Nationwide May Drop 100K Pet Insurance Policies

The company cites high veterinary costs as a factor in ‘underwriting actions’ and changes in ‘plan availability’ in some states.

Evelyn Pimplaskar
Evelyn PimplaskarEditor-in-Chief, Director of Content
  • 10+ years in insurance and personal finance content

  • 30+ years in media, PR, and content creation

Evelyn leads Insurify’s content team. She’s passionate about creating empowering content to help people transform their financial lives and make sound insurance-buying decisions.

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John Leach
Edited byJohn Leach
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John LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
  • Licensed property and casualty insurance agent

  • 8+ years editing experience

John leads Insurify’s copy desk, helping ensure the accuracy and readability of Insurify’s content. He’s a licensed agent specializing in home and car insurance topics.

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Published June 3, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT | Reading time: 2 minutes

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One of the largest pet insurance providers in the U.S., Nationwide, may non-renew about 100,000 policies across the country starting this spring.

“Inflation in the cost of veterinary care and other factors have led to recent underwriting changes and plan availability in some states — difficult actions that are necessary to ensure a financially sustainable future for our pet insurance line of business,” the insurer said in a May 29 statement posted on its website.

A Nationwide spokesperson declined to clarify to Insurify what the underwriting changes are and which states will see the effects. But insurance industry journal P&C Specialist reported the insurer will stop covering 100,000 pets.

The growing pet insurance market

The pet insurance industry grew by nearly 22% from 2022 to 2023, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA). At the end of 2023, total premiums topped $3.9 billion, NAPHIA reported.

The number of pets covered by insurance also increased by 17.1% during the same period, with more than 5.6 million pets insured at the end of 2023. Premiums averaged $626 annually for cats and $1,263 for dogs in 2023, NAPHIA said.

Escalating claims costs

As the number of insured pets grew, so did claims costs. Nationwide isn’t alone in grappling with higher veterinary costs.

Pet insurer Embrace reported its average claim cost across all states was $449 in the first quarter of 2024 — a 17.5% increase since 2021. But the highest claim it paid during the quarter was $37,633. In 2023, the highest single claim NAPHIA reported was $51,133.

Two California pet insurers, Metropolitan General and American Modern Home, also cited high claims and losses in requesting double-digit rate increases — which the state approved. Those increases of 56% and 23%, respectively, will affect more than 84,000 California policies.

What’s next? Notifications starting soon

Nationwide said it will begin notifying affected policyholders in spring of 2024 and continue through summer of 2025. The measures Nationwide could take include possibly non-renewing some policies, changing its acceptability guidelines for insured pets, or making changes to available coverages. Typically, these types of changes only affect new or renewing policies, not those currently in effect.

“We are proud that we consistently pay for covered claims each and every day, amounting to billions of dollars over the past four decades,” Nationwide’s statement said. “We are making these tough decisions now so that we can continue to be here for even more pets in the future.”


Evelyn Pimplaskar
Evelyn PimplaskarEditor-in-Chief, Director of Content

Evelyn Pimplaskar is Insurify’s director of content. With 30-plus years in content creation – including 10 years specializing in personal finance – Evelyn’s done everything from covering volatile local elections as a beat reporter to building fintech content libraries from the ground up.

Before joining Insurify, she was editor-in-chief at Credible, where she launched and developed the lending marketplace’s media partnership’s content initiative and managed the restructuring of the editorial team to enhance content production efficiency. Formerly, as tax editor for Credit Karma, Evelyn built a library of more than 300 educational articles on federal and state taxes, achieving triple-digit year-over-year growth in e-files from organic search.

Her early career included work as a content marketer, vice president and managing officer of a boutique public relations agency, chief copy editor for 14 weekly Forbes publications, reporting for large and mid-sized daily newspapers, and freelancing for the Associated Press.

Evelyn is passionate about creating personal finance content that distills complex topics into relatable, easy-to-understand stories. She believes great content helps empower readers with the information they need to make important personal finance decisions.

John Leach
Edited byJohn LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
John LeachSenior Insurance Copy Editor
  • Licensed property and casualty insurance agent

  • 8+ years editing experience

John leads Insurify’s copy desk, helping ensure the accuracy and readability of Insurify’s content. He’s a licensed agent specializing in home and car insurance topics.

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