Trupanion Pet Insurance Review

By Isabelle Cotezee
Updated Dec 14, 2022
Person stroking black and white dog
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Lassie, the collie from the famous motion picture, was the first pet to receive an insurance policy in 1982. By 2021, nearly 4 million household pets had joined her ranks, and the industry saw an increase of 28% from the year before.

Since then, numerous pet insurers have surfaced, each offering different packages. This gives you a variety of options to choose from, but it can also leave you overwhelmed when having to make a decision. 

In this article, we review Trupanion, a pet insurance provider that sold its first policy in 2000 to its founder’s dog, Monty. This will bring you one step closer to understanding pet insurance and choosing the right policy for your own furry friend.

Benefits and Limitations of Trupanion Pet Insurance

Benefits of Trupanion Pet Insurance

  • Lifetime per-condition deductible rather than annual deductibles.

  • Dental conditions are covered.

  • Prescription food gets 50% coverage for up to two months (upon recommendation from your vet).

  • Supplements are covered (upon recommendation from your vet).

  • Additional benefits if you live in Florida.

  • Addresses 60% of claims within 24 hours.

  • They pay the vet directly.

Limitations of Trupanion Pet Insurance

  • Only covers cats and dogs.

  • Does not offer routine veterinary checkups. 

  • Trupanion doesn't offer a multi-pet discount.

What Does Trupanion Pet Insurance Cover?

Trupanion offers accident and illness policies to cats and dogs, and it covers a range of unexpected expenses that pet owners may face. They outline three categories of medical issues that they cover:

  • Hereditary conditions: If your pet is prone to a certain condition because of its breed, it may require medical attention. For example, if your German shepherd develops hip dysplasia, it’s considered a hereditary condition that’s passed on from its ancestors. Other conditions include diabetes, upper respiratory infections, and thyroid disease.

  • Unidentified issues: You may have observed your pet in distress, such as when they were vomiting, having diarrhea, coughing, or experiencing a sudden weight change. However, after visiting the vet, you may have confirmed that it’s not linked to a larger illness or condition–despite your pet requiring medical attention.

  • Congenital conditions: While your pet is still in the womb, it may experience abnormalities that impact its health at birth or later in life. This can be something minor, such as an unusually long tail, or it may be a life-threatening condition, such as a heart defect that can lead to heart disease. Other examples include defects that lead to liver disease and cataracts.

Overall, the main insurance policy covers surgeries, hospital stays, carts, prosthetic devices, medicine, diagnostic tests, supplements, and more. 

Certain dental conditions are covered by Trupanion pet insurance. However, this is only applicable if you take your vet for a dental examination once every 12 months, and you need to follow your veterinarian’s advice on how to care for your pet’s teeth.

You will also receive funding for sustenance that your vet recommends as part of your pet’s recovery after surgery or illness. This includes:

  • Prescription food: Trupanion will cover 50% of the cost for 2 months following the incident that sent your pet to the vet.

  • Herbal therapy: If your vet determines that using herbs can help your pet heal, then it will be covered. However, this doesn’t apply to routine or preventive care.

  • Supplements: Similarly, if certain nutraceuticals or vitamins can assist your pet after a medical procedure or illness, then Trupanion will pay for it.

grey cat licking a cat yoghurt that a person is holding

Source: Pexels

Additional Coverage from Trupanion

Besides offering general insurance policies for cats and dogs, Trupanion also has additional coverage that you can select over and above your basic insurance policy. There are three add-ons:

 1. Recovery and complementary care rider

After receiving immediate medical attention and being classified as stable, you may be given the green light to take your pet home.

However, in some cases, they may still require additional support to help them heal well. This is where additional insurance comes in, and it covers the following:

  • Rehabilitative therapy: This is the equivalent of physiotherapy for pets. It helps them recover after experiencing trauma or undergoing surgery, and it usually includes therapeutic exercises.

  • Acupuncture: Your pet may benefit from having needles inserted at specific trigger points to help them recover after a medical incident.

  • Hydrotherapy: This is otherwise known as “water therapy”, and it allows your pet to build muscles and strengthen joints after an injury, or to help manage a health condition.

  • Chiropractic: If your pet has spinal or joint injuries, then a chiropractor can use non-invasive, gentle manipulations to realign them and resolve their pain.

  • Behavioral modification: This is best compared to cognitive behavioral therapy and is specifically aimed at pets that are struggling with aggression and reactive behavior. 

  • Homeopathy: This involves treating your pet with refined solutions of natural substances, such as arnica for musculoskeletal injuries or borax to calm them during thunderstorms.  

  • Naturopathy: This is when your pet’s innate healing power is facilitated by natural agents and physical means. For example, adjusting your pet’s diet to combat its unique health condition. 

 2. Pet owner assistance package

It’s important to offer your cat or dog extra assistance, but the same applies to you. There are many ways in which an insurer can support you as your pet’s caregiver.

The pet owner assistance package will give you the following benefits:

  •  Liability coverage: If your pet causes any damage, such as biting someone or damaging their property, then you will be protected from bearing that cost.

  • Advertising and reward: It’s every pet owner’s worst nightmare to have their cat or dog go missing. This will give you a budget to help ensure lost pets' safe return. 

  • Boarding fees: If you have to make an unexpected trip to your hometown, you will be able to place your pet in safe accommodation and this benefit will foot the bill.

  • Holiday cancellation costs: Your pet is likely more important to you than your holiday plans. If they need lifesaving medical treatment, this fund will reimburse you for your canceled holiday expenses.

  • Cremation or burial fees: After losing a pet, the last thing you want to worry about is the cost of respectfully dealing with their remains. With this benefit, you won’t have to fret about this.

3. Breeding rider

If you have a bulldog, then you may have considered matching them with another bulldog to breed pudgy bulldog puppies. However, there are many pregnancy risks for this breed.

On the other hand, perhaps your cat is intact (or unneutered) and it roams around while it’s in heat, leading to altercations with other cats.

 In both situations, your pet is exposed to risks that aren’t covered by a basic insurance policy. Adding the breeding rider to your policy will ensure that your pet is taken care of if they experience any danger as a result of its fertility.

However, this doesn’t mean that they’re covered for everything. Trupanion makes the following exceptions for this add-on:

  • Planned caesarian births (unless medically necessary).

  • Routine prenatal examinations.

  • Pre-breeding tests.

  • Fertility treatment.

  • Artificial insemination.

fluffy cat gazing upwards

Source: Pexels

Trupanion Pet Insurance Cost: Coverage Levels and Customizations

When it comes to settling your vet bills, Trupanion has a set process for managing them. Here are three of the most important copayments to consider:

 1. Getting on board with the deductible

You’re expected to pay a deductible before any kind of health insurance can be claimed–and this holds true for pet insurance, too. In a way, a deductible is the payment that brings your insurance to life.

For example, imagine your dog slipped and injured its ribs. You would be able to take them to the vet and they will be cared for, but you won’t be able to claim from your pet insurance provider unless your deductible has been paid. 

 At Trupanion, they offer lifetime per-condition deductibles. This means that if your daughter’s dog has an ongoing skin condition, then you won’t pay a deductible every time you visit the vet for treatment. Instead, you will only pay it the first time and then jump straight to claiming in the future.

Therefore, Trupanion does not require an annual deductible. They believe that it’s unnecessary to make owners pay multiple times for a condition that has already been diagnosed. You will only have one deductible to pay. However, if the amount is too large to settle immediately, you can pay it off over several installments.

 Finally, it’s important to mention that you can choose your deductible, and this will impact your premium. The higher your deductible is the lower your premium will be, and vice versa.

For reference, deductibles are usually $100, $250, or $500 and only in very rare cases more than $1,000. Through Trupanion, you can select a deductible between $0 and $1,000. 

It’s completely up to you to choose your deductible, and you’re allowed to select $0. However, make sure you understand how this will impact your premium. If you choose a lower deductible, you will inevitably pay a higher premium, and vice versa. 

2. Understanding the reimbursement level

After paying your deductible, your insurance will kick in. Trupanion’s main insurance policy, as well as any additional coverage, offer to pay a maximum of 90% of your pet’s medical bills. This means that you are still responsible for paying the remaining 10%.

For example, imagine your dog injured its eye while running around in your yard. When you take them to the vet, you’re told that the surgery will cost $1,000.

If your deductible is $200, then you need to pay this amount up front to the vet. Thereafter, your insurance will become active and Trupanion will pay 90% of the remaining amount ($800), or $720, while you will pay the last 10%, or $80. 

Altogether, you then paid $280, which is 28% of what you would have paid if you didn’t have a pet insurance policy in place.

 3. Saying goodbye to annual coverage limits

Most pet insurers set annual payout limits of, for example, $5,000 or $10,000. This means that if your pet requires medical attention that exceeds this limit during a given year, then your claim will be declined and you will have to pay out of pocket.

However, Trupanion doesn’t restrict how many claims you’re allowed to make each year. Therefore, if your pet requires it, Trupanion will be willing to pay out more per year than an insurer with annual coverage limits.

couple holding a shitzu puppy

Source: Pexels

Trupanion Pet Insurance Exclusions

Even though an insurer’s main concern is supporting their members, they also need to make sure that they don’t bankrupt themselves or get taken for a ride.

1. Be aware of your waiting periods

After joining a Trupanion plan, you will not be able to claim until your waiting period is over. When it comes to illnesses, you will have to wait for 30 days, and injuries require a five-day waiting period. Once these periods have lapsed, you will be fully covered by your policy.

2. Take note of pre-existing conditions

If your pet was diagnosed with a pre-existing condition, such as cancer or arthritis, during the 18 months before taking out your Trupanion insurance policy, your pet  will not be covered.

On top of this, if there was evidence to suggest an underlying condition that was ignored during the same period, then it will also not be covered. Here are some fictional examples to help explain this:

  • Six months before Lassie received her first insurance policy, her owner noticed that she was constantly licking her paws. However, he didn’t address the issue, and once he signed her up for insurance, he took her to the vet where she was diagnosed with allergies. If Trupanion was the insurer, a claim on this would be rejected because the evidence of a medical condition was present during the 18 months before his claim.

  • Three months before Monty was signed up to Trupanion, he started vomiting more than the average dog. However, his owner didn’t realize that this was a serious issue. After getting insurance, he took Monty to the vet, who diagnosed him with a gastrointestinal illness. Unfortunately, the vet determined that there must have been evidence of this for several months before getting insurance, so a claim could not be made for this.

3. What’s not covered by Trupanion

 Several items are not part of your insurance at Trupanion, including:

  • Transportation expenses.

  • Elective, cosmetic, or preventative care procedures.

  • Examinations.

  • Administrative charges, taxes, and shipping costs.

  • Diagnostic testing when a pet hasn’t displayed symptoms.

  • An injury that results from training.

  • Accidents and illnesses that arise as a result of the owner’s neglect.

There’s a full list of other exclusions that you can download fromTrupanion’s website. You will find an extensive list on their “sample policy”, which can easily be downloaded at the bottom of the page.  

Factors That Impact Your Monthly Premiums

When you take out pet insurance, Trupanion has to determine the risk of insuring your pet. This is calculated by considering the following factors:

  1. Pet's gender: Statistics have shown that female dogs and male cats are more likely to develop medical issues, and they usually end up with more expensive bills.

  2. Pet's age: The older your pet is, the more likely they are to have pre-existing conditions, and they typically have more frequent health concerns with higher bills.

  3. Pet's location: On average, city vets have more advanced equipment available, which means that the cost of treatment is usually higher.

  4. Pet's breed: If you have a high-risk pet species, such as a dachshund or a pug, then they are likely to spend more time at the vet than other breeds.

On top of this, the deductible you choose will have an impact on your monthly premiums. You can refer to the section on deductibles in this article for more details.

Other pet insurance providers offer a selection of remuneration percentages that you can choose from, which usually impacts your premium. However, since Trupanion has a single remuneration rate of 90%, pet owners aren’t able to use this to adjust their premiums. 

Trupanion Reviews alongside Popular Pet Insurance Companies

TrupanionFigoPets BestHealthy PawsEmbrace
State availabilityAvailable in all 50 statesAvailable in all 50 statesAvailable in all 50 statesAvailable in all 50 statesAvailable in all 50 states
Waiting period for injuries5 days1 day3 days15 days2 days
Waiting period for illness30 days14 days14 days15 days14 days
Reimbursement level90%70%
Varies by pet age70%
Deductible choices$0 to $1,000Varies by pet age$50
Varies by pet age$200

Key Takeaways

Trupanion offers competitive pet insurance in the U.S. Their main competitors in the pet insurance industry offer different reimbursement levels based on the pet’s age, while they offer a relatively high and constant reimbursement rate to all of their clients.

Pet owners with older dogs or cats may want to guarantee that their insurer pays 90% of their claims, regardless of their dog’s continued aging. Therefore, Trupanion may be the right choice for them. If you look at the comparison table above, you’ll see that only one insurer offers a 100% reimbursement level to pet parents with youthful companions.

While other pet insurance companies may charge a deductible for every claim, even if it’s for the same health condition, Trupanion only requests a once-off deductible per condition. This is a great perk for pet owners who have breeds that are prone to chronic conditions that haven’t surfaced yet, but are likely to developin the future.

Regardless of how often Trupanion clients take their pets to the vet, they will not reach an annual limit of medical care for covered expenses. This means that you won’t have to worry about falling into debt because your pet’s insurance won’t continue to assist you after a certain point. You can rest assured that you will be supported by Trupanion without annual limitations.

There are, however, some downsides to relying on Trupanion for your pet’s insurance. Their single policy mandate makes insurance less complicated, but it also means that you can’t choose a slightly more affordable package if you just want basic pet insurance.  

man shaking hands with a dog

Source: Pexels

Frequently Asked Questions about Trupanion Pet Insurance

1. Does Trupanion cover cancer?

Trupanion Pet Insurance says that it’s covered over 100,000 cancer claims, such as carcinoma, lymphoma, and osteosarcoma since 2018.

As long as your pet has already signed up to Trupanion before any evidence of cancer emerges, they will be covered for the necessary treatment, including diagnostics, surgery, hospitalizations, medications, and supplements.

2. Can you lower your Trupanion deductible?   

With Trupanion, you’re allowed to increase your deductible anytime.

However, you can only choose to lower it during the first 30 days after you’ve signed up for their pet insurance. Note that the conditions you agreed to before lowering your deductible will stay as is, even after you’ve lowered it.

3. How do you submit a claim to Trupanion?  

The easiest way to submit a claim to Trupanion Pet Insurance is through their online portal. You just need to submit your invoice, alongside an explanation of what happened.

Alternatively, you can also download a claim form, complete it, and then send it in along with the invoice to their email address or via their fax number.

Not sure whether Trupanion is the best pet insurance for you? You can reach us at 1-888-912-2132 or send an email to to get assistance from one of our trained consultants for more options.