History of Nationwide

Nationwide Pet Insurance, formally known as VPI, is the first pet insurance in America, In fact, VPI was the first pet insurance to issue its first policy to a known celebrity named Lassie. In 2008, VPI joined Nationwide’s family. In 2015, VPI rebranded as Nationwide as one company, one brand. In 2016, Nationwide introduced the most comprehensive medical plan for dogs and cats covering both unlimited wellness and major medical coverage, called Nationwide Whole Pet.

Some interesting background facts on Nationwide:

  • Only pet insurance in America that insures birds and exotics.
  • First pet insurance company to sell nationwide (1985)
  • First pet insurance company to introduce routine care coverage for wellness treatments. (1998)
  • First insurance company to offer a group discount, available through participating companies and organizations.
  • First pet insurance to offer unlimited wellness plan via Whole Pet
  • Nationwide has membership with Metlife, which allows Nationwide to offer pet insurance as an option to its policy holders.

Policy Coverage

Plans Whole Pet Plan (covers unlimited accidents, illnesses, and wellness)
Major Medical Plan (covers accidents and illnesses only)
Wellness Options Add on
Whole Pet Plan explained Whole Pet Plan covers unlimited payout for accidents, illnesses,and wellness. Covers both congenital and hereditary conditions. Set at 90% coverage, $100 deductible. Pet/Dog has to be age 1 and over to enroll. Pays
Actual Bill
 Major Medical Plan explained Major Medical Plan covers both accidents and illnesses but excludes coverage for congenital conditions. Will cover hereditary conditions, but with a 12-month waiting period. Set at 90% coverage, $250 deductible. Pays on a benefit schedule.
Wellness Options Add on
Headquarters Brea, California
Underwriter National Casualty Company (outside California)
Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (California only)
Where Plans Offered US
Deductible Type Annual
Deductible Options 100 (Whole Pet)
250 (Major Medical)
Reimbursement Option 90%
Policy Limit Options Unlimited
Lifetime Limits Unlimited
Wellness Coverage Yes
Upper age limits No. Whole Pet Plan enrollment is for pets aged 1 and older.
Yes. Major Medical Plan is for pets age 10 and under
Vet Exam Fees Yes
Covers Hereditary/Congenital Yes (Whole Pet)
No (Major Medical Plan excludes congenital Coverage)
Hips Dysplasia Yes
Prescription Medicine Yes
Cancer treatments Yes
Emergency Visit Yes
Hospitalization Yes
Surgery Yes
Prescription food Yes
Specialists Yes
Outpatient Care Yes
Holistic/Alternative Yes
Waiting Periods 14 days for wellness, illness, and accidents (Whole Pet)
14 days for orthopedic coverage
12 months for hereditary condition coverage (Major Medical Plan)
Customer Service Monday to Friday 5am-7pm Pacific
Saturday 7pm-3pm Pacific
Email & Phone Call
Filing Claims Email, fax, mobile app
Enrollment Requirements No exam required to enroll, but exam may be required for claims payout
Years in Business Founded as VPI in 1982. Renamed Nationwide in 2015 – 36 years
30-day free look 10-30 days (depending on state)
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Sample Policy

So Why Choose Nationwide?

Here are Nationwide strengths:

  • Offers coverage for birds and exotics
  • Offers 24/7 vet helpline
  • Offers prescription food coverage for covered illnesses
  • Offers veterinary supplement coverage for covered illnesses and accidents
  • Offers dental disease coverage
  • Offers Whole Pet plan –Offers 90 percent coverage of actual vet bills with unlimited payout limits for wellness and major medical, $100 deductible
  • Offers short waiting period for orthopedic coverage (only 14 days)
  • Offers other injured knee coverage if other knee has healed for 12 months
  • Offers one of the most affordable monthly premiums
  • Excellent customer satisfaction reviews with petinsurance review(9.2/10), and consumers advocate (8.5/10)
  • Offers long established history, first and largest pet insurance company in America

Although nice to have, Nationwide does not offer the following

  • Coverage for Whole Pet Plan is for pets(dogs only) age 1 and over. Pets age 1 and under limited to Major Medical Plan.
  • Major Medical Plan does not cover congenital conditions, and coverage for hereditary conditions is a 12 month wait.
  • Major Medical Plan pays on scheduled benefit schedule vs actual bill
  • Nationwide does not offer a mobile app
  • No 24/7 customer service. Closed Sundays.
  • No 24/7 preapprovals
  • A monthly fee of $2.00 will be assessed for enrollees choosing monthly vs annual coverage.
  • Negative reviews easily found under VPI name
  • No short waiting periods for accidents. (14 day wait vs 5 day industry average)

A Quick Overview on Nationwide:
Nationwide offers two accident and illness plans, the Whole Pet Plan or the Major Medical Plan. Although less expensive, we do not recommend the Major Medical plan because this plan excludes congenital coverage, and hereditary conditions require a 12 month wait. However, we do recommend The Whole Pet Plan, which is the most comprehensive plan among all the insurance plans available today, covering nose to tail coverage, with unlimited payout for both wellness and major medical, set at 90% percent payout and $100 deductible. Furthermore, the Whole Pet Plan covers both congenital and hereditary conditions with only a 14 day wait. However, the Whole Pet Plan has an age qualification requirement – the dog has to be age 1 and over to qualify. (Cats any age) Therefore, as long as your dog is one year or older, Nationwide Whole Pet Plan offers the most complete insurance plan, and highly worth considering. Click on the Get Quote from banner link above,and see if Nationwide Whole Pet Plan would be the right fit for your pet.