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Nationwide Pet Insurance
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Nationwide Pet Insurance

You wouldn’t leave your family members without health insurance, and your pets are part of your family, right?

Yes, pet insurance is a thing, and it’s actually a very smart way to avoid unexpected vet bills and smooth out the costs of routine care.

Nationwide, one of the biggest names in insurance is also one of the largest providers of pet insurance.

Nationwide Reviews

Nationwide Pet Insurance (formerly known as VPI Pet Insurance) is the oldest and biggest pet insurance provider in America. They offer three distinct plans to meet your needs and budget.

If you’re looking for coverage for everything Nationwide’s whole petSM with wellness is the most comprehensive plan in the market today.

Overall Rating

Nationwide pet insurance has a large number of reviews on popular consumer sites like Yelp and Consumer Affairs.

Most customers express that buying pet insurance in general is a good move, and many who successfully submitted claims were happy to have saved thousands of dollars on their vet bills.

Claims approved right away are often reimbursed within one to four weeks.

As is typical with insurance, most complaints revolve around denied claims, including for pre-existing conditions and other coverage exclusions.

Many complaints cite being asked for additional documentation, so you may be able to avoid the same hassle by asking your vet to provide a detailed, written explanation of the care provided.

Since pet insurance is relatively new compared to human health insurance, many vet offices may not understand what kind of documentation you need for insurance in the same way a human doctor’s office does.

Total Reviews: 1,017

Average Score: 2.2

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Customer Reviews


Nationwide has three levels of coverage for dog and cat owners to choose from. All three plans have a $250 annual deductible and 24/7 access to Nationwide’s vethelpline.

Medical coverage helps when your pet is sick or injured. This includes both short-term illnesses and chronic conditions. There is a one year waiting period for certain hereditary conditions, that’s health problems that are common to specific breeds.

Complete coverage gives you access to medical coverage plus preventive care. That includes things like checkups, vaccines, and flea and heartworm prevention. This plan also eliminates the waiting period for hereditary conditions.

Neither plan covers taxes, waste, grooming, or boarding. There are also restrictions on pre-existing conditions. These are pretty standard exclusions that you’ll find at almost any pet insurance provider.

Coverage Notes

Nationwide has three levels of coverage for dog and cat owners to choose from.

whole petSM

Nationwide’s whole petSM with wellness plan covers 90% for accidents and illnesses with no annual limits and a simple $250 annual deductible.  This is an excellent option if you want to protect against unexpected surgery, ER visits and medications.

major medicalSM

Nationwide’s major medicalSM plan is the most affordable of the three offerings. Unlike whole petSM this plan pays based on a set annual benefit (benefit schedule) per treatment.

Coverage Highlights

What’s the 24/7 Vet Helpline?

Nationwide has a free 24/7 helpline staffed by vets that you can call for general wellness advice. They can also help tell you if it’s a good idea to take your pet to a vet for a possible health issue, but you don’t need to call for approval.

They don’t provide access to in-person care. You should save the location and phone number for a local clinic for overnight and emergency care.

How Does the Deductible Work?

There may be per-visit/incident as well as annual deductibles depending on the exact policy that you choose. Like with other insurance policies, you may have the choice between a policy with a higher premium and lower deductible or a lower premium and higher deductible. Certain plans may have no deductible or only one option.

The insurance companies have the deductible versus premium calculation down to a science so that they make the same amount of money no matter which option you choose. Which option will work best for you is a combination of how lucky you are with your pet’s health and how much risk you’re willing to take with your budget. If you want a fixed budget with no surprise expenses, go for a lower deductible. If you’re really only looking for coverage for major illnesses or injuries and can pay smaller bills out of pocket, go for a higher deductible.

How Do Claims Work?

If you’re used to having problems dealing with your own health insurance company, you may be surprised at how simple it is to use Nationwide pet insurance. There are three easy steps.

  1. Visit any vet of your choosing. You don’t need to find a vet that’s in the insurance network or get a pre authorization. You decide which vet to use and when.
  2. Submit your claim. You’ll just need to provide an itemized bill from your vet and fill out some basic forms.
  3. Get a check in the mail once your claim is approved. The only downside is that some vets may not be willing to wait for payment. If you don’t have the cash to pay in full and the vet won’t allow a payment plan, you can use a credit card and often get your claim check before the bill is due.

Coverage Details

whole petSM with wellness

Nationwide’s whole petSM with wellness plan covers 90% of ALL your vet bills with no annual limits and a simple $250 annual deductible.  It covers accidents, illnesses and routine care. whole petSM with wellness is the most expensive plan on the market but also provides the most coverage.

Other Brand Names

Over the year Nationwide Pet has changed names several times. Just so there isn’t any confusion we wanted to create a list of all the former names and aliases so you know you’re talking about the right company!

  • VPI Pet Insurance
  • Vet Pet Insurance
  • VPI Insurance
  • VPI Pet Insurance
  • VPI Dog Insurance
  • MetLife Pet Insurance

Is There an Age Limit?

Nationwide won’t drop your pet due to old age. The only restriction is that you need to enroll your pet by age ten. After that, your pet can remain covered as long as you continue to pay your premiums and renew your policy on time.

Other insurance providers do offer higher enrollment ages, especially for cats and longer-living dog breeds. However, you need to check their policy on dropping pets due to age.


Pet insurance is a great way to keep your pet healthy and cover any unexpected vet bills. Nationwide provides the type of coverage and service you’d expect from a major insurance company. There are sometimes hassles with the claims process, but they appear to be in line with what you’d expect at any other provider.

Disclaimer: All rates and coverages may vary by policy and are subject to change. Always read the terms of your specific policy before purchasing coverage.

Deductible Options:
$250 only
Reimbursement Options:
90% or Benefit Schedule
Hereditary Disorders:

Enrollment Requirements

*Diagnosis or treatment of cruciate ligament or meniscus damage or rupture that occurs during the first 12 (twelve) calendar months that your pet is insured by us. You must maintain continuous coverage for your pet with us in order to avoid another twelve (12) month waiting period.

Six weeks minimum age and 10 years maximum for enrollment (includes lifetime coverage). A physical exam must have been completed within 12 months prior to enrollment.


Nationwide's pricing varies based on factors such as if you have a dog or cat, the specific breed, and your location. You may also be eligible for a discount if you have other Nationwide insurance policies. With average routine annual care ranging from $200 to $400 for dogs and $90 to $200 to cats, upgrading to complete coverage can be a pretty good deal. It also gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your fur baby is in excellent health. Average premium based on $250 deductible, 90% reimbursement and benefit schedule limits for 2 year-old mixed breed dog and 3 year-old mixed breed cat, respectively.

Nationwide charges a $2 monthly recurring fee

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Sample Premiums


Average for Dogs:
$50 per month


Average for cats:
$28 per month

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About Nationwide Pet Insurance

Veterinary Pet Insurance was founded in 1982 by Dr. Jack Stephens, who is the father of pet insurance in America. Nationwide scores perfectly on all company attributes because they are the oldest, biggest and one of the most trusted and respected insurance companies in the world.

Policy Options:

Company Profile

Nationwide Pet Plans

When you sign up with Nationwide you are not only getting one of the top insurance providers in the country you are also getting a level of expertise that comes from being the largest company of its kind.

Formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance or VPI Insurance, Nationwide pet insurance was started in 1980 by veterinarian Jack Stephens with the goal of helping people avoid what he referred to as economic euthanasia due to the expensive nature of pet care.

Courtesy of his efforts, families across the nation now have the opportunity to purchase valuable insurance that helps make potentially life-saving pet health care affordable to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it.

Today, Dr. Stephens is widely considered the father of pet insurance in the United States, and his company that started it all ranks high in customer satisfaction and overall ratings at

Nationwide offers pet owners more options than many of its competitors. While dogs and cats are common household pets, they aren’t the only animals that people bring into their homes.

Owners of birds such as parrots and exotic pets that include lizards, rabbits, turtles, and even potbellied pigs may also benefit from pet insurance.

Nationwide is the only company to provide insurance to cover most birds and an assortment of exotic pets with a plan that provides accident and illness coverage plus examinations and more.

In addition, Nationwide is also the only insurer to offer a complete coverage plan for cats and dogs that includes both wellness and major medical.

See for yourself how Nationwide plans and prices compare to other pet insurance companies by filling out our simple quote form.

Did You Know?

In 1982, Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) sold the first insurance policy in the country to the famous Hollywood canine Lassie. In that same year, interest in pet insurance rose, and the company went on to sell plans to people in the state of California.

This popularity quickly spread, and by 1985, people across the country were able to buy VPI pet insurance coverage as the company became the first provider to offer pet insurance across the nation.

It wasn’t until 2008 that VPI Pet Insurance became a member of the Nationwide insurance family. Despite its new affiliation, the brand held onto its name until 2015, when the corporation consolidated all of its companies, including Veterinary Pet Insurance.

Nationwide became the official brand name for VPI, providing its customers with all of the benefits associated with such a well-known and trusted name in the insurance industry.

As a pet health insurance company, Nationwide continues to maintain all of the values and qualities that pet owners have come to trust since the first policies were sold in the early 1980s.

With Nationwide, you have the freedom to visit any veterinarian anywhere in the world who is a licensed provider. Nationwide is also part of a membership with MetLife, allowing it to provide pet insurance as an option for the company’s policyholders.

Year Founded:
Brea, California
Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) Plans (CA Only), National Casualty Company Insurance (NCCI) for all other states and Washington, DC
Heidi Sirota
Vet Policy:
Any U.S. licensed vet

Policy Exclusions

whole petSM with wellness

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Non-veterinary fees such as tax and waste disposal
  • Boarding/grooming
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Breeding

whole petSM

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Wellness, routine and preventative care
  • Non-veterinary fees such as tax and waste disposal
  • Boarding/grooming
  • Cosmetic procedures
  • Breeding

major medicalSM

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Any additional excluded condition listed on the policy declarations page or renewal certificate
  • Certain bone or joint conditions associated with (1) hip dysplasia, or any luxation or subluxation associated with hip dysplasia, (2) elbow dysplasia, (3) patellar luxation or subluxation, (4) osteochondritis dissecans, or (5) any fracture, luxation, or subluxation associated with aseptic necrosis of a femoral head, but we do provide limited additional coverage for specified ineligible conditions
  • Cruciate ligament or meniscal damage or rupture that occurs during the first twelve (12) calendar months of the policy
  • Cervical vertebral instability/wobbler syndrome, but we do provided limited additional coverage for specified ineligible conditions
  • Angular limb deformity
  • Congenital anomalies or developmental defects
  • Hereditary disorders, but we do provide limited additional coverage for specified ineligible conditions
  • Diagnosis or treatment for: (1) removal or treatment of deciduous (baby) teeth, (2) cosmetic dental restoration including veneers, crowns, caps or other prosthetic devices, (3) temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disease, (4) enamel hypoplasia, (5) gingivitis, or (6) tooth hygiene or appearance including teeth cleaning and polishing
  • Diagnosis of, or treatment for, internal or external parasites
  • Elective procedures or cosmetic surgeries
  • Expression of anal glands, anal sacculitis, or removal of anal glands
  • Preventive gastropexy, tail docking, dewclaw removal, ear cropping, skin fold resection, vulvar episioplasty, declawing, or nail trims
  • Breeding or pregnancy including Cesarean section, dystocia, termination of pregnancy, pseudopregnancy, spaying or neutering
  • Spay/neuter (unless optional wellness rider with spay/neuter benefits is purchased)
  • Special diets, pet foods, or dietary or nutritional supplements
  • Boarding, transportation, grooming, or bathing
  • Routine examinations, preventive treatment—including vaccines, or diagnostics associated with preventive treatment (unless optional Pet Wellness plan is purchased)
  • Diseases that are preventable by vaccination
  • Age-related changes to your pet’s eyes or ears
  • Diagnosis or treatment that is experimental, investigational, or otherwise not within the standard of care accepted by the board of veterinary medicine of your state
  • Diagnosis, treatment, training, or therapy for behavioral problems
  • Fees or other expenses not directly related to veterinary services
  • Diagnosis or treatment of any complication or progression of any condition excluded by this policy

Compare Nationwide

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