VPI Pet Insurance: 4 Reasons They’re (Still) Not A Solid Bet
Did you know that VPI is now known as Nationwide pet insurance? It’s true, and that’s one of the many confusions that people have with pet insurance by VPI. You’ll still find pet owners that refer to VPI out of habit, but the name of the company was officially changed in 2014.
Nationwide, which carries many types of insurance, has been behind VPI since 2008, but they decided to rename all of their insurance brands to be simply Nationwide in 2014 which is why VPI’s name changed. Their coverage has remained largely the same.
Most blogs will refer to the brand as Nationwide/VPI to help pet owners understand that these are the same brand, but pet owners still aren’t clear about what the brand covers. I’ll be attempting to clear that up today with a review of Nationwide/VPI.
VPI Pet Insurance Review
Despite their association with a large name insurance brand that many people are familiar with, VPI/Nationwide has a few, big shortcomings that make me hesitant to recommend them. Let’s go through the pros and cons so you can make your mind up about them, too.
Wellness Add-on Plans Available
Nationwide pet insurance (aka VPI) have preventative care plans that you can add onto your base insurance plan to help offset the cost of regular veterinary visits. The coverage can be bought at two different levels (basic or plus) and will put money towards things like physical exams, nail clipping, deworming, regular checkups, and more. You get the same services covered at both levels.
Nationwide Name Change
VPI reviews may have been confused about the name change, but dog owners new to the pet insurance world appreciate seeing a familiar insurance name. Though the pet insurance is separate from the rest of Nationwide’s business, it’s still reassuring for some pet owners to go with a name they recognize.
Cover A Fairly Wide Spectrum
Nationwide/VPI includes coverage for a fairly large number of conditions. This includes illness, cancer, some hereditary and genetic conditions, dental diseases, behavioral issues, and more. Some pet insurance companies do their best to exclude all of these things, so it’s good to see that VPI/Nationwide has kept coverage for some of them
But VPI Insurance Leaves Out…
Though Nationwide/VPI does cover a lot of conditions, they also specifically underwrite and leave out some conditions that are common in dogs, and the coverage they offer for genetic and hereditary conditions with them is limited. Depending on your dog’s breed and what they’re at risk for developing, you should be careful with your purchase.
VPI Dog Insurance Is Pricey
The plans you’ll find with Nationwide/VPI have always been considered to be on the pricier side, and I have to agree. You get back 90% on vet bills. The annual deductible is usually around $250, and the annual benefits are unlimited. Still, the base premium cost is high. So unless you expect to take advantage of that unlimited annual benefit, you probably want to find a comparable, less expensive pet insurance provider.
Work On Benefits Schedule
Some pet insurance companies pay back a fixed percentage of your vet bill. This is not the case with Nationwide/VPI. They have a benefits schedule of expected cost of treatment for various conditions, and this is what they use to choose reimbursement amounts. If your vet charges more for a certain procedure, you might not be reimbursed as much as you hope to be.
While the fees themselves are not huge, Nationwide/VPI does charge some monthly fees, such as payment fees, that add up as time goes on. While it’s only $2 here and there, these fees accumulate and make an expensive pet insurance even more expensive for owners. Not all pet insurance companies have these fees.
Price Difference Between Mixed and Pure Bred Dogs
Some reviews of Nationwide or VPI pet insurance coverage will remind you that there is a difference in cost for covering mixed breed versus purebred dogs under the Nationwide/VPI umbrella. This is true, but the price difference is not as extreme as it is with some brands. Still, I wish this practice would be worked out of all pet insurance companies.
Nationwide/VPI only have three different options for you to chose from. Among these, you can do a little bit of customization, but the packages are fairly cookie cutter. Check out the info below to see if you’re interested in any of their plans.
1. Whole Pet With Wellness
The first and most comprehensive package that VPI/Nationwide offers is the Whole Pet with Wellness policy. This plan combines a traditional accident/illness policy with a routine care policy so that your dog is covered for both emergency and regular vet visits. This is their most expensive plan but also their most popular. It will cover some portion of almost all events that come up.
2. Major Medical
The less expensive version of Whole Pet with Wellness leaves out all regular care costs and only covers accidents and illnesses like a typical pet insurance plan does. There are a few chronic or hereditary conditions that can also receive some form of coverage, but this is limited and has a long waiting period.
3. Pet Wellness
Nationwide/VPI is one of the few brands that offers a standalone pet wellness plan that will help offset the cost of regular pet treatments. This policy gives you money towards basic wellness checkups, tests, as well as flea/parasite control and microchip implantation. Everything in this is already covered in the Whole Pet With Wellness plan if you purchase it.
Go With Something Better Than VPI
Nationwide or VPI dog insurance will give you protection for your dog, and together, you can be ready for anything:
In particular, I have a few brands that I’ll always recommend for pet owners to consider when shopping for reliable, affordable pet insurance. These include Pets Best, Go Pet Plan and Healthy Paws. I truly believe that if you shop these insurance companies, you’ll get a better deal and better coverage than you would with anything from Nationwide/VPI.
Nationwide/VPI provides decent coverage, but remember, it’s not the best or your only option.