Veterinary Pet Insurance to adopt Nationwide branding, phase out 'VPI'


Company to introduce more financial services for veterinarians, pet owners in the future.

Mention the word “Nationwide” in conversation, and most people will either hum the jingle or sing it outright: “Nationwide is on your siiide.” Now officials at the company have decided to pull Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) under the umbrella of the Nationwide brand, hoping this juggernaut of a consumer identity will transform new legions of pet owners into pet insurance policyholders. The upshot? Over the next nine months, VPI will become known as “pet insurance from Nationwide.”

The company is calling this initiative, which involves a number of its holdings, “one company, one culture and one brand-Nationwide.” It is also adopting an updated version of its historic “N and Eagle” logo and launching a massive advertising campaign (see one example featuring NFL quarterback Peyton Manning here). Nationwide has been VPI's underwriter since it was founded in 1982 and acquired the company outright in 2009.

“The Nationwide board very consciously thought about ‘What do we move into the inner circle; what do we not?'” says Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, chief medical officer for VPI. “And VPI was on that list. They find real value in what pet insurance can offer the marketplace.”

Other than the name change and new branding, though, there won't be any difference in how the company operates. “For us, it's business as usual,” McConnell says. “There's no change in structure or organization-just that over the next nine months we'll be blending in the Nationwide logo.”

However, McConnell does add that in future years the company will be introducing more financial services and products for both pet owners and veterinarians. PAWS, VPI's monthly wellness program, is the first such example. “You will see more along those lines,” McConnell says. “We're trying to navigate away from just pet insurance to more of a financial services company. Pet owners clearly love their pets, but what's missing is the ability to pay for services in a way they can afford.”

Curtis Steinhoff, director of corporate communications at VPI, agrees. “We're shifting from pet health insurance to pet health financing,” he says, adding that the company's commitment to veterinarians is unchanged. “Uniting under the Nationwide brand does not change VPI's partnership with and commitment to the veterinary community,” he says. “We are proud of our passion for pets and of our support of veterinarians.”

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