About the Hambone Award®

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While reviewing the hundreds of thousands of pet insurance claims that come in annually, Nationwide associates noticed an abundance of claims that were unusually quirky. From the pooch who was carried away by an owl to the cat who fell three stories and lived to purr about it, these claims were in a league of their own and deserved special attention.

Inspired by these unique stories, Nationwide created the Hambone Award® to honor the most unusual pet insurance claim of the year. Each claim exemplifies the inspiring strengths of our pets, the harrowing actions of our pet parents and the amazing skills of trusted veterinarians.

Each year, Nationwide associates select claims to nominate for the Hambone Award, and it’s up to America to vote for the winner. The winning pet receives the coveted bronze Hambone trophy plus a prize basket or gift card. However, the real winner of the Hambone Award is the veterinary practice that treated the winning nominee; that practice will receive a $10,000 donation funded by Nationwide to help treat local pets whose owners could not afford treatment otherwise.

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.

All nominees considered for the award have made full recoveries and their owners 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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