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Company Overview

Trupanion is a pet insurance provider that was founded in 2000 in Canada. In 2007, the company purchased the American Pet Insurance Company, which still underwrites all U.S. policies. As a result of the acquisition, Trupanion began selling policies in the United States in 2008. In 2014, the company went public, raising $71 million in its initial public offering. Today, Trupanion is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and offers pet insurance policies to customers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Australia.

With no policy limits and 90% reimbursement on all plans, Trupanion offers generous terms to pet owners who want the protection of an accident and illness policy with high levels of coverage. Since only one plan is available with little to no room for customization, this might be a good option for you if you aren’t overly concerned with specific types of coverage but just want general protection in case your dog or cat gets sick or hurt. Plus, Trupanion offers a few additional perks, such as 24-hour customer service, direct reimbursements, and a price lock on your pet’s age.

Learn more: See who made our list of the best pet insurance companies

Pros
  • No annual limits

  • $0 deductible available

  • All plans include 90% coverage

  • Pricing guarantee

  • 24/7 customer service

Cons
  • Few customization options

  • Preventive care not available

  • Limited payment terms

  • No discounts

Pros Explained

  • No annual limits: None of Trupanion’s plans have annual limits, so no matter which policy you choose, you’ll never have to worry about running out of coverage.
  • $0 deductible available: With a $0 deductible, you won’t have to pay a certain amount out of pocket every year before your insurance coverage kicks in.
  • All plans include 90% coverage: Each policy automatically includes a 90% reimbursement rate for all covered treatments.
  • Pricing guarantee: Unlike most pet insurers, which raise premiums each year as the insured pet gets older, Trupanion will never raise your policy price due to your pet’s age.
  • 24/7 customer service: Trupanion’s customer service phone line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Cons Explained

  • Few customization options: Each of Trupanion’s plans includes no annual limit and 90% reimbursement. This is a great level of coverage, but it means you can’t play around with different options to lower your monthly premium.
  • Preventive care not available: It’s fairly standard for pet insurers not to include preventive care in their base policy, but Trupanion doesn’t offer any riders that cover routine wellness.
  • Limited payment terms: Trupanion only accepts monthly payments, so you may not be able to pay for your policy up front in full.
  • No discounts: Not only does Trupanion fail to offer a discount for paying up front, you also won’t get any savings by enrolling multiple pets or if you’re a member of the armed forces.

Available Plans

Trupanion offers one single base plan that covers both cats and dogs. The only part of the base plan that can be customized is the annual deductible, with a sliding scale of deductibles in $5 increments between $0 and $1,000.

For those who want additional coverage, Trupanion sells two policy enhancements. The Recovery and Complementary Care rider covers non-clinical procedures such as physical therapy, behavioral modification, and homeopathy. An additional Pet Owner Assistance rider helps with a range of unexpected costs including property damage liability, advertising and rewards if your pet goes missing, and cremation or burial if your pet dies in an accident.

Note that neither the Trupanion base plan nor any of its riders cover preventive care. Most pet insurers offer riders for preventive care and wellness that might include routine checkups, vaccinations, microchipping, and spay or neuter surgery. If this type of coverage is important to you, you’ll have to look for a different provider.

Plan Pricing

Since Trupanion includes 90% reimbursement and no annual limits with every policy, it’s impressive that the company’s cheapest policies are priced comparably to low-premium options from competitors, many of which include reimbursement rates of just 70% and annual limits under $5,000. However, Trupanion’s higher-end policies tend to run much more expensive than other pet insurers’ plans with comparable terms. The price ranges below are based on the various deductible options.

Waiting Periods

Trupanion enforces a waiting period of five days for injuries and 30 days for illnesses, which are a bit longer than we see from other pet insurers. This means that, upon signing up for a policy, you’ll have to wait this amount of time (while paying premiums) before you can use any of the benefits. The good news is that orthopedic conditions, upon which many providers place a six-month waiting period, are covered as soon as the 30-day waiting period is up.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Virtually no pet insurer covers pre-existing conditions, so it’s no surprise that these are excluded. Trupanion defines a pre-existing condition as one that appeared in the 18 months prior to the policy enrollment or during the applicable waiting period. This also applies to events that occurred before benefits went into effect. For example, if your dog is in an accident before the policy start date, but doesn’t show signs of an injury until several weeks later once you’re insured, the injury won’t be eligible for reimbursement.

Coverage Limits

With no annual or lifetime limits on any of its policies, Trupanion offers the best possible terms for coverage limits. Only a handful of providers offer anything similar.

Plan Exclusions

As we’ve noted, Trupanion excludes all forms of preventive treatment and does not offer supplemental riders with this type of coverage. Something else important to know about Trupanion’s plan exclusions is that examination fees are not covered. This means that if your pet is sick and goes to the veterinarian, the policy will cover the necessary tests, procedures, and/or medications needed to help, but the exam itself will be your responsibility. A full list of plan exclusions can be found in Trupanion’s sample policy documents.

Claims

One perk of working with Trupanion is that the company offers a direct payment system with many providers. If your veterinarian participates, you’ll only need to pay your out-of-pocket costs at checkout; Trupanion will pay the rest directly to them. This is much more efficient than the traditional process of paying your vet bill in full, submitting a copy to the pet insurance company, and waiting for reimbursement.

If your vet doesn’t have an existing direct payment relationship with Trupanion, the process to submit claims is still easy. Just log into your account and submit a claim with a digital copy of your invoice, or send it by snail mail if you prefer.

Customer Service

Trupanion offers customer service via phone, email, and live chat. Phone lines are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so you’ll be able to get through to someone even if you need help with an emergency vet visit in the middle of the night. Live chat is available on the Trupanion website; the customer service phone number is 855-210-8749.

Third-Party Ratings

Despite underwriting Trupanion’s pet insurance policies for over a decade, the American Pet Insurance Company is not rated by any of the major credit rating agencies such as AM Best or Moody’s. However, financial analysis firm Demotech, which primarily rates financial stability for property and casualty insurance companies, gives the American Pet Insurance Company an A (Exceptional) rating. This is the third-highest rating awarded by the agency and generally indicates that the insurer has a 97% chance of remaining financially viable for a period of 18 months following an economic downturn.

Unfortunately, Trupanion appears to have some recurring issues with its business practices, particularly in how the company sells policies. The BBB reports two government actions against Trupanion in the past two years, one in the state of Washington and the other in California. Both actions implicate Trupanion in failing to ensure its sales representatives were properly licensed. But this isn’t where the company’s troubles end. Including the most recent action, the insurance commissioner in Washington, where Trupanion is based, has issued the company three separate fines totaling $500,000 in the past five years. One thing to note is that these violations primarily involve third-party sellers, so those purchasing policies directly from the Trupanion website shouldn’t experience any issues with improperly licensed agents.

Competition: Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws

Healthy Paws is similar to Trupanion in that it offers accident and illness coverage only, with no option to add preventive care. Healthy Paws also imposes no annual limits on any of its policies, although coverage levels vary from 70% to 90% and there’s no option to eliminate an annual deductible.

Still, when we asked for quotes from both insurers for a policy with 90% coverage and no annual limit, Trupanion was more than twice as expensive as Healthy Paws. The only difference was that the Trupanion policy had no annual deductible while the Healthy Paws plan had a $100 deductible, but this alone would pay for itself in just two months of premiums. For this type of high-coverage plan, Healthy Paws is the clear winner here.

Our Verdict

At face value, Trupanion’s policy terms are some of the best in the industry, and the provider’s low-premium plans are surprisingly affordable. However, choosing a lower deductible sends premiums skyrocketing above the competition. Plus, the lack of options for preventive care and wellness may be a dealbreaker for some.

If you’re not looking for anything particular out of your pet insurance policy except protection in case of unforeseen events, Trupanion’s cheaper plans offer great value. On the other hand, if you plan to use your policy regularly for ongoing care, you may be happier looking elsewhere.

How We Review Pet Insurance Carriers

Our reviews of pet insurance carriers are based on a methodical, quantitative approach that analyzes many different aspects of each provider. First, we look at the types of plans available, which treatments are and aren’t covered, and if there are any waiting periods or exclusions. We also compare the terms of each policy, including deductibles, limits, and coverage levels, and see how premiums stack up against competitors. Finally, we gauge the provider’s overall reputation by reviewing customer service options and seeing what third-party agencies and existing customers have to say.

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Trupanion Key Facts