VPI Pet Insurance

Pets are an important part of our lives, and their health matters as much as ours. Instead of putting them at risk, it is better if you purchase pet insurance.

Every member of our family deserves the best healthcare, regardless of whether they have two legs or four. This is why pet health insurance plans provide you with the freedom to use any veterinary, anywhere, including specialists and emergency providers.

Accident and illness coverage are the most basic types of pet insurance given to you by any insurance provider. Looking for a provider with comprehensive wellness advantages can be pretty difficult. VPI pet insurance, now sold under the Nationwide brand name, is one of the best providers for preventive care coverage.

VPI provides lasting dog and cat insurance. The coverage that your dog or cat receives from VPI will not be dropped, despite the age or the number of claims filed. VPI policies also cover birds and exotic pets. Moreover, if you are a current Nationwide member, you can save 5% on a pet health insurance policy.

VPI did not just create the first pet wellness plan, but the company was also the first to write any type of pet insurance policy in the United States. Presently, VPI policies can provide insurance to just about any type of animal in your home, be it geckos or goats.

How does pet insurance work?

Pet insurance is a sort of insurance policy that secures you monetarily in case of startling veterinary costs. The manner in which pet insurance works resembles other health care coverage policies, despite actually being property insurance. When you buy pet insurance, you will pay a monthly premium to the insurance company in return for continuous coverage. Remember that most insurance companies have a waiting period before you can utilize your advantages.

If your pet becomes ill or is injured, you will visit the vet or animal hospital. In the event that your policy has direct billing, you will be approached to give your insurance subtleties upfront, as opposed to paying for the services from out-of-pocket cash. After your pet is dealt with, you will collect the invoices from the vet and present a claim to your insurance company for partial or full reimbursement, relying upon your plan. You will ordinarily have to pay a yearly deductible before the insurance company begins covering costs.

What’s more is that some pet insurance policies additionally require a copay for specific services, which is an extra out-of-pocket cost on top of the deductible. When you pay the full deductible, all qualified veterinary costs will be covered up to your policy’s yearly limit for the rest of the year. According to Dr. Doug Kenney, a retired veterinarian and moderator of ‘Your Pet Insurance Guide blog’:

“Pet health insurance is technically property and casualty (P&C) insurance and not in the health insurance category. Despite this, it is health insurance. The current model is reimbursement insurance. You pay the veterinarian, file a claim, and the insurance company will reimburse you an amount minus the deductible and copay and any uncovered expenses.”

Types of pet insurance

Pet insurance does not come in one standard size. There are various types of common pet insurances. Here are the three fundamental policies you will find almost everywhere:

  • Accident and illness plans: Accident and illness pet insurance plans provide coverage for a lot of important treatments and services in case your pet gets injured or falls ill. For instance, things like x-rays, medications, hospitalization, and surgery are covered. It is beneficial for any pet, however, remember that many insurance companies have an age limit for such policies. Pricing for accident and illness plans is based on the yearly coverage limit you choose, along with the deductible, the type of pet you have, the breed, and your pet’s age.
  • Accident-only plans: An accident-only pet insurance plan provides coverage for treatments pertaining to accidents, for example, swallowed objects, burns, and bites. In most cases, accident-only plans do not have an age limit, which makes it an excellent choice for older pets. Such coverage is a great investment if your pet is healthy most of the time, but you still want coverage for unexpected incidents.
  • Wellness plans: Pet wellness plans are either sold as standalone policies or as a rider that can be added to an accident and illness or accident-only plan. These plans provide coverage for routine and preventative care, such as vaccines, microchipping, spaying/neutering, and yearly vet exams. Wellness plans are typically quite affordable, but many services have an individual limit. Due to that, if your vet’s normal service charges are affordable, then the value of a wellness plan might not be worth it.

Available plans

For common family pets like dogs and cats, VPI offers three plans with various degrees of advantages. Major Medical is the most basic policy, giving accident and illness coverage intended to secure your funds if your pet has a health related crisis. The mid-level plan, Major Medical with Wellness, adds some preventive care choices like vaccinations and behavioral therapy. Lastly, Whole Pet With Wellness is VPI’s premier pet insurance policy with coverage for practically all veterinary services.

Reptiles, birds, small mammals, and surprisingly some backyard farm animals such as potbellied pigs and goats are qualified for VPI coverage. In any case, policy contributions may change from what is listed below, depending on the species. You will have to directly call VPI/Nationwide to get specific coverage and pricing data for any pets that are not dogs or cats.

Covered Treatment: Exam fees

  • Major Medical: Yes
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Procedures

  • Major Medical: Yes
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Lab tests

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Medication

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Continued treatment           

  • Major Medical: Yes
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Genetic conditions

  • Major Medical: Yes
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Preventive care

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Microchipping

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: No
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Spay/neuter surgery

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: No
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Vaccinations

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Dental treatment

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: No
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Behavioral treatment           

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Specialists

  • Major Medical: Yes
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Alternative/holistic care

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: No
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Medical boarding

  • Major Medical: No
  • Major Medical with Wellness: No
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Covered Treatment: Cremation/burial

  • Major Medical: Yes
  • Major Medical with Wellness: Yes
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: Yes

Pet insurance plan coverage levels

Complete coverage

This provides high quality pet health insurance for your dog or cat. It comes with clinical and wellness security in one plan and 90% coverage on vet bills. The coverage highlights are as follows:

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  • Accidents and illnesses
  • Chronic conditions
  • Flea/heartworm prevention
  • Hereditary conditions (no waiting period)
  • Prescriptions
  • Surgeries and hospitalization
  • Vaccinations
  • Wellness exams and tests

Moreover, the plan has no age restrictions or maximum benefit, and starts at $64/month.

Medical coverage

This pet insurance plan is light on the pocket and budget-friendly. It comes with dependable coverage for common medical costs. The coverage highlights are as follows:

  • Accidents and illnesses
  • Chronic conditions
  • Prescriptions
  • Some hereditary conditions (after a 1-year waiting period)
  • Surgeries and hospitalization

Moreover, the set benefit amounts renew in full each year, and the plan starts at $34/month.

How are plans priced?

VPI pet insurance plans are generally more costly than those of their competitors. While we cannot deny that the coverage offered is also more considerable, VPI misses the mark in its inability to offer ways to bring down monthly premiums by changing coverage levels. Most pet insurers let proprietors set a custom deductible and yearly limit to better fit their budget. However, you do not get this option with VPI. VPI makes a couple of discounts available to assist with paying the bill. Families get a 5% discount when you enroll two to three pets, and a 10% discount applies when you enroll at least four pets.

Dog: 1 year   

  • Major Medical: $24.29
  • Major Medical With Wellness: $42.29
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: $66.57

Dog: 3 year   

  • Major Medical: $28.42
  • Major Medical With Wellness: $46.42
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: $72.56

Dog: 6 year   

  • Major Medical: $48.33
  • Major Medical With Wellness: $66.33
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: $103.19

Dog: 12 year 

  • Major Medical: N/A
  • Major Medical With Wellness: $171.53
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: $203.05

Cat: 1 year    

  • Major Medical: $12.89
  • Major Medical With Wellness: $30.89
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: $36.98

Cat: 3 year    

  • Major Medical: $13.15
  • Major Medical With Wellness: $31.15
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: $39.94

Cat: 6 year    

  • Major Medical: $20.11
  • Major Medical With Wellness: $38.11
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: $52.89

Cat: 12 year  

  • Major Medical: N/A
  • Major Medical With Wellness: $83.74
  • Whole Pet With Wellness: $99.12

What factors affect the cost of pet insurance?

There are multiple factors that have an effect on the cost of pet insurance. Some major ones are as follows:

  • Type of pet: The cost of insurance will be affected by the type of animal you own. Usually, it is slightly less expensive to insure cats than dogs.
  • Pet breeds: Insurance organizations will take your pet’s breed into consideration when calculating your rate. This is because certain animal breeds are more prone to experience health problems.
  • Number of pets: Insuring multiple pets will be more expensive, however, many insurance organizations offer a discount for insuring multiple pets on your policy.
  • Type of coverage: Certain pet insurance policies are more costly than others. For example, an accident and illness policy is going to be more costly than an accident-only policy, simply because it provides more coverage.
  • Amount of coverage: If your annual coverage limit is higher, your policy will be more expensive. An unlimited coverage policy is typically the most costly option you can purchase.
  • Deductible: Opting for a higher deductible will lower your monthly rate, and vice versa. If you want affordable coverage, choosing a high deductible might be a good option if you can afford the out-of-pocket expense.

VPI pet insurance file a claim

To file a claim online, you can log in to your Nationwide Pet Account Access Page or create an account.

You can also download and submit a manual claim form:

  • Download a claim form from VPI/Nationwide’s official website.
  • Send your completed claim form along with your paid invoices via email, fax or regular mail.

Email

submitmyclaim@petinsurance.com

Make sure that you have attached both, your completed claim form and the invoice(s). Only PDF, DOC, JPG, TIFF, or BMP files that are less than 10 MB are accepted, so make sure that you send the correct file type and size. Moreover, remember to disable your email signature.

Fax

714-989-5600

Mail

Nationwide Claims Department

P.O. Box 2344

Brea, CA 92822

Things to keep in mind when it comes to VPI pet insurance

Waiting Periods

There is a 14-day waiting period for all accident and illness benefits included with VPI policies. This is about the industry standard for illness coverage, however, it is somewhat more than what is usual for accident benefits. Albeit the odds of your pet getting injured in an accident in the initial fourteen days of coverage are thin, it is still essential to know that the policy will not pay for any unexpected vet bills during this time-frame.

Many pet insurers, including VPI, extend waiting periods for a couple of orthopedic conditions. In the event that your pet endures a major knee injury within the initial year of enrollment, it will not be qualified for coverage. If you pick a policy with wellness benefits, these will become available the day after you start coverage. You are allowed to plan an appointment when you like to begin taking advantage of preventive services.

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Pre-Existing Conditions

VPI is not the only one to bar coverage for pre-existing conditions. However, company policy with regard to these prohibitions is a lot more amiable than that of its competitors. In the event that your pet got sick or experienced an injury in the past, but was cured of the condition for at least half a year (six months), it will without a doubt be covered if it returns. Most other pet insurers would utilize this as reason to deny coverage, leaving you on the snare for any associated veterinary bills.

Coverage Limits

One concern is that with VPI, coverage limits are not universal for most policies. Only the most costly policy, Whole Pet With Wellness, offers a flat unlimited yearly limit and a 90% reimbursement rate. Any remaining plans are dependent upon various limits on each different procedure. In addition to the fact that this is hard to monitor, it could likewise imply that your out-of-pocket costs soar if your pet develops a chronic condition that requires treatment way over the corresponding limit.

Plan Exclusions

Coverage exclusions rely upon which policy you buy. Fundamental plans exclude all sorts of wellness advantages and some particular kinds of care, like holistic treatments. On the off chance that you select the pricier Whole Pet With Wellness plan, you will find very few exclusions besides pre-existing conditions and non-medical services.

Claims

Since VPI now works under the Nationwide name, pet insurance claims are directly filed through Nationwide. This can be done online through the VPI/Nationwide website by logging into the account management tool. A PDF claims form is also available for download and can be submitted via email, fax, or mail. However, direct billing is not presently available with veterinary practices.

Customer Service

In spite of having access to the assets of a significant national insurer, VPI’s customer care choices are sadly restricted to only telephone and email. On the off chance that you have an issue outside business hours or on a Sunday, you will need to wait until the following day to talk to somebody. As of late, numerous competitors have adopted 24/7 service by means of live chat, however VPI still cannot seem to jump aboard with this pattern.

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Third-Party Ratings

Despite the fact that 24/7 customer service is not available from VPI, the service you do get is highly rated. VPI gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best.

What pet insurance covers preventive care?

VPI pet insurance and ASPCA pet insurance are the two major providers of preventive care for pets. A wellness visit, which helps your vet to screen for things like parasites or heartworm, or identify any early-stage health problems, are all part of preventive care for your pet.

Proactive treatments, procedures, and prophylactics (such as vaccines, flea and tick medication, heartworm prevention, and dental cleanings) which help keep your pet from getting sick in the future, are also part of preventive care. These help you when it comes to saving money in the long run. This is because reactive treatments are often more expensive than proactive ones. Wellness exams also permit your vet to keep track of your pet’s diet, physical activity, weight, and more. However, remember that not all treatments that promote your pet’s health will be covered by your pet insurance for dogs or cats.

A basic pet insurance policy will help cover the expenses of emergency care and standard treatments for your pets. However, most insurance plans do not include preventive and wellness care in a base policy.

There are certain pet insurance organizations that will give you the option to include add-ons that help reimburse you for the expenses of some everyday care. You are most likely already paying more for your pet’s medical care and yearly wellness visits, than the cost of a preventive add-on. Keep in mind how much you pay for things like heartworm tests, vaccinations, wellness checkups, fecal tests, and blood work.

Progressive pet insurance

Pet insurance policies by Progressive begin at just $6 per month. Moreover, it also comes with multiple discounts, making it one of the best affordable providers.

Coverage

Progressive sells pet insurance through Pets Best, one of the best insurance providers for pets. There are four insurance plans available that provide coverage for accidents and illnesses, accidents only, and routine care. However, keep in mind that there is a two-day waiting period to use your coverage for accidents and a fourteen-day waiting period to use it for illnesses.

The BestBenefit Plan is the accident and injury plan, which provides coverage for the following:

  • Accidents
  • Behavioral conditions
  • Cancer treatments
  • Emergency care
  • Euthanasia
  • Exam fees (optional)
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Illnesses
  • Prosthetics
  • Surgery

The Accident-Only Plan provides coverage for treatments and medical services associated with accidents, for example:

  • Bites
  • Broken bones
  • Eye injuries
  • Swallowed objects

Through Pets Best, Progressive also sells two preventive and routine care policies — the EssentialWellness Plan and the BestWellness Plan. These plans provide coverage for the same services and treatments, but they have different yearly benefits. The EssentialWellness Plan includes up to $305 in yearly benefits, and the BestWellness Plan includes up to $535 in yearly benefits. Here is a small list of services that these plans cover:

  • Blood work
  • Deworming
  • Flea and tick prevention
  • Microchipping
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Vaccines
  • Wellness exams

Pricing

Progressive pet insurance through Pets Best is very cheap and affordable, and a lot of the rates are advertised online. Following are the rates for the accident-only plan:

  • Accident-only plan for cats: $6 per month
  • Accident-only plan for dogs: $9 per month

The routine and preventative care plans are a little more costly, however, they do not need a deductible. Take a look at how much you will pay for both cats and dogs:

  • EssentialWellness Plan: $16 per month
  • BestWellness Plan: $26 per month

If you are interested in the BestBenefit Plan accident and injury plan, you will be required to get a personalized quote via Progressive’s website. The prices are dependent on the type of animal, the breed, the deductible, and the yearly coverage limit. You can opt for a deductible of $50 to $1,000. Moreover, Progressive provides various pet insurance discounts. You can save 5% on a BestBenefit policy, along with another 5% when you insure more than one pet in your household.

Usage

If you have Progressive pet insurance, you can take your dog or cat to any authorized veterinarian in the country. Submitting a claim online is quite easy, but keep in mind that you will directly work with Pets Best. Like many other pet insurance providers, Progressive has a waiting period of two days for accident coverage and a waiting period of fourteen days for illness coverage.

  • Annual limits: $5,000 to unlimited
  • Co-pays: 10% to 30%
  • Deductibles: $50 to $1,000
  • Network size: Unlimited
  • Waiting period: 2 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • 24/7 Pet Helpline
  • Annual coverage limit options are unlimited
  • Discounts available
  • Getting an online quote is simple
  • Premiums are affordable

Cons

  • Not a lot of information is available online
  • Progressive does not underwrite its own policies

VPI pet insurance competition

VPI vs. Healthy Paws

Comparing VPI to competitor Healthy Paws, what should trigger your curiosity is why VPI charged almost double the monthly premium for the same reimbursement rate, limit, and deductible. Nonetheless, taking a look at the policy coverage, the difference in cost becomes clear pretty soon. VPI’s policy covers wellness advantages like vaccines and dental care, which is not accessible at all through Healthy Paws. It is true that Healthy Paws does not reimburse for exam fees, which are charged each time you visit the vet. As long as the monthly premiums are within your price range, we would recommend VPI without a second thought.

Animals Covered

  • VPI: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, small mammals
  • Healthy Paws: Dogs and cats

Example Cost

  • VPI: $66.57 to insure a two-year-old dog with 90% coverage, no annual limit, and a $250 deductible
  • Healthy Paws: $36.71 to insure a two-year-old dog with 90% coverage, no annual limit, and a $250 deductible

Coverage Type

  • VPI: Accident, illness, and wellness
  • Healthy Paws: Accident and illness

Waiting Period

  • VPI: Injuries: 14 days; Illnesses: 14 days
  • Healthy Paws: Injuries: 15 days; Illnesses: 15 days

Network Size

  • VPI: Unlimited
  • Healthy Paws: Unlimited

VPI vs. Progressive pet insurance

VPI and Progressive are both significant suppliers of auto, home, and other sorts of insurance and have entered the pet insurance market in recent years. VPI’s offerings are a little more expansive and cover a significantly larger number of species, with policies that incorporate more comprehensive advantages. Be that as it may, there are likewise numerous benefits to Progressive; the waiting period for injuries is only 3 days compared to VPI’s 14 days, and the policies are generally more adaptable. If you look at policies that covered accidents, ailments, and health benefits, Progressive was over 20% cheaper, even with the monthly cost of adding a wellness rider to its basic accident and illness policy. This gives Progressive the edge over VPI.

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Animals Covered

  • VPI: Dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, small mammals
  • Progressive: Dogs and cats

Example Cost

  • VPI: $66.57 to insure a two-year-old dog with 90% coverage, no annual limit, and a $250 deductible
  • Progressive: $50.29 to insure a two-year-old dog with 80% coverage, no annual limit, and a $250 deductible

Coverage Type

  • VPI: Accident, illness, and wellness
  • Progressive: Accident, illness, and wellness

Waiting Period

  • VPI: Injuries:14 days; Illnesses: 14 days
  • Progressive: Injuries: 3 days; Illnesses: 14 days

Conclusion

VPI policies offered through Nationwide give some of the best coverage choices on the market, combined with many years of industry experience from the most established pet insurance provider in the country. Notwithstanding, high premiums may preclude these plans for pet owners on a tight budget. The absence of transparency in yearly benefits is additionally fairly concerning and could make it hard to measure how much value you are getting from a VPI policy compared to other providers. If cost is not a problem, however, you will see that VPI offers all the coverage you need to keep your pet healthy.

Charles Bains

Charles Bains

Charles Bains started his insurance career as a marketing intern before pounding the pavement as a commercial lines agent in Orlando, FL. As an industry journalist, his articles have appeared in a variety of trade publications. His insurance television career, short-lived but glorious, once saw him serve as the expert adviser on an insurance-themed infomercial (yes, you read that correctly). Having recently worked for various organizations, coupled with his broader insurance knowledge, Charles is able to understand our client’s needs and guide them accordingly. He is a gem for Insurance Noon as his wide area of expertise and experience have been beneficial in conducting further researches to come up with solutions and writing them in a manner which is easy for everyone including beginners to comprehend.

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