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      July 8, 2020

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ASPCA vs Trupanion Pet Insurance

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To help you find the Best Pet Insurance, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of ASPCA and Trupanion Pet Insurance.

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Who has the Best Pet Insurance? Medical care is rarely cheap - and the same goes for our four-legged friends. While pet owners are grateful for advances in technology and medicine that make it possible to keep their "fur kids" healthy, these procedures and prescriptions often come with a hefty price tag.

Without pet insurance, a simple blood test can cost well over $200. Even a standard yearly checkup can set you back by hundreds of dollars. How's your wallet feeling now? Chances are, you would do almost anything to take care of your beloved pet - but you might find yourself having to make difficult choices, especially if your dog or cat experiences a traumatic injury or life-threatening illness.

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2020

Pet Insurance Reviews

3.5 stars
ASPCA

ASPCA

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Cost:

Starting at $11.05 for cats and dogs

Unlimited annual coverage plans available

$2 per-payment fee on all plans not paid annually

No enrollment fee

Who doesn't know the ASPCA and their heartfelt please to care for animals in need? As an extension of their great care and concern for animal welfare, the ASPCA has partnered with a leading, longstanding insurance company to offer policies to cover pets, making veterinary care more affordable for owners around the nation.

ASPCA's plans start out more expensive than many of their competitors. While many other companies cover kittens and puppies for less than $10/month (even less than $5/month for kittens), ASPCA starts at over $11 per month for both kittens and puppies. When we looked at their pricing for our dog, a 7-year-old male, mixed breed dog, their rates were more competitive with other plans. On a policy that included a $5000 annual limit, 70% reimbursement, and a $500 annual deductible, we would pay $38/month. On the upper end of the spectrum - unlimited annual limit, 90% reimbursement, and $100 annual deductible - our premium would be $114.97/month.

You can customize your plan as you like. Available annual limits are $5000, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000 and unlimited. Reimbursement levels are 70%, 80%, and 90%. And, annual deductible options are $100, $250, and $500.

Once you've selected your plan, you can add preventive coverage if desired. ASPCA has two plans: Basic and Prime. For our pet, we were quoted $9.95/month for Basic and $24.95/month for Prime. Each wellness plan has annual benefits, such as $175 towards a dental cleaning (Prime only) or $20/$25 towards deworming. You'll want to add up the benefits to see if it would be worth your monthly premiums, since some benefits (such as a health certificate) may not be useful to you on a yearly basis, if ever.

ASPCA pet insurance policies all come with a $2 per-payment fee for all plans that are billed monthly, quarterly, or semi-annually. You can eliminate this fee if you opt to pay your premiums in full on a yearly basis. We like that ASPCA doesn't charge any enrollment or set-up fees.

The underwriter of ASPCA's pet insurance policies, Crum & Forster, is both accredited and "A+" rated by the Better Business Bureau. In over a thousand independently-verified customer reviews, ASPCA's average was a near-perfect five stars. We found compliments praising the ease of submitting claims through the ASPCA app and fast payments on claims.

On the other hand, we found quite a few customer reviews that said they had a very difficult time getting claims approved and paid by ASPCA. Several long-term customers observed that the service they received got worse over the years, with many more denials of "pre-existing conditions" along with much higher premiums. Some clients also said that when their policies renewed, it triggered another 6-month waiting period even though they had a continuous policy paid automatically every month. We didn't see responses from the ASPCA on those complaints, which isn't encouraging.

If you're specifically looking for an unlimited annual coverage plan, ASPCA is one of just a handful of providers that can meet your needs. However, expect that you may pay more, especially if you're covering a younger pet, than you'd spend on a competitor's policy.

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3.5 stars
Trupanion

TRUPANION

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Cost:

Average monthly premiums ranging from $31 to $124/month

Deductibles from $0 to $1000

Plan pays 90% of eligible medical bills

$35 enrollment fee

For more than 15 years, Trupanion has aimed to give pet owners peace of mind through easy-to-understand insurance coverage. All of Trupanion's pet insurance plans pay 90% of your total bill - a nice feature, compared with other companies' plans that only pay at 70-80%. Another advantage is that you can choose any licensed veterinarian in the country; select vets and animal hospitals participate in a direct pay relationship with Trupanion, saving you from having to pay up-front costs and waiting to be reimbursed.

Trupanion will first present you with three common plan configurations to choose from. Your monthly premiums will depend on the gender, age, and breed of your pet, as well as your zip code, so take these prices as a general guideline:

  • $750 deductible = $40.29/month
  • $200 deductible = $73.16/month
  • $0 deductible = $123.01/month

If none of the packages they give you fit what you want, you can use the customize tool to select the deductible and corresponding premium that you'd prefer. For our 7-year-old, medium mixed-breed male dog, the lowest premium we were quoted was $31.97 for a deductible of $1000. All plans come with a one-time enrollment fee of $35.

There are a few add-ons available with Trupanion. You'll find them at the bottom of your quote page, because the cost depends on the pet insurance plan you select. These extras include Recovery/Complementary Care (such as acupuncture, homeopathy, and behavioral modification) and Pet Owner Assistance (cremation/burial costs for accidental death, boarding fees for owner hospitalization, and so on). There is no option for including any kind of routine/wellness care.

As with any pet insurance plan, it's important to know what you're getting - and what you're not. First, your deductible is per-incident, not per year. So, if your deductible is $500 and your pet gets an ear infection in January and a UTI in May, you can expect to pay $1000 in deductibles before any coverage kicks in.

Also, Trupanion defines pre-existing conditions as "any illness, condition, or injury for which signs or evidence of their potential manifestation existed within the 18 months prior to the policy enrollment date, or during applicable waiting periods." Some customers complained that Trupanion uses the "potential manifestation" part to deny coverage - if you mentioned to your vet 12 months ago that your dog had thrown up and now she's got a condition for which vomiting can be a symptom, it may be rejected as a pre-existing issue.

Those complaints may be part of the reason that Trupanion's rating with the BBB is an "A" instead of an "A+" - but that's still a very solid reputation as an accredited company.

Trupanion makes understanding pet insurance easier than some companies by making sure you know what you're paying for, what's included, and what isn't. They also simplify things by paying all claims at 90%, limiting your decision-making strictly to how much you want to pay for your per-case deductible. Just be aware that their broad definition of pre-existing conditions may limit your ability to make a claim on your pet's illness.

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Continued from above

Just like their owners, pets can be protected with pet insurance plans that help ease the financial strain of medical care. Pet insurance has become very popular in the last few years, with dozens of companies offering to help you keep your pet healthy for a long time. But, every pet insurance plan is different with respect to deductibles and fees, covered services, and claims processing.

As you decide which pet insurance company is the best fit for you and your pet, keep in mind the following criteria:

  • Cost. What will you pay for your coverage? Is there a deductible, and is it annual or per incident? Will you pay any enrollment fees?
  • Coverage. What services and procedures are covered in the plan you have selected? Does it cover preventative measures like annual checkups? Are there any noteworthy exclusions? Does the company offer a variety of plans to meet your needs?
  • Reputation. Is the pet insurance provider rated by the Better Business Bureau? What do other customers say about their experience? Are claims paid quickly, or do you have to jump through a lot of hoops to file paperwork? Do many claims get denied? Are the company's customer service representatives knowledgeable and friendly?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Pet Insurance companies available today. We hope this information helps you find the best pet insurance plan for you and your animal companion!

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