Why We Chose Trupanion Pet Insurance for Our Dogs

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Over the past month I’ve been doing a lot of research on pet insurance companies.  I started in a group, asking what people thought of pet insurance and learned that there are lovers and haters out there depending upon their experience.  I asked the Keep the Tail Wagging audience on Facebook and got some great tips – many people have pet insurance and are happy with their providers.

So why did I choose Trupanion?

  • Trupanion offers one deductible for each medical instance
  • I was able to see the impact of my deductible choice on our monthly bill immediately
  • Trupanion makes a payment directly to the veterinarian
  • Trupanion doesn’t penalize us if we have an unlucky pet
  • Trupanion offers full coverage without limits or caps
  • Trupanion won’t kick our dogs off a policy
  • Trupanion doesn’t have a fee schedule for different medical issues
  • Trupanion doesn’t limit coverage based on dog breed
  • Medications are covered too

Initially, I planned to go with VPI.  The price seemed right and they have a handy comparison chart on their site.  But most pet insurance companies do and, you know what, all the charts read differently.  I learned that pet insurance companies are not like Progressive Auto Insurance – they won’t tell you that someone else is better.

I had the pleasure of speaking with the CEO of the company, Darryl Rawlings.  Trupanion is a company that likes to talk to pet lovers.  You will not get what you need just by visiting their site.  I was overwhelmed by the choices in pet insurance and 30 minutes speaking with Darryl made me a customer.

Trupanion doesn’t see pets as a commodity.  Pet insurance isn’t like auto insurance.  If we total our car, the insurance company can give us same make/model/year car.  They can’t give us the exact same pet.  Darryl asked me one question…

Are you asking for insurance to help you or to solve a problem?

With a lot of the pet insurance companies out there, I was seeing that if I had a $2,200 bill (the cost of Riley’s hospital care), they would reimburse me (for example) $1,000.  That’s helping me, but it doesn’t solve the problem that I have of coming up with $2,200 to get our puppy care.

Trupanion helps us solve a problem by submitting a payment directly to the veterinarian.  In my example above, I would have paid my share (including the deductible) only and wouldn’t have to wait to be reimbursed.

Trupanion offers one deductible for each medical instance

Think about it.  Often when a pet has issues, it’s an ongoing issue.  Like Rodrigo’s arthritis.  It would suck to pay a deductible in November and another one when we return in January.  With Trupanion, the deductible covers the one issue for the life of the policy.

I was able to see the impact of my deductible choice on our monthly bill immediately

I played around with the deductible to find the amount that worked best with our family before signing up with Trupanion.  It was easy to understand and the process is fast and thorough.

Trupanion makes a payment directly to the veterinarian

We submit claims to Trupanion and they make their payment directly to our veterinarian.  There isn’t a wait to be reimbursed.

Trupanion doesn’t penalize us if we have an unlucky pet

What if we have an accident prone or sick pet?  Many pet insurance companies will penalize us for submitting too many claims.  This isn’t Trupanion’s policy.

Trupanion offers full coverage without limits or caps

There’s a comfort in knowing that I won’t get a letter from my pet insurance company letting me know that our dog is no longer covered for an illness.

Trupanion won’t kick our dogs off a policy

We have Cattle Dog mix pups at home.  They’re part of the herding breed and may be lumped in the “shepherd” family by some pet insurance companies.  With shepherds there comes the concern of hip dysplasia.  Trupanion won’t limit or deny our policy due to inherited issues.  Because hip dysplasia isn’t a pre-existing condition, we added the Complementary Care Package when we enrolled (it can also be added after) to have care covered should our dogs experience this condition.

Other insurance companies don’t cover genetic issues; which is most likely to occur in our dogs lives.  If you have a Labrador Retriever, don’t you want coverage for issues that are common with Labs?  Trupanion covers inherited conditions as long as they aren’t shown to be present before the start of full policy coverage.

Trupanion doesn’t have a fee schedule for different medical issues

I saw that many pet insurance companies have a fee schedule that tells me that for ____ injury, they’ll pay ___%.  We don’t have to muddle through this at Trupanion.  I like that their policy is up front and clear and if I have any questions, there is a group of people available to help.

When you do your own research for pet insurance, keep Trupanion in mind.  I’m beyond happy with their customer service, the quality of the policy, and I find comfort knowing that our dogs are covered.  Trupanion understands and respects the bond we have with our dogs and their goal is to protect that bond by helping us solve a problem – the cost of veterinarian care.

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12 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing. I’m in France and don’t have pet insurance. Costs here are much cheaper than in the US, but when/if I move to the US, I’ll have to get insurance. It sucks that no coverage here will transfer to the US, though. Anything my dog has here will be preexisting when I sign up with a US-based company. But when that time comes, I’ll def give Trupanion a look…

    Reply
    • Definitely see what they can do for you. I’ve been really impressed with their customer service. Thanks for writing from France! I love that we can meet people all over the world!

      Kimberly
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  2. I have Trupanion. I did a lot of research but still wasn’t sure I was making the right choice with them. However, when I had a costly episode with Gretel earlier this year they paid promptly and sent me a letter thanking me for taking such good care of Gretel. I did have to pay up front though but maybe it was because it was an emergency clinic.
    Jessica recently published..The Santa Photo GauntletMy Profile
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    • Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s always nice to have someone confirm that I made the right choice with Trupanion. I believe they only pay directly with certain vets – it’s an arrangement that’s made between the vet and Trupanion. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you taking the time to share.

      Kimberly
      Kimberly recently published..10 Tips for Saving Money for Dog Owners Without Sacrificing QualityMy Profile
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    • No, it doesn’t that is what’s so cool about Trupanion. “You will always pay the premium for the age your pet was at enrollment – not for the current age of your pet. For example, if you enroll your pet at two years old, your premium will always be based on a two-year-old pet for the life of your policy. So if you enrolled your dog as a puppy, you will still pay the puppy price even when your dog is 5, 10, 14, 16, or older.”

      Rodrigo and Sydney were enrolled at 2.5 and Blue was enrolled as a puppy. :)
      Kimberly recently published..Celebrating Dog Lovers | Enter to W*n the Touching Book Conversations with WooMy Profile
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  3. Blech. I can see a patsy wrote this.

    Don’t be fooled. This company is garbage inside and out. Somehow they’ve hidden all their negative reviews on Yelp. And if one does magically squeak by “the filter,” the creepy agents track you down to your record.

    They’re not in the business for you’re your pet. Because my cat was a vomiter all his life, 2 years after signing up with these crooks – they told me they would not cover his cancer … Because apparently some washed up failure at life pet insurance agent knows MORE about veterinarian medicine than our regular vet, internalist, and oncologist. The agent denied our claim because they call vomiting… in a cat… “a pre-existing condition.” Said it was a symptom of his cancer. Yea, that’s right … A cat who vomits has had untreated cancer for 2 years and the doctors who treat him don’t know what they’re saying or doing. Can’t wait to report them to my Attorney General.

    I think people who flip hamburgers for a living serve more of a purpose than these stains.

    Reply
    • So sorry about your experience, Nope (I’m assuming this isn’t your real name). That sucks, especially considering how expensive both vet care and pet insurance can be; if I’m paying into a plan and they decline a cost, I’m going to think back to all that I’ve paid in and wonder if I should have socked it into savings instead.

      My experience has been great so far; I didn’t write this because I was paid to or because I’m a patsy – one person’s negative experience (in my opinio) doesn’t make everyone else a liar. I do appreciate the alternative point of view, because it’s important that people get the pros and the cons of any company they choose to deal with.

      I hope you were (or are) able to get this worked out with Trupanion and I hope your cat is comfortable today.

      Kimberly
      Kimberly recently published..5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Veterinarian for Your DogMy Profile
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  4. While I believe pet insurance may be a great thing for some, from a strictly financial standpoint, if you religiously take the premium cost and put it away into a savings account for your pet you will most likely be ahead of the game by the time your pet reaches old age.

    Reply
    • My worry are the huge costs that I couldn’t save enough, which is why I purchased pet insurance in the first place. But after reading what you said, I pulled out the calculator and did some math – I would save $21,000 over the life of our dogs. This is something I’ll have to think about. Thanks, Barbara
      Kimberly recently published..Dog Fashion Spa | Sydney is a Princess and I Love to PamperMy Profile
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    • I can’t wait to read about it! We haven’t had to make a claim yet. I’ve heard some really great things. I heard one horror story, but when I heard the full story the cat had a pre-existing condition and the owner was angry that Trupanion wouldn’t cover it.
      Kimberly recently published..Dog Fashion Spa | Sydney is a Princess and I Love to PamperMy Profile
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