Pet insurance policies are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company

Who’s the Best Pet Insurance Provider? Comparing AKC Pet Insurance and Nationwide

Pet Insurance Explained  •   AKC Pet Insurance  •   May 10, 2023


If you’re a pet owner, you’ve probably considered enrolling in pet insurance to cover the unexpected medical expenses that come with having a dog or cat. If you’ve done any research on the topic, you know that there are many providers, and each provider has its own coverage plans and policies. The information overload can be daunting, so we’ve created this comparison of two of the top providers of pet insurance: AKC Pet Insurance and Nationwide Pet Insurance

Company Information

You’ve probably heard of the American Kennel Club (AKC) based on its prestige and dedication to responsible dog ownership. AKC Pet Insurance is the only pet insurance provider affiliated with the AKC, and they’ve provided coverage for cats and dogs of all breeds in all 50 states since 2003. They are underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company and administered by PetPartners, Inc.

Nationwide Pet Insurance is a branch of Nationwide Insurance Company. They are the largest pet insurance provider in the United States, and have been providing coverage for cats, dogs, and exotic animals for four decades. Nationwide Pet Insurance is underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and National Casualty Company in other U.S. states. 

Top Unique Features of AKC Pet Insurance and Nationwide

AKC Pet Insurance is the only pet insurance provider to offer coverage for pre-existing conditions1 after 365 days of continuous coverage. Most pet insurance providers like Nationwide do not provide any coverage for pre-existing conditions. This includes conditions that were diagnosed by your veterinarian prior to coverage, and diagnoses that are made after coverage, but have documented symptoms prior to coverage. This can end up costing pet owners thousands of dollars in uncovered medical expenses.

If you’re looking for coverage options that suit your pet’s unique needs, AKC Pet Insurance has you covered. Their robust base package covers many accidents and illnesses, as well as their diagnostic tests and exams. You can also add optional coverage plans for an additional fee, and easily adjust your coverage to ensure they are receiving the best care possible throughout their life.

Nationwide Pet Insurance not only provides coverage for cats and dogs, but they also cover the other animals that may be part of your household. They offer plan packages for birdsrabbitsmini pigs, goatslizards, reptiles, frogsguinea pigs, and even ferrets and other small animals. Each of these species has different coverage options available, but for the sake of one-to-one comparisons, this article will focus on the coverage offered to dogs and cats. 

Coverage Comparison Between AKC Pet Insurance and Nationwide

AKC Pet Insurance’s base plan is the Accident and Illness Plan. This option includes many of the common accidents, illnesses, and diagnostics your pet will encounter, and offers customizable deductibles, co-insurance amounts, and annual limits, so you can get coverage at the price point you’re comfortable with. You can also expand your plan’s coverage with add-ons like Wellness OptionsExam CoverageHereditary Condition CoverageBreeding Coverage, and Final Respects Coverage.

Some notable differences in coverage provided through AKC Pet Insurance include prescription medication coverage, chiropractic care, spay/neuter surgeries, and teeth cleaning with the Wellness add-ons, whelping and pregnancy care with Breeding Coverage, cremation, burial, urns, and memorials with Final Respects coverage, and congenital and breed-related issues with Hereditary Coverage. 

Nationwide Pet insurance offers three plans to choose from. Their base plan is the Major Medical plan, which offers coverage on most common veterinary expenses related to accidents and illnesses. If you are looking for more coverage, you can select the Major Medical with Wellness package, which includes wellness exams, vaccinations, and other additional preventative care. 

Older pets and those concerned about budgeting can opt for the Whole Pet plan. This is available to pets over 8 years of age and is similar to the Major Medical plan, but offers lower reimbursement levels and annual benefits caps.

Both plans offer similar coverage as far as medical issues, but with the optional add-ons, you have the potential for more coverage through AKC Pet Insurance. Neither company requires an initial vet visit upon signup, but they do offer a 5% discount for enrolling two or more pets on your account2.


AKC Pet Insurance


Pre-Existing Conditions

Covered After 365 Days of Continuous Coverage (not available in FL or WA)

Not Covered

24/7 Vet Helpline



Claims Processing Time

3-5 Business Days

30 Days

Diagnostic Testing



Exam Fees

Covered with Add-on

Not Covered

Teeth Cleaning

Covered with Add-on

Not Covered

Preventative Wellness Care

Covered with Add-on

Covered with Add-on


Covered with Add-on

Not Covered


Covered with Add-on

Covered with Add-on

Pregnancy and Birth Care

Covered with Add-on

Not Covered

Customer Service

Dealing with a medical emergency for your pet is a stressful time, so the customer service provided by your pet insurance company is paramount to helping in your time of need. AKC Pet Insurance boasts Better Business Bureau Accreditation and (as of this writing) a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on Consumer Affairs. Nationwide Pet Insurance does not have BBB Accreditation or partnership, and they are currently rated 2.8 out of 5 stars on Consumer Affairs.

Claims Processing

When filing and processing your claims, you want easy and speedy service. Both AKC Pet Insurance and Nationwide Pet Insurance allow you to file claims from your customer portal online, or via a claim form submitted by mail, fax, or email.

Processing times will vary from claim to claim based on the information provided, but AKC Pet Insurance estimates that most claims take 3-5 business days from submission to reimbursement. Nationwide Pet Insurance estimates that their claim process can take up to 30 days. 

Get help protecting your pet and wallet from major medical expenses with high-quality pet insurance and get the peace of mind you need. Choose the provider who not only meets your needs and budget, but also offers top-notch customer service when you need it. Choose AKC Pet Insurance. Get your quote now.

1 Not available in all states. “Only brand“ refers to comparison with 5 pet insurance carriers making up approximately 80% of the US pet insurance market (Nationwide, ASPCA, Trupanion, HealthyPaws and PetPlan).

2 Not available in all states. New and current policyholders may receive a 5% multi-pet discount if they get coverage for more than one pet or add an additional pet to an existing policy.

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