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      August 14, 2020

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Trupanion Pet Insurance vs Nationwide

Best Pet Insurance

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

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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
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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3 stars
Nationwide

NATIONWIDE

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Cost:

Plans starting at $16.51/month

Unlimited annual maximum on all plans

Annual deductibles of $100 or $250

Plans available for birds and exotic pets

$2 monthly transaction fee if not paying annually

No enrollment fee

"Nationwide is on your side" - and that includes your pets. Originally selling pet insurance under the Veterinary Pet Insurance brand in 1982, their very first customer was the famous TV collie, Lassie. Since then, Nationwide has covered thousands of pets throughout the US - including birds and exotic animals.

There are a few things you'll notice right away that are different with Nationwide. First, when getting a quote, you'll only be offered two plans: Major Medical and Whole Pet with Wellness. Unlike most companies that let you customize plans based on annual deductibles, coverage limits, and reimbursement percentages, Nationwide reduces your decision-making to whether you want wellness coverage or not. The Whole Pet program reimburses at 90%, while the Major Medical pays based on standard costs, not actual. With both programs, you can use any veterinarian you like.

For a kitten, you can expect to pay $16.51/month for Major Medical - almost four times as much as the lowest-priced competitor plan - or $46.60/month for Whole Pet with Wellness. But, both plans have an unlimited annual maximum, and with $250 and $100 annual deductibles, respectively, those prices are well worth the investment. Even looking at an older, more expensive pet to cover - our 7-year-old dog - we were pleasantly surprised by the rates: $57.66/month for Major Medical and $102.95 for Whole Pet with Wellness.

You'll be asked for fairly detailed medical history/information on your pet when you apply, so be prepared to document any past conditions, diagnoses, or treatments. You'll also be asked to identify your veterinarian - but it's not a problem if yours isn't in the list. (Ours was, along with dozens of others in our area.)

If you're paying for your plan on a monthly basis, you should expect transaction fees of $2/month. Also, your first payment will automatically be for two months of coverage, and your policy won't go into effect until at least 14 days after you apply and make that payment.

Does Nationwide measure up when it comes to pay out on claims? As much as we wanted to love this company for having simple-to-understand pricing with such broad coverage, we were disappointed when we looked at what other people had to say. Their comments were almost entirely negative; in fact, it was hard to find a customer who said that they had no issues at all with their policy. Many people felt they'd gotten a bait-and-switch with conditions and procedures they were told would be covered but in the end were denied. We also found a significant number of complaints saying that unless you provide detailed medical documentation from your veterinarian, Nationwide will deny your claim; some customers never received the request for that paperwork and didn't realize it until their claims were rejected.

Nationwide has a strong reputation for being a quality provider of insurance, across a wide range of policy types. It is largely due to this reputation and to their comprehensive pricing and plans that we give them a three-star rating. However, we advise you to be cautious and thorough with providing your pet's medical history, preferably during the application process - and that you follow up to make sure Nationwide received it before you make a claim, if possible.

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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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