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Whether you share your home with a cat, dog, guinea pig, snake, parrot, or iguana, you know firsthand the ups and downs of owning a pet. Yes, they bring countless hours of joy and love, but they can also cost a lot of money. As a pet parent, you need to make decisions with your pet’s best interest in mind and this includes getting the veterinary care you need while also staying within a budget.

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These days, many pet owners are taking out insurance plans for their furry, feathery, or scaly friends. One option you should look into is the Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, a popular choice for pet coverage. However, choosing the best pet insurance for your needs isn’t always easy, and you should research several providers and compare quotes before deciding on a plan.

Company Overview

Nationwide has been offering insurance policies since 1925. In 2009, it acquired the Veterinary Pet Insurance Company and has now insured over one million pets in all 50 states. The pet insurance branch works under the larger Nationwide Insurance umbrella that provides many ​​types of insurance such as auto, motorcycle, life, business, travel, and homeowners insurance


  • Covers exotic pets, including birds, reptiles, and rabbits
  • Bundle discounts available for existing Nationwide Insurance policy holders
  • Lots of different plans for coverage that meet your pet’s needs


  • Claim processing can take up to 30 days
  • High monthly premiums
  • Limited coverage for end-of-life care
  • Most plans have a max annual benefit payout

Option to Pay Vet Directly: No
App Support: Yes
Accident Waiting Period: 14 Days
Illness Waiting Period: 14 Days
Orthopedic Waiting Period: 12 Months
Vet Helpline Available: Yes
Multi-Pet Discount: Yes
Deductible Type: Annual

Nationwide has been recognized as one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and has been accredited by the BBB since 1955 maintaining an A+ rating. Plans are unwritten by both National Casualty Company (outside of California) and Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (within California).

As one of the best pet insurance companies, competitors of Nationwide include:

Why We Like Nationwide Pet Insurance

Nationwide has been in the industry for nearly 100 years. When you work with Nationwide, you know you’re working with an experienced business with a track record of customer satisfaction. But that’s not the only reason to like this pet health insurance company.

Exotic Animal Coverage

One area where Nationwide really stands out is by being the only exotic pet insurer in the country, providing a much-needed service for people with pets birds, reptiles, guinea pigs, ferrets, and even goats.

🐦 Nationwide Pet Insurance uniquely insures exotic pets such as birds and reptiles, while most insurance companies do not.

Approved exotic animals include:

  • Birds
  • Reptiles
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Ferrets
  • Goats
  • Tortoises and turtles
  • Lizards, such as geckos and iguanas
  • Snakes, including pythons and boa constrictors
  • Other small reptiles

Additionally, Nationwide offers more plan options than its competitors and these policies can be customized to meet your needs so you’re not forced to choose just one pet insurance policy. Most of Nationwide’s pet plans come with a wellness coverage option for routine and preventive care, though this will often increase your premium.

Nationwide also offers discounts for those insuring multiple pets, a 24-hour vet helpline, and it partners with Walmart and Sam’s Club to offer preferred pricing on pet prescriptions through its PetRXExpress program.

Nationwide Pet Insurance – How It Works

Pet insurance covers veterinary costs for accidents, illnesses, and injuries but often will not include wellness coverage unless it’s added on as a rider (not all companies offer this, but Nationwide does). Unlike the health insurance you keep for yourself and your family, pet insurance doesn’t typically pay your provider directly for services; rather, you’re responsible for paying all your costs upfront and afterward must submit a claim for reimbursement at a pre-set rate.

🐕 Nationwide covers a wide range of accidental injury and illness coverage options to ensure your pets gets the care they need.

While many major providers only offer one plan that covers both cats and dogs, Nationwide Pet has four different plan options for cats and dogs and two for avian and exotic pets with opportunities to add layers of coverage and shift your terms to achieve a monthly premium you’re comfortable paying. While there are several plan choices, most of them cover the same basic services as well as excluding some that are never covered such as a pre-existing condition.

What’s Covered?

Nationwide Pet Insurance

Below are the most commonly covered services as well as those that are not covered.

CoveredNot Covered
Accidental injuriesPre-existing conditions
Broken bonesBoarding and grooming
Hit by carConditions during the waiting period
LacerationsElective cosmetic procedures
SprainsBreeding, pregnancy-related services
Fractured teethCongenital conditions
HeatstrokeDevelopmental disorders
Animal attacksTreatments not recommended by a vet
PoisoningTaxes, waste disposal fees
Ingested objects
Illnesses (cancer, diabetes, etc.)

Accidental Injuries

Nationwide Pet Insurance covers a wide range of accidental injuries to help keep your pet safe and healthy. When accidents happen, it’s important to have support that covers your pet’s immediate care needs. From broken bones to heatstroke, this insurance provides financial help for treatments following unexpected events. Whether your pet suffers an injury from being hit by a car, gets lacerations, sprains, fractured teeth, or faces other accidents like poisoning or ingesting foreign objects, Nationwide Pet Insurance can assist with the costs of treatment.

  • Broken bones
  • Hit by car
  • Lacerations
  • Sprains
  • Fractured teeth
  • Heatstroke
  • Attacked by another animal
  • Poisoning
  • Ingested toys or other items


Nationwide Pet Insurance also offers comprehensive coverage for various illnesses that can affect your pet’s health and well-being. Dealing with a sick pet can be stressful and expensive, but having the right insurance can ease the burden of medical expenses. This plan supports treatments for serious conditions such as cancer, hip dysplasia, and heart disease, as well as more common issues like ear infections, diabetes, arthritis, vomiting, allergies, and more.

  • Cancer
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Ear infections
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Ear infections
  • Vomiting
  • Allergies
  • Heart disease

What’s Not Covered?

Nationwide Pet Insurance provides valuable support for various health needs of pets, but it’s important to know what’s not included in the coverage. Pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions, especially chronic ones that were present before the insurance policy was started. However, conditions that have been fully treated and haven’t returned for six months might be reconsidered for coverage after a detailed review.

  • Pre-existing conditions (note that some conditions that have been treated by a vet and have not returned for six months may be eligible for coverage after review. That said, chronic conditions that are present before you apply are never eligible for coverage)
  • Boarding and grooming
  • Any condition that occurs during the mandatory waiting period
  • Elective cosmetic procedures or surgeries
  • Services and treatment associated with breeding or pregnancy
  • Congenital conditions or developmental disorders that are present before coverage begins
  • Any treatments not recommended by your vet
  • Taxes
  • Waste disposal

Costs related to boarding and grooming, conditions that arise during the mandatory waiting period, elective cosmetic procedures, and surgeries not essential for your pet’s health are also not covered. Additionally, expenses linked to breeding, pregnancy, congenital conditions, or developmental disorders present before the start of the policy, treatments not recommended by your vet, taxes, and waste disposal fees are excluded from coverage.

Pet Insurance Plans and Coverage

Nationwide Pet Insurance-featured

Nationwide pet insurance plans come with access to Nationwide’s VetHelpline app (Google Play | Apple App Store) which gives 24/7 virtual pet advice and Nationwide PetRXExpress for purchasing low-cost prescriptions from Walmart or Sam’s Club.

Whichever plan you choose, you’ll be able to see any licensed vet or emergency provider in the world that you like. Most plans are subject to a 14-day waiting period before you’ll be able to file a claim, though for cruciate ligaments or meniscus (knee) injuries, there’s a 12-month waiting period.

Both cats and dogs can be insured under Nationwide’s standard plans, and most pet owners will have four main options. For exotic animals, you will have two options.

My Pet ProtectionAffordable option for both cats and dogs, covering a wide range of services including wellness with customizable reimbursement rates.
ModularFlexible plan allowing for added wellness coverage, catering to those seeking a balance of cost and coverage.
Major MedicalUtilizes a benefit schedule for specific procedures, ideal for owners looking for straightforward, condition-specific coverage.
Whole PetComprehensive accident and illness coverage without wellness, offering a choice of reimbursement rates.
ExoticsSpecialized for birds, reptiles, and other exotic pets, covering illnesses and injuries with no wellness option.

My Pet Protection

The basic My Pet Protection plan is the most affordable for both cats and dogs, but can only be purchased if your employer offers this in their benefits package and your monthly premium must be taken out of your paycheck. Currently, there are more than 9,000 organizations across the country that partner with Nationwide, and you can find out whether your employer offers this benefit by searching its employer directory.

With this plan, you’ll enjoy all the covered services listed above as well as a wellness plan that can cover services like regular checkups, vaccinations, flea control, and preventive lab tests like bloodwork and urinalysis. You also get to choose between a 70% and 50% reimbursement rate, both of which come with a $250 deductible and $7,500 max annual benefit.

💉 Consider adding wellness coverage to your Nationwide plan for routine care such as vaccinations and check-ups.


Nationwide’s Modular Plan is also an affordable choice and includes an option to purchase a wellness medical plan in addition to injury and illness coverage. This Nationwide plan gives you the most flexibility and customization. You’ll be able to choose a reimbursement rate from 50% to 90% and a max payout from $5,000 to an unlimited cap, so those who want a less-expensive monthly premium can opt for a low reimbursement rate and $5,000 payout cap. Both dogs and cats must be at least eight weeks old to be eligible for coverage.

Major Medical

This plan can be purchased both with wellness coverage and without, and all plans are subject to a $250 deductible. However, unlike other plans that use a reimbursement rate to calculate how much coverage you’ll have, this plan has a pre-set benefit schedule for each listed procedure and condition. This means that your coverage will depend on the services your pet ends up needing.

🩺 Tackle serious health issues like cancer and diabetes with Nationwide’s comprehensive illness coverage, directly supporting your pet’s health and longevity.

For example, chemotherapy or radiation services may be paid out at up to $2,400, a CT scan will be paid up to $990, and surgical tendon repair up to $825. Your dog or cat must be under the age of 10 to begin coverage under Major Medical, and once your pet is enrolled they will never be dropped from their coverage as long the policy has been continually kept in force. If you’re unsure of the age of your pet, you can have your vet perform a physical exam and make an estimate.

Whole Pet

Nationwide Whole Pet is the only pet insurance plan the company has that does not offer a wellness option, but it will cover accidents and illness. There are two reimbursement options, 50% and 70%, which both come with a $250 deductible and $10,000 max annual payout. Pets must be at least one year old to be enrolled in this plan.


There are two options for avian and exotic coverage, one that is only available through your employer and another Whole Pet option that is available to anyone. Neither option includes wellness, only illness and injury, but both plans let you choose between a 50% and 70% reimbursement rate and have a $250 deductible. The employer-only program has a $7,500 max payout and the Whole Pet option has a $10,000 max payout. There are no age restrictions for enrolling a pet for avian and exotic coverage.

How Much Does Nationwide Pet Insurance Cost?

Your premium is determined by the plan you choose, your zip code, and your pet’s breed and age. Furthermore, your costs will also be affected by the payout and reimbursement rate you choose, with higher annual payouts and reimbursement percentages resulting in higher monthly premiums.

Nationwide also offers a multi-pet discount, and for two to three pets you can get 5% off, and by insuring four or more pets you’ll receive 10% off. Each pet must be on their own policy, though you will be able to manage all policies under a single member account. You will also get a 5% discount if you have an existing policy with Nationwide.

Dogs and Cats – Average Costs

PlanStarting PriceDetails
My Pet Protection$10 per paycheckBasic coverage, payroll deduction
Modular Pet Insurance Plan$16 per monthFlexible coverage options
Major Medical with Wellness$43 per monthComprehensive coverage including wellness
Major Medical without Wellness$25 per monthEssential coverage excluding wellness
Whole Pet (70% reimbursement)$46 per monthHigh reimbursement for broader coverage
Whole Pet (50% reimbursement)$34 per monthLower reimbursement, more affordable

Exotic Animals – Average Costs

PlanStarting PriceDetails
My Pet Protection$6 per paycheckBasic coverage, payroll deduction
Whole Pet (70% reimbursement)$21 per monthHigh reimbursement for broad coverage
Whole Pet (50% reimbursement)$16 per monthMore affordable with lower reimbursement

The average cost to insure a dog is around $49/month, while a cat is $26/month. Coverage for exotic animals can vary widely in costs but is around $20/month on average.

How To Get Started

Because Nationwide has so many coverage options, it can be slightly complicated to find the right plan for your needs and sign up. The easiest way to get started is by using the online quote tool to explore your coverage options and compare plans side by side. Note that for the My Pet Protection plans, your estimated premium will be based on a per-paycheck withdrawal, assuming you earn two paychecks per month.

⏳ Be aware that claim processing could take up to 30 days, so plan your finances accordingly.

If you’re interested in a specific plan, you can call the company directly to get more information.

  • My Pet Protection, Modular Pet Insurance Plan, & Avian and Exotic Whole Pet Plan: 1-888-899-4874
  • Major Medical Plan & Whole Pet Plan: 1-877-263-6008
  • Avian and Exotic Employer Plan: 1-888-899-1111

How To Submit a Claim

Claims can most easily be submitted online by logging into your member account. You will need to upload a photo of your paid invoice and fill out a short claim form.

If you wish to submit a claim by mail, fax, or email, you can download a form from the website and send it along with a copy of your invoice to: 

Nationwide Claims Department
P.O. Box 2344
Brea, CA 92821 or 92822
Fax: 714-989-5600

[email protected]

Claims can take up to 30 days to process, but the company says most are completed within five days. Some claims may take longer than 30 days if the company has to request additional documentation, but you can always track the status of your claim through your online account.

You can help ensure your claim is processed quickly by:

  • Making sure your pet’s records are kept up to date
  • Providing a clear copy of your itemized invoice
  • Filling out the claims form completely

Most reimbursements are made via direct deposit but you can also opt to receive a check in the mail.

🕒 Nationwide may take up to 30 days to process claims, so plan for a wait before you see your reimbursement.

How To Cancel Nationwide Pet Insurance

Cancellations must be made in writing and faxed to 714-989-0537. You may also mail a letter to:

P.O. Box 2344
Brea, CA 92822-2344

Cancellations can also be requested online through your member account. All cancellations go into effect the day the request is received, not the day the request was sent. Any refunds will be credited back to the payment method on file.

Depending on where you live, you may be eligible for a full refund according to your state’s “Free Look Period” which ranges from 15 to 30 days. During this time if you haven’t filed any claims you can receive all your money back. Most refunds are issued within five to seven days after the request is received.

Customer Service Contact Info

Customers have many ways to contact the company. By phone, you can call 800-540-2016 for help Monday to Friday, 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific Time, or Saturday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

You can also submit a question directly to Nationwide’s support team online, or by sending a letter to P.O. Box 2344, Brea, CA 92822-2344.

For access to the VetHelpline and to speak with a licensed veterinary professional, you must download the app either for iOS or Android.

Is Nationwide Pet Insurance Worth It?

Nationwide Pet Insurance

If you’re the pet parent of an exotic animal like a bird or reptile, you really won’t have any other choices but Nationwide Pet Insurance. However, Nationwide also provides solid pet insurance coverage for dogs and cats. Pet owners like how many choices they have, giving them a lot of options to stay within a budget while also benefiting from a pet plan that meets their needs.

🐱🐶 Nationwide provides multiple pet insurance plans for cats, dogs, and exotic pets, so you can find the perfect policy for your pet’s needs.

Nationwide is also one of the few companies that offers wellness coverage with most of its plans, though this will increase your premium. It also might be the best pet insurance provider for those who already have other coverage through Nationwide, or who plan on insuring multiple pets because of the available discounts. That said, if you can’t take advantage of the discounts, you may want to compare Nationwide to a few other providers to make sure you’re getting the best deal.