Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws

Two top contenders for unlimited pet insurance benefits

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Trupanion and Healthy Paws are two highly rated pet insurance companies that appear very similar at first glance. Both offer straightforward accident and illness policies with unlimited annual benefits and few complicated coverage options to worry about. Take a deeper look at each provider’s service and benefits, however, and you’ll find quite a few striking differences that may help decide which is best for your pet.

While neither Trupanion nor Healthy Paws can truly be considered a low-cost insurer, there’s no question that Healthy Paws is the more affordable choice. However, Trupanion is better positioned to work in tandem with other types of coverage—such as homeowners or travel insurance—and fill the gaps that may be left by these policies. The company’s policy riders offer unique coverages like trip cancellation and property damage liability that are hard to find from pet insurers.

To make the decision between Trupanion and Healthy Paws easier, we’ve created a straightforward comparison guide with a clear explanation of what you can expect from each provider. Our review covers everything you should know about benefits, service, reputation, cost, and more.

Trupanion


Trupanion

Trupanion

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

  • No discounts

Healthy Paws


Healthy Paws

Healthy Paws

Pros
  • Unlimited annual benefits

  • Quick, easy claims process

  • Automatically compares rates with competitors

  • Backed by Chubb

Cons
  • Single policy offered

  • Limited coverage levels

  • Requires an exam

  • Not ideal for older pets

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws
Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Coverage

While looking over policy options from Trupanion and Healthy Paws, you may notice that both insurers only offer plans with unlimited annual benefits. It’s fairly common for providers to give pet parents a range of annual limits to choose from as a way to customize their coverage. This is important to keep in mind since selecting a lower limit can be a way to save on monthly premiums. Without this option, pet owners on a budget may not find affordable coverage from either provider.

Trupanion also sells all of its policies with a 90% reimbursement level, meaning you’ll have to pay for 10% of covered costs out of pocket. The only factor you can control is the annual deductible, which, to the company’s credit, is more customizable than with any competitor. Using Trupanion’s online quote tool, you can set your own deductible in $5 increments between $0 and $1,000. The lower the deductible, the more you’ll pay in premiums.

Healthy Paws, on the other hand, lets pet parents customize both their annual deductible and reimbursement level. Three options are available for each. Choose from deductibles of $100, $250, or $500 and reimbursement amounts of 70%, 80%, or 90%.

In terms of the specific veterinary services listed on their accident and illness policies, Trupanion and Healthy Paws are fairly similar. Each base policy covers the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and illnesses, although neither includes exam fees, which are the owner’s responsibility to pay out of pocket.

Still, there are a few differences. While Trupanion includes dental illness coverage in its standard policy, Healthy Paws eliminates this in favor of alternative treatments, which is only covered by Trupanion if you purchase a policy rider.

Unlike Healthy Paws, Trupanion sells two policy riders that can be valuable if you want more control over your coverage. The first, called the Recovery and Complementary Care rider, pays for behavioral and alternative treatments like physical therapy and acupuncture.

Trupanion’s Pet Owner Assistance rider is more unique, covering a wide range of costs not related to veterinary care. For example, if your pet is lost or stolen, Trupanion will pay up to $500 in advertising and reward costs to help recover them. You’ll also receive property damage liability insurance up to $25,000 and trip cancellation coverage up to $1,000. If your pet passes away due to an accident, the rider will pay up to $100 for their cremation or burial.

See the table below for a side-by-side comparison of Trupanion's and Healthy Paws’ coverage details.

Covered Treatment Trupanion Healthy Paws
Exam fees    
Procedures
Lab tests
Medication
Continued treatment
Genetic conditions
Preventive care    
Microchipping    
Spay/neuter surgery    
Vaccinations    
Dental treatment  
Behavioral treatment √*
Specialists
Alternative/holistic care √*
Medical boarding
Cremation/burial √*  

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Enrollment Process

As with most pet insurance companies that have fully embraced the digital age, Trupanion and Healthy Paws both provide easy online enrollment processes via a simple instant quote tool. It only takes a few minutes to enter your pet’s information, select the coverage you’d like, and purchase your policy.

Both Trupanion and Healthy Paws have maximum age limits for enrollment. With Trupanion, it’s 13 years of age; Healthy Paws cuts off new signups at 14. However, coverage is so expensive for these senior pets that purchasing a new policy wouldn’t make sense for most owners. Besides, any existing health concerns an older pet has would be considered pre-existing and therefore wouldn’t be covered by either insurer.

To screen for pre-existing conditions, Healthy Paws requires you to show proof that your pet has had a checkup within 12 months prior to enrollment. However, if your pet is younger than 6 years old, then you should show a proof of check-up within 30 days. If you can’t show exam records, you’ll have to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian within the first 15 days or your policy will be canceled. Trupanion doesn’t impose any similar requirement.

Once you’ve made your first premium payment, you’ll have to wait a certain amount of time before benefits go into effect. This varies by provider. Healthy Paws has a 15-day waiting period for both injuries and illnesses. Trupanion’s waiting period is just five days for injuries, but an entire 30 days for illnesses. The chance that your pet will get sick during this time is fairly low, but if they do, it’ll be considered a pre-existing condition. Any long-term care needs resulting from the illness will never be eligible for coverage under your policy.

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Claim Filing

Filing claims is relatively easy with both Trupanion and Healthy Paws, but Trupanion offers a unique feature that most pet insurers don’t. The company provides direct payment to participating veterinarians, eliminating the need to pay for treatments out of pocket and wait for reimbursement. All you’ll have to do is cover your copay when you leave the vet.

You can search for a participating direct-pay veterinarian in the Trupanion online portal when you sign up for coverage. If you’d rather use a vet that doesn’t participate in direct pay, you can still use your Trupanion policy to cover treatment, although you’ll have to pay your entire bill upfront and file a claim for reimbursement with Trupanion.

Healthy Paws doesn’t offer a direct payment program, although getting reimbursed is much faster than with most pet insurers. Just upload your bill to the Healthy Paws website or smartphone app and your claim will be processed within two days.

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Reviews

Healthy Paws is extremely well rated, receiving top marks from most third-party reviewers. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Healthy Paws an A rating and its policy underwriter, Chubb, gets an A++ rating for financial stability from AM Best.

In contrast, Trupanion’s reviews are less than glowing. While its A rating from the BBB is respectable, the organization does warn that state insurance commissioners in Washington and California have both taken legal action against Trupanion for failing to ensure that its independent insurance agents were properly licensed. The company’s underwriter, American Pet Insurance Company, isn’t currently rated by AM Best.

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Costs

If you need affordable pet insurance coverage, Healthy Paws offers a bit more flexibility. Policies start at a lower price point due to a wider range of customization options. Since Trupanion’s policies can only be adjusted by changing your deductible, premiums tend to be on the higher end.

However, Trupanion’s policy riders are very reasonably priced. The Pet Owner Assistance rider is a particularly good value given the variety of benefits included for just $4.95 per month regardless of your pet’s age.

At the end of the day, the only way to truly compare insurance quotes is to look at pricing for policies with equal coverage. We asked both Trupanion and Healthy Paws for the estimated cost of an accident and illness policy with no annual limit, 90% reimbursement, and a $250 annual deductible. While Healthy Paws returned a quote of $35.66 per month, Trupanion was over 50% more expensive at $54.60 per month.

To get an idea of the price range you can expect from each insurer, see the table below. Keep in mind that your actual quote may be higher or lower depending on your pet’s age and breed, your geographic location, and the type of coverage you choose.

  Trupanion Healthy Paws
  Accident and illness plan Accident and illness plan
Dog: 1 year $24.94 to $90.38 $20.33 to $43.08
Dog: 3 year $27.91 to $104.15 $23.74 to $50.37
Dog: 6 year $34.79 to $136.09 $34.11
Dog: 12 year $50.98 to $211.26 $155.74
Cat: 1 year $17.23 to $54.62 $8.01 to $17.04
Cat: 3 year $19.59 to $65.56 $9.36 to $19.93
Cat: 6 year $25.64 to $56.41 $13.74
Cat: 12 year $41.05 to $165.16 $61.31

*This table does not include the price of Recovery and Complementary Care rider and Pet Owner Assistance rider.

FAQs

What Are Trupanion and Healthy Paws?

Trupanion and Healthy Paws are both well-known pet insurance companies that sell policies for dogs and cats. While Healthy Paws offers coverage to pet owners in all 50 states, Trupanion is available to residents of both the United States and Canada. Enrolled pets can receive care from any licensed veterinarian in these respective service areas.

How Do Trupanion and Healthy Paws Work?

When you enroll your pet with Trupanion or Healthy Paws, they’ll be covered by an accident and illness policy with no limit on annual benefits. If your pet becomes sick or injured, you can take them to any licensed veterinarian for treatment. As long as the condition being treated is eligible for coverage, simply submit the bill and you’ll receive reimbursement from the insurance company according to the terms of your policy.

Who Should Use Trupanion or Healthy Paws?

Pet owners looking for outstanding service and more affordable coverage should probably go with Healthy Paws. The company gets top reviews from both customers and financial analysts and is the more budget-friendly option between these two providers.

While Trupanion’s premiums are higher than Healthy Paws', it’s worth considering if the company’s more specialized coverage options appeal to you. For example, the Pet Owner Assistance rider is particularly valuable if you own a dog breed considered dangerous by your homeowners insurance company. Home insurance policies typically don’t extend property damage liability coverage to excluded certain breeds, so a Trupanion plan with this rider is a great way to make sure you’re fully covered if your pet damages someone else’s belongings.

Compared to other competitors, neither Trupanion nor Healthy Paws is truly a low-cost insurer. You can save significantly by choosing a lower-deductible plan with $10,000 to $15,000 in annual benefits, which is more than sufficient for the vast majority of pets. Lower limits aren’t an option with either of these companies, so make sure you think about whether you really need unlimited annual benefits before choosing one of the two.

How We Evaluated Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws

Our pet insurance reviews are designed to simplify the process of choosing the right coverage for your best friend. We first considered plan options that included deductibles, annual benefits, and copays. We then considered pricing and compared it to a similar company in terms of coverage. Finally, we sought third-party insights from reviews made with the Better Business Bureau and AM Best. When comparing the two side-by-side, we wanted to make sure we looked at as many similar options as possible to give you the best information about which plan is most suitable for your needs.

Learn more: Read our full Pet Insurance Review Methodology here.

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.
  1. Better Business Bureau. "Healthy Paws Pet Insurance Review".  Accessed May 31, 2021.

  2. A.M. Best. "A.M. Best Review Form - Chubb," Accessed May 31, 2021

  3. Better Business Bureau. "Trupanion Insurance Review." Accessed May 31, 2021.