Pet Owners Distraught After Nationwide Drops Their Insurance Claims

Nevena Nacic
by Nevena Nacic

Nationwide, the nation's largest pet insurance company, is canceling coverage for around 100,000 pets across the country, blaming inflation, rising costs of veterinary care, and other factors threatening the profitability of its pet insurance business. 

“ As pet lovers ourselves, we understand the emotions connected to the protection of our family pets. Inflation in the cost of veterinary care and other factors have led to recent underwriting changes and plan availability in some states - difficult actions necessary to ensure a financially sustainable future for our pet insurance line of business,” the company shared in a statement

This decision is leaving thousands of pet owners in a difficult situation. Although Nationwide insists that prior claims history and age aren’t a factor, most of the canceled policies are for older pets with pre-existing medical conditions that may not be insurable elsewhere. 

Nationwide, which insures around 1.2 million pets nationwide, began sending letters to the affected policyholders this spring and will continue to do so into the summer of 2025. 

The company’s statement comes only after policyholders started to complain on social media about the letters they received, especially owners of pets with pre-existing health problems that require several hundred dollars a month for veterinary care and medicine to treat. 

“Pet owners are contemplating euthanizing sick pets because they are uninsured, and all they can say is they need to make more money, so too bad,” said Robin Tobias of Aventura, Florida. She is one of tens of thousands of owners who received a letter from Nationwide in April notifying her that the policy for her dog Ginger won’t be renewed. 

Tobias shared the letter she received from Nationwide with The Columbus Dispatch. “After careful review of our products, we have elected to discontinue certain plans, including Whole Pet, which will no longer be offered in your state,” the letter said. “The same economic pressures from inflation, higher interest rates, and rising that have caused unprecedented losses for the American insurance industry are affecting the pet industry as well, leading to difficult decisions such as this.” 

Ginger’s insurance policy ends July 23. Tobias bought the policy when Ginger was just a puppy and pays $160 a month for insurance to cover a seven-year-old dog with a heart murmur. 

Nationwide’s latest move is concerning for many reasons and can even put additional pressure on already overcrowded animal shelters across the country. Owners of older pets with health problems may be forced to abandon their pets because they can’t afford to pay for medication and care and can’t get coverage from another pet insurance company. 

That’s the reason why you take insurance,” said Tobias. “Down the road, you’re going to need it. It’s horrifying really.”

“For us, dogs have been our children. Everything we do is to protect our children.” 

Tobias believes she has found a company that will cover Ginger, but she fears others won’t be as lucky. 

For Christie Keith who has been paying more than $700 a month in pet insurance premiums to insure her three dogs, the news came as a shock. The company’s decision to cancel her claims is particularly troubling because her older dogs both needed medical treatment recently. 

Nationwide notified Keith that policies for her dogs would expire at renewal dates and that she couldn’t purchase lesser policies for her dogs. 

Owners of pets with pre-existing medical conditions might be better off with other options, like saving up in advance for potential medical emergencies that can happen in the future. Another option is to find a vet willing to work on a payment plan. 

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Nevena Nacic
Nevena Nacic

Nevena is a freelance writer and a proud mom of Teo, a 17-year-old poodle, and Bob, a rescued grey tabby cat. Since childhood, she had a habit of picking up strays and bringing them home (luckily, her parents didn't know how to say NO). When she's not writing for her fellow pet parents, Nevena can be found watching Teo sleep. To her defense, that's not as creepy as it sounds!

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