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This blog post was originally written in June 2012; it has been updated with new information and republished.
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.
Why I Chose Trupanion Pet Insurance
- Trupanion offers one deductible for each medical instance
- I can adjust my deductible to match my budget
- 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 a dog's breed
- Medications are covered too
- You can choose to have alternative/holistic treatments covered
- Trupanion helps with some of the costs associated with finding a lost dog.
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.
Great Customer Service
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 the 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, a puppy who passed away from parvo several years ago), 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 payment directly to the veterinarian. Allowing us to focus on our pet's care and not finances.
In my example above, I would have paid my share (including the deductible) only and wouldn’t have to wait to be reimbursed.
One Deductible per Claim
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 to the veterinarian in January for the same injury. With Trupanion, the deductible covers the one issue for the life of the policy.
I am able to change my deductible to better suit my budget.
Originally, Trupanion allowed you to adjust your deductible online, however, now you must contact customer service to adjust the deducible. Either way, the process is fast and easy.
We're Not Penalized for Unlucky Pets
What if we have an accident-prone or sick pet? Many pet insurance companies will penalize us (or cancel our policy) for submitting too many claims. This isn’t Trupanion’s policy.
Trupanion won’t limit or deny our policy due to inherited issues, like hip dysplasia. You can work with customer service to choose the right plan to cover your dog's medical needs.
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.
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.
No Fee Schedules
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.
Our Experience with Trupanion
A few years ago, we put Trupanion to the test. Scout developed a fever out of nowhere and no one could determine the cause. A trip to the emergency vet and repeated veterinarian visits, including a specialist, ran up our tab quickly.
I called Trupanion and they were amazing. They took away my concern over money so that I could focus on healing my dog.
In our experience, we had paid the veterinarians at the time of each appointment and I submitted the invoices to Trupanion for reimbursement, which they processed immediately.
Learn more at Trupanion.com.