Nationwide Pet Insurance Review

Nationwide offers two accident and injury plans with very different methods of reimbursement.

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4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Plans offered: Accident and illness, wellness.

Breadth of coverage: Excellent.

Range of plan options: Poor.

Can pay your vet directly: No.

The bottom line: Covers a wide range of accidents and illnesses, but reimbursement options aren't as generous as those of most other companies.

Our writers and editors follow strict editorial guidelines that ensure fairness and accuracy in order to help you choose the financial products that work best for you. In our pet insurance reviews, our editorial team considers both the customer and the insurer. These are some of the factors we take into account:

Plans offered. Pet insurance companies generally offer the following three types of plans:

  • Accident and illness policies reimburse you for medical treatment if your pet gets sick or injured.

  • Accident-only policies pay expenses if your pet is injured.

  • Wellness plans help you budget for preventive care costs.

Breadth of coverage. We looked for plans that cover a wide range of potential expenses.

Range of plan options. This category looks at how many ways you can customize what you pay for your plan and how you’re reimbursed.

Can pay your vet directly. This indicates whether an insurer can pay your vet directly for medical expenses. With this service, you don’t have to pay the money yourself upfront and then wait for reimbursement.

Dive deeper with our criteria for evaluating pet insurance companies.

Nationwide is one of the oldest and largest pet insurance companies in the U.S., covering more than a million pets. Unlike most pet insurers, Nationwide sells policies for dozens of different species, not just cats and dogs — so owners of parrots, rabbits and potbellied pigs can get coverage, too.

Nationwide has two plans to cover accidents and injuries. One is similar to many other pet insurance plans, reimbursing you for a percentage of your vet bill. The other pays a set amount per condition, regardless of what you actually spend. The company also offers a wellness plan, though it's not available in all states.

Nationwide pet insurance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Nationwide earned 4.5 stars out of 5 for overall performance. NerdWallet’s ratings are determined by our editorial team. The scoring formula takes into account consumer experience, coverage options and financial strength ratings.

Based on this rating, Nationwide is on NerdWallet's list of the Best Pet Insurance Companies.

Nationwide pros and cons

Pros

Cons

Covers birds and other animal species, not just dogs and cats.

Wellness coverage can't be added to all plans.

Gives discounts for multiple pets or more than one policy with Nationwide.

Less generous reimbursement options than some other insurers.

Whole Pet plan offers comprehensive coverage.

No coverage available for spay or neuter surgery.

State availability

Nationwide pet insurance is available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Nationwide pet insurance plans

Nationwide offers three pet insurance plans to choose from.

Whole Pet

Whole Pet is Nationwide’s most comprehensive plan, covering the broadest range of illnesses and injuries. It will reimburse a percentage of your vet bill for accidents or illnesses, including exams and tests. However, it doesn’t cover wellness expenses such as routine exams or heartworm prevention.

Major Medical

The Major Medical plan pays out based on a benefit schedule, which lists a maximum annual reimbursement amount per condition — regardless of what your vet charges you.

Major Medical plans generally cost less than Whole Pet plans, but they don’t offer as much coverage. For example, Major Medical plans won’t pay to treat congenital conditions (disorders your pet is born with), while Whole Pet plans will.

Pet Wellness

Nationwide’s Pet Wellness plans reimburse you for vaccinations, heartworm tests, nail trimming and other basic services. However, they won’t pay for spay or neuter surgery. You can choose between two wellness tiers:

  • Wellness Basic has a maximum annual limit up to $400 and costs $12 to $18 a month.

  • Wellness Plus pays up to $500 per year and costs $17 to $22 a month.

Wellness plans aren’t available in every state. Where available, you can buy a wellness plan in conjunction with a Major Medical plan or on its own. You can’t add wellness coverage to a Whole Pet plan.

What Nationwide pet insurance covers

Nationwide’s Whole Pet plan covers:

  • Exams, treatment, hospitalization and surgery for injuries and illnesses, including cancer.

  • Hereditary conditions.

  • Diagnostic tests.

  • Prescription medication.

  • Nutritional supplements or therapeutic diets that are prescribed by your vet.

  • Congenital conditions.

  • Dental diseases such as gingivitis.

  • Behavioral exams and therapies.

  • Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic.

Nationwide’s Major Medical plan covers:

  • Exams, treatment, hospitalization and surgery for injuries and illnesses listed in your benefit schedule, including cancer.

  • Diagnostic tests.

  • Prescription medication.

  • Some hereditary conditions after your policy has been in effect for at least a year.

  • Alternative therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic.

  • Some dental conditions, but not gingivitis.

What’s not covered

Nationwide’s pet insurance plans don’t cover:

  • Pre-existing conditions.

  • Grooming.

  • Cruciate ligament problems within the first 12 months of coverage.

  • Wellness and preventive care (unless you’ve purchased a wellness plan).

  • Experimental treatment.

  • Dental cleaning.

  • Spaying or neutering.

The Major Medical plan also excludes:

  • Congenital or developmental disorders.

  • Some hereditary conditions.

  • Various dental issues such as gingivitis or treatment of baby teeth.

  • Behavioral therapies.

  • Age-related changes to an animal’s eyes or ears.

  • Treatment for parasites such as heartworms.

  • Prescribed nutritional supplements or pet foods.

  • Expenses associated with breeding or pregnancy, such as cesarean sections.

  • Any conditions specifically excluded in your benefits schedule.

Nationwide coverage options

Deductibles: If you buy your policy online, an annual deductible of $250 applies to both Whole Pet and Major Medical plans. For other deductible options, you’ll need to call the company.

Reimbursement amounts: For Whole Pet plans, you can opt to be reimbursed either 50% or 70% of your vet expenses. Major Medical reimbursement is based on your schedule of benefits.

Coverage limits: There’s a $10,000 annual coverage limit for Whole Pet plans. Wellness plans max out at $400 or $500 per year, depending on which benefit tier you choose. Maximum coverage for Major Medical plans is on a per-condition basis.

Restrictions and waiting periods

Age restrictions: Depending on the plan, your pet may need to be at least 8 weeks old to get coverage. A maximum age of 8 years may apply. Some plans have no minimum or maximum age.

Waiting periods: After you buy your Whole Pet or Major Medical policy (with or without a wellness plan), you’ll have to wait 14 days before coverage begins. If you buy a stand-alone wellness plan, the waiting period is only 24 hours. A 12-month waiting period applies to cruciate ligament issues.

Discounts

You can save 5% on a new pet insurance plan if you currently have another Nationwide policy.

You may also be able to save 5% if you insure more than one pet with Nationwide.

Consumer experience

Website: Nationwide’s website is relatively easy to use, with information and FAQs about its plans and an online claim submission process. You can also get a quote and buy a policy. Nationwide pet insurance policyholders get free access to the company’s VetHelpline service, which connects you with veterinarians for advice and consultations.

App: Nationwide has a general app for all its insurance products, but it offers relatively little functionality for pet insurance customers. (It directs you to the website to file claims, for instance.) It does offer access to the VetHelpline service and information about previous claims.

Claims: You can file a claim online or download a form to send in by email, fax or physical mail. You can check your claim status through your online account. The company says claims are generally processed within 30 days. You can opt to be reimbursed electronically or by paper check.

Customer service: You can reach customer service by phone at 800-540-2016 Monday through Saturday, or contact the company by email.

Nationwide vs. competitors

Here’s how Nationwide stacks up against a few other popular pet insurance companies.

Nationwide vs. Trupanion pet insurance

In most states, Trupanion has a single plan with unlimited coverage and a 90% reimbursement rate — both of which are more generous than Nationwide’s limits.

Each company handles deductibles differently. Nationwide has an annual deductible, while Trupanion offers lifetime deductibles per condition in most states. The latter could save you money if your pet develops a chronic condition that needs ongoing treatment every year.

For accidents and illnesses, Trupanion’s plan is similar to Nationwide’s Whole Pet plan. Both cover hereditary and congenital conditions, prescription medications and supplements, and diagnostic tests. However, certain treatments included in the Whole Pet plan cost extra with Trupanion, such as acupuncture, behavioral therapies and chiropractic.

If you’re looking for wellness coverage, Nationwide is a better bet; Trupanion doesn’t cover any wellness expenses. Read our full Trupanion review.

Coverage options

Nationwide

Trupanion

Deductible

$250 per year. (Other options available by phone.)

$0 to $1,000 per condition (except in Florida, where no deductible applies).

Reimbursement

50% or 70%.

90% (except in Florida, where you can choose any reimbursement amount from 50% to 90%).

Annual limit

$10,000.

Unlimited.

Nationwide vs. Healthy Paws pet insurance

Healthy Paws offers a single pet insurance plan with no annual or lifetime limits. It has higher reimbursement options than Nationwide’s plans (up to 90% for some pets). However, there’s no option to add wellness coverage.

Like Nationwide’s Whole Pet plan, the Healthy Paws plan covers hereditary and congenital conditions, prescription medications and alternative treatment such as acupuncture and chiropractic. However, it won’t pay for exam fees, some dental health care, behavioral therapies or prescription diets.

Healthy Paws says most claims are processed within two business days, while Nationwide may take up to 30 days.

Coverage options

Nationwide

Healthy Paws

Deductible

$250 per year. (Other options available by phone.)

$100 to $1,000 per year. (Not all options are available to all pets.)

Reimbursement

50% or 70%.

50%, 60%, 70%, 80% or 90%. (Not all options are available to all pets.)

Annual limit

$10,000.

Unlimited.

Nationwide vs. ASPCA pet insurance

ASPCA’s Complete Coverage plan is similar to Nationwide’s Whole Pet plan. Both cover hereditary and congenital conditions, exam fees for accidents and illnesses, alternative therapies, behavioral therapies and prescription food and supplements. But you can add wellness coverage to ASPCA’s Complete Coverage plan, while you can’t for Nationwide’s Whole Pet.

ASPCA also offers an accident-only policy, which you can choose as a cheaper alternative to a full accident and injury plan.

ASPCA has higher reimbursement options than Nationwide (up to 90%), as well as more deductibles and annual limits to choose from. Its waiting period for cruciate ligament issues is also significantly shorter — just 14 days compared with 12 months. But its claim processing time is the same — about 30 days. Read our full ASPCA pet insurance review.

Coverage options

Nationwide

ASPCA

Deductible

$250 per year. (Other options available by phone.)

$100, $250 or $500.

Reimbursement

50% or 70%.

70%, 80% or 90%.

Annual limit

$10,000.

$3,000 to $10,000 per year. (An unlimited option may be available; call the company for details.)

Frequently asked questions

None of the plans available to new Nationwide customers covers spay or neuter surgery.

You can cancel through your online account at the Nationwide website or by writing to the company. You’ll be reimbursed any unused premium. In some states, if you cancel within 10 days of purchase and haven’t had any claims reimbursed yet, you’ll get 100% of your money back.

The company advertises rates starting at $35 a month, but we saw rates even lower than that while getting sample quotes. Your own pet’s rates will vary based on their breed, age and location.

Nationwide’s accident and illness plans cover end-of-life expenses such as cremation.

Methodology

NerdWallet’s pet insurance ratings reward companies for customer-first features and practices. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, coverage, plan options, discounts and more. Our “consumer experience” category looks at factors such as website transparency and how easy it is to file a claim. To calculate each insurer’s rating, we adjusted the scores to a curved 5-point scale. See our full pet insurance methodology.

These ratings are a guide, but we encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes to find the best rate for you. NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

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