found quite a few customer reviews that said they had a very difficult time getting claims approved and paid by ASPCA. Several long-term customers observed that the service they received got worse over the years, with many more denials of "pre-existing conditions" along with much higher premiums. Some clients also said that when their policies renewed, it triggered another 6-month waiting period even though they had a continuous policy paid automatically every month. We didn't see responses from the ASPCA on those complaints, which isn't encouraging.

If you're specifically looking for an unlimited annual coverage plan, ASPCA is one of just a handful of providers that can meet your needs. However, expect that you may pay more, especially if you're covering a younger pet, than you'd spend on a competitor's policy.

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3 stars
Nationwide

NATIONWIDE Visit Site

Cost:

Plans starting at $16.51/month

Unlimited annual maximum on all plans

Annual deductibles of $100 or $250

Plans available for birds and exotic pets

$2 monthly transaction fee if not paying annually

No enrollment fee

"Nationwide is on your side" - and that includes your pets. Originally selling pet insurance under the Veterinary Pet Insurance brand in 1982, their very first customer was the famous TV collie, Lassie. Since then, Nationwide has covered thousands of pets throughout the US - including birds and exotic animals.

There are a few things you'll notice right away that are different with Nationwide. First, when getting a quote, you'll only be offered two plans: Major Medical and Whole Pet with Wellness. Unlike most companies that let you customize plans based on annual deductibles, coverage limits, and reimbursement percentages, Nationwide reduces your decision-making to whether you want wellness coverage or not. The Whole Pet program reimburses at 90%, while the Major Medical pays based on standard costs, not actual. With both programs, you can use any veterinarian you like.

For a kitten, you can expect to pay $16.51/month for Major Medical - almost four times as much as the lowest-priced competitor plan - or $46.60/month for Whole Pet with Wellness. But, both plans have an unlimited annual maximum, and with $250 and $100 annual deductibles, respectively, those prices are well worth the investment. Even looking at an older, more expensive pet to cover - our 7-year-old dog - we were pleasantly surprised by the rates: $57.66/month for Major Medical and $102.95 for Whole Pet with Wellness.

You'll be asked for fairly detailed medical history/information on your pet when you apply, so be prepared to document any past conditions, diagnoses, or treatments. You'll also be asked to identify your veterinarian - but it's not a problem if yours isn't in the list. (Ours was, along with dozens of others in our area.)

If you're paying for your plan on a monthly basis, you should expect transaction fees of $2/month. Also, your first payment will automatically be for two months of coverage, and your policy won't go into effect until at least 14 days after you apply and make that payment.

Does Nationwide measure up when it comes to pay out on claims? As much as we wanted to love this company for having simple-to-understand pricing with such broad coverage, we were disappointed when we looked at what other people had to say. Their comments were almost entirely negative; in fact, it was hard to find a customer who said that they had no issues at all with their policy. Many people felt they'd gotten a bait-and-switch with conditions and procedures they were told would be covered but in the end were denied. We also found a significant number of complaints saying that unless you provide detailed medical documentation from your veterinarian, Nationwide will deny your claim; some customers never received the request for that paperwork and didn't realize it until their claims were rejected.

Nationwide has a strong reputation for being a quality provider of insurance, across a wide range of policy types. It is largely due to this reputation and to their comprehensive pricing and plans that we give them a three-star rating. However, we advise you to be cautious and thorough with providing your pet's medical history, preferably during the application process - and that you follow up to make sure Nationwide received it before you make a claim, if possible.

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Continued from above

Just like their owners, pets can be protected with pet insurance plans that help ease the financial strain of medical care. Pet insurance has become very popular in the last few years, with dozens of companies offering to help you keep your pet healthy for a long time. But, every pet insurance plan is different with respect to deductibles and fees, covered services, and claims processing.

As you decide which pet insurance company is the best fit for you and your pet, keep in mind the following criteria:

  • Cost. What will you pay for your coverage? Is there a deductible, and is it annual or per incident? Will you pay any enrollment fees?
  • Coverage. What services and procedures are covered in the plan you have selected? Does it cover preventative measures like annual checkups? Are there any noteworthy exclusions? Does the company offer a variety of plans to meet your needs?
  • Reputation. Is the pet insurance provider rated by the Better Business Bureau? What do other customers say about their experience? Are claims paid quickly, or do you have to jump through a lot of hoops to file paperwork? Do many claims get denied? Are the company's customer service representatives knowledgeable and friendly?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Pet Insurance companies available today. We hope this information helps you find the best pet insurance plan for you and your animal companion!

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