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Thursday, December 8th
Trupanion's one choice in policy is basically the main one of most pet insurers, which is accidents and injuries. There are three add-ons you might choose: wellness coverage; a type of life insurance, if you will; and a breeder add-on, which is unique in this industry.
They keep it simple
They offer one main policy, and that covers accidents and illness. It's the type of policy that most insurers offer, though they may have more to choose from.
What's covered won't surprise you
Similar to most pet insurers, Trupanion's Accident and Illness policy covers the following treatments when deemed medically necessary: specialized exams and specialty care, emergency care, surgery and hospitalization, x-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, cancer, chronic conditions, rehabilitation, hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, non-routine dental treatment, prescription medications, and euthanasia. There may be limitations on the above, so check your policy to be sure. Behavioral therapies are covered, which is good, as some other companies may not cover it. Alternative and holistic therapies can be an add-on. There's no option to cover wellness care or exam fees.
As is typical with pet insurance, Trupanion excludes pre-existing conditions and cosmetic procedures, wellness and preventive care, spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, flea/tick medication, routine dental care, and conditions as a result of racing or mistreatment. Most insurers will not cover breeding, but Trupanion offers a rider that will cover breeding and injuries or illness due to birthing.
Optional Pet Owner-Assistance add-on package
For $4.95 per month, you can add this optional policy. If you're hospitalized, your pet's boarding fees are covered. There's liability coverage for third-party property damage, advertising and rewards for your lost pet, and cremation or burial for deaths that are caused by an accident.
Recovery and Complementary Care
Another addition you can put on your policy is this one, where your pet's recovery is cared for. It covers acupuncture, behavioral modification, chiropractic, homeopathy, naturopathy, hydrotherapy, physical therapy, and rehabilitative therapy. The price can vary greatly from a few dollars to $30 per month.
As we mentioned, Trupanion is one of the only insurance providers we've seen that offers an optional breeding rider which covers illness and injuries due to breeding, whelping, and queening.
Customize your deductible only
Trupanion feels that if you're going to get insurance, you should get a good reimbursement; that's why their reimbursement is a standard 90%. There's no max limit payout per condition, and that's for the lifetime of your fur baby. Choose your deductible, from $0 to $1,000. The deductible choice is quite wide, which is good. Having no max limit payout for the life of the pet is a great feature and can put your mind at ease; it's great if you can afford it.
Usually pet insurance has an annual deductible. You should be aware that Trupanion has a per-incident deductible. This means that each time there's a new condition or incident, there's a new deductible. Once you meet this incident's deductible, your pet is covered for as long as you have the policy.
Waiting period from 5-30 days
Pet insurance companies typically have waiting periods, and so does Trupanion. Waiting periods are the time from when the policy starts until when you can file a claim. Although the waiting periods can vary greatly from company to company, we've found the average to be about two weeks. Trupanion's waiting period is typically longer for illness. They have 30 days for illness, cruciate ligaments, and hip dysplasia. Accidents are five days. Note that most companies also have a month or more waiting period for cruciate ligaments and hip dysplasia.
Transferring a policy
If your pet changes owners, your Trupanion policy can continue with the new owner.
Customer service 24/7
You can communicate with Trupanion's customer service department in a variety of ways. You can email, call, fax, and live chat with them 24/7. This feature is quite helpful if you are concerned about coverage and want to find out before you make that vet appointment if certain procedures or treatments will be paid for by your policy.
This is a claims process software that might already be installed on your vet's office computers. If they have that feature, you'll find out immediately what portion of the bill will be paid by Trupanion, and what you're responsible for. You can then pay for your portion only, and not worry about the rest, making the claims process non-existent.
Customers like the coverage but not the premium increases
There are many customers who are quite pleased that they trusted Trupanion for their pet insurance, saying that it covers what it says it will cover and they are grateful. One reviewer was told by the company, "Get whatever your dog needs." Those who are less than pleased are mostly shocked at the annual price increase. As the pet ages, the premium increases, and can be 15% - 25% per year, and they have done the math of how many thousands of dollars they'd paid over the life of their pet. A one-year old puppy's increase was 12%.
It's unique but expensive
What makes Trupanion stand out is the optional breeding rider and that their deductible is per condition for the life of the policy rather than an annual deductible. Although it could be costly for the first few claims, for the life of the pet it could be definitely worth it. It's certainly a reason to continue coverage with them once your pet starts to age, as lifetime deductibles may have already been met by then if you're using a different insurer. Unfortunately, the premiums here are quite high, even for just the main policy, and for that reason we cannot put Trupanion closer to the top of our list.
We love our fur babies and want to help them live as long and as healthy as possible. Pets take daily care, and they also require vet visits, whether for wellness, to update vaccinations, if they are ill or in an accident. Veterinarian bills can be expensive, so many owners have chosen pet insurance.
Pet insurance has only been around since 1982, so if you don't know much about it, that's understandable. Pet insurance can be similar to human health insurance where you can see a provider for wellness visits, illness, or accidents. There are in-office visits, telehealth, and 24/7 availability for answering questions.
However, you should be aware of some essential differences between human health insurance and pet insurance. The vet doesn't file a claim, like your own provider would. You pay the vet bill, submit the claim online or on your phone, and then you're reimbursed by the insurance company - the vet doesn't get involved. Wellness care can be an add-on rider to cover a routine exam, vaccinations, spay/neuter, teeth cleaning, and so on.
Although accidents are the most common to be covered, many companies don't cover illnesses such as diabetes, allergies, or infections. Younger pets may cost less to insure, but that will greatly increase as they age; and when they are elderly, the company may even drop the coverage, so be sure to ask about aging pets, even when your pet is young. You can choose your deductible, copay, max annual reimbursement, and optional add-ons. Find out what coverage they recommend for your breed, and ask about multiple-pet or other discounts.
More dogs have pet insurance than any other animal, and the rate for cats is about half that of dogs. Owners of indoor cats might think they don't need pet insurance, but older felines can have chronic or recurring conditions which might require costly care or frequent vet visits.
While you might not expect your pet to become ill or have an accident, those vet bills can be quite costly, especially if a procedure, surgery, or ongoing care is needed. Unless you're budgeting in anticipation of these, pet insurance could be quite the relief for when you need it. If you have an older pet or pet prone to certain conditions, prices can vary greatly between companies, so we suggest getting quotes from a couple of your favorite companies before you make your final decision. In addition, even if you are getting a puppy or kitten, ask about coverage and premiums as if they were older so you get a look into the future.
When choosing which pet insurance provider is right for you, here are a few things to consider:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed the best pet insurance companies available today. We hope this information helps you to get the best pet insurance for your fur baby so they can be well cared for in a long, happy, and healthy life!
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