HomePet InsuranceHealthy Paws vs Nationwide: Which Is More Dependable?

Healthy Paws vs Nationwide: Which Is More Dependable?

Healthy Paws and Nationwide are two big dogs in the pet industry space. However, their business models, the customer experience, and the cost are entirely different.

Both companies offer thorough coverage, but there’s a big difference in their reputations, claim repayment time frame, and price. We explain why we rank one company much better than the other below.

Policy Coverage

Policy Coverage Tie

The table below shows precisely what Healthy Paws and Nationwide cover. Both companies cover emergency care, surgery and hospitalization, specialized exams and specialty care, X-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, cat scans, MRIs, rehabilitation, cancer, chronic conditions, euthanasia, hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, non-routine dental treatment, and prescription medications. Neither covers pre-existing conditions, cremation and burial costs, pregnancy and breeding, or unnecessary cosmetic procedures.

*Waiting periods for California, Delaware, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, and Washington are as follows:

  • Accidents – 0 days
  • Illnesses – 14 days
  • Cruciate Ligament Conditions – 30 days
  • Routine Care – 0 days

†Healthy Paws only offers hip dysplasia coverage to dogs enrolled before the age of 6.

While at a glance, it may appear like Nationwide offers the best coverage, there are some things you’ll want to be aware of before making your decision. First of all, some of Nationwide’s pet insurance policies use a benefit schedule. This is different than any other pet insurance policy.

A benefit schedule outlines the maximum coverage amount you should expect to be reimbursed per incident when you make a claim. This is different from other pet insurance companies (like Healthy Paws), where the claim repayment calculation is based on your vet’s receipt, and thus, the amount you paid your vet vs a figure reflected in the benefits schedule that may not cover what you paid.

Another key deciding factor for you may be the age restrictions attached to Healthy Paws, which doesn’t enroll pets older than 14 years old. Additionally, Healthy Paws will not enroll pets older than four years old in New York state. And if you choose to enroll your pet with Healthy Paws after their sixth birthday, you’ll notice plan customization restrictions and exclusions for hip dysplasia coverage.

One thing Nationwide has going for it is that it doesn’t list any bilateral exclusions for CCL injuries. Many other pet insurance companies we review exclude CCL injuries if one leg has experienced pre-existing issues. This makes Nationwide a good option for those of you who have dogs with pre-existing knee conditions because they’re more likely to cover a second, currently healthy knee than their competitors. However, it’s always important to read your contract carefully because the sample policies we’ve examined may be different from yours.

Overall, it’s hard to choose a winner here because each person’s needs vary, so we’ve declared this one a tie.

Customer Service & Reputation

Customer Service & Reputation Winner

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Healthy Paws has one of the best reputations in the pet insurance industry. The majority of Healthy Paws customer complaints are from customers who, unfortunately, didn’t read or understand their policy (a common customer complaint about all pet insurance providers).

This is why we feel it is crucial to explain all the pet insurance details so pet parents fully understand what is and isn’t covered. We also focus on explaining the policies in layman terms, making it easy to comprehend and feel confident about what you are getting before you buy.

Unfortunately, finding negative reviews for Nationwide isn’t too tricky. However, it’s more common for people to post poor reviews since they’re upset instead of positive reviews when they’re happy, especially with such a large customer base. According to feedback from our readers, consumer complaints about Nationwide include its benefit schedule not having enough coverage, not paying out claims, low claim reimbursements, being told false information about coverage, high premiums, and more.

In the end, Healthy Paws has a better, longer-standing reputation, which is why it wins this category.

Claim Processing

Claim Processing Winner

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Healthy Paws pays most of its claims within two days — among the fastest of all the companies we review.

Nationwide allows 30 days to process its claims but averages four days. A four-day claim process is still among the fastest in the industry. However, it’s not quite as efficient as Healthy Paws.

Price Of Policy

Price Of Policy Tie

Healthy Paws offers one plan with an unlimited annual payout and no transaction or enrollment fees. Meanwhile, Nationwide has four different plans, but not all are available for each dog. Nationwide has no enrollment fee but charges a $2 transaction fee which can add up over time.

Your premium price quote is based on your pet’s details (age, breed, location, etc.). We recommend obtaining quotes from each company for your specific pet. You can also visit our pet insurance comparison quotes to see a few sample prices we’ve gathered. Then use our pet insurance quote form to see how other top companies compare for your beloved pet.

On average, Nationwide has some of the lowest premiums, while Healthy Paws’ prices tend to be less predictable. We declare this category a tie because Nationwide’s transaction fees can add up over time, and Healthy Paws may be in line with it price-wise, making it worth getting a quote from both.


Healthy Paws

Use this link to take advantage of the best possible price and get a quote for your pet from Healthy Paws.


Nationwide Pet Insurance offers the following discounts: 

  • 5% off for 2-3 pets covered
  • 10% off for 4 or more pets covered

Use this link to take advantage of the best possible price. No promo code is needed.

Plan Customization

Plan Customization Winner

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Nationwide offers four different plan options: Whole Pet, Whole Pet With Wellness, Major Medical, and Major Medical With Wellness. Each has a set $250 deductible. With their Whole Pet plan, you can choose 50% or 70% reimbursement options, and the payouts are unlimited.

However, Nationwide’s Major Medical plans differ significantly from the competition because they use a benefit schedule for any given condition or treatment. It outlines the maximum reimbursement amount you can expect, regardless of how much your vet charges you.

Healthy Paws has unlimited payouts on all plans, but there are some restrictions on reimbursement and annual deductible amounts, depending on your pet’s age at enrollment. Additionally, Healthy Paws doesn’t enroll pets older than 14 years old.

  • Dogs and cats 5 years and under:
    • 90%, 80%, and 70% reimbursement
    • $100, $250, and $500 deductible
  • Dogs and cats 6 and 7 years old:
    • 80%, 70%, or 60% reimbursement
    • $250, $500, or $750 deductible
  • Dogs 8 years and older: 
    • 50% or 60% reimbursement
    • $750 or $1,000 deductible

Although Healthy Paws has many restrictions, its plans are still more customizable than Healthy Paws, which is why it’s the winner for this category.

What’s The Verdict?

Overall Winner

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Healthy Paws is the clear winner in this comparison against Nationwide. With its outstanding customer service and reputation, fast claim processing, and more customizable plans, it’s hard to beat Healthy Paws. However, if your dog has pre-existing conditions, Nationwide may be a better option for you. This is especially possible if your pet has a condition that can affect both sides of the body but has only presented itself on one side at the time of enrollment.

If you didn’t find what you were looking for in this comparison, our experts have gone in-depth with individual reviews of Healthy Paws and Nationwide.

Our experts have spent thousands of hours researching to bring you our comprehensive and frequently updated pet insurance reviews, including our top picks, along with details on each of the most popular pet insurance companies. So, if you want to know how other providers compare against one another, you may find this review helpful in your pet insurance search.

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