Our take on Trupanion pet insurance
- Best for direct vet payments
- 4.4 out of 5 stars
- If your vet has the software, bills are paid in minutes, no need to wait for reimbursement
When researching pet insurance, the goal is to find the best option for your furry friend. To that end, we’ve done the legwork to help you decide. Among pet insurance providers, Trupanion sets itself apart with its direct vet payment feature, earning LendEDU’s designation of best pet insurance company for direct vet payments.
If your vet clinic has Trupanion’s specialized software, the bill gets sent directly to the insurer. No need to pay upfront and then wait for a reimbursement check. More than 60% of these direct payments are processed within a minute, according to Trupanion.
If quick and direct payment to vets is your priority, Trupanion deserves a closer look. But the benefit is contingent on your vet’s software compatibility. If your vet isn’t set up for this, you’ll be back to a traditional claim-and-reimburse model. Still, Trupanion maintains that it processes more than 70% of its reimbursements within 24 hours.
Table of Contents Skip to Section
Founded in 2000, Trupanion aims to give pet owners peace of mind when facing unexpected veterinary bills. The company’s mission centers around providing straightforward, high-quality insurance for emergency care, specifically accidents and illnesses. Trupanion stands out for direct payment to veterinarians, customizable deductibles, and lack of annual coverage limits.
The company focuses solely on cats and dogs and offers policies in all U.S. states, Canada, and Puerto Rico. This includes U.S. and Canadian military bases.
Trupanion does not offer wellness or preventive care plans, focusing instead on emergency situations that can lead to steep medical costs. It offers three optional riders for purchase—recovery and complementary care, pet owner assistance, and breeding.
Trupanion pet insurance at a glance
Let’s dive into the specifics. We’ll discuss each aspect mentioned in the table below in greater detail in the upcoming sections.
|Eligible pets||Cats and dogs|
|Deductibles||Customizable between $0 and $1,000, lifetime per incident/illness|
|Annual coverage limits||None|
|Reimbursement rates||90%, 100% for veterans with service dogs|
|Waiting periods||5 days for injuries, 30 days for illnesses|
|Preventive care||Not offered|
|Fees||Not disclosed, calculated when you purchase your premium|
|Unique features||Direct pay to vets, unlimited payouts, per incident/illness deductible, optional riders available for purchase|
Terms in detail
- Deductibles: Trupanion allows you to customize your deductible between $0 and $1,000. It’s lifetime per condition, so you pay it just once for each specific ailment. Lower deductibles mean up to 90% coverage but they raise your monthly premiums. You have 30 days to change your mind or adjust your deductible.
- Annual coverage limits: You’ll face no caps here—Trupanion offers unlimited coverage, setting it apart from many other providers.
- Reimbursement rates: Typically, it’s a 90% reimbursement. But if you’re a veteran with a service dog, bump that up to 100%.
- Waiting periods: For injuries, it’s just a five-day wait; for illnesses, mark 30 days on the calendar.
- Policy discounts: Trupanion doesn’t offer discounts, so weigh this when shopping around.
- Fees: Fees are calculated when you check out and pay your policy premium.
- Unique features: Trupanion offers direct vet payments and no annual coverage limits, adding convenience and peace of mind for pet owners.
What types of plans does Trupanion offer?
Trupanion narrows its focus to accident and illness coverage, skipping over wellness or preventive care plans. This laser focus allows the company to offer a high level of specialized coverage. Different plans are offered to suit the unique needs of your pet, so let’s break down what’s available.
- Accident and illness coverage: This is the main policy Trupanion offers. It covers new injuries and illnesses, including hereditary conditions as well as dental issues related to accidents or illnesses, including teeth extractions, caps, crowns, and root canals.
Pet owners have the option to purchase three riders for additional coverage on top of the pet insurance package:
- Recovery and complementary care: Covers alternative treatments that go above and beyond normal veterinary medicine, such as acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and behavioral modification.
- Pet owner assistance: Covers items like liability costs if your pet damages another person’s property, as well as boarding fees, and costs for cremation and burial.
- Breeding: Covers breeding-related illnesses and injuries for dogs and cats that are intentionally bred to produce new purebred cats and dogs, or that are crossbred to produce new breeds.
Trupanion does not offer plans with coverage for preventive care and wellness checkups, flea and tick control, or standard exam fees.
What does Trupanion pet insurance cover?
Let’s delve into the specifics of what Trupanion covers. Regardless of breed, age, or location of your dog or cat, the coverage remains consistent.
Accident and illness pet insurance
Trupanion’s forte is accident and illness coverage. It puts its resources into one type of plan, setting it apart from other insurers. Here’s a snapshot of the coverage:
- Injuries: Everything from minor scrapes to serious fractures
- Illnesses: Includes hereditary and congenital conditions
- Hospital stays and surgeries: Comprehensive coverage
- Medications: All prescribed medications are covered
- Diagnostics: Covers a range of tests, from X-rays to bloodwork
- Dental: Teeth extractions, caps, crowns, and root canals related to injuries or illnesses
Trupanion doesn’t offer wellness or preventive care. If you’re looking for coverage for annual checkups or routine care, you’ll need to explore other options or pay out-of-pocket.
Recovery and complementary care rider
This rider offers 90% coverage for alternative treatments, including:
- Chiropractic care
- Behavioral modification
Pet owner assistance rider
You can purchase this optional rider to help with costs related to:
- Liability coverage for third-party property damage if your dog or cat damages someone else’s property
- Advertising and reward costs if your pet goes missing
- Boarding fees
- Holiday vacation cancellation fees
- Cremation and burial fees
This rider provides coverage for illnesses and injuries related to:
- Whelping (when dogs give birth)
- Queening (when cats give birth)
What does Trupanion pet insurance not cover?
While Trupanion offers robust accident and illness coverage, certain expenses are off the table. Below is a list of exclusions.
- Pre-existing conditions: Illnesses or injuries that occurred before coverage began
- Preventive care: Includes vaccines, flea and tick control, and wellness checkups
- Cosmetic procedures: Including ear cropping, tail docking
- Breeding costs: Pregnancy or any conditions related to breeding, unless you have purchased the breeding rider
- Foods: Prescription food and supplements
- Behavioral treatments: Not covered unless directly related to a covered illness, unless you’ve purchased the recovery and complementary care rider.
- Elective procedures: Declawing, for example
- Boarding and grooming: These services are not part of the standard pet insurance coverage, but boarding fees can be covered under the pet owner assistance rider.
Waiting periods for Trupanion pet insurance
Waiting periods act as a buffer between enrollment and when the coverage kicks in. This industry-wide practice minimizes abuse and keeps premiums manageable. Here are Trupanion’s waiting periods to consider:
- Injuries: 5 days
- Illnesses: 30 days
Many companies impose a 14-day waiting period for illnesses, making Trupanion’s 30-day wait slightly longer but not unusual.
For injuries, a five-day waiting period is faster than many competitors, which often opt for a 14-day window. Knowing these waiting periods helps you plan when to enroll your pet, ensuring they’re covered when needed.
How much does a Trupanion pet insurance policy cost?
The cost of a Trupanion pet insurance policy depends on several variables. These include the pet’s breed, location, and the plan’s deductible and coverage options.
Pet owners can exert some control over costs by adjusting deductibles and coverage limits. Premiums may also go up if you file a claim.
Sample quotes collected by our team
|Quote Details||Quote 1||Quote 2||Quote 3||Quote 4|
|Type of pet||Dog||Dog||Cat||Cat|
|Gender||Male (neutered)||Female (spayed)||Male (neutered)||Female (spayed)|
|Annual coverage limit||None||None||None||None|
Note: For Quotes 1 and 3, the reimbursement rate could be adjusted. For Quotes 2 and 4, only the deductible could be changed.
Discounts to save money on Trupanion pet insurance
Trupanion doesn’t offer standard policy discounts such as multipet or military discounts.
You won’t find these kinds of discounts with Trupanion. The company says it already provides the highest-quality coverage at the best-value premiums.
What types of pets are eligible for Trupanion pet insurance?
When it comes to eligibility, Trupanion keeps it straightforward—cats and dogs are welcome, no exotic pets or birds here.
Pre-existing conditions won’t get your furry friend disqualified for coverage, but these conditions won’t be covered by the policy.
|Eligible states||Nationwide availability + Canada|
|Age restrictions||Enroll pets as young as 8 weeks and up to 14 years old|
|Breed restrictions||No breed restrictions, all cats and dogs are eligible|
|Medical exam||Not required for enrollment|
Trupanion pet insurance claims and payouts
Claims and payouts can be a deciding factor when choosing pet insurance. Trupanion makes the process hassle-free. The company not only handles claims quickly but also offers a unique direct-pay feature that sets it apart from other insurers.
With Trupanion’s direct-pay feature, you’re not left footing the entire bill and waiting for reimbursement. Trupanion can pay your vet, often before you leave the clinic, as long as the clinic uses the compatible software. This immediate payment system takes financial stress off your shoulders, especially during emergencies.
How to file a claim with Trupanion
- Initial vet visit: Take your pet to any licensed vet.
- Submit invoice: Forward the invoice to Trupanion.
- Claim review: Trupanion reviews the claim, typically within 24 hours.
- Payment: Trupanion pays the vet directly or reimburses you.
Highest payout amounts for common conditions
Trupanion cites the following information as the highest it’s paid out for three common conditions:
- Arthritis: $12,545
- Allergy: $7,110
- Diabetes: $31,125
How has Trupanion’s pet insurance evolved over the years?
Trupanion has come a long way since its inception in 2000, with founder and current CEO, Darryl Rawlings, launching the company in Canada. Its journey to the U.S. market in 2008 signaled the brand’s ambition to expand its reach.
While initially offering basic accident and illness plans, Trupanion has adapted its offerings to meet evolving pet care needs and customer preferences.
Timeline of evolution
- 2000: Founded in Canada with basic accident and illness plans.
- 2008: Makes its debut in the U.S., broadening its market reach.
- Post-2008: Enhancements in features such as direct pay to veterinarians, indicating a customer-centric approach.
Coverage and features
While Trupanion has maintained its core focus on accident and illness coverage, the company has enriched its offerings over time:
- Direct-pay feature: This unique feature, allowing vets to be paid directly, was introduced to ease the financial burden on pet owners.
- Expanded coverage: Trupanion has improved its coverage details, including options for congenital and hereditary conditions.
Note that Trupanion has also expanded features for its Canadian customers, but this section focuses on its U.S. clientele.
Pros and cons of Trupanion pet insurance
Making an informed choice about pet insurance means looking at both sides of the coin. Trupanion offers compelling benefits but comes with its own drawbacks.
No deductibles or annual limits
Trupanion offers plans without the need for deductibles and annual limits for each injury or illness. This sets it apart from many competitors.
High payout rates
You can expect up to 90% reimbursement for covered vet bills. That’s financial relief you can count on.
Direct pay to vets
If your vet’s office has the right software, Trupanion pays the office. This means less financial stress and waiting for you.
No long wait times and fixed costs
Once your policy is active, coverage starts without long delays. Plus, the cost stays the same, no matter your pet’s age.
No wellness or preventive care
Unlike Fetch, Trupanion skips on wellness and preventive care plans. If you want all-in-one coverage, look elsewhere.
Compared to Spot and Fetch, Trupanion’s rates are steeper. The generous payouts and lack of caps may factor into this.
Premium costs tied to payout structure
The high rates are likely due to the company’s robust payout options and no annual limits, which may not suit everyone’s budget.
You can only enroll pets up to 14 years old.
How Trupanion pet insurance compares to others
When stacked against competitors, Trupanion carves a unique space with its no-deductible and no-annual-limit plans. The high 90% payout rates and direct-pay feature, where Trupanion pays your vet, offer real value and convenience.
However, it lacks wellness and preventive care options, a space where Fetch excels. The higher premiums could be a sticking point for budget-conscious pet owners. If wellness coverage and a lower cost are your priorities, consider exploring our review of Fetch.
Trupanion holds its own in many aspects but leaves room for improvement, particularly in offering more comprehensive care options and adjusting its pricing model.
We’ve compared Trupanion to other industry leaders to give you a well-rounded view:
Is Trupanion a reputable company?
|Source||Customer Rating||Number of reviews|
|Trustpilot||4.3 out of 5||5,856|
|4.1 out of 5||617|
|Better Business Bureau||1.8 out of 5||92|
Data collected on August 20, 2023
With a strong 4.3 rating based on 5,856 reviews on Trustpilot, Trupanion enjoys considerable customer confidence. Many customers commend the company for saving them money in emergency situations, some even claiming a decade-long relationship with Trupanion.
The high number of reviews on Trustpilot makes it a reliable source for gauging customer satisfaction. Google reviews are overall high, with a score of 4.1 our of 5.
However, the picture isn’t entirely rosy. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Trupanion a 1.8 out of 5, despite its A accreditation.
Negative reviews across all platforms often address disagreements over pre-existing conditions and lengthy claim processes. The BBB’s customer rating and the 128 closed complaints in the past three years might raise some eyebrows, as they’re mostly related to claim denials and extended processing times.
Does Trupanion have a customer service team?
Yes, Trupanion offers customer service around the clock, a feature many pet owners find convenient and reassuring. This makes it easier to get immediate help for any pet health emergencies or insurance concerns.
The customer service team is based at Trupanion’s headquarters in Seattle, Washington. They assist with policy questions, claim filings, and any other concerns you may have regarding your pet’s coverage.
- Email: Via the website or directly at [email protected]
- Phone number: 855-210-8749 (24/7)
- Mailing address: 6100 4th Avenue, Suite 400, Seattle, WA 98108
- Chat box: Available 24/7 on the website
How to apply for Trupanion pet insurance
Applying for Trupanion pet insurance is straightforward and on par with other providers. However, you may find it more detailed because Trupanion asks additional health questions about your pet. This is in line with the company’s approach of providing tailored coverage.
Steps to apply for Trupanion pet insurance
- Start the process: Click on “Get a Quote” on the Trupanion website.
- Time: Less than a minute
- Information needed: Zip code, type of pet, and more
- Complete the health questions: After the initial questions, you’ll be prompted to fill in details about your pet’s health.
- Time: Around five minutes
- Information needed: Pet’s medical history, age, breed, and more
- Review your quote: Trupanion will generate a quote based on the information you provide. You may be able to adjust the deductible and payout amounts.
- Time: Two to three minutes
- Checkout: Finally, you’ll reach the payment screen where you complete the application.
- Time: Three to five minutes
- Information needed: Payment details
Can you visit any veterinarian or emergency hospital?
With Trupanion, you enjoy the freedom to choose any veterinarian or emergency hospital for your pet. The company does not restrict you to a specific network, offering flexibility when your pet needs care.
Keep in mind that Trupanion will pay certain vets directly, but not all. The vet must have the required software to receive direct payments.
Is a medical exam required to enroll?
Trupanion does not mandate a medical exam for your pet to enroll. However, the company requires a comprehensive health history and might suggest a vet visit based on your pet’s medical history and current condition.
Does Trupanion pet insurance cover exotic pets?
Trupanion only offers coverage for dogs and cats. Birds, reptiles, and small mammals are not eligible for a policy through Trupanion. Nationwide is one pet insurance company we’ve found that does cover exotic pets.
Can you add another pet to your policy?
Adding another pet to your existing Trupanion policy is simple. Just contact customer service to update your policy with the new pet’s details. While each pet will have its own separate policy, managing multiple pets under Trupanion is streamlined for your convenience.
Can you make changes to your policy?
Yes, you can adjust your Trupanion policy after enrollment. Whether it’s updating the deductible or adding new optional coverage, get in touch with customer service to make the desired changes.
Do you have to renew your policy each year?
Trupanion policies are continuous and do not require annual renewal. As long as you pay your premiums, your coverage continues without interruption. Unlike some companies, Trupanion doesn’t reevaluate your pet’s health each year to maintain coverage.
Can you cancel a policy?
Canceling a Trupanion policy requires contacting the customer service team. You might also need to provide written notice, depending on your state’s regulations.
How we rated Trupanion pet insurance
We designed LendEDU’s editorial rating system to help consumers identify companies that offer the best financial products. Our experts spend hours researching these companies each year to ensure our ratings are fresh and accurate.
Our most recent evaluation compared Trupanion to several pet insurance companies across a number of factors, including coverage, customer reviews, terms, and costs. We weighted, scored, and combined these factors to produce a final editorial rating. This rating is expressed on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest possible score. We round all ratings to the nearest tenth decimal place.
|Product||Best for||Our rating|
|Pet insurance||Direct vet payments||4.4 out of 5 stars||Get a quote|