Is Nationwide Pet Insurance Worth It?

Nationwide Pet insurance is designed to help pet owners cover the costs of veterinary care. It works similarly to health insurance for humans. Pet owners pay a monthly premium, and when they bring their pet to the vet, they pay the bill upfront. Then, they submit a claim to be reimbursed by their pet insurance company.

Pet insurance first emerged in the 1980s in Sweden. The concept then spread to other European countries throughout the 1990s. Pet insurance made its way to North America in the early 2000s. It has continued gaining popularity as a way for pet owners to budget for surprise veterinary costs.

With pet insurance, owners pay a portion of their vet bills called a deductible. They also choose a maximum reimbursement amount per year. Once they hit that limit, the insurance company will not pay any more that year. Premiums, deductibles, and reimbursement limits vary between providers.

One of the main benefits of pet insurance is being prepared for unexpected vet costs. Emergencies like injuries or illnesses can cost thousands of dollars in care. Cancer treatments, surgeries, and hospitalizations can also be very expensive. Rather than pay for these out-of-pocket, pet insurance helps by reimbursing owners a percentage of these costs. This provides peace of mind and financial assistance.

Popular Pet Insurance Providers

Pet insurance has grown in popularity over the last decade, with the North American pet insurance market reaching over $2 billion in 2021. There are now a variety of providers to choose from, each with their own coverage options, prices, and reputation.

Some of the top pet insurance providers include:


Nationwide is the largest provider of pet insurance in North America, holding over 30% of the market share. They offer wellness coverage in addition to accident and illness plans. Customers can easily file claims via their app or website.


Trupanion pioneered direct payment veterinary care and now covers over 600,000 pets. Their plans have no payout limits and cover 90% of veterinary costs. Trupanion offers customizable deductible amounts.


Petplan is the second largest pet insurer in the U.S. with comprehensive accident and illness coverage. Their policies include hereditary and congenital condition coverage with no lifetime limits. Customers can choose annual limits up to $22,000.


The ASPCA provides accident-only or accident and illness coverage. Their Wellness Rewards program allows policyholders to earn reward dollars for routine vet visits. The ASPCA has a strong reputation as an established pet welfare organization.

Pets Best

Pets Best features a 24/7 pet helpline and mobile claims processing for fast reimbursements. They offer a BestWellness preventative care add-on for additional premiums. Pets Best provides flexible annual coverage limits up to $100,000.


Figo Pet Insurance delivers customizable policies with options like $0 deductibles and 100% reimbursements. Their coverage extends to alternative therapies like acupuncture and rehabilitative therapies. Figo uses an AI chatbot for seamless customer service.

The pet insurance industry continues to expand with innovative new products and services. Most providers now offer customizable coverage limits and deductibles to meet each pet’s needs. Comparing plans across brands can ensure pet parents find the right fit.

Coverage Types Offered

Pet insurance policies offer a range of coverage options to meet different needs and budgets. Here are some of the most common types:

Accident and Illness Coverage

This is the most comprehensive and popular type of pet insurance. It covers veterinary costs for injuries from accidents as well as illnesses. Policies usually reimburse 70-90% of the cost after you pay a deductible, which can range from $100-$1,000 or more. Higher deductibles lower your monthly premium but increase out-of-pocket costs when you make a claim.

Cancer Coverage

Treatment of Cancer can be very expensive, so some pet insurance plans provide additional coverage for cancer care including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and cancer surgery. Cancer coverage may be sold separately as a rider or add-on. There is usually a waiting period before cancer coverage kicks in.

Dental Coverage

Basic policies typically don’t cover dental cleanings or procedures. However, some insurers offer add-on dental insurance to help cover the costs of cleanings, tooth extractions, root canals, x-rays, and more. Dental coverage can have annual benefit limits.

Wellness Coverage

Routine and preventative care like vaccines, checkups, heartworm tests, and flea/tick medication are generally not included in basic accident and illness plans. Some insurers sell wellness coverage separately to help pay for these predictable, routine costs. Wellness coverage often comes with annual limits on the reimbursement amount.

Getting Pet Insurance

Getting pet insurance can provide peace of mind in case your furry friend gets injured or sick. Here’s what you need to know about applying for and purchasing pet insurance:

How to Apply

Applying for pet insurance is relatively straightforward. You’ll start by filling out an application with a pet insurance provider, either online or over the phone. The application will ask for basic information about you and your pet, like name, breed, age, location, and so on.

Many companies will allow you to get a quick quote before completing the full application. This helps you get an idea of pricing.

Underwriting Process

Pet insurance companies use underwriting to evaluate and price your policy based on your pet’s risk. Underwriters will review your pet’s breed, age, medical history, and other factors.

Pets with pre-existing conditions may be subject to exclusions or waiting periods before coverage kicks in. Most companies will not insure pets above a certain age (usually 10+ years).


Pet insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. Any illness or injury your pet already had before enrollment will be excluded from coverage.

Other common exclusions include:

  • Elective/preventive procedures like spaying and neutering
  • Non-medical services like grooming, boarding, or training
  • Inherited diseases and congenital conditions
  • Behavioral issues
  • Supplements and over-the-counter medications

Carefully review all exclusions before purchasing a policy. Make sure you understand what is and isn’t covered.

Purchasing pet insurance can provide valuable protection against unexpected vet bills. Take time to research providers, read policies closely, and find the right plan for your budget and needs. With proper coverage, you can have peace of mind knowing your furry friend will get the care they need.

Cost of Pet Insurance

The cost of pet insurance plans can vary significantly based on the type and level of coverage, deductible amount, reimbursement percentage, annual limit, and other factors. Here are some key things to know about pet insurance costs:

Average Premiums

The average cost of pet insurance ranges from $30 to $70 per month depending on the factors mentioned above. According to, the average monthly premiums for common pet insurance plans are:

  • Accident-only coverage: $20-30
  • Accident & illness coverage: $30-50
  • Comprehensive coverage: $45-70

Pet owners can expect to pay more for plans with lower deductibles, higher reimbursement rates, and more inclusions. Unlimited annual coverage is generally the most expensive.


Some breeds are more expensive to insure than others. For example, English and French bulldogs often have higher premiums due to common health issues like breathing problems, allergies, hip dysplasia, and cherry eye. Other expensive breeds include Great Danes, Poodles, and Corgis.

Pet Savings Accounts

  • Opening dedicated pet savings accounts like Pet Card or Pet Savings to set aside funds.
  • Earning some interest to make money on your pet healthcare savings balance.
  • Potentially getting ATM/debit cards to directly access savings for vet payments.
  • Enjoying mobile apps and online portals to easily manage accounts and view transaction history.
  • Lacking the same protections and benefits as full insurance coverage for catastrophic or chronic conditions.

The key advantage to alternatives like self-insuring is greater flexibility and control over your savings. But traditional pet insurance can provide invaluable protection against large, unexpected medical bills that could otherwise prove financially devastating.

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