Is Nationwide Pet Insurance Really on Your Side?


Who’s side is Nationwide on? It’s been reported here in USA Today, my blog as well as many multiple media sources that Nationwide Pet Insurance is dropping 100,000 pet insurance policies.

Their own press release says, “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 the withdrawal of some products in some states — difficult actions that are necessary to ensure a financially sustainable future for our pet insurance line of business.

The problem now if you happen to have a policy that is dropped and an older pet, insurance elsewhere can be very expensive, if available. And if there’s an underlying condition, good luck finding another insurer.

Nationwide says, “These measures, being taken at a state level, comply with the law and our contracts, and are not associated with the pet’s age, breed or prior claims history. This will involve the non-renewal of approximately 100,000 policies between this spring and the summer of 2025. Impacted policyholders will be notified in writing well in advance according to state law.

One option – a more ethical choice – might have been to stop marketing for any further customers, but in fact nothing on their website (that I can find) says a thing about this cutback of 100,000 customers. In fact, the site seeks more pets to enroll. What’s more, they are aggressively marketing for more customers, sending emails to perspective customers (such as the image attached here depicts). How is this legal? Or at least how is this ethical?

Nationwide says, “The future is bright for Nationwide Pet. We remain focused on expanding our reach to protect more pet families while partnering to make pet care more affordable and accessible. We’ll continue to build our pet business by expanding our distribution network,”

This all comes as pet insurance from pre-pandemic and especially in the past few years has been making traction in the U.S. following years of struggle. Today, 24 percent of pet owners purchasing coverage, a NerdWallet study found in February. Other surveys suggest that pet parents with insurance in the U.S. are about half that. No matter, pet insurance continues to grow in popularity in the U.S.

Today, I suggest, buyer beware. Would you now purchase a Nationwide policy, or for that matter potentially any pet insurance policy? After all, if you pay into the company for several years and are suddenly dropped without cause – where did your investment go – how is that acceptable? How does this garner trust for Nationwide Pet Insurance, or for that matter, even the pet insurance industry?