Trupanion Pet Insurance Review

Cats Dogs Pet Insurance October 5, 2020
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Trupanion Pet Insurance Review

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Pets get sick from time to time, just like humans. The trouble is, they can’t tell you when something’s wrong and it’s often left up to the pet owner to discern the symptoms on their own. Even if you notice the symptoms right away, however, the necessary treatment could be expensive, depending what it is.

This is where pet insurance comes into play. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that unexpected veterinary costs may be reimbursed up to a certain percentage.

Trupanion is one of the only pet insurance companies that offers comprehensive coverage for cats and dogs with no payout limits. Their plan is simple to understand and easy to enroll in, plus you’ll get 90% reimbursement and they may even be able to pay your provider directly.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about Trupanion to decide if it’s the right option for you.

Trupanion Pet Insurance
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • High Reimbursement Rate. This company offers a single pet policy with 90% reimbursement.
  • Direct Pay to Vets. Rather than only offering reimbursement, Trupanion will make direct payments to many veterinarians.
  • No Payout Limits. No annual or per-incident limits once deductible is met.
  • High Customer Satisfaction. Strong customer satisfaction rating.
Cons
  • High Premiums. Monthly premiums tend to be higher than many companies.
  • Waiting Periods. Required 5-day waiting period for injuries, 30 days for illnesses.
  • Riders Cost Extra. Alternative therapies and pet owner assistance coverage costs extra.
  • Exam Fees Not Covered. No coverage for exam fees or wellness and preventive care.
Pros
  • High Reimbursement Rate. This company offers a single pet policy with 90% reimbursement.
  • Direct Pay to Vets. Rather than only offering reimbursement, Trupanion will make direct payments to many veterinarians.
  • No Payout Limits. No annual or per-incident limits once deductible is met.
  • High Customer Satisfaction. Strong customer satisfaction rating.
Cons
  • High Premiums. Monthly premiums tend to be higher than many companies.
  • Waiting Periods. Required 5-day waiting period for injuries, 30 days for illnesses.
  • Riders Cost Extra. Alternative therapies and pet owner assistance coverage costs extra.
  • Exam Fees Not Covered. No coverage for exam fees or wellness and preventive care.
Price
Coverage
Waiting Period
Policy Options
Customer Support

About Trupanion Pet Insurance

Your pet can’t come out and tell you when he’s not feeling well, so health problems often seem like they sneak up out of nowhere. Trupanion understands that your biggest vet bills aren’t always planned, and they want to make sure your furry friend gets the care he needs when he needs it. Pet health insurance plans like Trupanion offer pet owners like you peace of mind knowing you won’t have to decide between paying your rent and paying for your pet’s treatment.

The Trupanion company says they “do what it takes to help your best friend get better.” To keep things simple, they offer a single plan to ensure all pets get the best coverage. Their plan offers a 90% reimbursement rate with no payout limits and they even make direct payments to your veterinarian.

Trupanion was founded by Darryl Rawlings and he exemplifies the company’s mission in all things – to improve the lives of pets. The company was founded as Vetinsurance in 2000, the same year the company insured its first pet in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 2004, Trupanion became the first profitable pet insurance company in North America and they expanded their coverage to the United States in 2008. Today, they are licensed to provide coverage in all 50 states.

At Trupanion, it’s all about pets from pet-friendly offices to comprehensive coverage through their simple pet policy. Read on to learn the basics about Trupanion, their plans, and their coverage.

How Does Trupanion Pet Insurance Work?

In the same way health insurance helps you and your family afford essential medical care, pet insurance helps pet owners pay their vet bills. Most pet insurance companies offer reimbursement for covered services, but Trupanion is different – they pay your veterinarian directly. This company offers a single, simple plan with a generous reimbursement rate and expansive coverage.

Here are the details you need to know for Trupanion pet insurance:

  1. Pet Insurance Plans

The Trupanion company offers a single pet insurance plan for dogs and cats. Though your monthly premium may vary according to the type of pet you have, his age, and where you live, all plans come with a generous 90% reimbursement rate with no annual payout limits.

Here’s what Trupanion has to say about their plan:

“With a Trupanion policy, all pets get one simple plan that covers all unexpected injuries and illnesses. We reimburse at 90% and never impose payout limits, so your pet can get the best care when they need it most.”

The Trupanion pet policy covers the following major categories:

  • Illnesses and Accidents – The core policy from Trupanion covers both illnesses and accidents.
  • Hereditary/Congenital Conditions – These are inherited conditions or breed-specific conditions such as heart disease, cataracts, and liver disease.
  • Unidentified Issues – Trupanion covers issues that don’t have a specific diagnosis such as vomiting, diarrhea, and cough.
  • Surgery/Hospital Stays – Necessary surgeries and hospital stays for covered conditions are part of Trupanion’s core policy.
  • Medications/Supplements – Any prescription medications or veterinary supplements your vet prescribes or recommends for covered conditions will be covered.

In addition to these major categories covered by their primary plan, Trupanion offers several riders available at an additional cost. You can add the Recovery and Complementary Care Rider which includes coverage for acupuncture, chiropractic care, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, naturopathy, physical therapy, rehabilitative therapy, and behavioral modification. The Pet Owner Assistance Package helps cover the costs for advertising and rewards for lost pets, boarding fees, liability coverage, and cremation/burial.

Though Trupanion’s pet policy is very generous, all pet insurance plans have exclusions.

Trupanion does not cover pre-existing conditions, exam fees, or wellness and preventive care. The idea is that Trupanion is designed to “help pets get the emergency care they need, not to help pet owners with routine payments.” Exam fees are an expected cost whether it’s routine or not.

Here’s a quick review of the coverage Trupanion pet insurance offers:

Routine Vet Exam Emergency Vet Visit Specialty Vet Visit Diagnostic Testing & Imaging
Veterinary Exams
  Acupuncture Chiropractic Hydrotherapy Physiotherapy Naturopathy Behavioral Therapy
Alternative Therapies Add-On Add-On Add-On Add-On Add-On Add-On
  Diagnostic Testing Surgeries Hospitalization Veterinary Supplements Herbal Therapy Follow-Up
  X X X X X
  Prosthetics & Mobility Devices Prescription Drugs Congenital Conditions Pre-Existing Conditions Routine Care Hereditary Disorders
Others X X X X
  1. Pricing

The biggest factor in determining whether pet insurance is worth it for you is the pricing. In exchange for a monthly premium, you’ll receive 90% reimbursement for covered services with no annual payout limits using Trupanion. Whether it ends up being a good investment, of course, depends how much you end up spending on your pet’s veterinary care compared to your annual spend on premiums.

The best way to find out how much Trupanion costs is to request a quote. To give you an example of two different pets, we’ll use a 2-year-old mixed-breed male dog weighing 50 pounds and a 2-year-old female mixed-breed cat.

Here’s the breakdown of the dog plan pricing:

Reimbursement % Annual Reimbursement Limit Annual Deductible Monthly Premium
90% None $0 $110.03
90% None $200 $65.76
90% None $700 $38.27
90% None Up to $1,000 Custom

Here’s the breakdown of the cat plan pricing:

Reimbursement % Annual Reimbursement Limit Annual Deductible Monthly Premium
90% None $0 $61.91
90% None $200 $38.31
90% None $700 $23.66
90% None Up to $1,000 Custom

If you’ve researched other pet insurance plans, you’ll notice that Trupanion is a little more expensive than many of them. Fortunately, this company offers a 30-day worry-free guarantee. If you’re not completely satisfied you can cancel your plan within 30 days for a full refund with no claims filed.

  1. Waiting Periods

Pet insurance fraud is a common concern among companies, so many require a waiting period before the plan becomes active and you can submit your first claim. Trupanion requires a 5-day waiting period on injuries and a 30-day waiting period on illnesses. In other words, once your policy becomes effective (usually the day after accepted enrollment), you won’t be able to submit a claim for any vet costs incurred during the next 5 days for injuries or the next 30 days for illnesses.

The only way to get around the waiting period for Trupanion is to have your veterinarian contact the company and complete a certificate. You’ll want to ask the company about this before you enroll.

  1. Claim Limits

The primary way in which pet insurance differs from traditional health insurance is that you receive reimbursement for claims filed rather than having the company pay your provider directly. Trupanion does offer direct payment for some providers, but many policyholders pay the bill themselves and then request reimbursement. Trupanion doesn’t enforce any payout limits per incident.

  1. Deductibles

A deductible is the monetary amount you pay for an illness or injury, prior to coverage. For example, if your health insurance plan offers 100% coverage for a service but requires a $250 deductible, you’d have to pay that $250 before your plan’s benefits kick in. Depending on the plan, that deductible might be spread out over several services or single service might cost more than the deductible. Either way, that $250 is the amount you’re responsible for before the plan starts to pay.

At Trupanion, you can choose your deductible. You’ll pay the highest monthly premium for a $0 deductible plan but can decrease your monthly cost by increasing your deductible to $200 or $700. You can also customize your premium to a set amount which adjusts your deductible up to $1,000, depending what price you choose.

The thing to know with Trupanion is that this deductible applies for each incident. If your pet receives numerous treatments for the same condition, the deductible will only apply once over the lifetime of your pet, but each separate incident has its own deductible.

  1. Pre-Existing Conditions

No pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions. These are generally defined as conditions that were either noticed or diagnosed previous to enrollment. Even if your pet wasn’t treated for an issue, if symptoms presented prior to your plan’s effective date it is considered pre-existing.

Here’s how Trupanion defines it:

“Illnesses or injuries that occurred or began within the 18 months prior to the Policy Enrollment Date through to and including any applicable waiting periods or would have been observable or reasonably known to be present by you and your veterinarian or that are evidenced by the presence of typical signs even if they are not noted in your pet’s medical records.”

Though pre-existing conditions aren’t covered, congenital and hereditary conditions are as long as the above is met. Congenital conditions are conditions present from birth which may or may not be genetic. Trupanion covers these conditions as long as there aren’t any pre-existing signs or symptoms.

  1. Optional Coverage

Most pet health insurance plans don’t cover routine wellness and preventive care. This includes things like your puppy or kittens spay/neuter surgery, annual check-ups, vaccinations, and grooming costs. At Trupanion, these are considered expected costs and their plans are designed to help offset the unexpected costs that often come with being a pet owner.

Though Trupanion doesn’t cover wellness or preventive care, they do offer additional coverage in the form of two optional riders:

  • Recovery and Complementary Care – This rider provides coverage for complementary, non-clinical procedures like acupuncture, behavioral modification, chiropractic, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, naturopathy, physical therapy, and rehabilitative therapy.
  • Pet Owner Assistance – This rider helps offset costs that occur outside the veterinary office such as advertising and rewards for lost pets, boarding fees during owner hospitalization, liability coverage for third-party property damage, cremation or burial for deaths due to an accident, and holiday vacation cancellation costs.

You can add these riders when requesting a quote or enrolling for your pet’s plan. You can also add coverage at any time and your monthly premium will be adjusted accordingly.

  1. Pets Covered

Trupanion is pet insurance for dogs and cats only. They cover kittens, puppies, dogs, and cats for treatment in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. Trupanion does not cover other pets and they do not offer a multi-pet discount at this time.

Trupanion Customer Reviews

Part of being a responsible pet owner is doing your research to make sure you choose wisely for your pet. As you’re researching different pet insurance companies, it’s always a good idea to take into account what actual customers have to say about their own experiences.

Here are some positive reviews and negative reviews from real customers:

Positive Reviews

“My experience with Trupanion has-been mostly positive. With my plan, Trupanion covers 90% of the cost for most vet visits– but they do not cover testing fees or exam fees, which can be very expensive when trying to diagnose and properly treat your pet. My monthly premium is ~$18, which I feel is a fair price for 90% coverage on most expenses. The claims process is a piece of cake, too, which takes the headache out of filing a claim. You’re done in a matter of seconds.” – Alice of Lawrence, Kansas

“My new puppy had a foxtail up his nose and had to have an emergency rhinoscopy. He could not stop sneezing. I called Trupanion after I dropped him off at the Vet. They were kind and efficient. They paid my Vet directly before I picked him up the same day! It could not have been easier, transparent or straightforward. I had my insurance less than a month with no waiting period. I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND to anyone with a pet. I could not be happier.” – Stacy of Hawthorne, CA

Negative Reviews

“They would not cover my dog for any dental because there was very mild tarter on 2 teeth which the vet said can easily be taken care of my brushing. My dog’s teeth are perfect. I had vet, vet dentist, and a friend that is in oral surgery look at it and all said the dog had excellent teeth. No inflamed gums, no bleeding, teeth are white, no cracks or broken teeth. I tried to tell Trupanion I would get X ray done of dog’s mouth to confirm no dental disease and take a picture of dog’s mouth. They refused and said because it was noted by vet 2 teeth had very mild tartar there will be no coverage.” – Jennifer of Lake Worth, FL

“Expensive policy even with $500 deductible. This insurance company does not pay for any office visit even if it is an emergency. And will not pay for the subsequent office visits after the emergency. Essentially it will pay nothing. If there is a pre-existing condition such as a teeth cleaning, it will not pay for any surgery involving the pet’s teeth. Save your money!” – Carol of Adams, MA

How Do You Sign Up?

The monthly cost for Trupanion pet insurance varies greatly according to your location and your specific pet. What makes Trupanion unique is that you can customize your monthly cost – by choosing your monthly price, Trupanion will adjust your deductible accordingly. To find out how much a pet policy will cost, you simply have to provide some basic information to get a quote online.

Here’s the information you’ll need to provide:

  • Your pet’s name and sex
  • Your pet’s species (dog or cat)
  • Your pet’s breed and age
  • Your pet’s spay/neuter status
  • Whether your pet is an assistance animal
  • Your zip code and email address

After providing this basic information about your pet, you’ll be given a custom quote for your monthly premium. Choose from a $0, $200, or $700 per-incident deductible or customize your price. Once you’ve selected your plan, you can add additional coverage with the Recovery and Complementary Care or Pet Owner Assistance riders, or opt out of both. From there, simply check out to complete enrollment.

Is Trupanion Pet Insurance Worth It?

At first glance, Trupanion’s plan looks simple and comprehensive – we also love that their standard reimbursement rate is 90% with no payout limits. It doesn’t take long to notice, however, that their premiums are fairly high compared to other companies and their deductibles are per-incident rather than annual. Though your reimbursement rate may be higher, you may not get as much back.

Generally speaking, pet insurance is always a bit of a gamble. If your pet is young and healthy, it may not be worth paying a monthly premium for a service you’ll never use. On the other hand, if your pet has an accident or needs a costly treatment, it could end up saving you thousands.

In the end, it’s up to you as a pet owner to do the research and decide whether the cost is justified. In our opinion, you can do a little better than Trupanion if you’re sure you want pet insurance.

Click Here to Get A Quote on Trupanion Pet Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions

Who owns Trupanion pet insurance?

The Trupanion company was founded in 2000 by Darryl Rawlings as Vetinsurance. Today, the company is known as Trupanion and is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company.

How to cancel Trupanion pet insurance?

You can cancel your Trupanion pet insurance plan at any time by providing the company with a written request via email, regular mail, or fax.

Does Trupanion pet insurance cover cremation?

No, Trupanion doesn’t cover the cost of cremation but does provide coverage for euthanasia when recommended by a veterinarian due to the presence or progression of a covered condition.

Does Trupanion pet insurance cover hip dysplasia?

Yes, Trupanion offers coverage for hip dysplasia as a hereditary condition as long as the dog hasn’t developed symptoms prior to enrollment. Pets are subject to a 12-month waiting period.

Does Trupanion pet insurance cover allergy testing?

Yes, Trupanion offers coverage for diagnostic testing which includes allergy testing, as long as it isn’t a pre-existing condition.

Does Trupanion pet insurance cover blood work?

Yes, Trupanion offers coverage for diagnostic testing which includes bloodwork.

Does Trupanion pet insurance cover dental?

No, Trupanion doesn’t offer coverage for routine dental care. They do, however, cover dental illness and injuries. Your pet must have his teeth examined by a veterinarian every 12 months to continue dental illness coverage.

Does Trupanion pet insurance cover emergency visits?

Yes, Trupanion offers coverage for emergency treatment but doesn’t cover the cost of the emergency exam fee or specialist consult.

Does Trupanion pet insurance cover neutering?

No, Trupanion doesn’t offer coverage for routine or preventive care which includes spay and neuter surgery.

Does Trupanion pet insurance cover medication?

Yes, Trupanion offers coverage for prescription medication necessary for covered illnesses and accidents. This company also covers veterinary supplements recommended by veterinarians.

Does Trupanion pet insurance cover prescription food?

Yes, Trupanion offers coverage for prescription pet food. You’ll be responsible for paying your deductible as well as 10% coinsurance and Trupanion will reimburse 50% of the remaining cost for up to two months of feeding.

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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