About the Hambone Award®

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While reviewing the hundreds of thousands of pet insurance claims that come in each month, Nationwide associates noticed an abundance of claims that were unusually quirky. These claims had bizarre tales that exemplified the inspiring strengths of our pets, the harrowing actions of our pet parents, and the amazing skills of trusted veterinarians. Inspired by these unique stories, Nationwide created the Hambone Award®, which honors the most unusual pet insurance claims of the year.

Each month, Nationwide employees select one claim as that month’s Hambone nomination. Each year, America votes on these 12 nominees to crown the annual Hambone Award winner. The winning pet receives the coveted bronze Hambone statue and a huge basket of their favorite toys and treats. However, the real winner of the Hambone Award is the veterinary hospital that treated the winning nominee. Every year, Nationwide donates $10,000 to the winning hospital to help treat local pets whose owners could otherwise not afford treatment.

The Hambone Award® is named in honor of a Nationwide-insured dog that got stuck in a refrigerator and ate an entire holiday ham while waiting for someone to find him! The dog was eventually found, with a licked-clean ham bone and a mild case of hypothermia. From the pooch that was carried away by an owl to cat that fell three stories and lived to purr about it, these claims are in a league of their own and deserve special attention. All nominees considered for the award are pets that have made full recoveries and received insurance reimbursement for eligible expenses.

Has your pet done something Hambone worthy?


Hall of Winners

Check out all of our previous Hambone Award winners and their bizarre tales.

Previous Winners


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