Before we compare Spot and Nationwide, it’s crucial to understand the basics of pet insurance. This type of insurance typically covers unexpected costs related to accidents, illnesses, and emergency care. Some policies also provide coverage for wellness visits and routine care.
Spot Pet Insurance: Personalized and Flexible
Spot Pet Insurance prides itself on flexibility and comprehensive coverage. They offer customizable plans, meaning you can adjust your policy to suit your budget and pet’s needs.
Spot covers accidents and illnesses, with options to add preventative care and hereditary/congenital conditions. Their policies include treatments, surgeries, medications, hospitalizations, and even alternative therapies.
Customization and Cost
The company offers a unique level of customization in deductibles, reimbursement percentages, and policy limits, which can help pet owners better manage their premiums. However, it’s essential to remember that lower premiums may translate into higher out-of-pocket costs when your pet needs care.
Customer Service and Claims
Spot boasts a user-friendly platform and helpful customer service. You can submit claims via their website or app, and there’s no requirement for a vet exam to start a policy.
Nationwide Pet Insurance: Comprehensive and Established
As the first company to offer pet insurance in the U.S., Nationwide brings experience and a broad range of plans to the table. They have comprehensive coverage that includes exotic pets, an area many insurers don’t cater to.
Nationwide offers three plans: Major Medical, Whole Pet, and Whole Pet with Wellness. The Major Medical plan covers accidents and illnesses, while the Whole Pet plans include all that plus wellness care. Importantly, Nationwide covers some congenital and hereditary conditions, a major plus for owners of purebred pets.
Nationwide’s comprehensive coverage comes at a price, with premiums generally higher than many competitors. However, they offer a multi-pet discount which can help offset the cost for households with multiple pets.
Customer Service and Claims
Nationwide has mixed reviews regarding their claim process. Some customers report slow reimbursement times, but their robust online portal and app make managing policies and submitting claims relatively straightforward.
Comprehensive Policies: Spot vs Nationwide
The Flexibility of Spot’s Policies
Spot’s flexibility is its standout feature. With options to customize deductibles from $100 to $1,000, and reimbursement options ranging from 70% to 90%, pet parents have the freedom to create a plan that fits their financial needs. This can be particularly useful for households with older pets who might require higher coverage levels due to the likelihood of chronic conditions.
Spot also offers two levels of coverage: Basic, covering accidents and illnesses, and Prime, which adds coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions. This distinction is a critical consideration for pet parents, especially those with breeds known for specific health issues.
Nationwide’s Wide-Ranging Coverage
In contrast, Nationwide provides more comprehensive policies with fewer customization options. Their Whole Pet plan, for instance, has a set deductible of $250 and reimburses 90% of vet bills. This policy also covers hereditary and congenital conditions, which can be a relief to pet owners of breeds prone to these issues.
Moreover, Nationwide is one of the few insurers to offer coverage for birds and exotic pets. If you’re a proud owner of an unconventional pet, Nationwide’s extensive coverage might be a perfect fit.
Claims Process: Spot vs Nationwide
Spot’s User-Friendly Process
Spot’s claims process is praised for its simplicity. Policyholders can submit a claim online or through their mobile app by simply uploading the vet bill. There’s no per-incident limit on claims, meaning the total potential payout is only restricted by the annual limit chosen by the pet owner.
Nationwide’s Mixed Reviews
Nationwide, on the other hand, receives mixed reviews regarding its claims process. While their online portal and app streamline the process, some policyholders have reported delays in reimbursements. Nevertheless, the company does offer direct payment to vets, which can be a huge relief in the case of large, unexpected vet bills.
Wellness Coverage: Spot vs Nationwide
For preventative care, Spot offers two wellness add-ons to their standard policy: Gold and Platinum. These cover routine vet exams, vaccinations, and preventative medications. However, the add-ons have specific limits for each type of care, so pet parents should review the details to ensure it suits their pet’s needs.
Nationwide’s Integrated Approach
Nationwide, conversely, integrates wellness coverage in their Whole Pet with Wellness plan. This approach simplifies the process for pet owners, ensuring both routine and unexpected health issues are covered under a single plan. It includes coverage for exams, vaccinations, flea/heartworm prevention, and even spay/neuter surgery. This inclusive coverage is an attractive option for pet parents wanting comprehensive preventative care for their pets.
A Look at Spot’s and Nationwide’s Network
While some pet insurance providers restrict you to a specific network of vets, both Spot and Nationwide allow you to visit any licensed vet, including specialists and emergency care providers. This flexibility gives pet parents the freedom to seek the best possible care for their pets, regardless of the provider.
Spot vs Nationwide: Which Is Best for You?
Choosing between Spot and Nationwide boils down to your pet’s needs and your budget. Spot’s flexibility makes it a great option for pet parents seeking a personalized, budget-friendly policy. On the other hand, Nationwide’s comprehensive coverage, including wellness and hereditary conditions, may be worth the higher premiums, especially for exotic pet owners or purebred pets prone to specific conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions about Spot and Nationwide Pet Insurance
1. Does Spot or Nationwide Cover Pre-existing Conditions?
Neither Spot nor Nationwide covers pre-existing conditions, which is standard across the pet insurance industry. However, both companies differentiate between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions. If a pet is cured of a condition and remains symptom-free for a specific period (6 months for Spot and 12 months for Nationwide), that condition may be covered in the future.
2. Do Spot and Nationwide Offer Multi-pet Discounts?
Yes, both companies offer multi-pet discounts. Spot provides a 10% discount for each additional pet you insure after the first. Nationwide offers a variable discount rate depending on the number of pets insured and the plan chosen.
3. What Are the Age Limits for Spot and Nationwide?
Spot provides coverage for pets aged eight weeks and older, with no upper age limit. This is great news for owners of senior pets. Nationwide’s plans also start at eight weeks, but their Whole Pet plans have an upper age limit of 10 years for dogs and 14 years for cats. After these ages, pets are only eligible for their Major Medical plan.
4. How Long Does Reimbursement Take?
The time taken to reimburse a claim can vary, but typically Spot aims to process claims within 14 days. Nationwide states most claims are processed within 30 days, but customer reviews indicate this might take longer in some cases.
5. Can I Choose Any Vet With Spot or Nationwide?
Absolutely. Both Spot and Nationwide allow you to visit any licensed vet, including specialists and emergency animal hospitals, anywhere in the world. This freedom ensures pet parents can get the best possible care for their pets, regardless of the provider’s affiliation.
6. How Does Spot and Nationwide’s Pricing Compare?
Pricing for both Spot and Nationwide varies based on your pet’s breed, age, and location, as well as the coverage level you choose. However, generally, Spot tends to be more affordable due to its customizable plans, while Nationwide’s premiums are on the higher end due to their comprehensive coverage.
7. Can I Cancel My Spot or Nationwide Policy Anytime?
Yes, both Spot and Nationwide allow you to cancel your policy at any time without penalties. However, it’s important to note that once a policy is canceled, any conditions your pet was treated for while under that policy will likely be considered pre-existing if you decide to obtain pet insurance in the future.
8. What is the Waiting Period for Spot and Nationwide?
Both Spot and Nationwide have waiting periods before coverage begins. For Spot, there’s a 14-day waiting period for illnesses, a 2-day period for accidents, and a 6-month period for orthopedic conditions. Nationwide has a 14-day waiting period for both accidents and illnesses, but the waiting period for certain conditions might be different, so it’s advisable to review your policy documents.
9. Does Spot or Nationwide Offer Direct Vet Payment?
Nationwide does offer direct vet payment, meaning the insurer can pay your vet directly so you don’t have to pay out of pocket and wait for reimbursement. Spot currently does not offer direct vet payment; pet parents have to pay the vet bill first and then submit a claim for reimbursement.
10. Do Spot and Nationwide Cover Prescription Medications?
Yes, both Spot and Nationwide cover prescription medications as part of their illness and accident coverage. This includes prescriptions for covered conditions that are prescribed by a vet and purchased from a licensed pharmacy.
11. Are Holistic and Alternative Therapies Covered?
Spot insurance covers holistic and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and hydrotherapy if performed by a licensed veterinarian and deemed medically necessary. Similarly, Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness plan also covers these treatments if recommended and performed by a licensed vet.
12. Are Behavioral Issues Covered by Spot and Nationwide?
Yes, both Spot and Nationwide provide coverage for behavioral treatments. Spot covers behavioral issues such as excessive licking, fur pulling, and destruction of home items when the issue is not due to a lack of training or a preventable cause. Nationwide covers behavioral therapies and treatments when they’re carried out by a vet to remedy a diagnosed behavioral problem.
13. Can I Adjust My Coverage After the Policy Has Started?
With Spot, you have the flexibility to adjust your coverage, deductible, and reimbursement rate at any time. However, any changes can impact your premiums and may create new waiting periods. Nationwide also allows changes to coverage, but the specifics can depend on the policy and any potential restrictions in place.
14. Does Spot or Nationwide Cover Dental Care?
Spot includes coverage for dental illnesses in their standard plan, which comprises dental extractions and advanced dental surgeries for covered conditions, but routine dental care isn’t covered. Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness plan includes dental cleaning and care, giving it an edge for those wanting comprehensive dental coverage.
15. Are Congenital and Hereditary Conditions Covered?
Yes, both Spot and Nationwide cover congenital and hereditary conditions. This includes conditions that are inherited or have been present since birth, as long as they aren’t pre-existing conditions (i.e., the condition wasn’t noticeable or symptomatic before coverage started).
16. How Does Spot and Nationwide Handle Claims?
Spot allows claims to be submitted via their online portal, email, fax, or postal mail. You’ll need to provide the vet invoice and fill out a simple claim form. Nationwide offers claims submissions through their online portal, email, or postal mail, and they may need your pet’s medical records in addition to the invoice.
17. Is Wellness Coverage Available with Spot and Nationwide?
Spot offers optional wellness coverage that can be added to your policy for an extra cost. The Spot On Wellness plan includes routine care such as vaccinations, screenings, and heartworm prevention. Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness plan provides robust wellness coverage, including physical exams, vaccinations, and preventive dental cleaning.
18. Are Cancer Treatments Covered by Spot and Nationwide?
Yes, both Spot and Nationwide offer coverage for cancer treatments, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy, provided they aren’t linked to a pre-existing condition. They also cover diagnostic testing, hospitalization, and prescription medications related to covered cancer treatments.
19. Does Spot or Nationwide Have a Mobile App?
Nationwide has a mobile app where you can access policy information, submit claims, and more. Spot does not currently offer a mobile app; all transactions are handled through their website.
20. Are Spaying and Neutering Procedures Covered?
Standard policies from Spot do not cover spaying or neutering, but these procedures can be covered under their optional wellness add-on. Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness plan covers spaying and neutering procedures.