Nationwide Pet Insurance (Formerly Known as VPI) Review

Nationwide is our top pick for “Best Pet Insurance for All Pets.” It is the only insurance provider on our list of best pet insurance options that doesn’t limit its coverage to just dogs and cats. It covers most types of birds, as well as reptiles, lizards, and even snakes! Read our Nationwide Pet Insurance review to learn more.

Overview

Susan Schmitz / Shutterstock

Veterinary Pet Insurance, also known as VPI, was founded in 1982. The company was acquired by Nationwide in 2015 and is now commonly known as Nationwide Pet Insurance.

Nationwide offers three pet insurance options in addition to its exotic pets plans:

  • Whole Pet With Wellness
  • Major Medical
  • Pet Wellness

The Whole Pet With Wellness plan is similar to traditional pet insurance companies and reimburses you a percentage of what you paid the vet for treatment.

The Major Medical plan, however, has a maximum it pays for various conditions. This plan uses a benefit schedule to outline these maximums. No matter how much your veterinary bills may cost, Nationwide will never reimburse you past the stated maximum.

Fun fact: VPI sold a pet insurance plan to Lassie!

 

Pros

Nationwide Pet Insurance provides coverage for all types of animals

Eric Isselée / Adobe Stock

Nationwide has some advantages that make it a winner. Here are some of the biggest perks:

  • Affordable prices: If the cost of monthly premiums is the most important factor for you when comparing pet insurance plans, Nationwide is an excellent choice. It offers some of the best rates around.
  • Exotic pet insurance: If you have an exotic animal and want health insurance for it, Nationwide is one of the only options.
  • Real-time tracking: There’s nothing worse than filing paperwork for reimbursement and having no idea where it stands or when you’ll receive your money. Nationwide’s app allows you to track your claim in real-time. You’ll know what the status is and when to expect your reimbursement.
  • Simple app: Like most pet insurance providers, Nationwide has an easy-to-use app. You can submit your claim via the app or online, rather than collecting paperwork and mailing it in. You can still mail claims if you prefer.
  • Unlimited claims for some plans: Nationwide offers unlimited claims for Major Medical and Whole Pet With Wellness plans. That means no annual or per-incident limits on claims.

 

Cons

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Nationwide might not be a perfect fit for every customer. Here are some downsides to keep in mind:

  • Delayed reimbursements: Some customers report that they had to wait a while to get their reimbursements. If you want to get them as quickly as possible, you might want to choose a different option.
  • Mobile-only tracking: You cannot track cleans online. You have to have the app to see that information.
  • Not BBB rated: The Better Business Bureau has not rated Nationwide. While this is not necessarily a negative thing, it makes it harder to get a comprehensive review. Nationwide is the only pet insurance provider on our list that has not been rated by the BBB.
  • Raised monthly premiums as pets age: This is, unfortunately, a negative for many pet insurance companies. If you want to ensure your pet insurance company does not raise your rates as your pet ages, then Nationwide is not the best option.
  • Wellness plans are not available in all states: Wellness plans cover routine and preventative veterinary care, but they aren’t available in all states. Contact Nationwide to see if wellness plans are available in rea if you want one as part of your policy.

 

Product Stats

A happy Bernese Mountain Dog with his owner

Nationwide Pet Insurance

  • Bilateral exclusions: Not covered.
  • Claims: You must submit claims within 90 days of treatment. Nationwide should pay these claims within 30 days of when it receives all the documents. You can submit claims by fax, the mobile app, or mail.
  • Exam period: None.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This condition is covered after a waiting period of 14 days. However, it does have some exclusions. Nationwide does not cover joint or bone conditions associated with elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia, patellar subluxation or luxation, any issue related to aseptic necrosis of a femoral head, or osteochondritis dissecans.
  • Underwriter: National Casualty Company (outside CA); VPI (in CA). This underwriter has an A.M. Best rating of A+.
  • Waiting Periods: This company has a 14-day waiting period for Whole Pet With Wellness and Major Medical plans. However, the Pet Wellness program only has a 24 Nationwide has a 12-month waiting period for ACL surgery.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Nationwide Pet Insurance defines pre-existing conditions as anything that began or showed signs of a problem up to 12 months before the policy started. It doesn’t matter if the issue was discovered and treated or not.

A chronic condition would be a pre-existing condition unless it began after the policy started.

 

Features

Nationwide insurance dog

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Nationwide’s website doesn’t list everything that it does and doesn’t cover under its plans. Therefore, we cannot include a full list in our review.

Instead, we will highlight the basic plan types. Make sure to review each plan before selecting one.

Whole Plan With Wellness

Nationwide’s Whole Plan With Wellness reimburses you based on the treatment cost. When you file a claim, you will get a reimbursement that is a percentage of what you paid your vet.

Some companies exclude exam fees and other preventative treatments. Nationwide’s does not. The Whole Pet With Wellness plan considers itself to be “the most extensive coverage available — anywhere.” Specifically, it covers:

  • Chronic conditions
  • Exams
  • Hereditary conditions (no waiting period)
  • Hospitalization
  • Lab tests
  • Prescriptions
  • Surgeries
  • Wellness
  • X-rays

Major Medical

Nationwide’s Major Medical pet insurance policy is less inclusive than its Whole Plan With Wellness policy.

The Major Medical plan has a set limit for each condition regardless of the cost of treatment. This plan uses a benefit schedule to outline these maximums.

No matter how much your veterinary bills may cost, you will never get a reimbursement past the stated maximum. This plan covers:

  • Chronic conditions
  • Exams
  • Lab tests
  • Prescriptions
  • Some hereditary conditions (waiting period applies)
  • Surgeries and hospitalization
  • X-rays

Pet Wellness

Not all pet insurance companies provide wellness coverage. Some companies only offer it as an add-on after you have purchased a more comprehensive pet insurance plan.

Nationwide is different. It offers combined plans, as well as an individual wellness plan. If you choose the wellness plan, it will cover:

  • Flea prevention
  • Heartworm prevention
  • Vaccinations
  • Wellness exams and tests
View More Information

What Is Not Covered

For a full list of what is not covered, please refer to Nationwide’s plan restrictions. Exclusions differ greatly depending on which plan you select. We will list the most common exclusions in our Nationwide Pet Insurance review.

Whole Plan With Wellness

  • Expenses not directly related to veterinary services (examples include waste disposal, tax, record access/copying and bank or credit card fees)
  • Grooming
  • Pre-existing conditions

All Other Plans

  • Cruciate ligament injuries within the first 12 months of coverage
  • Congenital anomalies or developmental disorders
  • Hereditary disorders
  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Wellness, routine or preventative care

Exotic Pet Coverage

Nationwide is one of the only pet insurance companies that provide coverage for birds, rabbits, reptiles, and other exotic pets.

Plans cover accidents and illnesses as well as exams, lab fees, prescriptions, X-rays, and hospitalization.

Nationwide covers most birds and a range of exotic pets, including:

  • Amphibians
  • Ferrets
  • Goats
  • Hedgehogs
  • Opossums
  • Potbellied pigs
  • Rabbits
  • Rodents (specifically, chinchillas, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and rats)
  • Reptiles (specifically, chameleons, geckos, iguanas, lizards, snakes, tortoises, and turtles)
  • Sugar gliders

The exotic pets plans have the same waiting periods as the other options.

Costs

Nationwide Pug Puppy

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Nationwide offers a variety of payment options. Options include:

  • 90 percent reimbursement (Whole Pet With Wellness)
  • $100 deductible (Whole Pet With Wellness)
  • $250 deductible (Major Medical)
  • Unlimited annual maximum
  • Benefit schedule reimbursement (Major Medical)

To get an exact price for your pet, refer to Nationwide’s quotes page.

Sample Rates by Breed

To get an idea of the difference in the monthly price for Nationwide’s different plans, as well as differences in price based on breed, age and location, we have gathered sample prices for this Nationwide Pet Insurance review:

BreedLabrador RetrieverEnglish Cocker SpanielGerman ShepherdYorkshire TerrierYorkshire TerrierYorkshire TerrierMixed Breed Cat (Medium Hair)
Age28466 months6 months2
LocationIowa (Zip code: 50125)Illinois (Zip code 60604)California (Zip code: 90001)New York (Zip code: 10001)New York (Zip code: 10001)Iowa (Zip code: 50125)Ohio (Zip code: 44101)
Annual MaximumUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
Major Medical Price Per Month ($250 annual deductible)$26.65$70.96$42.81$61.50$35.55$25.85$15.57
Whole Pet With Wellness Price Per Month ($100 annual deductible)$91.85$202.07$97.97$125.80N/AN/A$36.87
Major Medical + Wellness Plus (with no deductible)N/AN/AN/AN/A$53.55$43.95N/A

Nationwide Pet Insurance Review Conclusion

Awesome pets deserve awesome insurance

Nationwide Pet Insurance

We found that Nationwide is among the least expensive pet insurance companies on our list, which is a plus. However, they have a reputation for raising monthly premium rates as pets get older, which is a major negative. We also read numerous complaints from existing customers about reimbursements coming in late.

While the company does have a few negatives, it also boasts positives. Among them its Wellness Plans. Most pet insurance providers do not reimburse you for routine exams. Alternately, if they do offer a wellness plan, it is only offered as an add-on to a more comprehensive plan. Nationwide allows you to purchase a simple wellness plan with no strings attached or hidden requirements.

If you have an exotic pet, we highly recommend Nationwide. We also recommend Nationwide if you’re looking for one of the most affordable options. If you prefer speedy payments, we recommend you look at pet insurance companies with a better track record.

You can get a quote online to learn more. If you have Nationwide protecting your pet, leave a Nationwide Pet Insurance review below!

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