Trupanion Pet Insurance Review

Trupanion is a good choice for very young puppies or kittens

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Trupanion

Trupanion

Investopedia’s Rating
4.0

Our Take

Trupanion stands out from other companies with its direct payment options. Plus it has no minimum age requirement, so you can enroll pets at birth.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Key Facts
Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Coverage available from birth

  • Direct payments to veterinarians

  • Deductibles range from $0 to $1,000

  • Coverage available for breeding, whelping, and queening

  • Covers prescription food, herbal treatments, and supplements

Cons
  • Direct pay only available with partner veterinarians

  • Does not offer wellness plans

  • Policies don’t cover exam fees

  • Only one reimbursement percentage option

  • Significantly more expensive than other companies

Key Takeaways
  • Along with basic accident and illness, Trupanion has coverage options for holistic treatments, behavioral treatments, advertising, and rewards. 
  • Pets must be enrolled before 14 years of age. 
  • There is a 30-day free look period.
  • Policies are underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company in the U.S. 
  • Pet owners can visit any veterinarian in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, or Australia.
Company Key Facts
  • Year Founded 2000
  • Kinds of Plans Accident/illness
  • Number of Plans 1
  • Payment Plan Options Monthly
  • Customer Service Email, phone: (855) 210-8749
  • Official Website trupanion.com/

Pros Explained

  • Coverage available from birth: Typically, insurers require pets to be around eight weeks old to be eligible for coverage. Trupanion removed its minimum age requirement, so pets can be insured from birth.
  • Direct payments to veterinarians: With most pet insurance companies, your claims are handled through reimbursement—you’re responsible for paying for veterinary care at the time of treatment, and your insurer reimburses you later. For larger bills that can be a significant hardship. Trupanion is one of the few companies that offer direct payments, eliminating the need to pay for care upfront. 
  • Deductibles range from $0 to $1,000: You can usually adjust your pet insurance deductible to meet your needs. However, some companies have fairly high minimums—such as $300—but with Trupanion, you can choose a $0 deductible so insurance starts covering care sooner. Or you can opt for a higher deductible to reduce your monthly premiums. 
  • Coverage for breeding: Pet insurance companies usually exclude expenses related to breeding. But Trupanion’s breeding rider covers illnesses and injuries related to breeding, whelping, or queening, making it a good option for dog or cat breeders. 
  • Coverage for prescription foods, herbal treatments, and supplements included: With many pet insurance companies, prescription food, supplements, and herbal treatments are excluded. Trupanion covers those items as long as they are prescribed for a qualifying condition by a licensed veterinarian.

Cons Explained

  • Direct pay only available through partner veterinarians: While Trupanion does allow direct pay, it only offers that feature if you go to one of the company’s partner veterinarians. If your veterinarian is not a partner, you’ll have to pay for your pet’s care and wait for reimbursement. 
  • Does not offer wellness plans: Wellness plans are popular policies offered by some insurers that partially cover preventative care, such as vaccinations. Trupanion doesn’t have wellness options; it only issues accident and illness plans. 
  • Policies don’t cover exam fees: Although some insurers cover emergency fees or exam fees for accidents or illnesses, Trupanion does not. You’re solely responsible for exam costs. 
  • Only one reimbursement option: When you purchase pet insurance, most insurers let you customize your coverage—and adjust your premiums—by choosing a reimbursement percentage. Most companies have several options, ranging from 60% to 100% of qualifying claims. However, Trupanion only has one option: 90%. 
  • Significantly more expensive than other companies: We received quotes for different animals of different ages and at various locations. In general, we found that Trupanion’s premiums were significantly higher than other companies’ rates.

Introduction

Trupanion is one of the best-known pet insurers in the country. It offers accident and illness policies for dogs and cats up to 14 years of age, and policyholders can visit any licensed veterinarian in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, or Australia for treatment. According to the company, it serves over 1.2 million pets and has paid over $1.6 billion in claims.

Company Overview

Trupanion was founded in 1998 by Darryl Rawlings after dealing with his own pet’s high medical bills. Since its launch, it has expanded to serve pet owners in three countries and Puerto Rico. 

It sells its accident and illness policies directly to pet owners through its website and over the phone. Trupanion also partners with shelters, veterinarians, and employers to sell coverage. Veterinarians that partner with Trupanion use a specialized software program to process insurance claims, allowing Trupanion to pay the vet directly for those claims. 

Trupanion’s headquarters is located in Seattle, Washington. It went public on July 18, 2014, and is traded on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Available Plans

Trupanion has just one accident and illness plan for dogs and cats. Its policies cover treatments for unexpected illnesses and injuries including hospital stays, diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications. Its policies have no annual reimbursement limit and cover 90% of eligible expenses after reaching your deductible. 

Below is a snapshot of common treatments covered by Trupanion:

Covered Treatment Illness/Injury Plan 
Genetic/congenital conditions
Diagnostics/testing  ✓ 
Surgery/hospitalization  ✓ 
Cancer/chronic conditions  ✓ 
Specialist care  ✓ 
Non-routine dental  ✓ 
Prescription medication  ✓ 
Herbal therapy  ✓ 
Acupuncture  ✓ (with optional rider)
Behavioral modification  ✓ (with optional rider) 
Prescription food/supplements  ✓ 

Available Riders/Add-Ons

Under Trupanion’s standard plan, expenses related to breeding and rehabilitation aren’t covered. However, you can augment your policy with an optional rider—for an additional cost—to get coverage for those expenses. 

Trupanion has three riders: 

  • Recovery and Complementary Care: The recovery and complementary care rider provides coverage for behavioral modification, rehabilitation, and alternative therapies like hydrotherapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. 
  • Pet Owner Assistance: The pet owner assistance rider provides liability coverage for damages your pet causes to a third party’s property, advertising and rewards for lost pets, holiday vacation cancellation cost reimbursement, and coverage for cremation or burial fees. 
  • Breeding: The breeding rider covers illnesses or injuries related to breeding, whelping (for dogs), or queening (for cats). 

Waiting Periods

As is standard in the pet insurance industry, Trupanion has waiting periods before your pet’s care is eligible for coverage. The waiting period is 30 days for illnesses and five days for injuries.

Cancellation Policy

Trupanion has a 30-day free look period. You have 30 days after the policy effective date to cancel your policy and get 100% of the premiums paid refunded to you, as long as you haven’t been reimbursed for a claim. 

After the free look period ends, you can cancel your policy at any time by sending in a written notification by mail, fax, or email. 

Plan Exclusions

Trupanion’s policies do not cover exam fees, specialist visit fees, or treatments for conditions related to parasites. They also do not cover:

  • Pre-existing conditions
  • Bilateral conditions
  • Virtual vet visits
  • Heartworm/FELV/blood/fecal exams
  • Heartworm/flea/tick prevention
  • Vaccination/titer
  • Spay/neuter
  • Microchipping

Pre-Existing Conditions

Like other companies, Trupanion doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions—in this case, pre-existing conditions are defined as those that showed clinical evidence during the 18 months before your policy's effective date or during the policy’s waiting period. 

If your pet has a pre-existing condition on one side of its body—such as cataracts in one eye or cruciate ligament damage in one limb—treatment for the condition on the other side of the body is excluded from coverage. 

Be sure to read your policy documents and follow the requirements. Insurers often require regular wellness visits and dental exams to cover any claims. 

Plan Pricing

We found that Trupanion’s policies are generally significantly more expensive than other insurers. In fact, its premiums were among the very highest of all the companies we reviewed, using three pet personas (two dogs and a cat). And unlike other companies, you cannot reduce your premium by taking advantage of discounts; Trupanion doesn’t offer discounts for enrolling multiple pets, a common discount in the industry. 

Trupanion doesn’t offer multiple benefit limits or reimbursement percentages. Its policies provide 90% reimbursement and unlimited annual and lifetime benefits. The only portion you can adjust is the deductible amount: You can choose a deductible from $0 to $1,000. In general, the lower the deductible, the higher your premium.

Keep in mind that Trupanion uses a per-condition deductible rather than an annual deductible. That means if your dog has two unrelated health issues—such as a broken limb and an ear infection—you’ll have to pay two deductibles. On the plus side, you only have to meet the deductible once for that condition; for chronic conditions that can require years of treatments, that can be an advantage. 

How Premiums Are Set

For pet insurance premiums, your rates are determined by the following factors: 

  • Location: If you live in an area with a higher cost of living—and higher veterinarian fees—your premiums will be more expensive. 
  • Pet’s breed: Certain breeds that are more susceptible to health issues will incur higher premiums.
  • Pet’s age: In general, older pets are much more expensive to insure than younger ones. In most cases, your premiums will increase as your pet ages. 
  • Deductible: Your deductible affects your premiums. A lower deductible means your insurance company will start paying for your pet’s care sooner, but you’ll have a higher monthly premium. Similarly, a higher deductible will lower your premiums, but you’ll have to pay more out of pocket before your insurance will cover claims. 
  • Riders: If you add optional riders to your policy—such as Trupanion’s recovery care and rehabilitation rider—you will pay a higher monthly premium. 

Claims

Claims must be submitted within 90 days of the treatment date. With Trupanion, there are two ways to handle claims: 

  • Direct pay: If your veterinarian partners with Trupanion and has the company’s software, Trupanion can directly pay your veterinarian for your pet’s care at the time of service. 
  • Reimbursement: If your vet is not one of Trupanion’s partners, you must pay for your pet’s care at the office when treatments are provided. You can submit claims online through the customer portal, by emailing claims@trupanion.com, or by sending a claims form through the mail to the following address: 

Trupanion USA
6100 4th Ave
South Suite 200
Seattle, WA 98108

If your claim is approved, your reimbursement will be sent via check or direct deposit. According to Trupanion, 60% of claims are processed within 24 hours.

You can search for veterinarians that partner with Trupanion and are eligible for direct payments online.

Customer Service

Whereas other companies’ customer support teams are only available during normal business hours, you can reach Trupanion’s customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

You can contact support via phone, online chat, or email. 

As a policyholder, you can also use the member portal to manage your policy and make payments. 

Third-Party Ratings

Trupanion doesn’t underwrite the policies it issues; instead, its policies are underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company (APIC). Unlike some other companies, APIC isn’t rated by AM Best. Instead, it was evaluated and rated by Demotech, another credit rating agency. Demotech issued an “A’” (Unsurpassed) rating to APIC in 2022. Such a high rating means that Demotech believes APIC to be financially stable and able to honor current and future policy obligations. 

No consumer complaints about Trupanion are listed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. However, Trupanion is very highly rated by customers on Trustpilot and has thousands of positive reviews. It has a rating of 4.5 out of five based on over 3,900 reviews, giving it an “Excellent” distinction. As one reviewer wrote: 

“Beyond grateful! My sweet Cookie, [a] 13-year-old Boston Terrier, was diagnosed with bladder cancer. I am so thankful that I have Trupanion to help me to be able to provide treatment she needs to at least give us some more time together. The invoices and reimbursement are both completed so quickly and customer service is always so kind and helpful.” —Ruth A. 

Alternative Choices

There are many pet insurance companies out there. According to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), there are at least 20 pet insurance companies in North America. Choosing the right one can be challenging, so consider the following when evaluating different insurers and policy options: 

  • Policy type: There are three main kinds of pet insurance: accident and illness coverage, accident-only coverage, and wellness plans. Accident and illness plans are the most common, while accident-only coverage is less expensive. Wellness plans are different from other pet insurance options and reimburse you for a portion of preventative care treatments, up to an annual maximum. 
  • Annual, lifetime, and condition limits: Depending on the insurer, there may be annual, lifetime, or per-condition limits. These limits are the maximum your insurer will cover for eligible claims. If your pet’s care exceeds that amount, you’ll have to cover the remainder yourself. 
  • Age or breed restrictions: Some insurance companies have restrictions on pets’ ages or breeds. If you have a senior pet or own a breed of dog or cat susceptible to health issues, you may have difficulty finding coverage, or you may have to pay a higher premium. 
  • Waiting periods: Pet insurance companies usually have waiting periods—a period of days or weeks after the policy effective date—before treatments will be covered. 
  • Exclusions: Exclusions vary by insurer. For example, some companies cover holistic or alternative care options like chiropractic treatments, while others exclude them. Review policies carefully to ensure your pet’s care is covered. 

Looking for other coverage limits and benefits that Trupanion doesn’t offer? Check out the best pet insurance companies and plans available today.

Competition

  Trupanion Trusted Pals  Lemonade 
Annual Deductible Options $0 to $1,000 $0, $100, $250, $500, $750 $100, $250, $500, $750
Reimbursement Percentage  90%  70%, 80%, 90%, 100%  60%, 70%, 80%, 90% 
Average Claim Turnaround Time  5–7 days  10 days  12–18 days 
Illness Waiting Period  30 days  14 days  14 days 
Injury Waiting Period  5 days  14 days  2 days 
Exam Coverage  No  Yes  Add-On 
Dental Illness Coverage  Yes (non-routine)  Yes  No 
Max Enrollment Age Limit  14 years  None  14 years 
Final Verdict

For pet owners who don’t want to worry about paying for expensive emergency procedures upfront, Trupanion could be an excellent choice. If your veterinarian is one of Trupanion’s partners, the company can pay the vet directly—a major benefit over other companies that only work via reimbursement. 

Trupanion can also be a good option for breeders or those who have adopted very young pets; with no minimum age restriction, Trupanion allows you to enroll pets at birth, minimizing the risk of pre-existing conditions. 

However, Trupanion’s plans can be expensive, and it doesn’t give policyholders the option of adjusting reimbursement percentages or annual benefit maximums to lower premiums. Before purchasing a policy, compare rates from other companies to find the right coverage for your budget.

Our Methodology: How We Review Pet Insurance Carriers

Investopedia is dedicated to providing consumers with unbiased, comprehensive reviews of pet insurance companies. We rated 25 providers and collected over 2,000 data points, including information about plan options, company features, and fees and limits, to ensure that our reviews help users make informed decisions for their pet insurance needs.

Our full pet insurance methodology, including our data collection process and weighted data points, is available for review.

Article Sources
Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy.
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  2. Trupanion. "Is Your Pet Eligible for Pet Insurance?

  3. Trupanion. "Sample Policy," Page 8. 

  4. Trupanion. "Insurance for Pets, Designed By Vets." 

  5. Trupanion. "Lifelong Coverage from Birth Is Now Available." 

  6. Trupanion. "Investor Relations." 

  7. Trupanion. "Our Mission." 

  8. Trupanion. "Partnership Opportunities." 

  9. Trupanion. "Investor Relations FAQs." 

  10. Trupanion. "2021 Annual Report-10K," Page 34. 

  11. Trupanion. "Recovery and Complementary Care Coverage."

  12. Trupanion. "Trupanion Pet Insurance FAQs." 

  13. NAPHIA. "NAPHIA’s Pet Insurance Buying Guide." 

  14. Trupanion. "Sample Policy," Page 10. 

  15. Trupanion. "Your Trupanion Claims Experience." 

  16. Demotech. "American Pet Insurance Company." 

  17. Demotech. "Frequently Asked Questions." 

  18. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Consumer Complaint Database." 

  19. Trustpilot. "Trupanion." 

  20. NAPHIA. "Pet Insurance in North America."