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Trupanion Pet Insurance vs Petplan
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.
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:
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.
Petplan has been offering insurance coverage for dogs and cats for more than 14 years. As an "A+" rated, accredited business with the BBB, they've demonstrated that they respond appropriately to customer concerns and are trustworthy in what they provide.
When you're deciding if Petplan is the best insurance for your pet, you can use their handy Claim Calculator to see what you'd pay with various configurations of coverage limits, deductibles/reimbursement levels, and so on. We liked that we could get an idea of what we'd pay in premiums and out-of-pocket before giving them our contact information.
You'll be offered three plan packages to choose from:
You can also use the Customize tool below your three-plan quote, to change your annual limits (anywhere from $2500 to unlimited), deductible ($250 to $1000), or reimbursement percentage (70% to 90%).
Every plan covers imaging, surgery/rehabilitation, prescription medications due to an accident or illness, non-routine veterinarian exam fees, accidents/injuries/illnesses, cancer treatments, and diagnostic treatments. You'll also get 24/7 veterinary assistance through PetCoach, and round-the-clock Petplan customer support.
However, Petplan does not cover wellness care, such as annual visits or vaccinations, because their plans are "designed to give you comprehensive protection against unexpected vet bills for injuries and illnesses". Your pet will also be ineligible for coverage if they have a pre-existing condition.
Despite their solid history at the BBB, customer reviews were mixed overall. We found more than a few people that said Petplan waited months to make a determination on a claim (all while still charging monthly premiums) only to then deny the claim anyway. Others said that they were asked to provide documentation starting from their pet's birth, in order to rule out a pre-existing condition, but their dog was a rescue and didn't have any; their claim was denied.
Given that Petplan's monthly premiums are almost always much higher than competitors with similar coverage, you could be paying a lot of money if you don't pay attention to the particular exclusions.
Petplan is a reputable provider of pet insurance, and we appreciate their strong reputation with the BBB and easy-to-use website. But, it seems that they also put a lot of effort into denying claims and taking a long time to do it. And, if you're looking for any kind of routine/wellness coverage, you won't find it with Petplan.
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:
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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