In the spring of 2018, I wrote an article letting readers know that Nationwide no longer offered their best policy, Whole Pet, to puppies less than 1 year old. You can read that post here.
When checking their website today to get a quote for their current offerings, I noticed that they are offering the Whole Pet policy to puppies again with some obvious adjustments in premium.
I talked with Dr. Carol McConnell, Chief Veterinary Officer at Nationwide, for details.
When the Whole Pet policy was introduced in 2015, the premiums were determined by an outside actuarial firm rather than Nationwide's in-house actuaries. The company's actual claims experience after introducing the policy indicated that the premiums were underpriced for puppies. Therefore, offering of the policy to puppies less than a year old was paused until adjustments could be made.
This time Nationwide's own actuaries looked at the data and set new premiums, and in 2019, the Whole Pet policy for puppies was reintroduced.
Pre-existing conditions aren't covered in the Whole Pet policy, nor do any other pet insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions. Certain pre-existing conditions, especially certain chronic conditions might disqualify your pet from coverage with this policy. This is true also with most pet insurance policies. You will be asked to answer some questions about your pet's medical history to determine eligibility for coverage.
I got a quote for a Beagle in Memphis, TN. that is less than a year old and the premium was $140.37 monthly. For a 1-2 year old Beagle, the premium is $98.85. So, why are premiums higher for puppies less than a year old?
- Whereas a young adult dog usually visits the veterinarian once a year for wellness care (wellness exam, vaccinations, heart worm testing, etc.), a series of usually 3 or 4 visits is needed to complete a puppy's wellness care.
- Most dogs are likely to be spayed or neutered sometime during their first year of life.
- Puppies tend to get into trouble and need veterinary care more than adult dogs. Petplan's claims data in 2010 determined that pets under 1 year old were 2.5 times as likely to be subjects of insurance claims as pets any other age.
Nationwide's Whole Pet policy is perhaps the most comprehensive coverage offered by any pet insurance company. All coverage including wellness care is subject to the deductible ($250) and copay (90%, 70%, or 50%). This makes the policy unique and worth consideration. It also covers a few things that most companies don't cover. Here's a list of what's covered.
I invite those who have this coverage on their pet (dog or cat and regardless of age) to post a comment based on your experience with the policy vs. the cost of the premium.