The first time I'd used a pet insurance plan I was in college.
Junior year I adopted my little German Shepherd puppy, Slash. Since I was working my way through school I was on quite a limited budget. I decided that paying the small monthly premium for pet insurance was far preferable than being faced with some kind of monster medical bill in the future.
Right around the time of graduation, poor Slash got hip dysplasia, a congenital condition common to the breed. In Slash’s case the malady came on slowly and wasn’t apparent to me until he was about two and a half and started limping.
The vet explained to me that the dysplasia would progress slowly, the pain would grow and Slash could eventually be rendered immobile. He recommended a total hip replacement surgery that at the time had about an 80% success rate.
My policy had already covered most of the test that obtained the diagnosis. I naturally thought that, after I paid the deductible, it would cover most of the surgery as well.
Before Slash was set to go under the knife I called the provider to verify coverage. The quote from the vet for the dual hip replacement was $5981. What did my policy cover?
That means that I, who had worked my undergraduate years as a bouncer at a disco for peanuts, was going to have to come up with $5156 in order to help my little guy.
The company explained to me my policy worked on a “benefit schedule,” and if I’d read through the contract I would have seen that certain conditions had certain per-condition caps. Had Slash got an ACL injury for example, the coverage would have been much higher.
Fortunately I had good credit at the time so I took out a personal loan to cover the bill. Slash recovered well and lived out a long and healthy life.
Fast forward a decade or so.
When my wife and I decided to get another German Shepherd puppy for our family she wanted to buy a policy from Nationwide Pet Insurance. I remembered what happened to me all those years back and immediately went online to do some research.
Initially, I saw some negative reviews and was concerned. It looked like a lot of people were saying they had a bad experience with the company and it was mainly due to the same "benefit schedule" situation I had gone through!
However, after a little more digging I found out the truth and I'm glad I took the time to do so.
The negative reviews were in reference to a company called Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI). They were tagged to Nationwide Pet Insurance because Nationwide had recently bought VPI.
The good news is that after Nationwide Insurance bought VPI, Nationwide used it’s significant resources to totally revamp VPI’s policies.
Nationwide now offers a brand new type of policy that doesn't have the same benefit schedule limitations.
Whole Pet with Wellness
This is one of the most comprehensive and easy-to-use pet insurance plans in history. Whole Pet with Wellness basically covers almost anything that can happen to your pet as a result of accident or illness, and it does so at a comparable price to many other pet insurance plans.
There are three other features, however, that support the company’s claim it is the “best pet insurance plan ever made.” For around the same price as other provider’s premium plans you also get:
Nationwide’s plan is unique as it actually covers all the routine examinations, tests, flea & heartworm prevention and vaccinations. Basically all the stuff you need to pay for when your pet isn’t sick or injured.
Whole Pet with Wellness pays 90% of vet bills with NO CLAIM LIMITS. So when your pet needs medical attention, pay the bill, submit the claim, and you’ll get 90% every time.
And most important to me…
3- No Benefit Schedule
Whole Pet with Wellness pays out based on the dollar amount of your vet’s bill, so there are no per condition or service caps.
If Fluffy ends up getting hip dysplasia just like Slash did, I can take her to the vet as many times as she needs and I won’t go bankrupt because of the bills.
If you want the most comprehensive coverage including wellness, accident and injury for your furry companion, check out Whole Pet with Wellness from our advertising partner Nationwide Pet Insurance.