VPI Pet Insurance Review

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Contributor, Benzinga
September 7, 2022

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) originated in the U.S. back in the 1980s. It claims to be the first pet insurance in the country to offer reliable and qualified products and services for pets. VPI also became the first to introduce pet wellness and preventative care plans. VPI was bought out by Nationwide in 2008, and eventually, VPI operated as a subsidiary of Nationwide for many years. Fast forward to the present day, Nationwide now promotes pet insurance under its name. Learn more about VPI pet insurance with Benzinga’s review.

Best For
  • Accident and illness coverage
  • Preventive care coverage
  • Pet owners with more than just a dog or a cat
  • Broad range of coverage and prices
  • Care from any licensed veterinarian
  • Coverage for most household pets
  • Discounts for multi-pet households
  • More expensive than competitors
  • Per-procedure limits
  • Single deductible option

VPI Pet Insurance Ratings at a Glance

Policy Options
VPI Customer Service
VPI Pricing
VPI Application Experience

VPI plan exclusions will depend on which policy you purchase. The basic plans exclude wellness benefits and certain types of care like holistic treatments. If you opt for the more expensive Whole Pet Plan, you will be exposed to few exclusions aside from pre-existing conditions and non-medical services.

VPI Pet Insurance Policy Options

Minimum CoverageVaries by plan
Maximum CoverageVaries by plan
Eligible AgesNA
Eligible AnimalsDog, cat, bird and other exotic pets
# of Plan Options3

All common household pets like dogs and cats are eligible for coverage under VPI. There are three different plans available with a variety of benefit levels. The most basic policy is major medical, including accident and illness coverage, and designed to protect finances if your pet has a medical emergency. 

The major medical with wellness plan is considered mid-tier and adds preventive care options such as vaccines. Lastly, the Whole Pet is VPI’s premier pet insurance policy protecting almost all vet services.

VPI Customer Service

BBB RatingA+
AM Best RatingA+
NAIC Complaint IndexNA
Moody’s RatingNA
J.D. Power RatingNA

VPI Pricing

The costs associated with VPI plans are considerably higher than most competitors. The coverage offered is also more substantial, but VPI fails to provide ways to lower monthly premiums. 

Some pet insurance companies let owners customize their deductibles. This isn’t an option with VPI, unfortunately.

VPI Application Experience

Once VPI began operating under a new name, all pet insurance claims were filed directly through Nationwide. Claims can be filed digitally through the VPI or Nationwide websites by logging into the account management tool. 

Customers can expect a PDF claim form to be available for download. You can then submit the form via email, fax or mail. Direct billing is not a feature that is available just yet.

VPI customer service options are limited to just phone and email. Any issues outside business hours or on a Sunday will have to wait until the next available day to speak with a representative. VPI has not adopted the popular 24/7 service by live chat yet but hopes to shortly.

VPI vs. Competitors

Over the years and since its inception, Healthy Paws has been a strong competitor for VPI. Comparisons demonstrate why VPI charged nearly twice the monthly premium for similar reimbursement rates, limits, and deductibles. When you look at policy coverages, the cost difference becomes apparent. 

VPI policies cover wellness benefits like vaccines and dental care, which isn’t even an option through Healthy Paws. In addition, Healthy Paws doesn’t reimburse for exam fees. Instead, you are charged every time you visit the vet. VPI is highly recommended if the monthly premiums are not out of a personal budget.

  • VPI Pet Insurance
    Best For:
    Accident and Illness Coverage
  • Lemonade Pet Insurance
    Best For:
    Top-rated pet insurance
    securely through Lemonade Pet Insurance's website

    Lemonade is currently available in the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin,

  • MetLife Pet Insurance
    securely through MetLife Pet Insurance's website
  • Allstate Pet
    Best For:
    Breed-Specific Conditions
    securely through Allstate Pet's website
  • Pumpkin Pet Insurance
    Best For:
    Families with multiple pets
    securely through Pumpkin Pet Insurance's website

    Limitations apply. For terms and conditions, visit pumpkin.care. Pumpkin Insurance Services Inc. (NPN#19084749) (“Pumpkin”) is a licensed insurance agency, not an insurer. Insurance plans underwritten by United States Fire Insurance Company. Preventive Essentials is not an insurance policy, and is not available in all states.

  • Spot Pet Insurance
    Best For:
    Prescription food and supplements
    securely through Spot Pet Insurance's website

VPI Pet Insurance Overall

As a part of Nationwide, VPI offers strong coverage through the insurance market. It is coupled with years of experience from one of the oldest pet insurers in the country. 

However, its premiums are high, and there is a lack of transparency in annual benefits. Those who don’t consider the cost an issue are encouraged to invest in a VPI policy to help keep your pet healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does reimbursement Work?

A: Nationwide and VPI offer pet owners two different kinds of reimbursement. The Whole Pet plan is the first of the two types of reimbursement options for pet owners. A percentage of what you paid the vet is returned to you. 

The Major Medical plan and Pet Wellness plan reimburse accordingly to benefit schedules, which caps reimbursement at a set amount for each condition or service.

All Nationwide and VPI plans encourage you to pay your vet at the time of treatment and then send the invoice to them. The insurance company will send out a reimbursement check minus any applicable deductibles back to the pet owner.

As a disclaimer, pet owners need to know that grooming, tax, waste, disposal, boarding, wellness or any pre-existing conditions do not qualify for coverage—review policy documents for a complete list of exclusions.

Q: How long does it take before the policy is effective?

A: Each policy follows its schedule when it goes into effect. Refer to the list below for a more detailed explanation.

  • Whole Pet: Starting at the time when your application is approved, and the insurance company receives payment, a 14-day waiting period goes into effect.
  • Major Medical: Similar to the Whole Pet plan, from the time the pet owner submits an application and is further approved, a 14-day waiting period goes into effect.
  • Pet Wellness: If a pet owner purchases only a wellness plan that doesn’t include a medical plan for accidents and illnesses, coverage will begin 24 hours after the policy has been issued and payment has been received. Additionally, if a pet owner purchases wellness coverage as a rider and in combination with a medical plan for accidents and illnesses, the coverage plan will begin after a 14-day waiting period. This starts from the moment the application is approved and payment is received.  

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