Pet Parents Left in a Panic After Nationwide Drops 100,000 Pet Insurance Policies · The Wildest

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Pet Parents Left in a Panic After Nationwide Drops 100,000 Pet Insurance Policies

The company is cancelling these plans due to “inflation in the cost of veterinary care.”

by Sio Hornbuckle
June 18, 2024
Man embracing his old black dog outside.
StudioMikara / iStock

Thousands of pet parents received distressing news this week when Nationwide Pet, the largest pet insurance provider with over one million registered pets, announced that they would be dropping about 100,000 pet policies. Meaning: No matter what is going on with their cat or dog, these people will no longer have pet insurance.

It came as a shock to many pet parents, some of whom have senior pets or pets with pre-existing conditions who they will have a difficult time finding replacement plans for. 

“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,” Nationwide said in a statement. 

Which Nationwide plans will be affected?

Nationwide explained that the policy changes will be determined at the state level and “are not associated with the pet’s age, breed or prior claims history.”

Regardless, the news is most devastating for those with senior and sick pets. Since many pet insurance plans don’t cover pets with pre-existing conditions, it’s recommended that pet parents start their animals on insurance plans as soon as possible, so they’re insured before their pets develop any health issues. But with Nationwide’s announcement, thousands of pet parents’ who have insured their pets for years will now be left stranded.

“I was willing to pay this very large amount to get this coverage because I love my dogs. They’re my family. They are not like a car, or even a house, or a thing that can be replaced or rebuilt, they are important to me,” one pet parent who will be affected by Nationwide’s policy change told USA TODAY. “No one else is going to take on old dogs with pre-existing conditions and even if they do they will exclude all of the pre-existing conditions. … I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Many pet parents have joined a Facebook group called “Dropped by Nationwide Pet Insurance Whole Wellness? Join Us!” — some are discussing whether or not legal action against Nationwide can be taken. The group has over 600 members.

Pet parents are being notified in writing if their plan is affected; if it is, their pet’s coverage will not be renewed at the end of their current policy.

Sio Hornbuckle

Sio Hornbuckle is a writer living in New York City with their cat, Toni Collette.

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