Nationwide Pet Insurance Review

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nationwide

An insurer that works hard to make taking care of your dog or cat as affordable as possible. Monthly costs are as low as $11 for cats and $20 for dogs.


Nationwide Pet insurance, formally known as VPI, is the biggest and oldest pet insurance company for a reason. They have quality plans at great prices and provide every option that a pet owner could ask for. #pets #insurance #cats #dogs
VPI Pet Insurance has rebranded and and is now part of the Nationwide insurance group of insurances. Since the merger, they have made quite a few changes to their pricing, policies and coverages. They have 48% of the market share and have been in the business for over 33 years, so you know that you will get proven and experienced help.

Nationwide Pet insurance provides good coverage for fair prices, and is the only option for owners of birds or exotic animals.



PROS:
  • Provides insurance for birds and exotic pets
  • 24 hour vet helpline
CONS:
  • Not as personal as other companies
  • 90% reimbursement level only
  • Monthly processing fees
  • Quote Process is cumbersome and confusing
  • Plans are confusing and overly complicated
  • Lengthy Claims Reimbursement times


Plans/Pricing: (Rating: 7/10)

For dogs and cats Nationwide has three main pet insurance plan options.

Their top level plan that offers what they call “nose to tail coverage” is their “Whole Pet” with wellness plan. It is an extremely comprehensive plan that even covers spay/neuter when other pet insurance companies don't. It also covers knees, ACL, ligaments with no waiting period. It also includes all wellness coverage for things like vaccinations, Heartworm/FELV/FIV testing, Deworming, flea control, dental cleanings and much more. It truly is one of the most comprehensive wellness coverages we've seen- but that coverage does come at a price. This plan comes with a pricey tag of $55.81 per month for our sample dog (2 yrs, medium sized, mixed breed from Minnesota), and $37.11 per month for our sample cat (2yrs, domestic short-haired cat from Minnesota). That's with a $250 annual deductible and 90% reimbursement. These are some of the higher premiums we've seen. You can not change the deductible or reimbursement – so you are stuck with only one option for this plan.

The second plan that Nationwide offers is what they call their “Major Medical” and covers only certain illnesses and accidents – they have five pages of listed diagnosis codes and what is covered. Each potential illness/accident has a listed maximum payout. So you receive set benefits up to the maximum for each potential incident. This coverage also comes with a $250 deductible and no annual maximum. The pricing for this coverage is a little more reasonable at $25.82 per month for our dog and $15.41 per month for our cat – but still on the higher side.

The final plan that Nationwide offers is their “Wellness” plan and comes with two options – Basic and Plus. This coverage basically covers well exams (2 per policy period), routine vaccinations and some testing such as heartworm, FELV/FIV, and fecal. The difference between the plus and basic is the limits for each item covered – with the plus having $500 of coverage benefits and the basic having $400. Prices range from $17 – $22 per month for Plus and $12 – $18 per month for basic.

As you can see these plans are structured quite a bit different from most providers who either don't cover wellness at all, or offer an add-on for limited wellness coverage – with Nationwide you either get the full Wellness benefits via their Whole Pet plan or you ONLY get wellness via their Wellness plans. Wellness is not an addon with Nationwide.

For birds and exotic pets the insurance must be tailor-made to fit the particular breed of animal. As such each policy will be slightly different. You can expect to pay around $12-$20/month to receive $7,000 in annual benefits.

Enrollment and Waiting Periods: (Rating: 6/10)

There is a 14 day waiting period after enrollment before coverage starts for both accidents and illness. 14 days for accident coverage is a bit long – most of their competitors offer an accident coverage waiting period of one to three days. They also have a one year waiting period for hereditary and congenital conditions.

Availability: (Rating: 10/10)

You can go to any licensed veterinarian anywhere in the world with Nationwide Pet insurance.

Exclusions: (Rating: 9/10)

Depending upon the plan you select this will differ greatly, but with the Whole Pet plan there are few exclusions – basically pre-existing conditions, Elective procedures, pet foods, grooming, boarding, and experimental or investigative procedures are all excluded. They do cover hereditary conditions, but only with the “Whole Pet” plan.

Claims/Deductibles: (Rating: 7/10)

Nationwide Pet insurance has only one annual deductible amount of $250. Just like all other pet insurances, the deductible is the amount that you are required to pay before your coverage begins.

To submit a claim, all you have to do is fill out a short form and fax, mail, or e-mail Nationwide. You are responsible to pay your pets medical bills first, and then you will be directly reimbursed following a successful application. Nationwide estimates that it will take up to 30 days from receiving all of the necessary information to process your claim, which is slower than many competitors. The slow claims processing has been an on-going issue for clients of Nationwide.

Payouts/Limits: (Rating: 6/10)

With the “Whole Pet” plan they have one 90% reimbursement level which you can't change. This causes the higher monthly premiums, coupled with the extensive coverage and $250 deductible.

With their “Major Medical” plan, they have an assigned a dollar amount to each potential problem that your pet may face, and will reimburse you up to that limit. For example, they have a limit of $720 to cover different types of arthritis. So $720 is how much you are covered for arthritis per year.

There are no annual or lifetime limits with nationwide.

Extras: (Rating: 5/10)

Nationwide, unlike other pet insurance providers does not offer extras or add-ons – particularly with regard to wellness and dental. You either take the wellness and dental coverage in their “Whole Pet” plan or take the “Wellness” only plan.

They do offer a 5% discount for more than one pet insured with them.

Ease of Enrollment: (Rating: 9/10)

Enrolling with Nationwide is extremely easy. All you have to do it click on the “get a quote” link at the top of the page and fill out all of the details about your pet. From there you can choose your plan, and set up payment. That’s all it takes!

Customer Service: (Rating: 8/10)

Nationwide Pet’s website has a great FAQ page which should be able to answer nearly any question that you have. If that is still not enough, they are available Monday-Friday from 5am-7pm PT, and Saturday’s from 7am-3:30pm PT by phone at 1-888-899-4874, or through their website at http://www.petinsurance.com/contact.


Pricing and Details

Pricing
Pricing is based on the age of the pet, breed, state of residence, and plan. For birds and exotic pets premiums are based on species and size.

Below is the pricing for a Nationwide policy for a 2 year old mixed breed, medium-sized dog from Minnesota:
Nationwide Dog Pricing

Considering that you would pay $669.72/year for the Whole Pet policy above, you would have to have more to have some pretty hefty vet bills for that policy to pay for itself.

Below is the pricing for a Nationwide policy for a 2 year old domestic short-haried cat from Minnesota:
Cat Policy Pricing

For birds or exotic pets prices vary on an individual basis. You can call 1-800-874-0651 to get an exact quote, but monthly premiums usually average between $12-$20.

Contract Type
Monthly and yearly.

Enrollment Age
There is an age limit of 10 years for enrolling new pets. However as long as you are already a customer they will continue coverage for your pet’s entire life.

Wellness
Included in Whole Pet plan
$400 or $500 annual limit with Wellness only plan

Accident/Injury
Yes

Deductible
$250 for Whole Pet and Major Medical plans.

Claims
Premiums will never increase as a result of filing claims.

Limits
No annual or lifetime limits for Whole Pet or Major Medical.
Wellness Basic – $400 annual limit.
Wellness Plus – $500 annual limit.

Special Coverage
Nationwide's Whole Pet plan provides coverage for routine dental cleanings, vaccinations, congenital conditions, cancer treatments, and veterinary exam fees.



Specification

Pricing and Claim Info

Price Range for Dogs: $17 to $56 per month

Pricing Rage for Cats: $12 to $37.11 per month

Pricing Based on: 2 year old mixed breed from Minnesota with a $250 deductible and 90% remimbursement and unlimited annual limit

Multiple Pet Discount: 5% for 2nd pet and 10% for 3rd and subsequent

Money Back Guarantee: 30 Days

Type of Deductable: Annual

Reimbursement Based on: : Actual Veterinary Charges

Enrollment Age Minimum: 6 Weeks

Enrollment Age Maximum: 10 Years for New Customers - No limit for existing customers

Effective Date: Day after application is approved and payment received

Waiting Period - Illness: 14 Days

Waiting Period - Accidents: 14 Days

Waiting Period - Heredity/Congenital/Other Conditions: 12 Months

NO Pre Coverage Exam Required

NO Vaccination Requirement for Coverage of Certain Conditions

Coverage: Both In-State & Out of State

Claims Cause Policy Increase?: No

Contract Type

Annually

Help and Support

Phone

Email

Benefits/Statements Online

Annual Deductables

$250

Per Incident Deductibles

Reimbursement Levels

90%

Per Incidence Limits

Dependent on Plan Selected

Annual Claim Limits

No Limits

LifeTime Claims Limits

no limits

Covered Animals

Dogs

Cats

Birds

Exotic Animals

Coverage

Spay/Neuter: Yes

Exam Fees: Yes

Accidents/Injury

Illness

Congenital Conditions: Yes - if not pre-existing condition

Wellness Coverage: Yes help

Dental: Yes

Pregnancy: Yes

Special Coverage: Yes help

Prescription Drug Coverage: Yes

Alternative Therapies: Yes

Behavioral Issues

Prescription Food & Supplements: Yes


Who is This Insurance Plan Ideal For?

Nationwide is best suited for owners who want to be protected by a large pet insurance company who are looking for an extremely comprehensive nose to tail coverage and don't mind paying the price for it.

It is also the best and only choice for owners of pets and exotic animals.


What We Like

Provides Insurance for Birds and Exotic Pets
Nationwide is the only pet insurance to provide coverage for birds and exotic animals. Snakes, turtles, rats, lizards, and rabbits are just some of the exotic animals that they insure. The fact that Nationwide offers insurance for these animals is very impressive, since every other company ignores them.

24 Hour Vet Helpline
Vet helpline is a 24/7 service included with all of Nationwide’s policies that allows customers to “call, email or chat with a real veterinarian for help with everything from general pet health questions to identifying urgent care needs”. You can call 855-331-2833 or go to PetInsurance.com/VetHelpline to email or chat.

Option to Purchase Medical and Wellness Plans Individually
Nationwide gives customers the unique ability to purchase wellness plans alone. Nearly every other company only provides wellness coverage as an add-on plan. This is very beneficial for those who don’t want insurance for accidents or illness but would still like reimbursement for routine care.


What We Don't Like

Not as Personal as Other Companies
Since Nationwide Pet insurance is the leading provider of pet insurance it is inevitable that they will not be able to be as personal with each customer as other much smaller companies. Nevertheless, it is always preferable to deal with a company that knows you personally rather than one where you are just a number in their system.

Monthly Processing Fees
If you choose to pay on a monthly basis Nationwide will charge you a $2 processing fee per policy each month. Even though $2 is only a small amount it is inconvenient considering the already hefty price paid for insurance alone.


Summary

Nationwide Pet insurance, formally known as VPI, is the biggest and oldest pet insurance company for a reason. They have quality plans at great prices and provide every option that a pet owner could ask for. As well, they are the only insurance company to provide coverage for exotic animals and birds. Their plans are slightly more complicated than other companies, and they also exhibit some of the flaws typical of large companies. To their credit, the excellent customer service they display should dispel any concerns about not being treated properly. In the end, every pet owner can be confident in their decision to purchase insurance with Nationwide knowing that their pet is now covered by the most experienced company in the industry.

An insurer that works hard to make taking care of your dog or cat as affordable as possible. Monthly costs are as low as $11 for cats and $20 for dogs.

7.4 Total Score
Great coverage and fair prices.

Nationwide Pet insurance, formally known as VPI, is the biggest and oldest pet insurance company for a reason. They offer quality plans at great prices and provide every option that a pet owner could ask for. They are the only insurance company to provide coverage for exotic animals and birds.

Plans/Pricing
7
Enrollment and Waiting Periods
6
Availability
10
Exclusions
9
Claims/Deductibles
7
Payouts/Limits
6
Extras
5
Ease of Enrollment
9
Customer Service
8
PROS
  • Provides insurance for birds and exotic pets
  • 24 hour vet helpline
CONS
  • Not as personal as other companies
  • 90% reimbursement level only
  • Monthly processing fees
  • Quote Process is cumbersome and confusing
  • Plans are confusing and overly complicated
  • Lengthy Claims Reimbursement times


Lynn is the founder and chief editor at ReVUEzzle.com. She is responsible for strategy and business development. Her background is in software development, marketing, and project management. She loves camping, traveling, and all things soccer related. She has been married for over 30 years to one great guy and has two adult children. Lynn is also the human companion to two cats - Jynx and Spanky. She is based in Minnesota, USA.

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