Pet insurance buyers guide

5 foolproof steps for finding the right plan

This step-by-step guide will help you make a smart decision when buying pet insurance for your dog or cat.

1. Pick the reimbursement type that works for you.

All pet insurance plans use either a percentage of invoice or a benefit schedule to calculate reimbursement.

Percentage of invoice

Reimbursement is based on the treatment cost. You get back a percentage of what you paid your vet.

whole petSM with wellness

Benefit schedule

Reimbursement is capped at a set amount for each condition, regardless of the actual treatment cost.

major medicalSM

Insider tip: Some other companies' percentage-based plans limit your actual reimbursement by excluding common things like exam fees. Nationwide's Whole Pet with WellnessSM covers not only common things but also uncommon things. It's the most extensive coverage available—anywhere.

2. Research the factors affecting your coverage.

Be sure you understand what is and isn't covered—as well as when and why those things might change.

Insider tip: Some pet insurers put complex restrictions on your coverage if you file a claim. With Nationwide, your coverage remains the same year after year; we don't think it’s fair to penalize you if your pet gets sick or hurt.

3. Look at prices and value.

Weigh what you’re paying against what you’re getting. There’s no point in buying a plan just because it’s cheap if it doesn’t cover what you need.

Insider tip: Deductibles affect value. Per-incident deductibles apply to every new claim you file before you’ll be covered. Annual deductibles need to be met just once each 12-month policy term for full coverage to kick in. Nationwide plans have either an annual deductible or no deductible.

4. Decide what kind of coverage you want for your pet.

Choose a complete care plan or go à la carte with medical or wellness coverage.

whole petSM with wellness

  • Exams, lab tests, X-rays
  • Prescriptions
  • Surgeries & hospitalization
  • Chronic conditions
  • Hereditary conditions (no waiting period)
  • Wellness
  • And more

major medicalSM

  • Exams, lab tests, X-rays
  • Prescriptions
  • Surgeries & hospitalization
  • Chronic conditions
  • Some hereditary conditions (waiting period applies)

pet wellnessSM

  • Wellness exams & tests
  • Flea/heartworm prevention
  • Vaccinations

Insider tip: Not everyone offers wellness coverage. Others only offer it if you buy a medical plan first—which is more expensive. Nationwide offers individual medical and wellness plans as well as a complete care plan that includes both kinds of coverage.

5. Look at the company’s track record for dependability.

A lot of pet insurers have come and gone. The key to picking one you can count on is to go with the company that has the most stability, experience and recommendations.

Insider tip: Some insurance companies pay to use the names of well-known organizations. With Nationwide, what you see is what you get: the #1 recommended pet insurer, which also happens to be one of the largest and most trusted financial services companies in the world.

See why Nationwide is the pick of the litter.

  1. Find top dog coverage or plans that are the cat's meow.
  2. Vet what's covered.
  3. Paws a moment to get a quote.