Trupanion vs Nationwide Pet Insurance

The right pet health insurance helps your pal get the veterinary care they need without your personal budget getting in the way. In order to find a plan that works best for you, it’s important to compare pet insurance companies and get all the facts. Nationwide (formerly known as Veterinary Pet Insurance or VPI) and Trupanion are two of the oldest providers in the industry, and both offer coverage for unexpected illnesses and injuries in dogs and cats. However, this does not mean they are the same.

To help you learn the key differences between Trupanion and Nationwide, we’ve compiled this detailed comparison. Let’s explore!

How Trupanion and Nationwide compare

Plan features



Vet Direct Pay

right-iconCan pay participating hospitals directly at checkout

right-iconNo automatic process to pay veterinarians directly

Flexible Deductible

right-iconChoose the deductible that works for you, anywhere between $0 and $1,000

right-iconHas only one deductible option of $250

No birthday pricing

right-iconNo rate increases just because your pet has a birthday

right-iconIn most states, will automatically increase rates because your pet gets older

24/7 live support

right-iconCustomer care available 100% of the week

right-iconMember care available Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. EST

Unlimited payouts

right-iconYes. No caps or limits on the amount Trupanion pays out.

right-iconOne plan has a $10,000 limit, while the other uses a benefit schedule to place limits on different conditions

Enrollment limits on older pets

right-iconWill enroll any cat or dog up to 14 years of age

right-iconWill not enroll new pets at 8 years of age or older

Trupanion can pay vets directly at checkout. Nationwide cannot

Like most pet insurance companies, Nationwide is not set up to pay veterinarians directly, which means you’ll have to pay for your pet’s care upfront and then wait for reimbursement. The closest exceptions here are Nationwide’s prescription partnerships with Sam’s Club and Walmart, which can submit claims for dog and cat medications on behalf of the pet parent. On occasion payment may be made directly to the retailer.

Trupanion is meanwhile the only one that can pay for eligible veterinary costs directly at time of checkout from your pet’s appointment — often in just seconds. You can go to any veterinary hospital (including emergency and specialty care) you choose, though not all are set up for direct pay. In these cases, most claims are still processed within 24 hours.

Curious about not having to wait to get your bills paid? It’s easy to find a veterinarian that accepts Trupanion’s Vet Direct Pay.

Deductibles: flexible options with Trupanion, not with Nationwide

Your deductible is the amount you are responsible for paying before your insurance coverage kicks in. It’s important to have a deductible that works for your budget, as the amount affects your monthly cost. In order to give pet parents like you more financial flexibility, Trupanion allows you to pick any deductible between $0 and $1,000. Trupanion’s deductibles are also per condition and do not renew annually — once you’ve paid your deductible on a covered illness or injury, that same condition gets 90% coverage for life.

This isn’t the case with Nationwide, which only offers one annual deductible option of $250, after which coverage of 50% or 70% kicks in.

Trupanion won’t raise rates due to pet aging. Nationwide might

Most pet insurance companies generally raise the cost of your coverage every year upon renewal simply due to your pet getting older. Nationwide is no exception to this common practice, which is known as “birthday pricing.” Though it may not occur every single year, it is something that is likely to happen multiple times over the duration of your pet’s life, whether or not you filed a claim. Birthday pricing typically is in addition to economic inflation and other pricing increase factors.

Trupanion, however, does not practice birthday pricing. Instead, your pet’s rate is based on their age at enrollment and typical veterinary costs for their breed and location. While your cost with Trupanion can change over time due to inflation and fluctuating veterinary costs, it will never increase just because your pet has a birthday or you had to use their medical coverage.

Trupanion has 24/7 live support. Nationwide has specific call hours

You never know when your pet is going to become ill or injured, just as you never know when you may have questions about your coverage. That’s why Trupanion offers live phone support every hour of the day, seven days a week, every day of the year (including holidays).

Nationwide meanwhile live call support to Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., EST.

Trupanion has unlimited payouts. Nationwide has limits

Trupanion offers one simple plan with unlimited payouts, meaning there’s no cap on the amount of times your pet’s treatment is paid for or how much is paid out in a given period of time. This is unlike many other pet health insurance providers, which impose annual or lifetime payout limits.

With Nationwide, your payout limits depend on the plan you have. There’s a $10,000 limit on their Whole Pet plan, while their Major Medical plan imposes different limits per condition (using a benefits schedule).

Trupanion’s age limits are less strict than Nationwide

The best time to sign up for pet medical insurance is the present, before new, unexpected injuries or illnesses develop. But what if your pal is no longer a puppy or kitten? Trupanion accommodates older pets by enrolling any breed up to 14 years of age. This is unlike Nationwide, which only enrolls new pets up to age 8.

Why choose Trupanion over Nationwide?

Trupanion may be a better fit for you and your pet for several reasons:

  • Trupanion is the only pet health insurance provider that can pay veterinarians directly at checkout, often in seconds.

  • When it comes to deductibles, Trupanion puts the power in your hands (choose anywhere from $0 to $1,000) while also offering unlimited payouts. Nationwide has only one deductible option and payout limits.

  • Nationwide practices birthday pricing, like most other pet insurance providers. Trupanion does not. Nationwide also won’t enroll pets up to 14 years of age like Trupanion will.

  • Nationwide may drop your coverage with short notice for no reason or stop covering previously covered conditions. Trupanion will not do this.

  • Trupanion offers 24/7/365 live support. Nationwide has business hours.

Discover why veterinarians recommend Trupanion.

Explore more pet health insurance comparisons

#1 in America, chosen by veterinarians

Survey commissioned by dvm360, from 3/30-5/1/2023. Read more.

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