Best for Direct Payment to Vets
Although its premiums are among the highest out there, Trupanion’s coverage is also unusually generous. It allows direct payment to vets and unlimited payout amounts, both unusual features. Pets over 10 years old can be insured, which not all insurers allow. For these reasons, Trupanion made our list of the best pet insurance companies and is our best pick for direct payment to vets.
Trupanion Pet Insurance Pros and Cons
- Makes direct payments to vets
- No payout limits
- Free 30-day coverage from some providers
- Among the priciest companies
- Only one plan is available; no wellness coverage
- No multi-pet discount
Makes direct payments to vets
Most pet companies use a reimbursement model — you pay for your pet’s care at the vet and get reimbursed after submitting a claim. Trupanion is among the few insurance companies that offers the option to pay the vet directly, meaning you don’t have to carry a bill until it is reimbursed.
No payout limits
Most pet insurance companies limit how much they will reimburse you in one or more ways — per incident, per year or per pet’s lifetime. Depending on the company and plan, the annual maximum can be as low as $3,000 — a figure you can quickly exceed if your pet has a major accident or develops a serious illness. Trupanion has no per-incident, annual or lifetime caps on coverage, giving you a substantial amount of protection.
Free 30-day coverage from some providers
You can qualify for 30 days of free Trupanion coverage if you get your pet from a participating shelter or breeder, or take your pet to a partnering veterinarian. The usual waiting period is waived, so pre-existing conditions are covered, but a $250 deductible will apply. There’s no obligation to continue coverage.
Among the most expensive companies
In price surveys — including the snapshot of premiums below — Trupanion’s premiums are consistently higher-than-usual, and may even be the highest on the market.
Only one plan is available
Where most insurers offer a selection of plans — covering accidents, illness, wellness or a combination of all three — and reimbursement levels, Trupanion only offers only a single plan, covering accidents and illness. It’s a generous one — reimbursing 90% of your vets’ expenses, the highest percentage that’s widely offered in the market, and with no limits on payouts. Indeed, the richness of the plan may help explain Trupanion’s high premiums.
No multi-pet discount
While the majority of pet insurers offer a discount if you insure multiple pets, Trupanion doesn’t offer that benefit. You must pay the full cost for each pet you insure.
Trupanion only has one insurance plan. However, it does have some optional add-ons you can use to customize your policy.
Trupanion’s plan covers unexpected injuries and illnesses, including dental diseases and trauma, and will pay for 90% of eligible expenses, including:
- Diagnostic tests
- Surgery and hospitalization
- Prescription medications and veterinary supplements
- Alternative treatments, such as herbal therapy
- Prosthetic devices and carts
- Up to 90 days of prescription pet food over your pet’s lifetime
Coverage is unlimited for eligible expenses; there is no per-incident, annual or lifetime payout limit. However, Trupanion does charge a per-condition deductible rather than an annual deductible, so you’ll have to pay your deductible every time your pet develops a new condition and needs treatment. Trupanion’s per-condition deductibles range from an unusually low $0 to a customary maximum of $1,000. The deductible is the only variable you can adjust when purchasing a Trupanion plan. There are pros and cons to per-condition deductibles.
Trupanion will issue new policies to pets under the age of 14, a higher age than many insurers (which limit coverage to animals no older than 10). Also, you will not lose coverage once it starts; the pet is eligible for lifelong coverage after they’re enrolled.
As with other pet insurance plans, Trupanion doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions or cosmetic procedures. Unlike most of those others,it doesn’t offer preventative care as an add-on option and does not cover examination fees.
Trupanion has three extra coverage options you can add to your policy:
- Recovery and Complementary Care: This add-on will cover 90% of alternative treatments and therapies, such as acupuncture, behavior modification, hydrotherapy or chiropractic treatment. Alternative therapies are not covered if they’re used to treat pre-existing conditions.
- Breeding Pet Coverage: If you intend to breed your dog or cat, you can add breeding pet coverage to your policy. This add-on will pay 90% of your costs associated with illnesses or injuries from breeding or whelping. Coverage is not available to pets that are pregnant at the time of enrollment, and it doesn’t cover planned cesareans unless medically necessary.
- Pet Assistance Package: This rider is essentially a basic pet life insurance plan with other benefits. It covers additional expenses that may occur outside the veterinarian’s office, such as advertisements and rewards for lost pets, cremation or burial after a pet’s death and boarding fees if you’re hospitalized.
While Trupanion wasn’t part of our past price survey, we compared Trupanion to the companies listed in our survey and found it to have premiums that were much higher than the norm. To provide a snapshot of Trupanion’s premiums, we gathered quotes for several breeds of dogs and cats at different ages.
The quotes below are for a pet owner in Orlando, FL with a (fairly high) 90% reimbursement level and a typical $500 per-condition deductible. Your quotes may vary depending on your pet’s species, breed, age and your location.
Sample monthly pricing for dogs
|1 year old||5 years old||10 years old||15 years old|
Sample monthly pricing for cats
|1 year old||5 years old||10 years old||15 years old|
Trupanion also doesn’t sell accident-only plans, which are relatively cheap pet insurance policies that only cover injuries from accidents. You can usually save about two-thirds on pet insurance by opting for an accident-only plan, but your policy won’t cover any illnesses or hereditary conditions.
While most insurance companies have several discount programs, including multi-pet discounts, Trupanion only has one: the Trupanion Offer program. As detailed in the Pros above, this offer gives your pet 30 days of free coverage without waiting periods if you get or treat a pet at a participating partner. If you decide to continue your coverage, you can do so within the first 30 days to keep your policy in effect. If you decide to purchase Trupanion insurance after the 30-day offer, your policy will be subject to the usual waiting periods.
Trupanion Financial Stability
While financial stability in a pet insurer is less important than for, say, your life insurer, it’s still reassuring to know the company is healthy enough to be able to afford to pay the claims you submit.
While most insurers are rated by AM Best, a credit rating agency focused on the insurance industry, Trupanion is an exception. Its policies are underwritten by the American Pet Insurance Company, a company that was rated by Demotech, a newer credit rating agency that was launched in 1985. Demotech issued the insurer an “A” (Exceptional) Financial Strength Rating. As of 2021, the company has over $300 million in gross premiums written.
As with most pet insurers, Trupanion has educational materials on its site, an online quote tool and downloadable sample policies. However, it stands out from other companies in that it offers 24/7 customer support, rather than only staffing its customer service line during business hours.
Trupanion is available to residents of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. It’s also available in Puerto Rico and Canada.
Customer support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can reach customer service by phone, email or secure message:
Once you enroll your pet in a plan, you can create an account on Trupanion’s customer portal. Through the portal, you can make payments, download forms and submit invoices for claims.
Trupanion only insures dogs and cats. Exotic animals, including birds, snakes, rabbits and horses are ineligible for coverage.
Trupanion Customer Satisfaction
Trupanion pet insurance reviews from its customers are generally positive. The company has a 4.5 out of 5 TrustScore on TrustPilot based on over 3,300 reviews, putting it in the “Excellent” range per TrustPilot’s guidelines. Trupanion is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), though Trupanion reviews with the BBB are middling; it has a 3.14 rating out of 5 — which is about average.
How much does Trupanion pet insurance cost?
Your monthly premiums for Trupanion pet insurance are dependent on your location, the species of your pet, the pet’s breed and its age. Because Trupanion only has one plan with a 90% reimbursement level, its premiums are higher than the industry average. The lowest monthly premium we found was $36.99 for cats and $61.26 for dogs.
What does Trupanion not cover?
Trupanion doesn’t cover preventative care, exams, cosmetic procedures or pre-existing conditions.
Why do vets recommend Trupanion?
Veterinarians often recommend Trupanion because it’s one of the few companies that provides direct payments rather than using a reimbursement model. With Trupanion’s direct payments, you don’t have to worry about covering the cost of veterinary care and waiting for a check; if your veterinarian is one of the 10,000 that partners with Trupanion, the company will pay your vet directly at the time of your visit.
Can I cancel Trupanion if I change my mind?
If you decide that Trupanion isn’t right for you, you can cancel your policy by notifying Trupanion by mail, over the phone or through email.
How We Evaluated Trupanion Pet Insurance
To review Trupanion pet insurance, we researched the following factors:
- Typical premiums
- Plan options
- Reimbursement amounts
- Annual and lifetime caps
- Policy exclusions and restrictions
- Wellness benefits
- Customer support
- Customer reviews
- Third-party ratings
Summary of Money’s Trupanion Pet Insurance Review
Owning a pet can be a rewarding experience, but your pet’s care after an injury or illness can be cost prohibitive. While other pet insurance companies have limits on how much they’ll pay out per condition, year or lifetime, Trupanion has no payout cap. And, you can opt for Trupanion to pay your vet directly rather than relying on a reimbursement check.
Trupanion does have some limitations; it only has one plan option and a high reimbursement level, so its premiums are among the highest on the market– if not the most expensive. But provided you can afford it, Trupanion is an excellent choice, especially if your pet’s breed is prone to inherited diseases.
Before enrolling your pet with Trupanion or any insurer, make sure you review the policy documents carefully so that you understand its exclusions and restrictions.