- Simple plan structure
- 24/7 customer care
- Good coverage
- No payout caps
- No flexibility
- No exam coverage
- Potentially expensives
Known for its unique insurance plan and pricing structure, Trupanion has some owners that swear by it, while others are a bit doubtful of its effectiveness. When it comes down to it, however, Trupanion has been around for the better part of twenty years and has been used to insure about half a million pets to date. While its policies might be unconventional, they work well in most cases and its level of service and excellent customer care earned it an A+ rating from Better Business Bureau. Submitting claims is made easy and since the company can pay the vet directly, customers do not have to deal with any out of pocket expenses besides the 10% coinsurance. Other than providing affordable insurance, the company also supports the pet community by donating to various charities and shelters, which serves as a testament to their dedication and care.
Why Trupanion Video
Services and Coverage
In order to avoid confusing customers, Trupanion has opted to offer only a single insurance plan, one that covers all the basics. This approach really does simplify matters, however it does come with a few drawbacks. For example, since there is no option to insure pets for accidents only, Trupanion does not accept pets over 14 years of age, though if it did it would not be worth the cost for the customers. Dogs and cats younger than 14 are likely to develop a number of health issues as they age and, since no insurance covers preexisting conditions, any related diagnosis will be excluded from the coverage. It makes little sense to pay the same amount of money as other customers for a limited service.
On the other hand, Trupanion is among the few insurance providers that gives a clear-cut definition about what it considers to be a preexisting condition, which makes it more transparent and honest than many others on the market. Basically, any conditions that have been diagnosed or showed symptoms 18 months prior to the incident is excluded from the coverage.
Waiting periods at Trupanion are quite long; five days for accidents and 30 days for illnesses. These are excessive, but on the positive side the company does not stretch the period for congenital conditions such as hip or elbow dysplasia, unlike other insurance providers where waiting periods for these issues might be as long as an entire year.
Insuring younger pets with Trupanion is a great investment, especially considering that Trupanion’s basic coverage is pretty good. It even includes dietary supplements, which is rare. However, the main plan does not include treatments like alternative care, behavior correction, or cremation. There is a way to extend the coverage though: instead of a multitude of plans, the provider offers optional extras for customers to select when putting together the details of their policy.
Submitting claims is made easy when using Vet Direct Pay. The vet themselves are able to submit the invoice and any other necessary documents for the customer, so long as the clinic or hospital that the customer took their pet to has partnered with Trupanion to provide the option. All that’s left to do is to pay the 10% coinsurance on checkout.
When Vet Direct Pay is not available, the process becomes somewhat more complicated. Trupanion requires the submission of a claim form as well as a detailed invoice that the customer must get from the vet. The form can be downloaded from the company website and consists of two sections to be filled out by the owner and the vet respectively. Once done, the completed document and the invoice must be scanned or photographed, after which it can be forwarded to Trupanion via email or fax.
Processing and Reimbursement
Claims are processed quickly, often within 24 hours, except for the first occasion, in which case Trupanion requires documents pertaining to the treatment and the detailed medical records of the pet for evaluation. This includes any notes or observations that the vet made prior to the incident, and the company will also ask for the pet owner’s consent to contact the vet directly.
Once the evaluation of the claim is complete, Trupanion sends pet owners an email in which they will find an itemized breakdown of the claim and a reason for the decision, regardless of the outcome. Unlike with most pet insurance companies, Trupanion is straightforward about how a decision is reached and it is therefore easy to appeal if necessary. Payouts will be sent promptly, either via direct deposit or check.
Cost, Reimbursement, and Deductible
Trupanion really stands out with its unusual policy. Where most companies allow pet owners to customize most of the details, Trupanion does not really give you the chance to fiddle around with the policy other than by choosing the deductible, the amount of money that pet owners are expected to pay before the insurance kicks in. This can be anything between $0 and $1,000.
The provider reimburses 90% of the veterinary cost and places no limits on payouts at all. Also, depending on the extra coverage that a pet owner opts for, these premiums can increase. To demonstrate, here’s an example quote featuring Yoda, Best Reviews’ pug puppy:
|$200||90%||Pet Owner Assistance||$62.22|
The type of the deductible that Trupanion utilizes is unique. Instead of applying it annually, it is calculated per condition, and is only applicable once in the pet’s lifetime. This means that if a cat or dog is diagnosed with diabetes, for example, the deductible will only be paid once, no matter how many years of treatment it requires. For purebred pets predisposed to a multitude of genetic and congenital conditions, this policy is absolute gold… unless you are very, very unlucky. Thanks to this deductible, if a pet is unfortunate enough to develop multiple health issues in a relatively short time, then costs can pile up sky high.
Not to mention the chance of accidents, which will require a separate deductible payment after every incident since the conditions are unrelated. All in all, getting a pet insured with Trupanion can be a bit of a gamble, though the winnings can definitely make it worth the risk for breeds prone to developing long-lasting conditions.
Enrollment and Cancellation
To sign your pet up with Trupanion, just visit the company website and start the process by requesting a free quote. There is no need for any medical records or other documents at this point as you will only need to submit those when sending your first claim for the staff to review.
Initially you only need to answer a few questions about your pet, after which you will automatically be directed to a page where you can choose your deductible and coverage extras to go with the basic plan. The provider offers up a few policy options, but the price can be customized by choosing the exact amount of deductible you wish to pay. Your pet can also be enrolled by calling customer care, they will be happy to help. Cancelling the insurance is just as simple: Trupanion just expects a written notice via email from owners wishing to withdraw their pets from the service.
Trupanion really shines with its customer care. Not only does it have a great website full with informative content, but it is also the only pet insurance company that has specialist operators on standby 24/7. It does not matter whether the caller is an existing customer or just a curious pet parent, Trupanion will answer all questions without delay.
This is especially important when the Direct Vet Pay comes into play. Other providers where direct payment is an option limit this possibility to regular working hours since the process requires the agreement of the insurance company, and tough luck if the emergency happens on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Of course, the customer care team is also happy to answer emails, if preferred.
Although Trupanion’s insurance plan might not suit everyone, it is certainly a good investment for customers who own purebred pets that are still young. Larger dog breeds prone to hip and elbow dysplasia or cruciate ligament injury will find the policy especially beneficial, and as long as the condition is developed after purchasing the policy, then treatment will not only be covered after a mere 30-day waiting period but the deductible only has to be paid once. After the deductible is met, the pet is covered for its lifetime without any additional costs. Claims do not get sanctioned with increased premiums either. Getting insured by Trupanion can be a gamble, true, but it is completely worth the risk, all things considered.