Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Written by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific car insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. She also specializes in automa...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: May 19, 2021

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While some of us prefer the company of dogs and cats, many families are turning to reptiles as an alternative pet.

Lizards, geckos, and snakes are becoming increasingly popular, and just like any pet, they require special care.

In fact, with reptiles, not only is their food important, but their cage needs to be temperature -regulated to make sure these cold-blooded legless creatures thrive.

Reptiles, when healthy, have been known to live very long lives.  Some tortoises can live up to 50!

Reptiles will get sick, develop an injury, or develop another common condition, and pet insurance can help with those costs.

Need Pet Insurance?

FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!

Reptile Insurance: Here’s Why You Need It

pet insurance for reptiles

Reptiles, being sensitive creatures, need to be watched carefully to make sure they stay healthy.

Annual vet visits are always a good idea to make sure they get a clean bill of health!

Known to live a long time, there will no doubt be an illness or injury that occurs, and sometimes the costs to treat these issues can be high.

You never want to be in a position where you can’t pay off a medical bill that could be up to $5,000.

That’s why pet insurance is something to consider seriously.

There is only one pet insurance provider in the U.S. that offers pet insurance for reptiles, and that is Nationwide Pet insurance.

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Reptile Insurance by Nationwide

Nationwide reptile pet insurance

Some of the different reptiles that are covered by Nationwide:

Related: 10 Things You Must Know Before You Buy Pet Insurance

Common Illnesses in Reptiles

Some of the common illnesses and conditions that could occur to your reptile:

  • Parasites
  • Mouth Rot
  • Gastrointestinal Foreign Substance
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases
  • Skin or Shell Diseases
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Metabolic Bone Disease
  • Kidney Disease
  • Nutritional Disorders
  • Cloacal Prolapse
  • Abscess

Nationwide will cover 90% of the vet bill for these illnesses if they have not been considered pre-existing.

Types of Coverage for Reptiles

When you enroll your reptile in pet insurance, it works just like that of cats and dogs.

Nationwide’s’ comprehensive coverage for your reptile will cover almost any injury or illness that occurs and the accompanying treatment cost.

Some of the treatments and procedures covered for reptiles:

  • Illnesses
  • Injuries
  • Specialist
  • Surgery
  • Emergency Hospital Visits
  • Labs & Diagnostics
  • Medication

Wellness Plans

Preventative care plans, known as wellness plans, are sometimes available to add on to a comprehensive pet insurance policy.

While Nationwide does offer one for dogs and cats, it doesn’t have a wellness plan for reptiles.  In their exotic coverage, they do have one policy for birds.

Pet Assure is a different type of pet insurance. They offer both wellness and illness coverage for your reptiles.

It is more like a discount site.  You can sign up with Pet Assure for about $8 a month, and you will get a 25% discount off most illnesses and routine visits for your reptile.

It will cover the following:

  • Parasites
  • Vomiting
  • Infections, both Respiratory and Skin
  • Vaccinations
  • Most Illnesses
  • Injuries
  • Pre-existing Conditions

Another condition with Pet Assure is that your veterinarian needs to be part of their network.  It is a good option to have, but with Nationwide, you get 90% off your vet bill if your reptile becomes ill.

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What Isn’t Covered

The following is not covered for reptile insurance:

  • Wellness Care
  • Parasites
  • Cosmetic Work
  • Endocrine Issues
  • Vaccinations
  • Pre-Existing Conditions
  • Anything Birth-related.

Find A Specialized Veterinarian

Reptiles need special care, diagnosis, and treatment.

Therefore, you need to bring your reptile to a vet that specializes in reptilian care.

There are many out there, but because it is so specialized, the vet bills can be higher, and pet insurance can help with those bills.

How Much Does Reptile Insurance Cost, On Average?

Nationwide’s pet insurance for reptiles averages around $8 a month.

The price can vary by the kind of reptile you want to insure, the age of your reptile, and where you live.

Reimbursements and Deductible

When signing up in a Nationwide reptile plan, your vet bills will be reimbursed 90% of the total cost.

You can see any vet that you prefer.

The deductible for each accident or illness before Nationwide will reimburse you is $50.  This renews annually.

Benefit Limits

The Benefit limits are the maximum amount of reimbursement that Nationwide will pay you each year.

There is a $2,000 maximum for each illness, condition, or accident.

$7,000 is the maximum annual limit, and there are no maximum limits for your snake’s lifetime.

Need Pet Insurance?

FACT: Pet insurance pays up to 90% of vet bills when your pet is sick or injured!

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap pet insurance rates.

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How To Get Started

Your reptile needs to be three months old to enroll in Nationwide.

There is no upper age restriction.

Waiting Period

A 30 day waiting period is required before you are accepted by Nationwide.

It’s during this period that Nationwide checks that your reptile does not have a pre-existing condition.

You can cancel your policy any time during this period as well.

How To File A Claim

When you file a claim for your reptile, it is similar to most pet insurance policies. You can go to their site and upload your receipts and invoices online, or fax or mail them.

The claims are generally turned around, and you will receive reimbursement within 30 days.

Final Thoughts

While it might seem like your reptile doesn’t need pet insurance, you might be right.

But, the reality is all it takes is one serious illness and you are looking at an expensive medical bill.

You will never have to consider not taking care of your reptilian buddy if the medical bill is high because you know the pet insurance is there.

For a pretty low monthly cost, you have the peace of mind to know that your reptile will always get the proper care.

If your not sure if pet insurance makes sense, your vet can be a good person to speak to about the health of your specific reptile and the care he or she needs.

The good news too is there is only one choice, so you can just call Nationwide at 1-800-874-0362 or go directly to Nationwide and get a quote to see if it works for you.

If you also want to consider pet insurance for your dog or cat, the best pet insurance companies will give you some choices!