Nationwide Pet Insurance policy cancellations leaves sick pets hanging, owners devastated

Many pet owners say they are barking mad at Nationwide’s decision to drop 100,000 pet insurance policies.  Some fear their pets won't get the care they desperately need.

Some pet owners tell us this comes after their Nationwide premiums were increased, and their pets started needing expensive care.  And some fear it will be very difficult to find pet insurance that will cover their pets' pre-existing conditions.

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Meet Bo and Kaey.

"They’re part of my family.  I don’t have children; the dogs are part of my family, so I would treat them just like I would have a kid," said Kristina Vlantes, a longtime pet owner who also runs a Chow rescue.

Vlantes says her Chows Bo and Kasey are healthy.  But after being a Nationwide pet insurance customer for 20 years, she says her premiums have doubled in the last two years.

"In 2022, his policy was $114, and now it’s up to $246 in just two years, with no pre-existing conditions and no medical concerns," said Vlantes.

She pays the premiums to ensure she can care for Bo and Kasey should they ever need lifesaving treatment.

"I've seen that in the ER time and time again, where there are people in the ER, where they can’t afford the bill, and so they have to put down the dog," he said.

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Vlantes fears her insurance could be dropped after Nationwide announced that it is canceling 100,000 pet policies, state by state, citing "inflation in the cost of veterinary care and other factors."

Eric Kappotis received a cancelation letter for Riley, one of his two Doberman Pinschers.

"He has pretty much become allergic to every grass that grows in New England," said Kappotis.

The letter came after he said his premiums recently jumped to $300 a month.

"It quickly went to anger.  You have a lot of guts to send me a letter in the mail saying, 'We're on your side,' but we’re essentially, for lack of a better word, cutting your legs out from under you," said Kappotis.


Nationwide's statement says the cancelations "are not associated with the pet's age, breed or prior claims history."  But many pet owners who've joined a Facebook group called, "Dropped By Nationwide Pet Insurance Whole Wellness," say their older pets and pets with serious health conditions have been dropped.

"There are people with senior pets that are undergoing chemotherapy, dogs that have seizures, dogs that have neurological disorders that they call the Wobblers. I mean, things that require a lot of medical attention and a lot of medication," said Robin Tobias, a group administrator and pet owner whose pet policy was canceled.

Many of these pet owners say it can be very difficult to find a pet insurance provider that will cover a pre-existing condition.  

"To be dropped after 8 or 9 years off of a policy that you've been paying into just to cover these issues late in life, these people don't know what they're going to do," said Tobias.

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Nationwide's statement says that the cancelations are in compliance with the law and their contracts.  But some of these pet owners say they're exploring the possibility of legal action.

We asked Nationwide about these concerns.  It didn't answer our questions.  Instead, the company referred us back to its original statement, which reads in part:

"We certainly empathize with the disappointment many of our pet families feel and will fully stand by the protection for which they have paid through the end of their current term."

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The Texas Department of Insurance tells us it regulates pet insurance and that "if someone has a complaint and cannot resolve it with the company, they can file a complaint with TDI."  But TDI says it has not received any complaints about Nationwide's announcement so far.