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Trupanion Pet Insurance vs 24 Pet Watch

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TRUPANION

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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24 PET WATCH

When we first considered 24 Pet Watch several years ago, their hard-to-use, incomplete website was an immediate turn-off. Since then, this provider of both pet insurance and microchip plans has improved their site by leaps and bounds, making it easier to see what they have to offer.

But, you'll still have to jump through quite a few hoops to determine what your premiums will be. You can enter your state and download a sample plan if you want an overview before giving them your contact information, but the simplest route is to choose the Get a Quote button. You'll be asked to provide basic details like your pet's breed and gender, birthdate, and if there are any preexisting conditions. Got a microchip? Enter the number during the quote process and get a 5% discount.

What will you pay for an insurance plan? That depends on where you live, so take the following prices just as a ballpark estimate:

  • Essential: for $18.36/month and a $100 deductible, our dog was covered for Hospitalization/Surgeries, Hereditary/Congenital Conditions, Physical/Rehabilitative Therapies, Lab Tests/X-Rays/Ultrasounds, Medications, Accidents and Illnesses, Alternative Treatments, Ambulance/Paramedical Services, Exam & Diagnostic Fees - up to a yearly limit of $1500
  • Extra: for $27.62/month, our dog would be covered for all of the same items in the Essential plan, but with an increased annual coverage limit of $3000.
  • Classic: again, this plan covers the same things, but increases the monthly premium to $38.74/month and the annual limit to $5000.
  • Super: $46.12/month gives you the same coverage, but with an annual limit of $10,000/year
  • Champion: to have a total coverage limit of $20,000 per year, expect to pay somewhere around $63.15/month.

Be aware that none of these plans cover wellness services, like vaccinations or annual checkups. If you want coverage to help pay for dental cleaning, heartworm tests, or fecal screening, you'll need to add either Wellness Care Routine or Wellness Care Advanced to your plan, at a cost of $12 or $26 extra per month, respectively.

Pet insurance is worth the money if you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, we found many complaints about 24 Pet Watch's ability to deliver service on the plans they sell. More than one customer said that their premiums almost doubled unexpectedly, or that a plan they'd been paying on for years was cancelled out of the blue. Even worse, some people were told that their coverage had been terminated only when they called to make a claim - but they had been paying their premiums on time and had no reason to think they were no longer covered.

24 Pet Watch also has no rating with the BBB.

With so many companies offering reliable, affordable pet insurance, 24 Pet Watch just doesn't measure up. We think you'll find greater peace of mind with one of the higher-ranked pet insurance providers in our review.

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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 24 Pet Watch.

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.

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!



How Pet Insurance Can Save You Money

If you asked every pet lover you encountered in a day how they feel about their pets, they'd likely tell you they view them as family members, not pets. As such, most pet owners want their furry family members to live long and healthy lives.

One of the best ways to make sure that happens is by investing in a pet insurance policy.

Like their human counterparts, animals can get sick or be involved in accidents which can cause severe injury. They also need routine preventative healthcare in order to stay healthy - all of which can cost a pretty penny. Pet insurance plans are designed to help shoulder the burden of these costs, helping pet owners to have the choice in caring for their pet, versus euthanasia due to insufficient funding to pay for necessary medical procedures.

Currently, only one percent of the U.S. pet population - just under 3 million animals - is insured. However, industry trends indicate that pet health insurance policies are growing in popularity in the U.S., with an anticipated increase of up to 10 percent within the next five years.

The first official pet healthcare policy was sold in Britain in 1947. Britain trails only Sweden in the number of pet owners who provide insurance for their pets. Dogs are the most-insured pet, followed by cats and small exotic animals. While it is sold under the name "healthcare insurance," pet health insurance is actually under the insurance umbrella for property. According to insurance laws, pets are seen as property, so the insurance policy which covers them is similar to that for any other property owned by an individual.

Most pet owners understand that cost for care, as well as the likelihood that the pet will suffer from certain diseases and conditions, significantly increases as the pet ages. However, not many pet owners have stopped to ask themselves what they would do if their pet suffered a serious or unexpected injury. Average cost for mending a broken leg, for instance, can run between $2,000 and $5,000 without insurance coverage. Dogs, which are known for eating and swallowing items which can be harmful, may need emergency surgery to remove the item and repair any internal damage that may have been caused. That kind of procedure can cost up to $3,000. Many pet owners cannot afford such high up-front costs and most veterinarians require payment in full at the time of the procedure. That leaves many pet owners struggling with what to do for their pet when they can't afford the procedure that could help them.

Other conditions, such as diabetes mellitus, are on the rise in the pet population. One out of every 400 dogs and cats will be diagnosed with diabetes at some point in their lives. With the advent of medical procedures and interventions not previously available to our pets, many are living longer, which increases their chances of developing age-related conditions and injuries. Take for instance, a pet which develops diabetes. That animal would require insulin injections, much as its human counterpart diagnosed with the same condition would need. Monthly costs between insulin and the syringes needed to administer it can cost a couple hundred dollars. Then there is the glucose monitoring system required to keep track of your pet's insulin levels. Animal-specific monitors such as AlphaTrak can cost $200 by the time you purchase the monitor, the lancets and the testing strips.

Most pet policies cover these issues and many more, making them a good investment for pet owners. With a variety of plans from which to choose, pet owners can find one that is not only affordable to them, but which also covers their pet's annual medical needs.

 



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