Nationwide is dropping 100,000 pet insurance policies – and blaming inflation

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The largest provider of pet insurance in the United States plans to drop 100,000 policies, leaving some pet owners concerned about the future of their animals’ health care.
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On June 14, Nationwide Pet said it will stop renewing many pet care plans over the course of a year, citing apparent concerns about rising costs impacting their ability to cover every policy.
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“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,” the insurance provider said statement.
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Nationwide claims that it insures more than a million pets, making it the largest pet insurer in the US. In addition to covering cats and dogs, it is also one of the few insurance providers to cover exotic pets such as birds and amphibians. The insurer recorded $1.3 billion in profits in 2023 across its divisions, which include vehicle and property insurance offerings.
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While Nationwide said it was complying with relevant state laws and not taking the “pet’s age, breed or prior claims history” into account, some customers still expressed frustration with how it would impact older animals with preexisting conditions.
“I was willing to pay this very large amount to get this coverage because I love my dogs. They’re my family. They are not like a car, or even a house, or a thing that can be replaced or rebuilt, they are important to me,” Christie Keith told USA Today.
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Keith has insured her dogs through Nationwide for several years. The insurance provider recently informed her that they would discontinue her dogs’ policies, even as her two older dogs deal with health issues.
“No one else is going to take on old dogs with pre-existing conditions and even if they do they will exclude all of the pre-existing conditions,” Keith said. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
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Nationwide said it will notify customers in advance of their coverage ending and continue to provide insurance until customers reach their plans’ renewal date.
“We are proud that we consistently pay for covered claims each and every day, amounting to billions of dollars over the past four decades,” the provider said in a statement. “We are making these tough decisions now so that we can continue to be here for even more pets in the future.”

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