Nationwide Pet Insurance Review
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VPI Pet Insurance has rebranded and now goes by the name Nationwide Pet insurance. Despite the name change they still offer the same great insurance that previously made them the biggest name in the industry. 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.
- Provides insurance for birds and exotic pets
- 24 hour vet helpline
- Option to purchase medical and wellness plans individually
- Not as personal as other companies
- No reimbursement percentage
- Monthly processing fees
Plans/Pricing: (Rating: 9/10)
For dogs and cats Nationwide has 2 main pet insurance plans plus an accident only plan. First is the “economical” medical plan, which covers accidents and injuries, illnesses, and surgeries. It has a yearly limit of $7,000 and depending on a number of factors costs between $19-$27/month. The second plan is “comprehensive”, and it provides all of the same coverage as the previous plan, plus heredity issues. It has a yearly limit of $14,000 and costs around $25-$35/month.
Finally there is the “emergency” plan, which is intended to only cover major injuries or accidents, such as a bite wound or torn knee ligaments. It only costs $10/month and has an annual limit of $14,000.
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.
Availability: (Rating: 10/10)
You can go to any licensed veterinarian in all 50 states and the District of Columbia with Nationwide Pet insurance.
Exclusions: (Rating: 7/10)
Elective procedures, congenital conditions, pet foods, grooming, behavioral problems and pre-existing conditions are all excluded. They do cover hereditary conditions, but only with the “comprehensive plan”.
Claims/Deductibles: (Rating: 7/10)
Nationwide Pet insurance lets you choose deductible amounts of $100, $250, and $500. Just like all other pet insurances, the deductible is the amount that you are required to pay before your coverage begins. The higher your deductible is, the lower your monthly premiums are.
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.
Payouts/Limits: (Rating: 6/10)
Nationwide is unique in that they do not have a set reimbursement level to dictate how much of your bill they will cover. Instead they have assigned a dollar amount to each potential problem that your pet may face, and will reimburse you up to that limit. For example, for the “comprehensive”, they have a limit of $1,000 to cover different types of arthritis. So $1,000 is how much you are covered for arthritis per year.
There are no lifetime limits with nationwide, however there are annual limits. They are $7,000 for the “economical” plan and $14,000 for the “comprehensive” plan.
Extras: (Rating: 9/10)
Nationwide’s Pet insurance provides 3 wellness plans as options. The first 2 are known as “basic” and “plus” and both cover the same issues, such as physical exams, vaccinations, deworming, and blood tests. The “basic” plan costs between $12-$18/month and provides $400/year in coverage. The “plus” pet wellness plan costs around $17-$22/month and provides $500/year in coverage.
The third wellness plan named “CareGuard Premier” provides the same coverage for routine care, but also helps cover spaying, neutering, and dental cleaning. “CareGuard Premier” gives up to $400/year in benefits for $22/month.
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 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.
With Nationwide dogs of different sizes all cost the same to ensure. Whether your dog is small, medium, or large, the “economical” plan will cost around $20/month, and the “comprehensive” plan will cost $27/month.
Premium prices for cats are slightly lower, with the “economical” plan costing an average of $11/month and the “comprehensive” plan costing around $15.50/month.
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.
*Sample prices are based on a 2 year old mixed breed from Michigan with a $250 deductible
Monthly and yearly.
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.
Yes, there are 3 optional wellness add-ons.
$100, $250, $500
Premiums will never increase as a result of filing claims.
For dogs and cats there are annual limits of $7,000 for the “economical” plan and $14,000 for the “comprehensive” and “emergency” plans. For birds and exotic animals the annual limit is $7,000. There are no lifetime limits for any of the plans.
Nationwide plans provide coverage for conditions related to teeth and mouth illness.
Pricing and Claim Info
Price Range for Dogs: $20 to $27 per month
Pricing Rage for Cats: $11 to $15.50 per month
Pricing Based on: 2 year old mixed breed dog from Michigan with a $250 premium (dogs) and 2 year old mixed breed medium hair cat from Michigan with a $250 deductible (cats)
Enrollment Age Minimum: None
Enrollment Age Maximum: 10 Years for New Customers - No limit for existing customers
Effective Date: Day after application is approved
Waiting Period - Illness: 14 Days
Waiting Period - Accidents: 1 Day
Coverage: Both In-State & Out of State
Claims Cause Policy Increase?: No
Help and Support
Per Incident Deductibles
Limits on Payouts
Per Incidence Limits
Annual Claim Limits
LifeTime Claims Limits
Congenital Conditions: No
Wellness Coverage: Add-on
Special Coverage: 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 with a history of providing fair and helpful coverage. 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.
No Reimbursement Percentage
Unlike every other pet insurance company Nationwide does not have a set reimbursement level for each filed claim. Their policy of limits for different claims could overwhelming for prospective owners. It is much simpler for everyone involved to just have a set reimbursement level.
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.
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.
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.