Nationwide to drop 100,000 pet insurance policies because of rising costs

This decision is the latest in a trend that has hit California particularly hard in recent years.

Nationwide Insurance is discontinuing coverage for approximately 100,000 pets across the United States due to the increasing cost of veterinary care.

The cancellations have already commenced and will continue through the next summer as part of Nationwide’s effort to “maintain long-term viability and profitability,” the company said in a statement. 


What they’re saying: “Inflation in the cost of veterinary care and other factors have led to recent underwriting changes and the withdrawal of some products in some states – difficult actions that are necessary to ensure a financially sustainable future for our pet insurance line of business,” Nationwide said. 

The big picture: The cancellations are not based on the pet’s age, breed, or prior claims, and affected pet owners will receive advance written notification.

  • A NerdWallet study found that pet insurance has grown in popularity, with 24% of pet owners purchasing coverage, with Nationwide recognized as the top insurance provider for exotic pets, while ASPCA ranked highest for broad coverage.
  • This development occurs against the backdrop of increasing difficulties for Americans in obtaining various forms of insurance, including home and vehicle insurance, along with a 20.3% rise in car insurance over the past 12 months.
  • Pet insurance policies typically cover injuries, illnesses, and general well-being, with average annual costs of $676 for dogs and $383 for cats for the most common type of policy as identified by NerdWallet.

Zoom out: Nationwide’s decision comes after Californians have had their insurance options limited in recent years. 

  • State Farm announced in March that it will non-renew over 70,000 policies in California after saying it would stop accepting new insurance applications for all businesses and personal property last year. 
  • Other companies including Allstate, Farmers and The Hartford have also limited their services. 
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