Nationwide to drop about 100,000 pet insurance policies

Nationwide will cancel coverage for about 100,000 animals across the country, with the nation’s biggest provider of pet insurance citing the escalating cost of veterinary care in axing the product in some states. 

The canceling of thousands of coverage plans starts now and will continue through next summer as part of the company’s efforts to “maintain long-term viability and profitability,” Nationwide said Friday in a statement.

“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,” it stated. 

The cancellations will not be based on a pet’s age, breed or prior claims, and the owners of those impacted will be notified in writing ahead of time, according to the 90-year-old Columbus, Ohio-based company. 

Pet insurance has grown in popularity, with 24% of pet owners purchasing coverage, a NerdWallet study found in February. Nationwide was found by NerdWallet to be the best insurance for exotic pets. But for broad coverage, the ASPCA placed at the top of the list. 

Nationwide’s announcement comes as many Americans struggle to get various forms of insurance, including for homes and vehicles. Car insurance climbed 20.3% for the 12 months ending in May, according to the latest government data. 

Pet insurance policies vary, but typically offer coverage for injuries, illnesses and general well-being. The average cost is $676 a year for dogs and $383 for cats for the most common type of policy, NerdWallet found.

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