Nationwide vs Trupanion Pet Insurance

When it comes to pet insurance, every pet owner wants to make the best choice for their furry friends. In this article, we’ll delve into a detailed comparison of Nationwide and Trupanion, two leading pet insurance providers, to help you make an informed decision. We will critically examine their coverage options, cost, customer reviews, and claim process.

What is Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance, like human health insurance, is designed to cover medical costs if your pet becomes ill or injured. It can provide peace of mind by offsetting some, if not all, of the costs related to veterinary care.

Understanding the Nationwide Pet Insurance

Nationwide, a well-known insurance company, provides comprehensive pet insurance plans that include both wellness and illness/injury coverage.


Nationwide offers three main plans:

  • The Whole Pet with Wellness plan is a comprehensive plan that covers accidents, illnesses, and wellness care. It includes routine procedures like exams, vaccinations, and flea/heartworm prevention.
  • The Major Medical plan covers accidents and illnesses but does not include wellness care.
  • The Pet Wellness plan includes basic wellness services and preventive care.


The cost of Nationwide pet insurance varies greatly based on your pet’s breed, age, and the coverage level you choose. On average, plans range from $35 to $60 per month.

Customer Reviews

Online reviews for Nationwide are a mixed bag. Some pet owners praise the extensive coverage, while others criticize the slow claims process and rate increases.

Getting to Know Trupanion Pet Insurance

Trupanion, solely a pet insurance provider, focuses on providing coverage for unexpected illnesses and injuries.


Unlike Nationwide, Trupanion offers a single, comprehensive policy that covers 90% of the cost for accidental injuries and illnesses. It includes hospital stays, diagnostic tests, medications, surgeries, and other treatments.


Trupanion’s costs are dependent on a number of factors, including your pet’s breed and age. On average, monthly premiums can range from $30 to $100.

Customer Reviews

Trupanion generally has a good reputation with pet owners. Customers appreciate the straightforward policy and the fact that Trupanion can pay the vet directly.

Understanding Exclusions and Limitations

When comparing Nationwide and Trupanion, it’s essential to understand the exclusions and limitations that come with their coverage.

Nationwide Exclusions and Limitations

Nationwide’s exclusions typically include pre-existing conditions, certain hereditary disorders, and breed-specific illnesses. This means that if your pet is diagnosed with any of these before your policy becomes effective, you’ll likely have to pay for their treatment out of pocket. Additionally, while Nationwide’s comprehensive plan includes wellness care, keep in mind that this inclusion often comes at a higher premium cost.

Trupanion Exclusions and Limitations

Like Nationwide, Trupanion does not cover pre-existing conditions. However, the company does offer coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions as long as they weren’t showing symptoms before the policy was purchased or during the waiting period. Additionally, while Trupanion doesn’t offer a wellness plan, it does have a supplementary Recovery and Complementary Care Rider, which covers therapies like acupuncture and physiotherapy.

Claims and Reimbursements

Another crucial aspect of pet insurance is the claims process and how the company handles reimbursements.

Nationwide Claims and Reimbursements

Nationwide allows customers to file claims through its website, mobile app, mail, or fax. The company reimburses based on the actual veterinary bill. Once the deductible is met, Nationwide pays a percentage of the cost (based on your plan), and you pay the rest.

Trupanion Claims and Reimbursements

Trupanion stands out for its direct payment system. If your vet uses the Trupanion software, the company can pay your vet directly, eliminating the need for you to pay a hefty vet bill upfront and wait for reimbursement. Trupanion also offers one simple plan that pays 90% of eligible costs after meeting the deductible.

Customer Service

Quality customer service can make or break your experience with a pet insurance provider.

Nationwide Customer Service

Nationwide offers customer service via phone or email. While some policyholders have complained about a slow response or claim processing time, others appreciate the friendly and helpful customer service representatives.

Trupanion Customer Service

Trupanion shines when it comes to customer service. It offers 24/7 customer service, meaning you can get assistance whenever you need it. Most customers praise the company for its efficient claims process and helpful customer service.

Customization Options

The ability to customize your pet insurance plan can allow you to tailor coverage to suit your pet’s needs and your budget.

Nationwide Customization Options

Nationwide offers various plans with different levels of coverage. However, the ability to customize your policy is relatively limited compared to other insurers.

Trupanion Customization Options

Trupanion offers more customization. You can adjust your deductible to lower your premium or add optional coverage for additional treatments such as rehabilitative therapies.

Nationwide vs Trupanion: The Verdict

Both Nationwide and Trupanion offer unique benefits. If you’re looking for a plan that includes wellness coverage, Nationwide might be the better choice. However, if you want simple, comprehensive accident and illness coverage, Trupanion might be the better fit.

Ultimately, the best pet insurance comes down to your pet’s needs and your financial situation. Take time to review each company’s policy details, including the fine print, to ensure you understand what is and isn’t covered before making a decision.

Choosing the right pet insurance can help ensure your pet’s health and your financial stability. Whether you opt for Nationwide or Trupanion, the most important thing is that your pet receives the care they need when they need it.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a pre-existing condition, and how does it affect my pet insurance policy?

A pre-existing condition is any illness or injury that your pet has before coverage begins. Both Nationwide and Trupanion exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage. These include conditions your pet showed signs of before the policy start date, whether it was diagnosed or not. Therefore, it’s beneficial to get insurance when your pet is young and healthy.

2. Does pet insurance cover routine veterinary visits?

Whether pet insurance covers routine visits depends on the policy. Nationwide offers a plan that includes wellness coverage, which can cover routine procedures like exams and vaccinations. On the other hand, Trupanion focuses on unexpected costs due to accidents or illnesses and doesn’t cover routine care in its primary policy.

3. How are reimbursement rates determined?

Reimbursement rates refer to the percentage of the vet bill the insurance company will cover after you’ve met your deductible. Trupanion has a fixed 90% reimbursement rate for its main policy. Nationwide’s reimbursement depends on the plan chosen. The Whole Pet with Wellness plan works on a similar basis to Trupanion, with a 90% reimbursement rate.

4. Can I choose my own veterinarian?

Both Nationwide and Trupanion allow you to use the vet or specialist of your choice. Coverage applies to any licensed vet, veterinary specialist, or emergency animal hospital in the country. Trupanion also offers coverage for veterinary services provided in certain other countries.

5. What is a waiting period in pet insurance?

A waiting period is the time between when you enroll in a pet insurance policy and when the coverage begins. Both Nationwide and Trupanion have waiting periods. It’s important to remember that no coverage is available for illnesses or injuries that occur during the waiting period.

6. Are chronic conditions covered by pet insurance?

Chronic conditions are covered by both Nationwide and Trupanion as long as the condition wasn’t diagnosed or showing symptoms before the policy start date or during the waiting period. This includes ongoing conditions like diabetes or hyperthyroidism.

7. How are pet insurance premiums determined?

Several factors influence pet insurance premiums. These include the pet’s age, breed, location, the chosen deductible, the reimbursement percentage, and the coverage details of the plan. Both Nationwide and Trupanion calculate premiums based on these factors.

8. Does pet insurance cover medication costs?

Yes, both Nationwide and Trupanion cover the cost of medications prescribed during the treatment of covered conditions. This includes pain relievers, antibiotics, and other necessary pharmaceuticals as part of your pet’s treatment plan.

9. How do Nationwide and Trupanion handle coverage as pets age?

As pets age, they may need more frequent veterinary care. Both Nationwide and Trupanion offer coverage regardless of your pet’s age at enrollment, and the policy will not be canceled based on age alone. However, it’s essential to know that premiums may increase as your pet gets older due to an increased risk of health issues.

10. Can I insure more than one pet with Nationwide or Trupanion?

Yes, both Nationwide and Trupanion offer multi-pet policies, allowing you to insure more than one pet. These companies may also offer a discount if you insure more than one pet, making it more affordable for households with multiple pets.

11. What is a deductible in pet insurance?

A deductible is the amount you have to pay out-of-pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Both Nationwide and Trupanion offer customizable deductibles. A higher deductible typically means a lower monthly premium, but it also means paying more when you file a claim.

12. Does pet insurance cover hereditary and congenital conditions?

Trupanion covers hereditary and congenital conditions as long as they weren’t showing symptoms before the policy was purchased or during the waiting period. Nationwide also covers hereditary conditions and breed-specific illnesses in their Whole Pet plan but does not cover them in the lower-tier plans.

13. Do Nationwide and Trupanion cover dental care?

Trupanion covers dental illnesses and injuries, including extractions and root canals. Nationwide’s Whole Pet plan also includes dental coverage for certain dental illnesses and procedures. Regular teeth cleaning or dental hygiene, however, typically falls under wellness care, which is not covered by Trupanion and only covered by Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness Plan.

14. Are cancer treatments covered by Nationwide and Trupanion?

Yes, both Trupanion and Nationwide cover cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, under their comprehensive plans. It’s important to note that this coverage applies as long as the cancer is not a pre-existing condition.

15. How do I file a claim with Nationwide or Trupanion?

Both Nationwide and Trupanion have user-friendly claim filing processes. With Nationwide, you can file a claim online, through the mobile app, by mail, or by fax. Trupanion allows you to file a claim online through their website, and if your vet uses the Trupanion software, they can file the claim for you, and Trupanion can pay them directly.

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