What We Like
Trupanion is a solid plan with some great features that are not always found in pet insurance policies. One of our favorite features is their unique software system that allows the company to pay veterinarians directly. With most other plans, you would pay your vet and then submit a claim for reimbursement; with the Trupanion software, your participating vet can be paid directly while you are still at checkout, reducing your bill to the portion you are responsible for. Here are some of the other features we love:
- 24/7 customer service. You won’t have to feel stuck in limbo if your pet gets sick overnight or on a weekend. The customer care center is open and ready to help.
- One standard plan. All pets get the same coverage, so there is no confusion or need for inspecting several different policies.
- No payout limits. When your pet is sick or injured, they need care, and you won’t have to worry about being near your limit. Also, your coverage is for your vet’s actual charges; you won’t be told that the limit for a $800 procedure is actually only $500. Instead, you will be reimbursed based on what your vet charges.
- High coverage level. The coverage is 90 percent once you meet your deductible.
- Customized deductible. When you get your quote, you can try different per-condition deductibles to see what the premiums will be. A higher deductible allows for a lower monthly premium and a lower deductible costs more each month. Deductibles range from $0 to $1,000.
- Use at any veterinarian. While only participating veterinarians can accept the direct pay, you can see any vet you’d like in the USA, Puerto Rico, or Canada and submit the claim yourself.
- 30-day money-back guarantee. If you decide you are unhappy with your plan during the first 30 days after enrolling, you can get your money back (provided they have not paid any claims).
What We Dislike
All pet insurance plans have pros and cons, and there’s no one-size-fits-all best plan for every pet. Like all pet insurance plans, there are some potential downsides to Trupanion:
- Per-condition rather than annual deductibles. This one could be a positive or a negative, depending on how many injuries or illnesses your pet develops over the course of a year and over the course of their lifetime. We put it in the “dislike” column only because you cannot determine ahead of time what your annual or lifetime costs will be. For example, if your pet develops two different illnesses one year, you would need to pay the per-condition deductible twice. If, however, your pet develops a chronic condition like diabetes or arthritis and needs ongoing care for five years, you would only pay that deductible one time, at diagnosis. Trupanion has a chart that shows how it can benefit the customer to have a per-condition deductible if they develop only a few conditions over the course of a lifetime. The inverse is also true; if your pet has more than one injury or different illness per year, you will end up paying more than you would with an annual deductible.
- 30-day waiting period. The waiting period for injuries is 5 days, which is a “like.” For illnesses, however, it is 30 days, which is a bit longer than many other pet insurance companies.
- Examinations aren’t covered. Exam fees are not reimbursable under the Trupanion plan.
- Higher-than-average monthly premiums. Compared to similar coverage by other pet insurance companies, the premiums for Trupanion coverage is on the high side.
- $35 fee for new customers. When you sign up for your plan, you will pay a one-time $35 administrative fee.
Like all pet insurance plans, Trupanion has limitations on what is covered. It is important to understand exactly what is covered before you purchase a plan. Here is some information on what is and is not covered. Of course, this is general information only and you should do your due diligence by calling customer service in the event that your pet needs care and you aren’t sure whether or not it will be covered.
What Is Covered?
- Hereditary conditions
- Congenital conditions
- Diagnostic tests
- Hospital stays
- Prescribed medications
- Veterinary supplements
- Prescription food (at 50 percent)
There are two optional riders available that can extend your coverage.
- Recovery and Complementary Care. This rider provides coverage for alternative therapies, behavior modification, chiropractic care, physical therapy, and more.
- Pet Owner Assistance Package. This rider covers boarding if you are hospitalized, cremation or burial after an accident, liability coverage, and holiday vacation cancellation costs.
What Is Not Covered?
- Wellness care
- Spay/neuter surgery
- Office visits/exams
- Pre-existing conditions
How Much Does Trupanion Cost?
As with all pet insurance companies, the cost will depend on the type of pet you have, as well as the age and size of your pet. In addition, the deductible you choose will raise or lower the cost of the monthly premiums.
We entered information for two hypothetical pets in order to give you an idea of what you might pay. This will, of course, vary from what you are quoted because we picked features of our pets at random.
The first quote we requested was for a 2-year-old domestic shorthair female cat who was spayed. If we chose a $0 deductible, the monthly premium would be $56, and if we chose a $700 deductible, the monthly premium would be $22.
The next quote was for a 5-year-old medium spaniel male dog who was neutered. With a $0 deductible, the monthly premium was $103, and with a $700 deductible, the premium was $36 per month.
The riders were about $8/month for the Recovery and Complementary Care and $5/month for the Pet Owner Assistant Package. These are in addition to the premium for the regular plan.
Keep in mind that you can customize your deductible between $0 and $1,000 to make the premiums affordable for you. Also remember that the deductible for Trupanion is per condition, not per year, so some years you might not pay any deductible at all, while other years you might have to pay the deductible more than once.
Discounts, Promotions & Coupon Codes
Trupanion works with some breeders, shelters, and employers to bring pet insurance to many cats and dogs. Ask your breeder, shelter, and employer to find out if they have partnered with Trupanion, as this might give you some period of coverage or cut out any waiting period so you can get your pet immediate care.
Trupanion offers a “refer a friend” program that allows you to save $25 for every friend you refer to the program. It caps at $100 (or four friends).
Any product or service you consider purchasing will often have customer reviews available. While the veracity of claims can vary, it is helpful to look at both positive and negative reviews to look for trends. We’ve compiled some positive and negative reviews so you can understand what people tended to like and dislike about Trupanion.
Customers tend to like that Trupanion covers 90 percent of their vets’ charges. The direct pay to veterinarians is also highly appreciated, as it reduces what pet owners have to pay at the time of service.
I have had Trupanion since my GSD’s were 8 weeks old. My female GSD came down with cancer and Trupanion has currently paid over $19,040 with absolutely no problem! The operation was $3,600, I had to pay 10%, the SRT radiation was $6,000, my cost $600, the Blood tests,X-rays, CAT Scans, and5 CHEMO treatments were over $9,000, my cost $900. My specialized vet has “TRUPAY”, so Trupanion pay them 90% directly saving me the trouble of paying the vet and then getting reimbursed. They even cover 50% of specialized prescription food. Trupanion has be nothing less than perfect. Like all insurance, you just need to sign up before you have documented issues. I will always have Trupanion insurance on my beautiful pets. – Dave, 12/11/18, ConsumersAdvocate.org
My boy, “Mr. Pipes,” has been through hell these last few years. He’s had his gall bladder removed, several bouts of pancreatitis, a stroke, an inflamed liver, tumor biopsies and more. Our total vet bills have easily topped $20k. Trupanion has covered 90% (excepting exam fees) with absolutely NO hassle. They even directly deposit the funds into my checking account within 2 weeks of submitting the claims. I’m impressed beyond belief. It honestly seems too good to be true, but it is. -Edward M, 1/3/15, ConsumersAdvocate.org
As with any pet insurance company, Trupanion has some negative reviews about claims that owners believe were unfairly denied. Also, some do not like the per-incident deductible policy.
BEWARE of the this company. They used to have a great reputation, but things have changed dramatically for the worse over the years. They do whatever they can to make leaping ties to pre-existing conditions so they don’t have to cover any claims. Unless you have a puppy that has zero known health issues, you’re better off setting aside the money you’d pay each month to Trupanion for vet bills and/or an emergency account. I’ve now spent $3,000 with them over the years, have submitted at least 15 claims, and they’ve covered one of them. An example of one of the claims they rejected was when my dog injured her ear (an acute physical injury) and they refused to cover the cost of treatment because she had an ear infection 4 years prior. It’s ridiculous and infuriating. – Annie, 8/1/19, Consumer Affairs
Not worth it, practically a scam. They tell you that you have a deductible. What they don’t tell you is that your deductible is per incident and per year. Nevertheless my dog had 1 issue that was treated over 4 different times and they categorized it as separate incidents – when I called them to find out what happened they said my DR notes weren’t clear enough, after clearing it for them they said they will re-open the claim and follow up with me within 1 week. It’s been 45 days. No one contacted me. When I finally reached out they said “I do not see any appeals on file at this time. I do see you previously spoke with Alyssa, who was going to contact the vet for you regarding filing an appeal.” What a waste of my time and money…. You are better off putting the $100 aside every month in a bank account and using it for when needed. – Matti, 8/26/19, Consumer Affairs
The Final Verdict
Trupanion is a reputable company and one worth considering if you are looking for pet insurance. The possibility of having them pay your claim directly to your veterinarian can make pet care more affordable than ever. Their per-incident deductible policy can be a pro or a con, depending on how lucky your pet is and how many times she becomes ill or gets injured over the course of her lifetime. As with any purchase, it is important to look into any issues raised in consumer reviews and to ask questions by contacting the company itself.