|Value For Money|
- Offers exotic pet insurance
- Comprehensive coverage in some plans
- Free Vet Helpline
- No direct payment to the vet
- Age limit for dogs and cats
- Plans not available for all breeds
Because ‘pets are people, too’, we want to make sure we offer them the best possible care. Nationwide is a pet insurance company that offers its services to pet owners who want to provide their pets with a safety net during the worst of times. It has three major plans for dogs and cats: Major Medical, which offers basic coverage, Whole Pet with Wellness, which provides the most complex coverage that includes preventive care as well, and Pet Wellness, covering preventive care and wellness exams. Nationwide is one of the oldest companies on the market, founded in 1925 and since having grown into one of the biggest insurance and financial companies worldwide. Having served entire generations, the company is committed to protecting the beings most important to its clients. In this case – pets. Formerly known as Veterinary Pet Services, Nationwide sold its first policy to Lassie – the TV star – in 1982.
Services and Coverage
Nationwide Pet Insurance has three main insurance plans for dogs and cats. The most basic one is Major Medical, providing coverage for injuries, illnesses, and limited hereditary conditions, as well as cancer. It has a $250 yearly deductible, with accident/illness caps and unlimited annual caps.
The second plan is Whole Pet with Wellness, which offers much broader coverage that also includes wellness and preventive care. It is one of the most complex plans on the market, offering coverage for a broad range of conditions and care. This plan covers conditions like chronic illnesses, hereditary conditions without any waiting periods, prescriptions, hospitalization, wellness, and so on. It has a $100 deductible and unlimited annual caps.
The third plan is Pet Wellness, covering wellness care like flea and heartworm prevention, vaccinations, wellness tests and exams, etc. It has no deductibles. It can be acquired as an add-on or as a plan on its own, unlike most providers that usually only offer wellness care as an add-on.
Nationwide is also one of the few pet insurance companies that also provides coverage for exotic pets, like birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, reptiles, and many others. The plan that can be bought for these pets is called Avian & Exotic Pet Plan, covering accidents and illnesses, but also exams, prescriptions, X-rays, etc.
The enrollment limit for the Major Medical plan is 10 years of age, however, the plan for exotic pets has no age limit. This firm does not provide coverage for preexisting conditions, grooming, expenses that are not directly related to veterinary services, and specific conditions according to each plan.
Therefore, the Major Medical plan does not cover a series of conditions and procedures such as certain bone and joint conditions that are related to hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament or meniscal damage or rupture that takes place in the first 12 months after the enrollment date, and many more.
The Whole Pet with Wellness plan, though, presents fewer exclusions, like behavioral training, food, dietary or nutritional supplements for general nutrition, boarding, transportation, etc. Waiting Periods with this company are 14 days for the Major Medical and the Whole Pet with Wellness, 24 hours with Pet Wellness and 12 months for cruciate ligament conditions, which is quite long compared to other pet insurance providers. Nationwide has a Vet Helpline available for its clients 24/7.
In order to submit a claim with Nationwide Pet Insurance, pet owners can use the VitusVet app, which is a third-party app that enables pet owners to submit claims via their smartphones. It can be downloaded from the Google Play Store or App Store. After having filled in the pet’s details, the menu button from the upper left-hand corner has to be selected and the ‘Submit a Claim’ icon should be selected.
Next, the pet and veterinarian have to be chosen. After entering the visit and claim information, a photo of the itemized invoice has to be attached. At the end, the Terms and Conditions should be carefully read and accepted and ‘Submit Claim’ can be clicked. If you prefer to submit a claim through fax, email, or regular mail, you have to get the claim form first. This can be downloaded from your Nationwide Pet Account Access page or from a blank claim form which can be found on the company’s website.
Then, the claim form has to be filled in. It is important to remember to fill in the wellness treatment box if the pet has received routine care services. Then, the form, along with the vet invoice, have to be sent to Nationwide via mail, email, or fax. It takes up to 30 days for the firm to process the claim. Its status can be checked on the Nationwide Pet Account Access page.
Depending on what plan you have, Nationwide has two types of reimbursements. There is a 90% reimbursement that comes with the Whole Pet with Wellness plan. Or, the reimbursement level can be customized, which applies for the Major Medical and Pet Wellness plans. The pet owner is reimbursed after they pay the vet bill. Pet parents are reimbursed the amount they paid (minus any applicable deductible) either via check or electronically.
Nationwide Pet Insurance does not provide direct payment to the vet, which is a shortcoming because it implies that pet parents must initially cover the vet bill on their own. Only after that, the company will reimburse them.
Cost, Reimbursement, and Deductibles
Just like any other pet insurance company in the U.S., the monthly or annual premiums with Nationwide vary depending on different factors like the owner’s location, the pet’s species and breed, their age, and the chosen coverage.
The Major Medical plan has a fixed deductible of $250 and an unlimited annual cap but with a maximum illness/accident payout. Whole Pet with Wellness has a $100 deductible and a 90% reimbursement rate with unlimited coverage. This particular plan is the only one from Nationwide that provides unlimited annual or per illness or accident caps.
The basic Wellness plan from this provider has a $400 yearly cap, no deductibles, and it reimburses up to $25 per exam, for a maximum of two vet exams annually. Nationwide Pet Insurance offers a 10% discount for enrolling at least four pets and a 5% one for enrolling two to three pets. Members whose employers provide pet insurance with this firm as a voluntary benefit also get a 5% discount. These discounts, however, do not apply to optional plans like wellness.
To get an idea of the prices that Embrace Pet Insurance offers for its main plans, please read the table below. The prices are for Yoda, the lovely three-month-old pug, located in North Carolina.
|Major Medical + Wellness Plus||$250||varies||$47.08/month|
Enrollment and Cancellation
In order to enroll your pet with Nationwide Pet Insurance, all you have to do is go to the website. Then, you will have to fill in your pet’s details and voila! In a matter of minutes, you will have an offer for the plans the company covers for your pet. Then, choose a plan after you have thoroughly researched the coverage section. You will be asked more details about your pet and then you will be presented with the billing options in order to finalize your policy.
In case you have any questions, the company has a telephone number where you can reach the customer service.
If you decided to upgrade the initial policy, that is possible as well, but only during the renewal period for the following term. The renewal period starts 60 days before the current policy expires. However, upgrades are not possible for dogs and cats that are 10 years of age or older, which is another downside of this firm, not to mention that in the FAQs, it does not mention anything about downgrading. Canceling your policy with Nationwide can be done either in writing, via fax, email, or online by submitting a cancellation request.
With Nationwide Pet Insurance, customer service is available via email, phone, or its Facebook page. Its representatives are available from Monday to Friday from 5am to 7pm Pacific time and on Saturday from 7am to 3:30pm. The customer service team, when contacted, was supportive, quick to answer, and courteous. The company also has a comprehensive FAQ section that covers most of the important aspects, with a search engine to help you get answers quickly.
As mentioned previously, Nationwide provides the Vet Helpline, which is a complimentary service offered for its existing clients. With this service, veterinarians are available 24/7 via the telephone, email, or live chat to answer general pet health queries or to indicate if a pet needs urgent care. The service is available at no additional cost. The provider has an A+ rating by the BBB, the independent nonprofit organization.
Nationwide Pet Insurance provides comprehensive coverage for dogs, cats, as well as exotic pets, which is the main feature that sets this provider apart from its competition. It has three main insurance plans for dogs and cats: Major Medical, with basic coverage for accidents and illnesses, Whole Pet with Wellness, which covers numerous illnesses, accidents, wellness, and preventive care, and Pet Wellness, covering preventive care and wellness exams. The latter can be purchased on its own.
The only plan that does not have any caps whatsoever is the Whole Pet with Wellness, which has a $100 yearly deductible and a 90% reimbursement rate. Nationwide, however, has a few shortcomings, such as the 10-year age limit for dogs and cats, the annual caps and illness/injury limits it imposes for its other two plans, the lack of direct payment to the vet in the case of emergencies, and the fact that not all plans are available for all species or breeds.
Nationwide, though, can be a great investment for those who are looking to offer complex coverage, including wellness and preventive care for their pets. If your financial situation can allow for pet insurance without direct vet payment, this provider is certainly worth considering.