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Last updated on Mar 23, 2020

Nationwide Pet Insurance Review

Comparatively weaker coverage at higher premiums, but an option for bird and exotic species owners ​
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Nationwide

  • Offers wellness plans to cover routine exams and prevention
  • Covers dental
  • The only major provider to cover birds and exotic pets
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How We Reviewed Nationwide Pet Insurance

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6 companies compared

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7 features evaluated

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2 ratings analyzed

Nationwide Pet Insurance has been offering pet protection since 1982 and serves all 50 states. It’s financially backed by A+ rated underwriters, confirming its status as an established, reliable insurance provider. 

Nationwide proudly promotes its wellness coverage (coverage for routine care, such as dental cleanings, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and wellness checkups), but these are expenses that pet owners can anticipate and budget for. Insurance generally serves as protection against unexpected expenses related to accidents or illness—there’s no need to pay a high monthly premium to cover costs you expect to incur. Nationwide Pet Insurance offers comparatively weak coverage at similarly high rates. Nationwide customers also report lower rates of satisfaction than customers of competing providers.   

However, if you have a bird or exotic pet, Nationwide may be a good fit for you, as it’s among the only pet insurance providers in the country to offer coverage for these species.

ProsCons
  • Covers multiple species

  • Well-established insurance provider

  • Strong financial backing by A+ rated underwriters
  • Comparatively expensive

  • Longer-than-normal waiting periods for coverage

  • Low customer ratings
  • The Pet Insurance Factors We Analyzed

    Pricing

    Plans start at $34 a month, but your premium varies based on several pet-related factors, such as your pet’s geographic location, age, and breed, as well as your chosen coverage plan. You can choose between three plans, depending on your needs and preferences. 

    Unlike most other pet insurance providers, which allow you to select the amount of reimbursement you’d like (usually between 70% and 90%), Nationwide only offers reimbursement for all coverages with the most expensive plan (at 90%). Other policies use a complicated payment schedule, so you won’t know how much will be covered for a specific condition unless you look up that condition on your policy. And the only deductible option is $250—you don’t have the option of selecting a higher deductible to reduce your monthly premiums.

    Customer experience

    The customer experience with Nationwide Pet Insurance is disappointing. In requesting a quote, we were presented with coverage plans that differed from the three plans discussed throughout the website. Moreover, we were not given the option to purchase a Pet Wellness plan without buying a plan that included medical. Online quotes are not available for birds or exotic pets, and you’ll need to call for a quote. While Nationwide Pet Insurance doesn’t have an app of its own, you can submit claims through the VitusVet veterinary records app.  

    Customer ratings on sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) are mostly negative. It’s common for insurance providers to receive negative reviews because of misunderstood coverage terms, but Nationwide Pet Insurance customers are also reporting general customer service issues like lack of communication.

    Coverage

    You can choose between three coverage plans: Pet Wellness, Major Medical, and Whole Pet. Pet Wellness is specifically for routine checkups and prevention (vaccinations, dental cleanings, parasite prevention). Major Medical is specifically for unforeseen medical issues. And Whole Pet covers both wellness and unexpected medical issues. The What’s Covered tool gives you an idea of how much coverage you’ll receive for different conditions under each of the plans.

    While Nationwide seems proud of its wellness coverage offering, you should know that it’s likely not worth the additional premium. Since you can generally anticipate and budget for routine care like wellness checkups, vaccinations, parasite prevention, and dental cleanings, there’s no need to pay an insurance premium for these expected expenses. 

    You should also know that the Whole Pet and Major Medical policies don’t take effect until 14 days after enrollment. And there’s a 12-month waiting period before ACL injuries are covered.

    Nationwide Pet Insurance Overview: Financial Strength, Availability, and History

    Nationwide Pet Insurance is underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and by National Casualty Company in all other states. Both companies currently hold an A+ rating for financial strength from AM Best. Nationwide has been offering insurance since 1925 and began offering pet insurance in 1982. Between the financial strength of its underwriters and the longevity of Nationwide’s insurance offerings, you can invest in a Nationwide policy with confidence. While Nationwide holds a strong A+ BBB rating, it has a low customer review rating of one out of five stars (which includes non-pet policy issues). 

    • In business since: 1925 (offering pet insurance since 1982)
    • BBB Rating: A+
    • AM Best Financial Strength Rating: A+ (for underwriting company in California, Veterinary Pet Insurance Company, and underwriting for all other states, National Casualty Company)
    • States served: 50

    The Competition


    States Available24/7 Claims ServiceWellness Coverage*
    Nationwide50YesYes
    Figo Pet Insurance50YesNo
    Healthy Paws50NoNo
    Embrace50YesYes
    24 Pet Watch50YesYes
    Trupanion50NoNo

    *Coverage for routine care like vaccinations, flea/heartworm prevention, etc.

    All information accurate as of 03/23/2020.

    The Bottom Line

    Unless you have a bird or exotic pet to insure, you’re probably better off choosing another provider that offers more coverage for a lower cost. Figo Pet Insurance or Healthy Paws both offer comprehensive medical coverage with simplified reimbursement terms for a lower monthly rate. These competitors don’t offer wellness coverage like Nationwide Pet Insurance, but when costs for routine medical care and prevention can be anticipated, there’s no need to pay a higher premium to have insurance cover these expected expenses.

    While Nationwide was among the first pet insurance providers in the country, newer companies have found ways to provide better coverage at lower rates. The competitors also have higher customer satisfaction ratings compared to Nationwide. So Nationwide’s only real advantage is insuring species that other providers don’t cover.

    About the Authors

    Michelle Clardie

    Michelle Clardie Contributing Writer

    Michelle Clardie has an MBA in management and strategy, and has worked in real estate. Her work has been featured on sites like Yahoo! News and Inman.