How Nationwide Pet Insurance Can Save You Money

Nationwide Pet insurance provides coverage for veterinary care costs to help pet owners budget for unexpected illnesses or injuries their pets may experience. As veterinary medicine continues to advance, the costs of care are rising. This makes pet insurance an increasingly attractive option for many pet parents today. 

Founded in 1982, Nationwide is the first and largest provider of pet health insurance in the United States. Their plans help dog and cat owners cover the costs of veterinary care so they don’t have to worry about affording necessary treatment.

This article provides an in-depth look at Nationwide Pet Insurance. It examines the coverage they offer, associated costs, claims process, discounts available, customer satisfaction, and alternatives in the market. The goal is to help readers understand if pet insurance, specifically from Nationwide, is right for their needs and budget. With the information provided here, pet owners can make an informed decision about protecting their pets with medical insurance.

History of Pet Insurance

The concept of pet insurance originated in Sweden in the late 1800s when horse owners began taking out policies to cover veterinary costs for their horses. This practice soon expanded to cover other valuable domestic animals like dogs. 

Pet insurance remained a niche product in Europe for most of the 20th century. It wasn’t until the 1980s that pet insurance started becoming more widespread. Some of the first companies offering policies specifically for cats and dogs included Petplan in the UK and Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) in the US.

Nationwide entered the pet insurance market in the early 2000s, sensing the potential for growth in this sector. The company was already well-established in other insurance markets like home, auto, and farm animal insurance. With its strong brand recognition and distribution network, Nationwide was well-positioned to become a leader in pet insurance.

Over the past 20 years, the pet insurance industry has grown substantially around the world. As veterinary care becomes more advanced and costly, pet insurance provides a way for owners to budget for surprise illnesses or injuries. The number of pets insured and total premiums paid have risen steadily. Industry data indicates that the global market for pet insurance will likely continue growing at a compound annual rate of over 15% through 2027.

How Pet Insurance Works

Pet insurance helps pet owners cover the costs of veterinary care. There are a few common types of pet insurance plans:


Accident-only plans are the most affordable option. They cover injuries stemming from accidents, like broken bones, snake bites, or ingestion of foreign objects. Accident-only plans do not cover illness.

Illness Coverage

Illness coverage is more comprehensive. It includes accident coverage and covers treatment for illnesses like cancer, diabetes, ear infections, etc. Some plans have caps on annual or lifetime reimbursements. Others fully cover the cost of care with no limits.

Wellness Coverage 

Wellness coverage is an add-on for basic accident and illness plans. It helps pay for routine veterinary care like vaccines, dental cleanings, checkups, flea/tick prevention, and more. Wellness coverage often has an annual maximum benefit.

Pet insurance plans have deductibles and co-insurance percentages just like human health insurance. For example, you might pay a $250 deductible per condition, and then get 90% reimbursement on eligible costs. 

Pre-existing conditions are not covered. Most plans have waiting periods for injuries and illnesses too. Accidents are usually covered right away, while illness coverage may not kick in for 14-30 days.

Covered Services

Nationwide Pet insurance plans from Nationwide cover a wide range of medical expenses related to accidents, illnesses, and preventative care. Some of the most common services covered include:

  • Veterinary exams and office visits 
  • X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and other diagnostic testing
  • Surgeries and hospital stays  
  • Prescription medications
  • Annual wellness exams
  • Vaccinations
  • Heartworm testing 
  • Flea and tick prevention
  • Spay/neuter
  • Dental cleanings

Nationwide also offers riders and add-ons to expand your pet’s coverage for things like hip dysplasia, hereditary conditions, behavioral therapies, boarding fees, lost pet advertising, and more.

Some common exclusions to be aware of are pre-existing conditions, elective and cosmetic procedures, breeding or pregnancy-related care, experimental treatments, and non-medical services like grooming or boarding (unless you purchase add-on coverage). There may also be breed-specific exclusions for certain hereditary conditions prone in particular breeds. 

Make sure to read all policy documents closely to fully understand what is and isn’t covered, as exclusions can vary between providers. Nationwide aims to be transparent with all covered services and limitations.


The cost of pet insurance depends on a variety of factors, including the age and breed of your pet, where you live, the plan you choose, and the level of coverage. Here’s an overview of what to expect:

Average Premium Costs

On average, pet insurance costs between $30 and $70 per month for accident and illness coverage. Premiums are generally cheaper for cats than dogs. Some providers also offer wellness plans that cover routine veterinary care like annual exams and vaccinations, which can cost an additional $15 to $40 per month.

Deductibles and Copays

Most providers require you to pay an annual deductible, which can range from $100 to $1,000. You’ll pay your deductible per condition before coverage kicks in. Many plans also have a copay, which is a percentage of the bill you pay after meeting the deductible, often 10-20%.

Higher deductibles and copays lower your monthly premium but increase the out-of-pocket costs you’ll pay if your pet needs care. Lower deductibles have the opposite effect. 

Factors Influencing Price

Several elements influence how much you’ll pay for pet insurance:

  • Age – Premiums are cheaper for younger pets and increase as they get older.
  • Breed – Some breeds with genetic health issues have higher premiums.
  • Location – Plans cost more in areas with higher veterinary care costs.
  • Plan Type – Accident-only policies are cheaper than accident and illness coverage. 
  • Coverage Level – Plans with higher annual or lifetime payout limits cost more.
  • Reimbursement Rate – Plans that reimburse 90% of costs are pricier than 80% reimbursement policies.

By understanding these factors, you can find a plan that fits your budget while providing sufficient coverage for your pet. Comparing quotes across multiple providers is the best way to find an affordable price.

Claims Process 

Filing a claim with Nationwide Pet Insurance is straightforward. Simply compile and submit the required documentation, and Nationwide will process the reimbursement.

How to File a Claim

To start a claim, log in to your online member dashboard or call Nationwide’s claims department. You’ll need to provide information like your policy number and pet’s name. 

Next, submit the itemized invoice from your veterinarian, which should include the following:

  • Pet’s name
  • Date of service 
  • Details of diagnosis or reason for visit
  • Itemized list of procedures, services, prescriptions, etc.
  • The amount charged for each item

For accidents and illnesses, you may also need to provide medical records like exam notes, test results, and treatment plans. 

Submit all claim documentation via your online account, email, fax, or mail. Nationwide aims to process claims within 10 business days.

Reimbursement Process and Timeline

Once Nationwide receives your documentation, they will review the claim details against your policy terms. As long as everything is in order, they will issue reimbursement payments for your covered costs based on your policy benefit limits.

Payments are issued via check or direct deposit. Most customers receive reimbursements within 2 weeks or less after submitting their claim.

If any part of the claim is denied, Nationwide will provide an explanation. Make sure to save all documentation in case you need to re-submit or appeal.


If you feel Nationwide incorrectly denied your claim, you can appeal the decision. First, call Nationwide to discuss the reason for denial – sometimes claims are refused due to missing information or a misunderstanding. 

To formally appeal, submit a written explanation of why you feel the claim is covered under your policy. Include any additional documentation and veterinary notes that support your case. Nationwide will conduct an additional claim review and provide a written response.

Most denied claims can be successfully appealed when pet parents provide complete details. However, if the appeal is still unsuccessful, you may be able to file a complaint with your state insurance department.

Discounts and Rewards

Nationwide Pet Insurance offers several ways for pet parents to save money on premiums and veterinary care for their furry family members.

Multi-Pet Discount

One of the best ways to save with Nationwide is through their multi-pet discount. When you enroll more than one pet on your policy, you can receive up to a 10% discount on your premiums. This provides great savings for households with more than one dog or cat.

Military and First Responder Discount

Active military members and first responders like police officers, firefighters, and EMTs are eligible for up to a 10% discount as well. Nationwide wants to give back to those who serve our communities and country.

Veterinary Care Discounts

In addition to discounts on your premiums, Nationwide also offers exclusive discounts on veterinary services through its network of over 70,000 veterinary hospitals. You can save 5-15% on services like exams, surgeries, prescription medications, dental cleanings, and more. This perk alone can offset the monthly cost of coverage.

Preventive Care Rewards

Another way Nationwide rewards pet parents is through reimbursement of preventive care services like vaccinations, flea/tick/heartworm medication, teeth cleanings, deworming, and microchipping. You can get back the cost of these services up to $250 per policy term through their Preventive Care Rewards program.

Rx Discounts

Even on prescription medications not covered by your policy, you can still save money through Nationwide’s Rx Discounts program. You can get 5-15% off brand-name and generic pet medications through participating pharmacies.

With all of these savings opportunities, Nationwide makes it more affordable to proactively care for your pets and keep them happy and healthy. The discounts and rewards help offset the monthly premiums, making pet insurance a smart investment.

Customer Satisfaction

Nationwide Pet Insurance has largely positive customer satisfaction, based on reviews and policyholder surveys. 

According to third-party review sites like TrustPilot, Nationwide has a 4 out of 5-star rating based on over 5,000 reviews. Policyholders praise the ease of submitting claims, fast reimbursements, and friendly customer service. Many reviews mention claims being processed quickly and with no issues or denials of valid claims.

On Nationwide’s website, they share results from their annual policyholder satisfaction survey. In 2021, 91% of pet insurance members said they were satisfied with their policy, and 93% said claims were easy to submit. 82% said they would recommend Nationwide pet insurance to others.

While most policyholders seem happy with Nationwide’s service, some complaints can be found online. Common issues mentioned are premium increases, declined claims for pre-existing conditions or hereditary issues, and slow claims processing time in some cases. However, negative reviews seem to be the minority compared to the overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Overall, Nationwide Pet Insurance appears to have high customer satisfaction rates based on reviews, testimonials, and surveys of their own policyholders. The majority of pet parents seem pleased with their policies, the claims process, and working with Nationwide’s customer service team. Reviews suggest they deliver on claims reliably for valid issues and provide a smooth experience for pet insurance members.

Alternatives to Nationwide

Nationwide is the largest and most popular pet insurance provider in the United States, but it’s not the only option. Here are some other top pet insurance companies to consider:

Healthy Paws

Healthy Paws is one of the top competitors to Nationwide. Some key differences:

  • Healthy Paws reimburses at 100% with no annual limit once the deductible is met, while Nationwide reimburses at 90% with an annual limit
  • Healthy Paws has no age limit on enrollment while Nationwide does not insure pets over 10 years old
  • Healthy Paws offers customizable deductible and reimbursement options while Nationwide has set amounts 

Healthy Paws is a good alternative for pet owners looking for full reimbursement without an annual cap.


Embrace is another large pet insurer that competes with Nationwide. Some differences:

  • Embrace covers alternative therapies like acupuncture and behavioral therapy while Nationwide does not
  • Embrace offers wellness rewards that can earn money towards future claims, Nationwide does not
  • Embrace has no upper age limit on enrollment, Nationwide won’t insure over the age of 10

Embrace is a good choice for those who want more holistic care options covered.


Petplan is also a popular choice up against Nationwide. Key contrasts:

  • Petplan offers coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions while Nationwide excludes pre-existing conditions
  • Petplan provides international coverage while Nationwide is limited to the U.S. and Canada
  • Petplan offers unlimited annual benefits while Nationwide caps annual payouts 

Petplan is a great option for pets with pre-existing or hereditary conditions.


Figo is a smaller but fast-growing pet insurer. Differences versus Nationwide:

  • Figo offers wellness rewards similar to Embrace while Nationwide does not
  • Figo provides more customizable plans and deductible choices than Nationwide
  • Figo offers an additional rider for some sports/working dog injuries 

Figo is ideal for pet owners wanting a wider range of customization options.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It?

Pet insurance can provide pet owners with peace of mind by helping cover the costs of medical care for their furry friends. However, pet insurance does come at a monthly or annual cost that some pet owners may find difficult to justify. Here is an analysis of the key pros and cons to help determine if pet insurance is worth it:

Pros of Pet Insurance

Covers expensive medical bills – One major illness or injury could cost thousands in vet bills, which insurance can help cover. This prevents pet owners from facing difficult choices about treatment based on cost.

Provides peace of mind – Pet insurance eliminates worries about being able to afford care. Owners can focus on their pet’s health and recovery.

Customizable coverage – Policies can be customized with different deductibles, premiums, and reimbursement rates to meet a pet owner’s needs and budget.

Available for pets of any age – Unlike human health insurance, pet policies are available regardless of the pet’s age or pre-existing conditions.

Portable coverage – If you switch providers, the same coverage can go with you.

Cons of Pet Insurance 

  • Monthly or annual premiums – The regular cost of premiums may end up being more than the payouts some owners receive for claims.
  • Pre-existing conditions limitations – Illnesses present before enrollment are often excluded from coverage.
  • Reimbursement model – Owners must pay upfront and submit claims rather than the insurance paying directly. Reimbursements take time.
  • Claims may be denied – Insurers may find reasons to deny certain claims, leaving the owner to pay.
  • Not accepted universally – Some vets do not accept insurance, requiring payment upfront.

Is Pet Insurance Worth the Cost?

For pet owners, particularly those on a budget, the decision often comes down to a cost-benefit analysis. The monthly or annual premiums may seem high compared to the potential payout. However, one major health event could equal or surpass years’ worth of premiums. 

Ultimately, for pets at greater risk due to age, breed disposition, or existing conditions, the pros often outweigh the cons. The peace of mind gained from knowing you can afford treatment is significant. For young, healthy pets the cost-benefit ratio may be harder to justify. But protecting them against the unknown could save heartache and expense down the road.

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