Is Trupanion's Pet Insurance Good? Here's How It Stacks Up

by Kari Steere, Licensed Insurance Agent
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Is Trupanion's Pet Insurance Good?
Trupanion pet insurance can pay your veterinarian directly. But is it good pet insurance? Here’s what you need to know.

If you’ve heard of Trupanion before, you may have heard about it from your vet.

Many veterinarians recommend Trupanion because they dedicated a significant portion of their company resources to build relationships with veterinary offices.

But just because your veterinarian accepts Trupanion doesn’t mean it’s the only option for you as a pet parent. All pet insurance plans—including Trupanion—will reimburse you for a percentage of covered costs. This allows you to use any veterinarian you like.

So, is Trupanion good pet insurance? Here’s what you need to know.

Review of Trupanion Insurance History

Trupanion was founded as “Vetinsurance” in Canada in 1999 by its current CEO, Darryl Rawlings. In 2005, the company expanded into the United States. The pet insurance provider is now based in Seattle, Washington.

Trupanion became the first North American pet insurance provider to be licensed to provide its own underwriting. The company is also a founding member of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA), an organization that educates pet owners in North America about pet insurance and the veterinary industry. In 2008, Trupanion was the first pet insurance company to win the AAHA’s Seal of Acceptance. According to the Trupanion website, over 2,300 veterinary hospitals have partnered with Trupanion.

In Q1 2021, Trupanion’s revenue grew 39% from the same period in 2020 after a 37% increase in the total number of pets insured by the company’s plans. Although the company reported a net loss for the full year 2020, it expects to be profitable in 2021.

What Makes Trupanion Pet Insurance Unique?

Most pet insurance providers reimburse you for covered costs after you pay your veterinarian. Similar to Pets Best pet insurance, Trupanion offers the ability to pay your veterinarian directly at the time of checkout through its Vet Direct Pay program.

This capability isn’t available at every veterinary clinic. Some clinics may not accept direct payments from Trupanion. If that’s the case, you can still file a claim as normal and be reimbursed for your costs. Trupanion doesn’t restrict you only to clinics that accept direct payments.

You can find out if your vet accepts Trupanion payments by calling them and asking. You can also search your state through the Trupanion website to get a complete list of vets nearby that accept Trupanion in your area.

Trupanion Pet Insurance Vet Direct Screenshot (Source: Trupanion)

Some pet owners may be attracted to this feature because it means they can avoid high out-of-pocket costs when it comes time to check out at the vet. Even though other pet insurance plans will reimburse you for a percentage of those costs, it still requires you to charge the expense on a credit card or live with a big deduction in your bank account until your claim goes through.

Additionally, Trupanion structures its insurance policy with a lifetime per-incident deductible, rather than a traditional annual deductible. For pets with chronic illnesses, that’s great! For pets that are prone to many different complications, that may mean pet parents are spending more in deductibles over time than they would with other policies.

Trupanion Pros vs. Cons

Like all pet insurance plans, there are pros and cons to selecting Trupanion. Here’s what you need to know to decide if Trupanion is right for you and your pet.

Pros

Trupanion offers considerable coverage compared to most other pet insurance plans. You can also get optional coverage for acupuncture, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, and behavioral therapy. The Trupanion plan covers pets in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Puerto Rico.

Trupanion places no age restrictions on its hip dysplasia coverage, although you do have to go through a 30-day waiting period before the condition gets covered.

Trupanion is one of the providers that can pay your veterinarian directly—if your vet accepts it. This can prevent you from having to wait for reimbursements to reach your bank account.

Trupanion also provides customers with 90% reimbursement as a standard. There are no payout limits on coverage either.

Trupanion has an “A” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). It also has a 3.4/5-star rating from customers.

Trupanion’s rating on Trustpilot is 4.4/5 stars. Positive reviewers describe Trupanion as having “great customer service” and being “awesome to work with.”

Finally, ConsumersAdvocate.org gives Trupanion an overall ranking of 4.8/5 (Excellent).

Cons

If you're interested in vet-direct pay, you’ll need to make sure to find a vet who’s “in-network”.

Trupanion only offers one type of insurance plan that applies to both cats and dogs. Although it does offer some add-on services, it isn’t as customizable as some other plans. If you’re looking for a plan that you can customize based on your pet’s unique needs or your budget, you might want to look at other options.

Multiple Trupanion customers claim that their rates have increased significantly in only a few years. Although Trupanion claims that its plan “does not have automatic rate increases as your pet ages,” it does allow that rate may increase due to “many factors.” Other review sites have noted that Trupanion allows for an up to 20% increased in monthly premium rates per year.

Trupanion only insures dogs and cats under 14 years of age. In reviews on third-party review sites, multiple customers note that their policies were not renewed after their pets reached 14 years of age.

Trupanion doesn’t offer a wellness plan, nor does it cover exam fees. If you select Trupanion and want a wellness plan, you may be able to get one from another provider.

Trupanion’s direct payments to veterinarians may not work at every location. This doesn’t restrict which vet you can visit, as you’ll still be reimbursed for covered costs regardless. But it’s worth checking with your vet if they accept direct payments from Trupanion.

There are notices on Trupanion’s BBB profile about multiple government actions being taken against the company:

One notice describes a lawsuit in Washington State alleging Trupanion failed to ensure its producers were properly licensed and affiliated, knowingly accepted insurance business from unlicensed producers, and gave unethical gifts to pet care providers. Trupanion was fined $100,000.

The other notice describes an accusation from the Insurance Commissioner of the State of California stating that Trupanion used unlicensed companies to sell insurance policies.


Verdict: Is Trupanion Worth the Money?

If you’re looking for comprehensive accident and illness coverage that pays your veterinarian directly, Trupanion is a good option. Trupanion covers hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, and unexpected accidents and illnesses. It also covers medical procedures like surgeries, hospital stays, medications, and even supplements.

Trupanion’s policy on hip dysplasia is more generous than many other providers. You can also get coverage for alternative pet care like acupuncture, which isn’t offered by every provider. Trupanion reimburses 90% of covered costs as a standard with no payout limits, which is more generous than many other pet insurance policies.

The cost of Trupanion might be a sticking point for some pet parents. Pet owners with older pets may want to look elsewhere as well since Trupanion won’t cover pets over 14. But if you enroll your pet while they are still young, you can expect a lower monthly premium and more lifelong value for your plan.

Finally, you might also want to shop with another provider if you’re interested in a wellness plan. Trupanion doesn’t currently offer a wellness option.

And if you’re interested in Trupanion paying your veterinarian directly, make sure your vet accepts Trupanion payments before signing up. You can call your veterinarian and ask, or you can use Trupanion’s website to determine if your vet is enrolled.

Remember, you don’t have to waste valuable time collecting quotes to find the perfect pet insurance policy for your pet. Search for quotes on Pawlicy Advisor and compare policies from top providers, all in one place.


Kari Steer, Licensed P&C Insurance Agent at Pawlicy Advisor

About the author

Kari Steere, Licensed Insurance Agent

Customer Support - Pawlicy Advisor

Kari Steere is a licensed P&C insurance agent in all 50 states and has focused entirely on pet insurance since 2019. As an animal lover with a rescued Terrier named Barry, when she's not helping pet owners find the perfect plan on Pawlicy Advisor, she runs a ranch in Oregon and rehabilitates any animals that come across her path.

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