Trupanion Pet Insurance Review

Ever since my post about VPI Pet Insurance where people started asking about the Trupanion Pet Insurance, I’ve been wanting to do a review of their website and what they have to offer. So just like I have done with several other insurance companies I’ll take you though their website and the pet insurances they offer and tell you my honest opinion on what I think about it.

Trupanion – The First Impression


When I first visited their website I liked what I found. The look of it is clean and precise and you don’t have a lot of flashy things distracting your attention from the fact that you’re there to check out their pet insurance. The front page has what I consider to be some of the most important elements when you as a pet owner are looking for a new insurance for your pet.

Quotes On Pet Insurance


Obviously they have included an area where you can get a quote on a pet insurance (more on that later). They have another prominent section where they’ll answer questions about whether your pet is eligible for a pet insurance. Both of these are crucial for a good pet insurance website in my opinion. Next they have included a section with customer testimonials, a section where you can see how they compare to the competition and finally a credibility stamp of being approved by AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) and then of cause a call to action where you can either phone them or enroll online.

So in this first part of the Trupanion pet insurance review I can only say that the front page of their website get a top rating. So when that is said let’s dig a little deeper. I am curious to see their pet insurance plans and how they are comparing themselves to the competition.

Trupanion Pet Insurance vs. The Competition

Trupanion has created a comparison sheet where you can see how they cover things like:

– If a pet becomes sick or is injured what IS covered?
– If a pet becomes sick or is injured what is NOT covered?
– Will you be penalized for your pet aging?

All of which are very important to pet owners. Everything is explained in simple terms but I would still encourage you to read the actual terms before signing anything. I’m sure that they can be held up on what is posted on their website but you don’t want to go into a battle about that.

The companies that you can compare the Trupanion pet insurance with are VPI Pet Insurance (read my review here), PetCare Pet Insurance, PetPlan, ASPCA Pet insurance, Pets Best and PurinaCare.

What I like about this is that this covers most of the larger pet insurance companies in the country and even though they left out companies like Embrace, Pet Assure and AKC I still feel that it’ll give you a good overview as a pet owner and give you a good feeling of what things are important to ask about when searching for pet insurance.

Pet Insurance Packages with Trupanion

The section where you can get a quote for a pet insurance has 7 simple questions that you’ll need to answer and here comes the first problem. If you chose a pet age above 12 months you’re recommended to select another company as Trupanion is for puppies and kittens only.

Going back to the home page I see now that it says that Trupanion is for puppies and kittens but I didn’t notice that when I first looked at it.

So why is this a smart thing for Trupanion? Well you’ll often find that the animals that get sick or injured are the older ones and not the puppies and kittens. That means that even though they’ll cover your pet when it gets old you have already paid them their fee for many years and it’ll still be good business for them. I know it is a company and that they have to make money but I find it to be a little too clever a way to make sure they get a profit.

I tried to change my answers to be a puppy under 12 months and I found a monthly fee of $24.37 with a $500 premium. The great part is that you get an instant comparison chart that tells you what the cost would be if you had signed up with one of the competing companies. Whether the figures are true or not I can’t say but I find the feature to be great for a pet owner that is fixed on prices.

Now the there can be a lot more to a Trupanion pet insurance review but since every pet owners case is different I would like to encourage you to go check out the site. It has a lot of great features and is easy to understand (besides the fact that it is only for puppies and kittens which I obviously didn’t get).

But always remember that when you’re looking for pet insurance on the insurance company’s site you should always keep a skeptical eye out because they’re there to sell you something and they’ll surely try to do that.

Trupanion Promo Code

In these troublesome times, a lot of pet owners are searching for coupons in order to save money and that this applies to searching for pet insurance as well. Unfortunately, there are no Trupanion promotion code (that I know off) that will help you get a discount on your insurance. Rates are set for a reason and giving a discount would mean that the rate was actually set too high or that the company would now be willing to lose money on your particular account (would not make sense). So saving money on pet insurance will be more about choosing the right company over having the specific company give you a promo code for a discount.

Trupanion review

Now obviously this article is my view on Trupanion. However, what will bring you a lot more insight and even better Trupanion reviews will be to read the comments that customers and potential customers have added in the comments. Besides the comments and questions, you will also find a couple of really nice Trupanion employees giving feedback to customers when they have asked questions. I don’t know of any other pet insurance company that has had such a proactive online approach to its customers.

Surely, you will find a few Trupanion pet insurance complaints in the comments and that is to be expected. Someone will always think that something is unfair but I suggest that you base your review on the comments from the Trupanion staff.

Watch this post in video format

514 comments to Trupanion Pet Insurance Review

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hey There,

    Thanks for the awesome review. Not only is it great to hear that consumers are liking our website, but that it’s helpful as well. (To note: We are currently working on expanding the comparison section to include all US competitors).

    To your comment about the puppy and kitten advantage – it could be in our advantage to enroll pets when they’re younger, sure, but we do also enroll them over 1 – just under a different brand and policy called Vetinsurance. However, as anyone with pet insurance who has suffered the “pre-existing condition” clause, it’s also in the pet owners best interest. Sure, statistically pets may not get any major illnesses until they are way older, but should anything happen before you get the insurance, that condition (with ANY pet insurance company) would not be covered. We are mainly encouraging pet owners to enroll pets at a younger age, by offering a more appealing policy (Trupanion) than if they were to enroll as an older pet (Vetinsurance).

    But I definitely agree – be skeptical! Read the fine print! Ask questions before you give a company your money!

    And please, if anyone has further comments I’d love to hear them..

    • Mike

      The problem with Trupanion is how they increase the premiums.

      One of their comparison examples of why to use Trupanion is:
      “No, Trupanion does not penalize the pet owner with age related increases. Premiums may periodically change to reflect the cost of veterinary care in your region, but rates will never be increased due to the aging of your pet or for filing claims. ”

      Which is compared to: “Pets Best
      Yes, monthly premiums will increase each year as pet ages.

      * Age 1 — $34.45
      * Age 2 — $34.77
      * Age 6 — $38.71
      * Age 10 — $43.63
      * Age 14 — $48.55”

      My premium just increased 151% (~$33 to ~$50) after 1 year of insuring my dog and not once submitting a claim. I would take the increases from Pets Best any day compared to random and significant increases by Trupanion.

  • Mikael

    I’m impressed Melissa. Even though I’m trying to be objective here I can’t help but love that your company is so proactive online. You’re the first company to respond to my many posts (heck you even responded to post about some of the other companies) and even though this blog is almost 2 years old, you’re still the only one.

    I have to give you huge amounts of credit for this! 🙂

  • Donna Lou Morgan

    I researched each of the various pet insurance companies to find the best bang for the buck and want to point out several key factors.

    1. Trupanion does not have a per incident cap (some placed the cap at $1500). This can be costly if your vet bill is say $6000.
    2. Trupanion covers 90% as opposed to 80% with most of the others.
    3. Trupanion pays based on the actual vet bill – not a fee schedule, which could be costly.
    4. Trupanion is for pets under one year of age and they offer another company for pets over one year of age (this is the starting age of the pet at the time of insurance). The “sister” company rates are within a couple of dollars of each other.
    5. The waiting period is 5 days for accidents and 30 days for illness (3 days and 14 days for the others). This I felt was the only drawback, but in the long run…I feel the above is far more beneficial and cost effective.

    I went with Trupanion based on these findings for a domestic longhair, 11 month old female cat.

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Just thought I should pop back on here to do an update:

    As of last week, Trupanion now allows enrollments up to 14 years of age! The be eligible the pet must be 8 weeks (up to 13 years) and live within a state that we’re currently licensed in.

    If you happen to live in a state where we’re currently not available, please check back in a few months as we’re trying to be available in all 50 states by this summer!

  • Ginny Stygar

    Big Trupanion disadvantage is no coverage if your pet is not neutered and is hit by a car. Read the small print-exclusion area! We have a puppy Bouvier that we want to raise and show at AKC shows so neutering is not an option for us.

  • Lynne

    Trupanion isn’t currently available in Nevada, do you know when it will be?

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Ginny,

    Unfortunately, that is true. There is an array of medical issues that are more prone in intact pets, as any veterinarian will tell you. One of those, is that pets who are intact are more likely to chase animals and cars, therefore leading them into streets and into harms way. Because of this, we strongly recommend that pet owners spay and neuter their pets. Your situation happens to be the one sticky situation.

    Lynne,

    Nevada is about an inch away from being available. We’re in the last stages of jumping through the Department of Insurance hoops. We are hoping to have Nevada up and running within the next few weeks! Please keep checking back with us:)

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    I also wanted to note, Donna Lou Morgan, that we now offer coverage to pets up to 14 years of age – other than that, your list pretty much sums us up!

  • Robert Huss

    So, if my dog is neutered, and god forbid he was in an accident with a car, I am covered, right?

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Lynne,

    I’m not sure if you’re still following this thread, but I wanted to let you know that as of last Friday Trupanion is now available in Nevada!

    Robert,
    Theoretically, yes you would be covered.

  • Lynne

    Thanks, that’s great news about it being available in Nevada!

  • jim

    I read every policy I could find
    I am happy I chose trupanion
    Customer service has been great

  • Dave

    Melissa at Trupanion:

    Any idea when you can start covering in Nebraska? I’m very interested after reading this review, but I wasn’t able to get a quote for the kitten we’re adopting in about a week.

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your interest. We are still a few months away from being available in Nebraska. I would check back in 2 months or so.

  • April

    OK, I’m in. My current pet insurance company has dropped dramatically in their positive reviews since being underwritten by Aetna. Since studying the Trupanion website for the last 3 weeks, I’m going to insure my 2 dogs (and one 14 week old mischievious puppy) with Trupanion. Melissa’s prompt responses to people’s concerns was the final decision maker for me.

  • Annalisa

    I am a small hobby breeder. We do show our cats in CFA and TICA. Is there a plan for us with Trupanion? Our cats must be whole to show in Championship Rings.
    Thanks

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    April,
    Thanks for choosing Trupanion! I’m always happy to hear that pet owners do thorough research before choosing a company (and am of course happier when they choose Trupanion – but then again, I suppose I’m a little biased;) ). Best of luck with your three pups!

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Annalisa,
    Trupanion only offers one plan which covers accidents and illnesses. This plan, as mentioned above, does have limitations for pets that are left intact. I invite you to visit our website and read through our sample policy to learn more about those limitations.

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    …continued to Annalisa…
    If Trupanion doesn’t work out for you, I would recommend visiting Pet Insurance Review and other third party review sites (such as this one) and to also continue doing research before settling on a company. Best of luck!

  • Kim

    Hi Melissa,
    I looked up that website that you mentioned Pet Insurance Review and noticed that several people complained about their insurance premiums going up. But when you do the comparison on Trupanion’s website it says the premiums don’t go up except in the case of inflationary cost of veterinary medicine. Can you clarify this for me?

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hi Kim,

    I would be happy to clarify. Premiums with Trupanion will increase, as does with, well any insurance I’ve ever had. They will not increase, however, every time your pet has a birthday or if you file claims. The reviews you saw were right after Vetinsurance (our Canadian brand) saw a rate change and of course this made many people unhappy. Because all of our premiums are based on where you live (to try to keep things as fair as possible), some people actually saw decreases, some saw increases of maybe a few pennies and some were a little more considerable (likely the commentors you mention). Yes, we only increase costs based on inflation and the increase in costs of veterinary medicine.

    I hope this helped! Please let me know if you need further clarification.

    • JJ

      >>>”They will not increase, however, every time your pet has a birthday or if you file claims.”<<FIFTEEN< percent. More than enough to recoup the small payout I had to fight for. FYI trupanion is like any other Pet "insurance": it is a complete SCAM!

      I am posting this ALL OVER THE WEB!!!!

      • Stacy at Trupanion

        Hi JJ,
        Insurance is highly regulated, thus cannot “scam” you for your money. Updated premiums do not go out to customers until they are approved by each state’s department of insurance based on the fact that they are not excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory.
        Your premium is still based on the age of your pet at the time of enrollment and this will continue to be the case even as your pet ages. Subsequently, you would have seen the same change to your premium even if you hadn’t filed any claims.
        Premiums are updated based on the average cost of a pet like yours based on its age (at enrollment), breed, location, and chosen deductible. Because we offer such liberal coverage with no payout limits, we must adjust premiums accordingly.
        I encourage you to give us a call to further discuss this as we would be glad for the opportunity to help clear up any misconceptions. 800-569-7913

        • JJ

          Oh sure, insurance is “regulated” [by corrupt, PAID OFF government officials] and therefore not a scam. Like I was born yesterday. In reality, your industry is a massive FRAUD. Is that a better term for you?

          I am re-posting the FULL story of how your company tried to 1st rip me off, then after I threatened to sue, jacked my rate up 15% in only a few months to cover your little payout on a small claim of under $200.00 for my little beagle boy. SCAM + FRAUD is what trupanion is.

          No I am not gonna call. I am busy posting my experience all over the web….

          • Mikael

            @JJ, please keep calm. I will not approve your comments if you’re not keeping this at a constructive level.

            /Admin

  • Nina

    Melissa,
    What if I get the insurance when the puppy is 8 weeks old (and of course is too young to be neutered), and then get the puppy neutered at the appropriate time? Will the rates/coverage change?

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hi Nina,

    Thanks for your question. Trupanion just requires that you get your pet neutered as recommended by your vet. Depending on the particular breed and animal, this could range from a few months to a little over a year. As long as you follow those guidelines, you will have the full coverage. And for breeders, who choose not to spay or neuter, they will still be covered for most things with the exception of a few illnesses that are directly related to spaying and neutering.

    As for the rates, if you enroll your pet as a puppy you will always pay the ‘puppy rate’. For example, when your dog turns 5 you would still be paying the same rates that a newly enrolled puppy is paying (given the same residential location and breed). I hope this helps!

  • Nina

    Thanks for your response, Melissa. I would also like to clarify that the $20,000 maximum limit is for the dog’s entire life, and not an annual limit? What happens if the dog surpasses the $20,000 during his lifespan?

  • jimmy

    Hi
    I recently had my first claim with trupanion
    they were excellent
    I recieved an e mail when they got my claim
    then about a week later i got a 90% reimbursment for a diagnostic
    I couldnt afford to have my kitten without a reliable insurance program

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hello again Nina,
    Yes you are correct, the $20,000 is a lifetime limit only. Very few members ever reach their lifetime limit (I believe only 2 or 3 to date in the last 10 years) and those that do are sure happy they had the $20,000! As veterinary technology advances and that limit no longer seems adequate, we will raise it, as we have done in the past. For example, when the company first started that lifetime limit was $10,000 and has since increased to $20,000. If, however, the pet does reach the lifetime limit they can re-enroll in a new policy and anything that had happened during the previous policy becomes pre-existing. I know for certain that a dog who recently reached that limit (you can read Neuman’s testimonial here: http://www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/why_choose_trupanion_pet_health_insurance/pet_insurance_stories/dog-owner-testimonials.aspx ) did actually re-enroll with us after reaching that limit.

    And Jimmy, I’m happy to hear that Trupanion is taking care of you and your kitten:)

  • Shamane

    Hi Melissa,

    It is so great to see you on here and providing information about your services. Yes I did come across your website about a week ago and have been debating. With all of the questions that have been asked, I am most definately going to register my puppy with your company.

    My one question is regarding the spay/neutering that was mentioned previously. I will be getting my puppy neutered in the next month, do I need to have this done before I register him with you. And if not will my rate be higher until I do so. He is turning 8 months this month.

    Thank you!

  • Cynthia

    Melissa,
    I’ve heard very good things about your company, and this thread has helped confirmed my thinking. However, I called and the person I spoke to couldn’t tell if you offered coverage in the District of Columbia (DC). I live in DC but my vet is in Maryland. And, secondly, I had question abt a dog’s ‘pre-existing’ conditions for occassional diarrhea that has NOT been attributed to any ongoing pathology or condition. In other words, related to ingestion of a bone or similar.

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Shamane,
    You do not need to have your pup neutered before you sign up and this will not affect your monthly premium. All that we ask is that you have your pets spayed or neutered as recommended by your vet. This, as you might know, could range anywhere from 6 months to a little over a year old. Keep in mind, that for those people who choose to keep their pets intact, all this will affect is they coverage. There are certain illnesses associated with keeping your pet intact, as your veterinarian can explain, so if you choose to keep your pet in tact you will not have coverages for those illnesses. An example of one of those is ovarian cancer in females.

    Cynthia,
    We are still working in completing the licensing in Washington DC, and since you enroll based on where you live, you will likely have to wait another month or two. We are licensed in Maryland, so if you happened to live there you would be able to enroll right away. Once enrolled, however, you can visit any licensed veterinarian in the US and we will cover you.
    As for your pre-existing inquiry, it’s hard for me to have a clear answer for you without knowing and seeing the pet’s full medical history, but as long as the incident that happens during the covered period is in no way related to a prior incident, then it would be covered.

    Best of luck to you both!

  • Kirk

    Hi Melissa at Trupanion,
    I have a 5 1/2 month old Maltese and soon we are going to have her neutered. Is this covered if we enroll with Trupanion before she gets neutered? Thanks in advanced for your help.

  • Rachel

    Hi Melissa–

    Can you please explain the clause in your contract that states that “Pets enrolling must undergo a complete clinical examination, to be paid by you, no more than 90 days before policy effective date, or 30 days following the policy effective date.”

    My dog was neutered in June and went through a checkup beforehand to make sure he was okay for surgery, but it wasn’t documented as an exam. I am concerned that this could potentially void my coverage if a claim occurs. My dog is in great health and another exam would be pretty redundant (and costly) at this time.

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hey Kirk,
    Trupanion’s coverage is for accident and illness only. That said, we do not cover the cost of spay/neuter. However, if you are looking for this to be covered, I would call your local animal shelter as many shelters these days are offering free or low-cost spay and neuters to help reduce animal shelter intake!

    Rachel,
    This is something we are working on removing from our policy. We used to ask that pets go to the vet within 90 days of if they hadn’t been in previous 30 days. HOWEVER, we no longer require this. We found that it was quite agitating for pet owners to have to pay $50-75 to take their pet to the vet for a check up just so they could get insurance coverage.

    That said, you shouldn’t have to worry about your pup and we would not void your coverage for this. If you have further questions, I would invite you to contact our customer service team at 1-800-569-7913. Hope this helps!

  • Paula

    Hi Melissa,
    My dog is a dutch shepherd. Her breed is not listed on your breed list. Will this be a problem if I decide to go with your company? Abbie-Gale & I don’t want to be accused of fraud! -)
    Thanks,
    Paula

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hi Paula,
    Thank you for the inquiry. We are always working on updating our breed list so thank you for bringing up with one. I have checked with our enrollment and claim department, and they say that you will be just fine if you were to enroll as either a German Shepherd or Belgian Shepherd (Malinois)! Best of luck to you and Abbie-Gale:)

  • Brittany

    I was considering Trupanion, until I just read that they don’t cover ANY PREVENTATIVE MEASURES. So basically, they don’t do anything to help you keep your pet healthy, they only cover you if something horrible happens, and even then it is limited. So getting your animal’s teeth cleaned (which by the way prevents many health problems), or getting vaccinations (HELLO by law you have to get rabies vaccines at a minimum!), are NOT covered. If you’re paying for all the preventative measures out of your own pocket, it’s unlikely you’ll NEED insurance for illness, and the insurance companies know it. That’s how all insurance companies make money, I know, but for God’s sake, it’s just ridiculous. If you’re a responsible pet owner, it’s doubtful you’ll ever need pet insurance.

    Bottom line: ALL pet insurance is a rip-off. Just save the money you would spend monthly on a pet insurance policy and put it into a savings account should anything horrible happen to your fur baby. Even with pet insurance, you have to pay the vet out of your own pocket, so you’ll have to have the money anyway – this way you aren’t ALSO paying a monthly premium for something you’ll never use.

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Trupanion does not hide the fact that we don’t cover preventative care, in fact we have a pretty good reason as to why we don’t. As we all know, an insurance company like any other company must make money to stay in business. In order to make money on covering wellness or preventative care (care that we can essentially plan and budget for) the insurance company would HAVE to charge more than the charge of the service.

    Think of it this way, would you want your car insurance company covering oil changes? Imagine how much higher the premiums would be if the company had to charge not only for the cost of the oil change, but for also the cost of administration fees that go along with processing those additional and frequent claims. It’s not that we’re discouraging people from taking care of their pets through routine care, we just don’t think that you should pay us extra to have it taken care of.

    If you look into other pet insurance companies who do cover wellness and preventative, they typically charge between $15 and $20 more per month and some place additional limits as to how much they will reimburse for given routine care. Wouldn’t you rather hold on to that $15 to $20 and just put it towards your planned preventative expenses?

    As for the bottom line, Brittany you’re of course entitled to your opinion, and I wouldn’t say that pet insurance is necessarily the answer for everyone. But I can assure you and every other reader that those insured pet owners who have had hefty veterinary bills and gotten reimbursement are sure happy that they had the insurance!

  • Dave Reid

    In response to wellness care included in pet insurance, I don’t think you even looked around at the other insurerers that offer wellness care. It’s usually about $15/month extra and it has it’s own yearly deductible of around $200/year, so in most cases you never meet that deductible.

    I agree that in most cases you’re probably better off having a savings account, but pet insurance has it’s own place for those who want it.

  • Lynne B

    I literally don’t have a dog in this fight, I don’t have Trupanion insurance, I found another company that better suited my needs, but if you really do the math, you will see what Melissa is saying is absolutely true. There is no HMO for dogs, if you want preventative care, it is strictly limited per procedure and has an annual maximum, and you will pay in premiums at least what the maximum coverage is- there is NO company that covers it without you paying 100% of it. It’s a waste of money, you need health insurance for pets to cover catastrophes, like the $4,000 bill I had to pay for my senior Aussies dental extractions & restorations (I had no insurance for that) Also, beware of a company that uses a fee list limiting what they will pay for procedures, at least one of the big companies uses a fee chart that covers about 25% of what actual vet fees are. Any company you go with should accept the entire vet bill and then subject it to any deductible and co-pays that are part of your policy

  • Laura

    Hi Melissa,

    I am considering Trupanion for my 10 month pup, Pip. I have two questions.

    1) As an example, if my dog were to be diagnosed with cancer in 2008, when I renew my policy for 2009, will that cancer be considered a pre-existing disease, or will be it covered?

    2) You have mentioned that the check-up is no longer necessary to get enrolled. However, it is still posted on your website. I am asking to clarify whether or not it is necessary.

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hi Laura,

    I’m happy to see that you’re considering pet insurance while your pup is still young, as this is the best time. Not only will premiums be lower, but you shouldn’t have as many pre-existing conditions to worry about.

    To answer your first question: Trupanion’s policy is continuous until cancelled which means that as long as you never have a lapse in coverage (either from non-payment or if you decide to cancel and re-enroll) then nothing will become pre-existing. In other words, as long as your pet didn’t have cancer before you first enroll, then cancer would always be covered.

    2. As mentioned, we are still working this wording out of our website and policy. It takes a little time because we have to re-file with each state’s department of insurance. However, we are no longer enforcing this rule. If you’d like, feel free to call or email our customer service team at 1-800-569-7913 or info@trupanion.com. They would be happy to answer your questions as well as give you an email stating that we no longer enforce the 30/90 rule.

    Best of luck!

  • Laura

    Thank you for your prompt reply! If you don’t mind, I’ve got more questions.

    Can I call Trupanion right away to ask if I get coverage for a vet bill? Or do I have to send the claim in and wait for approval?

    I read a review saying that you don’t raise the premium when the pet ages, but the person writing the review got a raised premium because you charged them with benefits. Is that true? I doubt it, but I’m curious.

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Not a problem!

    You can actually get pre-approval, say if you’re going to face a large surgery or something similar, leaving you with a big vet bill. If you choose not to, you would have to submit the claim and wait for approval.

    Our premiums will increase as inflation increases and as veterinary costs increase. However, we do not tie those premium increases to your pet’s age or if you submit claims. For example, if you enroll your pet as a 10 month old labrador retreiver in Seattle, even in 5 years from now, you will be paying the same price as a newly enrolled 10 month old labrador retreiver in Seattle.

    I’m not really sure what this person meant by being “charged with benefits”. Like I mentioned, the only time we increase premiums (which may happen every year and a half to two years) is to keep up with inflation.

  • Laura

    Thank you! Regarding the pre-approval, how long will it take? How do I go about the process?

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Not a problem! The pre-approval process requires that the claims department look through your pet’s medical history and get an understand as to why the procedure is necessary, just as they would with an actual claim. The process doesn’t usually take more than a couple days. All you would do to get started is put a call into our claims department and let them know of your situation and they will walk you down the path!

  • Mary

    Hi Melissa,

    I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate how Trupanion is very forthright in it’s offerings.

    I enrolled my puppy 6 days ago and *after* I’ve signed up with PetCare (24PetWatch). I realized after the fact that you actually had a better all-around coverage. When I called them to cancel it and keep Trupanion, of course as expected, they tried to keep me by offering me a 15% discount, which is fine, but what bothered me the most was when they made false claims about Trupanion in order to keep me as a customer.

    1. They said that Trupanion has a benefit schedule and will not cover claims as submitted.

    2. They said that Trupanion will increase premiums based on age. I told them that that is incorrect because the website specifically indicated the opposite. He had the audacity to tell me that I should get it in writing because not everything that is printed on the website may be true. My rebuttal to him was, “Then that would apply to your company as well woudn’t it?!” Then there was a moment of silence.

    3. I told him that it would be an ethical business practice if he did not make claims against another company under false pretenses in order to keep a customer.

    Just to get him off his soap box, I said I will think about it (so I can get off the phone) but I’ve made up my mind. I will cancel the policy on Tuesday.

    It validated my decision to stay with Trupanion.

  • Mrs. Velez

    Hi Melissa,

    I am currently researching various pet insurers and really liked that your company covers congenital/hereditary conditions under the $20,000 lifetime limit. I recently became the proud owner of an absolutely adorable Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and I am very interested in knowing if Trupanion covers claims for diseases like MVD that occur so often in this breed. Some companies consider congenital conditions as pre-existing and therefore do not cover them. I find this quite disappointing since it is nearly impossible to know for certain if a puppy has a condition at the time of adoption/purchase. Can you clarify the company terms for me please?

    Also I didn’t see it on the website, but is there a discount for paying upfront for the coverage vs. monthly installments? I have noticed that some companies offer discounts.

    Thanks!!

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hi Mary,

    I’m happy that you actually did you research enough to be able to pick out false claims! That said, thank you for bringing this to our attention. While I doubt that this is a typical business practice of PetCare, it is always interesting to see what the competition says about each other. Again – good for you for calling him out! Imagine if you were an uneducated pet owner and listened to everything he had to say? This is yet another reason why I (an all of us at Trupanion) urge pet owners to do their research before choosing us or any of our competitors.

    Mrs. Velez,
    Congratulations on your new addition! Just like you mention, we do cover hereditary and congenital disorders as long as no signs or symptoms occur prior to getting the policy or during the waiting periods. Good for you for doing some research as well, and finding that some companies consider all congenital issues to be pre-existing. Like you, we feel that as long as there are no signs or symptoms before getting the insurance, then the condition should be covered! We do cover such things as MVD, as we have no breed-specific exclusions, again, as long as no signs or symptoms are present before signing up.
    However, our policies are continuous until cancelled. That is, we do not offer year-long policies and so we cannot accept yearly payments, and subsequently do not have discounts for such. We do not, like some of our competitors, charge any extra administration fees for paying monthly. What you see in your quote is what you get.

  • diane therrien

    Your website gave me a quote $39.00 for my female maltipoo. Now, how much would it be for my 7 year old female jackrussel mixed dog as well? The website wasn’t helping.
    Diane

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hi Diane,
    I’m sorry you were having trouble using our website. Once you get a pet for one quote, there is the option to add another pet to that quote and the quote will show a combined total. You can also adjust the deductibles per pet at that time, which will also adjust your total monthly premium. Without your zip code I cannot give you a quote, as our premiums are based on zip code, breed, and age of pet at time of enrollment. I would recommend calling and speaking with one of our member specialists at 1-800-569-7913 and they would be happy to help you get a quote for both of your pups, as well as answer any additional quesitons you have.

    Best of luck!

  • B

    DO NOT BELIEVE THE HYPE! Trupanion will screw you in a heartbeat. Be sure to read your contract very carefully, especially in regards to pre-existing conditions. I am being punished because my vet is an idiot. We had absolutely no idea that our little guy was ill when we signed up but trupanion was able to dig very hard and find some problems with our vet’s analysis and denied thousands of dollars in claims as a result. They have admitted that they believe that we had no idea about the pre-existing condition but have denied us nonetheless. Just to repeat because it is unbelievable to me, no vet or person EVER told us that there was anything wrong with our cat, ever. Further, we had a full check up just days prior to signing up with trupanion and our vet did not state that anything significant was wrong with him.

    They are fine letting my little guy die and I am completely heartbroken.

    In addition, the head of their customer service department blew me off repeatedly and even had their staff call me back and lie to me saying that she was not in that day although multiple staff earlier in the day told me that she was within eye shot but on the phone.

    I am not sure if there is anything better out there as this is my first experience with pet insurance, however, I am done with these guys other than the law suit that I will be soon slapping them with soon enough.

    • Gary

      Don’t even consider buying VPI even tho they claim their company is most recommended by vets, a bunch of baloney.
      VPI suckered me in and when our Huskie was diagnosed with Addisons disease I found out they have a low yearly limit of $225.00 for this disease yet their website claims there is a $9000 limit on coverage. What this represents is that your pet has to have hundreds of diseases with a $225.00 limit on each to reach $9000.00 in coverage.
      I am filing a complaint with my state insurance department

  • Melissa

    Hi B,

    I am very sorry to hear that there has been some misunderstandings between you and your vet. I will assure you though, and everyone else out there, that we are not out to screw everyone – we actually do care about helping pets.

    Unfortunately, no pet insurance company will cover incidents that are pre-existing, which is why we encourage pet owners to get pet insurance for their pets as soon as possible. That way there are no doubts or surprises, like the one you sadly had to come across.

    My sympathies go out to you as you as you’re dealing with your pet’s illness.

    Thank you so much,
    Melissa

  • Mary

    Hi Melissa,

    I am just wondering how an illness can be determined as pre-existing if the vet did not note this as an existing illness prior to pet insurance coverage?

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hi Mary,
    Good question, and thank you for asking. A condition is determined pre-existing both by diagnosis AND showing symptoms.
    For example, say your pup has a lump on his chest so you take him to the vet. They start running some tests but can’t quite figure out what’s wrong. That night you get worried and go sign him up for insurance. A week later you go to a specialist who runs some more tests and finds that your poor pup has cancer. Even though the diagnosis happened after signing up, the signs for cancer were present before you got the insurance.
    As for the above mentioned case, I can assure you and all readers that in situations such as these, where there may be some confusion and/or disagreement with the pet owner, our claims adjusters will actually talk to the veterinarian who saw the pet and come to an agreement. It is our belief that the veterinarian is always right – as they are the ones with the medical training, and if they were to tell us that pre-existing symptoms were unrelated to the present claim then we would listen to them. Does this help?

  • B

    Mary – I love you for asking that question and confirming to me that people are actually reading this.

    I have also tried to make my point on facebook, along with some of my friends, but Trupanion immediately removes anything negative on their facebook page so do not believe the crap you read there either.

    Melissa – To correct something that you noted, we do not disagree with our vet. YOU disagree with our vet. Our vet said that our little guy was not sick and we believed him. It was your people that took his notes and constructed a path to his current illness; therefore, the disagreement is actually between you and our vet. This was again confirmed yesterday when our vet told us “I had NO IDEA that your cat was sick when you left here” which was just before we signed up for your service.

    Also, thank you for the ridiculous example in which a pre-existing condition is clear. UNLIKE YOUR EXAMPLE, there was nothing like a lump or something else that would actually be a normal sign of cancer. Instead, we took our cat to the vet because he had diarrhea. Our vet performed a thorough physical examination, took an x-ray and performed multiple other tests and three days later told us, “he has diarrhea due to an irritable bowel” as nothing else showed up as a result of the testing. We then said thank you very much and went on our way to fix the problem. A few days later we signed up with Trupanion assuming that we had just received a clean bill of health from our vet, with the lone exception regarding diarrhea. Therefore also UNLIKE YOUR EXAMPLE, we were not awaiting any test results as we did not sign up with Trupanion until the test had been run and the results returned with nothing scary to note within.
    About a month later, the diarrhea had returned so we again called the vet who asked us to bring in a sample. A few days later, the results returned and we were informed that he actually did not have diarrhea and we were asked to bring him back in. A few days later, we were informed of the issue. Note that this is also UNLIKE YOUR EXAMPLE in which everything occurred within a week or so as we were not informed of any serious issues until over 30+ days of signing up with Trupanion.

    Nonetheless, Trupanion is claiming that the diarrhea was a symptom of the cancer and denied our claim. Although as noted above, our vet again confirmed yesterday that he did not think our cat was sick after his checkup. What does this mean? Basically if you have EVER taken your pet to a vet because it was ill, you are doomed with Trupanion as pretty much any illness is a symptom of something bigger. Unfortunately for my little guy, diarrhea is a symptom of everything. Therefore, it is very possible that our little guy actually had diarrhea during the original exam and then got cancer later but Trupanion will not discuss this possibility as they are happy with the current outcome.

    You and everyone else at Trupanion should be ashamed.

    To everyone else reading – I am sorry for the rant but I just want to help those out there that are looking for a reliable insurer to protect their pets / friends and to be warned before using these guys. Trupanion makes themselves out to be saints and THEY ARE NOT. If you happen to get Diana Hull as your claim reviewer, just consider your pet dead because she will not let it go until she wins. Also if you are told to expect a call from the Assistant VP of Member Services, Ronaya Verigin, don’t hold your breath as I am still waiting and it has been weeks.

    As my wife and I do not have kids, we consider our little guys our children a watching our oldest fade away because Trupanion is trying to save some money is beyond heartbreaking. Unfortunately we have had to move to the less expensive treatments due to the debt that we got ourselves into while we assumed we were covered. Even more unfortunately, the new treatments do not seem to be working as well and we may only have a couple of weeks left with him. I am getting emotional as I write this so I am going to stop for now but I will be back with more later because there is plenty more to say.

  • wls

    Wow B ! I am sorry for your problems it is always hard to get bad news. It must be even that much harder to think you have a way to care for your loved ones and then find out it not quite the way you think it is going to be. I have worked at a veterinary hospital for over 15 years and i am not a doctor (VET). But I must say that i think it is quite rare to not have cancer. Then 30 days later to not only have cancer but be showing active clinical signs. On the surface of what you have written I must say if I were the insurance company I would probably do the same thing. IT SUCKS but there it is. To Melissa:I just recieved a visit from one of your reps here in Tennessee and I have not heard of Trupanion until about 3 hours ago. I was wondering if you could explain the required reporting process for clinics. We have stop doing business with several companies due to all the information and special forms they wanted us to fill out. And do you have to have a diagnosis code with every visit. Sometimes dogs and cats have diarrhea just because they can! Thanks for your help in advance.

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    wls,

    Thank you for hopping in here. It is always nice to have a perspective other than pet owner and insurance company to contribute to threads such as these!

    I’m happy to hear that you were visited by one of our reps. Keep in mind, they are there to try and help you and your clinic should you choose to work with Trupanion.

    As for reporting, when a pet owner files a claim we ask them to fill out our one page claim form, and have the attending veterinarian fill out their small section and sign (this form can be found on our website http://www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/trupanion_members/Trupanion-Claim-Form.pdf if you want to take a look).

    The pet owner will then also have to send in copies of their itemized invoice.
    Depending on the type of incident, we will require full medical history. In the case of a broken leg from a pet falling of a deck, for example, we wouldn’t require any medical history because it was accidental in nature. But for something more serious, such as diabetes or cancer where there could have been previous signs, we would ask for records to be faxed. This could either be done from the clinic directly, or through the pet owner.

    As for diagnostic codes, or additional tracking we don’t require you to go above and beyond your normal practices. If we have any questions or doubts we will typically call and speak with the clinic directly to come to a conclusion, if that’s possible. I hope this helps…

  • Kevin

    I wanted to tell B that I am very sorry your pet is sick, I understand how attached people can get to their pets.
    My girl Sadie is covered by Trupanion and we are waiting for them to review a number of our claims.
    Sadie has a long and sad story regarding torn ACL’s in both knees. These were somewhat difficult to diagnose at first, so she has multiple visits to specialists, an MRI, CAT scan, and then finally two TPLO surgeries.
    So far Trupanion has denied one claim (but we asked for review) because a vet said that Sadie had a “stifle disease” instead of an injury and “disease” put us into the 30 day new claim period. The remainder of the claims are on hold until a review is complete.
    I am now waiting anxiously to see what Trupanion will do. I think I have paid around $15,000 in vet bills so far. I don’t care that much because Sadie is worth every penny to me. I am concerned that if Trupanion does not pay claims I have almost run out of money to pay for any other issue Sadie (or I) might have.
    So far I will say that Corrina and everyone else at Trupanion has been friendly and has promptly answered questions.
    I will be sure to post what the final outcome is whether it is bad, good or somewhere in the middle. I think it is best that people tell their story when a company does the right thing, not just rant when they think they have been wronged.

  • Lynne B

    Try gopetplan.com and you won’t have these problems- they are great, reasonably priced and won’t hassle you. I looked at all the plans and the fine print on some of them gave me gas..

  • KiKi

    To B, I am very sorry about what you are going through. I lost my beloved cat last year to an unknown lung disease at age of 8. I am still heartbroken because it happened unexpectedly and we had regular checkups with the vet.

    Melissa:
    Due to my last cat’s death, I am looking into getting a health insurance for my new kitten. I have had him go through extensive initial exam just for a peace of mind (x-rays of lungs, legs, blood lab, multiple stool sample tests) and even got second opinion (I know I sound paranoid but it really wasn’t easy losing my baby last year) and he got clean bill of health. The new kitten hasn’t had any problems except some diarrhea when we first got him. Both vets concur that it is due to stress of moving into a new home and away from his flock. Now, if he ever got sick (knock on wood), would it be possible that your company can argue that the initial diarrhea was a “sign” of some “pre-existing condition”?

    Concerned possible future customer

  • Melissa at Trupanion

    Hi KiKi,

    Thank you for the question. I can’t answer for certain without knowing the cat’s complete history, but typically in those cases (with medical issues that come and go, such as a cold) if they completely clear up they are not usually related to a later incident. In the case mentioned above, keep in mind that the symptoms never cleared up and it was later found that this was because of a bigger issue. In your case, you are probably right, that the diarrhea is related to stress. If you want, you can call and speak with one of our member specialists at 1-800-569-7913 to get a bit more technical.

  • HeathCliff

    I had VPI for years, then switched to ASPCA’s plan. While it isn’t perfect, (then end up paying for 50% of bills, not the 80 they claim), it’s still better than nothing. I was excited about Trupanion until I read these comments. ASCPA’S plan has always paid, and in fact, when I complained about the low payment for one of the big claims (because we live in LA and costs are higher) they adjusted the reimbursement by $1000. So while I like the claims of Trupanion, I have become nervous because of these comments and will stick with a company that has paid consistently the last 3 years.

  • Maria

    I am going to try Trupanion based on my reading and these reviews.
    I’m off to the site to click the final submit button. I hope I’m not making a mistake???
    Oh, BTW, I have a 6 month old Rottweiler puppy, which made me quite happy to hear it’s a pet insurance for puppies and kitties.
    I’ll let you all know how things go….

  • Kamyar

    B I am so sorry to hear about your poor baby! I would be devastated! I completely agree with how you are feeling and how horrible it is to feel screwed over. I recently had a similar experience with Trupanion! It’s HORRIBLE! I wanted to cancel my policy immediately and just move the funds into a savings account instead of wasting it on them!

    I’ve only had my new cat for half a year and signed her up for trupanion a few months after adopting her thinking it was a good investment for protection. When I brought her home she went to the vet for an ear infection because she was a stray and her ears had never been cleaned before. It was treated and cured. A few months later, she was having troubles with impacted anal glands filling up constantly and started pulling out her hair at the base of her tail from the anxiety of the discomfort. Again, we treated and it was cured.

    Now she suddenly developed allergies and her skin has become incredibly itchy so the vet ran expensive diagnostics and wanted to start immunotherapy. She had also gotten an ear infection from water that had gotten inside. So I filed a claim expecting that my expensive decisions would be reimbursed as she had no prior allergy symptoms and the vets even cleared her from allergies as a cause back during the anal gland issues.

    Low and behold! Trupanion takes 2 months to reply because they’re “busy” and denies all claims! Even though my vet EXPLICITLY stated that all events were unrelated Trupanion screwed me over by stating that hair pulling and ear infections are both CLINICAL SYMPTOMS of allergies and therefore all FUTURE INFECTIONS OR ALLERGY TREATMENTS will not be covered.

    What I want to know is how they managed to twist my vets diagnosis to link a water caused ear infection and an impacted anal gland issue to allergies that she never developed ANY symptoms of until much later? There answer? I was told “we do not go by your vet’s diagnosis, but the clinical symptoms of the illness” Meaning? If your pet ever gets an illness that has symptoms that could in any way shape or form be “clinical symptoms” of a larger problem that develops later YOU WILL NOT BE COVERED! Even if the cause and diagnosis by your vet has a definite source and is in no way related to the future incident.

    So how can Trupanion claim that they go by the word of the vet’s diagnosis when they have their own set of rules regarding “symptoms”? Oh my vet is also steamed. And their claim that they talk with the vet directly to make a decision on the claim? FALSE. My vet has been trying to speak with them in regards to this, but they want to have nothing to do with it.

    B, I feel your pain! It’s a scam and a rip off if your pet has EVER been to a vet before signing up! I’d be much better off spending the money on her care than on the “paper” I got called a policy. Now she cannot have her expensive treatment and must suffer for life on our own limited funds.

    I am currently filing a complaint with the BBB and will probably be joining you in the future with a civil lawsuit.

    • Lisa Spanu

      Trupanion I’m finding is a great scam! I was looking for recent reviews and can’t seem to find any. Wonder why? Then I came upon your email from 2009 and so that I’m experiencing a similar issue with my three-year-old Shih Tzu. She was just diagnosed with a liver shunt in which is a congenital disease and should be covered under my policy to date I have been rejected three times during the appeal process as Trupanion refuses to cover the expenses and operation needed for my dog. The reason they give is because she showed a “symptom” at her two-year visit (the year before) when she had blood work and her liver enzymes were “slightly elevated”….so slightly then the Vet did not even mention or document it. Because of this, they are now refusing to pay for any services for my pet. What started as very upsetting news that our pet was ill is now escalated to a horrific experience of being denied insurance and not being able to afford the high costs involved in the needed operation. Under no circumstances would I recommend this insurance to anyone! I am looking to pursue this issue legally.

  • Adae

    Hi Melissa,

    My wife and I just bought a Golden named Ranger. I have researched several insurance company’s and it basically came down to you and one other. After reading your response to posters I have made my mind to go with Trupanion. Any company that takes the time to go online and answer post in such a thoughtful manner deserves my business. I hope that it will continue once I am signed up.

    Thank you for taking the time.

  • Jaime

    Hi, I have two questions about Trupanion. First, is the deductible that a pet owner chooses a lifetime deductible, or is a per-incident deductible, or an annual deductible? Secondly, I’m getting a large dog, and many recommend that he should not get neutered until 18-24 month (24 months preferred). Would I have any problems with coverage because of this?

  • Joe

    I adopted my pet from someone who couldn’t take care of him anymore, due the owner having a stroke. They can’t find his vet records but swear he’s healthy / had been regularly.

    If I insure him, and wait 30 days to bring him to the vet for a check-up, will anything found be considered “pre-existing” or new?

  • Rachel

    This past June I bought to Saint Bernard puppies. Now as we all know they are a very large breed and are prone to hip problems, such as hip dyplasia. I was going to start my puppies on joint supplement to help there hip bones for the future. I am wondering if this is going to be a problem in the future if I did insure them now and maybe one of them needed hip dyplasia surgery. I mean they have never been to the vet for there hips, there is no issues now, but as they get larger they may encounter some issues.

  • susan

    Hi-I just found the best vet near where I live (I had my other cat spayed) and asked if they accept Trupanion as I’m interested in covering my two cats (both under two years old) and they said ‘no’. Do I look for a new vet or another insurance company? We do have some sleezy vet places here and I’d rather not change. Thank you, Susan

  • HeathCliff Rothman

    Again, I read about certain bills being denied, and with both companies I’ve been with – VPI and ASPCA (PetHealth, or something like that), I’ve never been denied. Both companies end up giving you partial reiumbursement. I think ASPCA’s is better then VPI, I always tell people to realistically expect 60% back, maybe 70%. I think I was with VPI about five or six years. And I’ve been with ASPCA about four years. No problems. And one adjustment by VPI when I complained. I’m curious about Trupanion, because I’d like to get even more reiumbursement, yet ASPCA is consistent at least 60%. And I pay about $37 a month for my (now) six year old Italian Greyhound.

  • Donna Lou Morgan

    I have a new cat and went with Purina (www.purinacare.ca) They have good options and rates. Just another option for everyone to consider. I pay $17 per month for my cat. A cool idea was the policy stays with the pet and can be transferred to a new owner.
    PurinaCare® Plan Benefits*:

    * Provides benefits for vaccinations, dental cleanings, spaying/neutering and flea and heartworm preventive. (Premium plan only)
    * Covers treatment for accident and illness (Preferred and Premium plans) including diagnostic tests and medication.
    * Covers hereditary conditions.
    * PurinaCare® reimburses 80% of eligible expenses after your annual deductible is met.
    * You pay one deductible for the year, not per incident.

  • Beth

    This is for Kevin. Did they end up covering the claims and how long did you have the policy before the service dates? I have VPI and I’m thinking of switching but I am concerned because my dog did have back pain a few months ago which turned out to be nothing that could be pinpointed and considering he did so good after being in the hospital on bedrest for 2 days was most likely as pulled muscle. I do have concerns that if he had any back issues in the future that the claim would be denied.

  • Kevin

    Hi Beth, we are still waiting to see if Trupanion will pay the claims. The delay has not been their fault, we took Sadie to quite a few vets and it has taken quite a while to get them all the records. I can understand that they want all the information because the total of our claims is very large. We should know more in a couple weeks. As to your specific situation, I would be very worried that any insurance company would deny a claim for a back problem. I really feel for people dealing with these problems (me included) but we need to remember that if these companies paid every claim no matter what the circumstances, they would need to charge hundreds of dollars a month for insurance. I will keep everyone posted about how this works out with Trupanion.

  • Rich Cotton

    Why has Melissa been silent since Oct 26th?

  • susan

    Hi-thank you for the info on Purina. Unfortunately, they’re not yet in Florida. When they do get here-I will sign with them! But where to I turn in the meantime?

  • Lynne

    Try gopetplan.com they are fantastic. they are one of the few companies that pay what your vet charges, they don’t limit payment to ‘usual and customary’. They don’t offer coverage for ‘well pet care’ (vaccinations/spay, etc) but to be honest- if you do the math you will see that you are not getting those services for free, usually the premium is $200 more a year for about $200 in well pet care!

  • patricia

    I have called Trupanion a few times for info and remember talking to Melissa. She is very informative about pet insurance and have decided to go with Trupanion after researching at least 10 other pet insurance companies. Trupanion is clear and easy to understand in what their insurance covers. I am going to recommend this company to anyone who is looking for pet insurance.

  • Lizeth

    Hi, im looking for insurance for my 2 cats and im not sure which one is better, right now trupanion is the one I like,
    One of my cats its allergic to fleas and his allergy comes an goes because we havent been able to get rid of the fleas, my question is if this insurance will be able to covered the medicine and the treatments?

  • Kamyar

    Lizeth,

    No. If your cat already has problems with allergies due to fleas then it will be considered pre-existing. Along with all allergies and all complications due to or even possibly due to allergies for life. That said, any complications in the future related to fleas in general will also probably be considered pre-existing. I had a similar situation with my cat and everything was denied, even though it couldn’t be proven that it was an allergy related symptom before the policy date. They even denied an ear infection claim because of her pre-existing allergies status. They told me if she doesn’t have another ear infection for two years then she will be covered because the vet and I both argued that the ear infection was due to debris. I spoke with them further and they told me that even certain illnesses are considered pre-existing if they’ve happened more than once in a year. (i.e. your cat isn’t allowed to catch a cold or get a similar infection more than once a year from what I was told) You will probably have a hard time finding any insurance company that will cover your cat’s allergies.

  • Kim

    A question for Melissa at Trupaninon, we have a 8 month old Great Dane who after her first cycle will be neutered does Trupanion cover any kind of neutering medical procedures?

  • Thomas

    You said that the trupaion premium only goes up for inflation of medical suppies and so forth. Can you give us a few examples of the increases your customers have indured in the last few years percentage and dollar wise. Tom

  • Sharon

    I’m interested in seeing Melissa’s responses to some recent posts as I have similar questions. (Mainly on how adopted pets are handled with no prior vet records.)

  • Leah

    Hi there!

    I have been shopping for Pet Insurance for months – ever since I brought my Versace home. So far, until I found Trupanion and this forum, I had read NOTHING but horrible reviews about every company I had considered.

    I am so very pleased to see a representative answering customer questions with honesty and promptness. Melissa’s responses here have really been the icing on the cake for me.

    My kitten is 7 months old this month and we have been lucky not to have any major issues with him, but it is definitely time to have him insured.

    One question – will my kitten being declawed affect my premium or coverage at all? We had this done when he was neutered.

    Thanks!

    Leah

  • Matt

    I think that the plan you choose needs to reflect your pets issues or possble future issues, what you need covered and what you don’t need. With that being said I have 9 month chocalate lab. I have no problem covering his wellness stuff like shots, heartworm & flea and tick. My biggest fears are him being injured in an accident, hip dysplasia and herditary defects. Those are the things that could cost thousands of dollars. It is for this reason that I went with Trupanion. They are one of the only ones that cover hip dysplasia which labs are prone to. I liked that I could use all the money whenever it was needed and that they covered 90% of the actual bill. After researching all the companies, talking to my vet and looking at my situation, this works best for me.

  • Carolyn

    Melissa, Thank you for commenting and providing more clarity on TruPanion’s offerings. It’s nice to know that your company is aware of the blogosphere and participates constructively in providing information.

    thank you.

  • Tammy

    Hi,

    Reading the comments above I guess I’m one of the few disappointed with TruPanion. I submitted my frist claim and yes they reponded quickly and paid part of it.
    They did not pay the vet exam. And yes it says that in the policy, so I’m to blame, but I thought that meant for a normal exam, for instance going in for shots etc., not one associated with an illness or injury.

    So why the 90% coverage sounds good or no deductable you really are paying a deductable or less then 90% by always paying the exam bill.

    The portion of the exam cost at an emergency clinic can be quite high.

    So when they say that they cover 90% of the bill it is untrue.

  • Alex at Trupanion

    Hi everyone and thanks for all of your questions and comments!

    My name is Alex and I work for Trupanion. I am filling in for Melissa to help answer some of your questions.

    Jaime: Our deductible is a per-incident deductible. Policyholders may customize their own deductible and premium to fit their own financial needs. Right now, Trupanion is the only company to offer a $0 deductible option. With a $0 deductible, we would reimburse at the full 90% less the exam fee for any approved claims. Regarding neutering your dog, you will still receive full coverage so long as your pet is spayed or neutered prior to their first birthday or, to pets where the timing of being spayed or neutered is in conjunction with your vet’s medical recommendations (in your case).

    Joe: If you can give us the name of the vet clinic where they took the pet we are able to call and request any past medical records. We are happy to help you during the claim process. We would only be able to cover an illness or accident that has not shown evidence to be present or symptomatic prior to having full coverage.

    Rachel: Yes I have heard that Saint Bernards are prone to hip problems. So it is probably a good idea to get Trupanion and purchase the optional hip dysplasia add-on to your policy if your pet is under one year old. If they are young and have not had any hip problems before adding the hip dysplasia coverage, it would be covered.

    Susan: We will cover you for visiting any licensed veterinarian or animal hospital in your area. Since coverage is based on a reimbursement format, you pay the vet bill up front and we reimburse you for 90% of the cost of veterinary medicine (not including the exam fee).

    HeathCliff: Trupanion reimburses 90% of the actual cost of veterinary medicine. To see how we compare to other pet insurance companies, please visit http://www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/Why_Choose_Trupanion_Pet_Health_Insurance/Compare_Pet_Insurance_Companies/Vpi-Comparison

    Lizeth: Unfortunately it does sound like the allergies to fleas would be considered a pre-existing condition. However, we would cover a wide range of other problems that can still arise that your pet has not shown symptoms for, since otherwise healthy. Give us a call at 1-800-569-7913 if you would like to discuss your situation in further detail.

    Kim: Trupanion does not have any wellness or preventative coverage at this time, so neutering is not covered.

    Tom: We occasionally have to raise premiums due to the rising cost of pet health care. The cost of health care has multiple factors: the number of total veterinary visits, increased specialty or emergency work, etc. Monthly premiums are determined by the local costs of pet health care, the breed of your pet, and its age at the time of enrollment (which allows each pet owner to have the best value for their specific pet). We assure you that your premiums won’t increase nor will your coverage be restricted due to your pet aging or the number of claims made. Your rates will change periodically (up OR down) only as the cost of pet health care changes. Trupanion will never penalize responsible pet owners for having unlucky pets. This means your rates won’t increase and your coverage won’t decrease after you submit claims nor because your pet reaches a certain age.

    Leah: Declawing your kitten will not affect your coverage.

    I hope that helps answer some of your questions! We encourage you to post more and I will be checking back soon.

  • Beth

    Hello,
    I’ve just enrolled my dog in Trupanion.
    I would like to know what would happen if you were to go out of business or have another company takeover Trupanion? Are their provisions for currently insured pet owners?
    Thank you!

  • Alex at Trupanion

    Trupanion was founded over 10 years ago. We first started in Canada and have now been issuing policies across the United States since 2008. With our presence in the US, we are our own Underwriter which allows Trupanion to have a very solid regulatory and financial structure that few companies have within the industry. We plan to be present for many years to come.

  • Kevin

    I am very impressed by Trupanion insurance. If you search earlier posts you will see my story with my dog Sadie. She had two TPLO surgeries in 2009 along with an MRI.
    Trupanion initially denied the claims based on the x-ray tech listing Sadie’s problem as “Joint disease”. This caused us to fall within the one month waiting period after the initial insurance coverage for any “disease.” Sadie’s ligament problem was from an injury and not a disease.

    Trupanion submitted all the claims to the third party review vet. This took months because they needed all the information from all the different vets sadie visited.

    The result of the third party review was that Sadie had two torn ligaments and needed all the treatments that she received. Trupanion promptly paid all claims which came to around $13,000.

    Of course it took months to get the claim paid, but what do you expect? I pay around $40 per month and they had claims of $13,000? Any company who would just pay out a claim like that without checking into it would be out of business in a few weeks.

    It was also not Trupanion’s fault for the long delay, it simply takes a long time to get several vet clinics to send x-rays, notes and MRI reports to a central location. It does not help when the dog’s owner (me) takes some of the x-ray films home with him.

    I also need to mention that everyone at Trupanion that I had contact with was very good about returning phone calls (always within one day, normally same day) and keeping me updated on the exact status of claim.

    Obviously you do need to watch out for “pre-existing conditions” but I think that will happen with any insurance company. They are gambling that your pet will stay reasonably healthy, they cannot insure for diseases that the pet already has. I don’t think the lesson here is to find a different company, the lesson is that you need to insure your pet immediately so that you are insured before your pet has a diagnosed problem.

    To sum up my long story, I highly recommend Trupanion and every dog I have will be insured with them the day I bring the dog home.
    Kevin

  • Mel

    I have ASPCA pet insurance. He had diahrrea near the end of his policy period. The policy automatically renewed with a charge to my cc. I submitted a claim for the vet bill. He was treated and diagnosed with giardia. A few weeks later, he began having diahrrea, lethagy and didnt want to eat again. I took him to the vet who had done a complete workup on him. It has been ruled that this is either whipworm or irritable bowel syndrome. ASPCA refuses to pay, indicating this is excluded as a preexisting because the condition manifested itself during the prior period. I am incensed over this but I reviewed my policy to find that this is how they do it. I want to change insurance to Trupanion and think that Giardia and whipworms and/or ibs will be considered preexisting but am concerned that if later down the line say 1 or 2 years he were to get similar symptoms (which are common symptoms for many things)the insurers will relate it back and say anything he has with these symptoms are preexisting. Does anyone have any knowledge of how this works? Since Im considering Trupanion, it would be great if I could get a response from them.

  • Mel

    Oops, he refers to my dog!

  • Sharon

    I am interested in the response to Mel’s question as well. I have recently adopted a 5 yr. old Great Dane diagnosed with IBS, and am concerned that down the line his diarrhea (which is now under control with change in diet) could be identified as a pre-existing symptom of any number of illnesses.

  • Matt

    My 11 month chocalate lab caught a bad case off Colitis. Submitted my first claim this morning and by the evening the claim had been processed and after my $200 deductible they approved my claim for$435. I am very impressed by this company and glad we are with them.

  • Alex at Trupanion

    Hi Mel,

    With Trupanion pet insurance, you have one policy for the life of your pet. You never have to worry about your policy “renewing” each year and any conditions arising in the past year being considered pre-existing. If you were to enroll with Trupanion, you are correct that prior conditions would be considered pre-existing. However, we do review each claim on an individual case and see what symptoms are present and if related to any conditions or symptoms present before or if differentiated by the veterinarian and the medial record. If you have specific questions about your situation before you enroll, please give us a call at 1-800-569-7913 to speak with one of our member specialists.

  • cindy

    Hello! My puppy is 9 months old. About 2 or 3 moinths ago, he had giardia, which tested negative at his initial exam in October. If he ever contracts it again, will it be covered or will it be pre-existing? This is something people can get multiple times too.

  • Aimeec03

    I enrolled and cancelled my Trupanion policy the same day. Not once was i notified that I would have to wait 30 days for my cat to be seen for her illness, until after i had paid. Meaning you are making me pay my premium TWICE before you’ll consider my cats claims? Ummm shes sick now, thats why im looking for insurance. And also to call this an “insurance” plan is slightly exaggerated. Its an indeminity plan meaning you pay your bills up front and wait to see what and if Trupanion will pay. Also just read that the deductible is per incident? Ridiculous and undisclosed. Really wish this where CLEARLY explained when i was signing up for the plan, all they cared about was my credit card information. I agree with a prior poster, rather than partake in this faulty plan, open a savings and put your hard earned money to better use. I will never deal with this company again.

    • Jaime

      It is extremely common to have a waiting period before animals will be covered due to illness. Otherwise, pet owners could wait until they suspect/know their dog has a serious illness and only then search for insurance – as a poster stated, that’s a discount or coupon, and not insurance. Insurance is something you get so that in case something bad happens, you’re covered. It’s a gamble for you and the insurance company – it’s not something you get after your animal is already ill. Many health insurance companies similarly will not cover preexisting conditions.

      • Aimeec03

        Again, i understand how insurance, or this plan rather, works. My problem was not being told about the clauses of the plan. Even medical insurance has pre-existing conditions yes, but let me know. Thats the main thing, before i put my hard earned money down, FULLY and HONESTLY disclose what im getting myself and my pet into. In fact if you read most of responses, most people dont even know what would be considered pre-exisitng. Why wait for us to see the vet then tell us “oh by the way” not a covered benefit? Seems to be a common question.

        And if the “insurance” is worried about people just picking up coverage when its convenient for them, lock them into a contract. Then the person couldnt pick and drop a policy at their chosing. Little do I know if i was even in a contract, yet another thing that was not fully disclosed.

  • Mikael

    Hi Aimeec03,

    I sounds like you’ve misunderstood the concept of insurance. You always pay upfront and will probably never get what you pay for but IF bad luck strikes you will be covered (most of the time anyway).

    Insurance is not a “discount solution” or “coupon plan”. No company can run a business where they should pay out more than they get in. That would be ridiculous.

  • cindy

    I called Trupanion after 5 on a Friday night and got a live person. I wish I could say that for my insurance. I signed my Westie up with Trupanion. He is young, and if ten years from now he gets sick, 3 days in the hospital costs 10 years of premiums. And he doesn’t get penalized for getting older. After tending to my last 2 dogs as they aged, it’s comforting to know down the road money doesn’t have to be a factor when it comes to his healthcare. At least those are my thoughts! He is a perfectly healthy boy now, so I have no worries about any claim denials.

  • Aimeec03

    I completly understand how insurance works as I work with medical insurance, albeit for humans, insurance nonetheless. My gripe was the process of claims was not fully disclosed whilest purchasing what i understood was “insurance” (I use the term loosely). If i was looking for a discount program i would defintely turn to one as Trupanion Insurance would NOT be paying the supposed % for any of my claims if every allergy, cough or bowel problem is considered pre-existing. *Which seems to be the problem alot of customers are having. But again, the term “insurance” was used. Also, granted i understand not getting reimbursed in full for the visits but a recurring deductible is a bit over the top. Usually a deductible is yearly, and again the site made me understand that was the case, this coming from a billers point of view. A little clarification would suffice and result in less confusion and unhappy customers.

    All matters of money aside, I wanted the plan to work. I was thrilled when i purchased, relieved that my cat would be taken care of. The part that broke the deal for me was the waiting period. I know petplan has a 14 day period which was much better than a 30 day time frame. I needed service now and was more than happy to pay whatever it took to get the plan going. The email confirmation was the only time i was told about the waiting period and it wasnt even a top priority bullet. Waaaaay down at the bottom in fact. Le sigh.

    Im glad this plan works for some people and was honestly hoping i would be one of them.

    • ron

      Wow Aimeec03 – seems like you can’t read the Trupanion website and don’t really understand how insurance plans for pets (or humans) work at all. BTW, it’s pretty clear that you are trying to get coverage for a pre-existing condition.

  • KL

    I have a question for Alex at Trupanion.
    I am considering pet insurance. My puppy has recently been to the vet for an ear infection caused by water in the ear, which also resulted in a hot spot caused by scratching his ear. If I purchase pet insurance with Trupanion, future ear infections and hot spots will NOT be covered. Is that correct? What other illnesses could potentially not be covered if the ear infection and hot spots are deemed pre-existing conditions. Also, while I was at the vet’s office, I mentioned to him that my puppy almost always sits to the side (on his hip). My vet told me that the breed is prone to hip dysplasia and we should just monitor it but his muscle tone is fine, so no need to further investigate at this time. I’m sure my vet made notes in our file regarding the conversation. If I purchase additional insurance for hip dysplasia and at some point in the future my dog needs medical attention for hip dysplasia, will the conversation I had with my vet be viewed as a “pre-existing condition”?

  • Jacquie

    Trupanion is not the best. I signed up my puppy the day we got him. About 15 days after we got him he was peeing and drinking more then normal so we took him to a vet. The vet said there was no bacteria in his urine but put him on antibiotics just in case. A month later we had a similar problem. He was drinking and peeing more then normal so we took him back to the vet. Again no bacteria but they put him on antibiotics just in case. This time was after the 30 day waiting period so we submitted the claim. Sure enough a week later we were reimbursed. Then about a month and a half later he was urinating alot so we took him back to the vet and this time ecoli bacteria was found in his urine. He was put on antibiotics and they told me again to bring his urine back after he finishes so it can be retested. I submitted this claim and it was denied because it was pre-existing occurring during the 30-day waiting period. I called and asked about it and a woman was very helpful she said that she wanted to look into it more and prepare it for her superior. My vet sent all my puppies records including his initial exam, which was a clear bill of health. My vet also sent a letter stating that she believed the first two incidences had to do with a water obsession and that there was no bacteria in his urine the first two times. The third time was different because he had bacteria in his urine. I got a phone call about a week later saying that it was still denied. So it was then sent to the “third party vets”, which if it is anything like human insurance companies the vets will receive more money on denials. The vets also denied the claim saying that his UTI was pre-exisintg. I called Trupanion to ask when this would not be considered pre-existing anymore and they said that is at their discretion, which means it can be 6 months to 10 years. I contacted VPI and they said this would only be considered pre-existing for 6 months. As a medical student I find it a little absurd to say that a bacteria can be a “pre-existing condition”. If he had bacteria in his urethra for that long we would have had much worse problems then frequent urination. I also tried to ask them if down the road he got a tumor on his bladder or kidney would this be pre-existing and I could not get an answer. It seems that unfortunately for me if anything happens to any part of his renal system in the future they will find a way to call it pre-existing. What really bothered me most was that they paid the first claim so I went along thinking the vets could do any test they wanted because they paid the first why wouldn’t they pay the second!
    I am hoping to get a response from Trupanion defining to me this pre-existing condition. Is it just for UTIs? Or is it any problem he may have with his renal system?

  • Kamran

    “Limited Coverage
    Limited coverage for working pets and for those pets that have not been spayed or neutered by their veterinarian’s recommended age. Coverage shall not apply to any condition resulting from activities related to racing, breeding, hunting, law enforcement, or guarding. ”

    If the dog is not neutered then Trupanion will not cover expenses for injuries from five listed above i.e. racing, breeding, hunting, law enforcement and guarding, what if the dog is injured while playing,runing or hit by a car?

  • Alex at Trupanion

    Jacquie –

    Trupanion covers illness and accidents up to $20,000 as long as no clinical symptoms have been present before a policy was started or during your waiting periods. Our waiting periods are 5 days for accidents and 30 days for illness. When a first claim is processed it is up to the discretion of the claims adjuster if full medical records were needed in order to process the claim. A disclaimer indicating this was noted on your first claim that was paid. As future claims were submitted, your pet’s full medical records were requested. Upon further review, the condition for UTI showed to display symptoms during your 30 day illness waiting period, causing the claim to be denied. If a claim has been denied and you have disputed the outcome, Trupanion does have a third party independent veterinary review process. The disputed claim goes to a specialist within the veterinary industry that will review the claim form documents, full medical records along with our policy wording to ensure that the proper claim outcome has occurred. This review process is completely independent and if the specialist disagrees with our claim denial decision and feels the claim should be honored and paid, then Trupanion follows the direction of the expert opinion. In your claim situation, the board certified internal medicine specialist that reviewed your pets claim did agree that the claim should remain denied, based on your pets medical history. A representative from Trupanion did try to contact you in February to further discuss your pets claim situation, but the message left was not returned. We will try to contact you again to further discuss your claim.

    • Jacquie

      Alex,
      Thank you for responding. I did receive three phone calls. I answered two out of the three. Everyone at Trupanion is very helpful but the one question that continues to remain unanswered is the one I asked above. What if a year or many years down the line my puppy gets a tumor on his bladder or something else severe in his renal system WILL that be covered? Or is anything to do with his renal system forever pre-existing. The reason I posted on this was to see if I could get an answer this way. I had his urine tested after his last UTI in January and it showed no remaining signs of bacteria does that mean that it is not pre-existing anymore because it cleared up? Everything you said above is helpful but that was told to me the last two times I spoke to somebody. I am not trying to find answers about being denied or get money for it because that is over with. I just want some peace of mind knowing that if something serious were to happen to my puppies renal system down the line it will be covered. I am a medical student with 150,000 in student loan debt and I got the insurance hoping that I would never have to worry about the cost of my dogs medical bills, which was an issue with my previous dog who needed 13,000 dollar retinoblastoma surgery that I could not afford. My comment is not seeking answers for what has happened but instead about my puppies future coverage. If someone wants to call me again and answer this then I will absolutely return the phone call but if its just a repeat I do not need to speak with anyone. I am not trying to be abrasive but instead I just want a direct answer.

  • clu65

    Hi, unfortunately, bacteria can be missed in a sample taken from the dog & not show up until the next time, depending on the severity of the infection. That’s happened to us in the past. I signed my puppy up with Trupanion because he has been neutered, is in excellent health, and is out of the woods so to speak — no illnesses came around since getting him. I do expect him to get sick when he is older, and from past experience with my other dogs, that’s when the bills really rack up. He’s a healthy house pet and a good candidate for insurance. Lots of health issues arise in pets that have not been neutered. As pet owners, we are expected to give our pets preventive care, which includes neutering/spaying, shots, parasite prevention. If my dog gets injured or sick down the road I am confident he will be covered. You can purchase plans elsewhere that cover wellness visits, but their monthly cost is higher. I worry about the $1200 xrays in case a tumor ever develops, or things like that. 2-3 days in the hospital costs 10 years of premiums.

  • Alex at Trupanion

    Kamran,
    I would like to clarify Trupanion’s policy for working pets and un-spayed/neutered pets. Our policy states that for pets that are not spayed or neutered, no coverage shall apply for illnesses related to prostate problems, hormonal skin conditions, testicular tumors, perianal tumors, mammary tumors, uterine and ovarian conditions, birthing; or injury due to fighting, collision with a motor vehicle or aggressive behavior. These limitations do not apply if the pet was spayed/neutered prior to their first birthday or where the timing of being spayed/neutered was in conjunction with the veterinarian’s medical recommendations.
    For working pets, no coverage shall apply for any conditions resulting from activities related to racing, breeding, hunting, law enforcement or guarding.

    Jacquie,
    Future urinary tract infection claims would be reviewed on a case by case basis. We are not able to guarantee future coverage without seeing what the current presenting symptoms are. If a tumor was found later in life and directly linked in your pets medical records to the previous urinary issues, then no coverage could be applied. However, if they are not related, then at this time we cannot see why coverage would not apply. You pets medical records would be reviewed before the claim outcome would be determined.

    • Shannon

      Kamran,
      I was looking into your insurance for my 4 month old puppy but I am concerned… If I don’t have my puppy neutered by 1 year of age and he gets hit by a car then he wont be covered????
      All my animals are spayed and neutered but I am not planning on neutering my puppy right away because I plan on entering him into the show ring. I just want to make sure to clarify this since neutering him is not an option at this moment.
      Thanks!

  • Mike

    I’m curious if Trupanion’s “premiums will increase as inflation increases and as veterinary costs increase” as Melissa says, then does the $20,000 maximum payout “…increase as inflation increases and as veterinary costs increase”?

    • Sheila

      I’m wondering the exact same thing as Mike! Will the $20,000 maximum payout increase due to inflation? It sounds good today, but I’m hoping my dog lives another 15-20 years. I’m going to call the company to try to find out.

      • Alex at Trupanion

        Mike and Sheila,

        Trupanion does have lifetime limit of $20,000 which 99.9% of our policy holders do not exceed. Historically, we have adjusted the lifetime limit to accommodate the rising cost of veterinary medicine and the affects of inflation with the standard of care being provided for each pet. Trupanion does not have any limits per year, per accident, or per illness.

        Call us to enroll your pet today 1-800-569-7913.

  • Leah

    I signed my kitten up on Saturday. He has not had any medical problems, and it UTD on everything, so hopefully everything will be in place should something happen. Here’s hoping!

  • Amy

    Okay, I get it that it’s a business. But if the whole idea is to cover a pet from a young age so that when it gets old there is money to pay for the services required, why not put the premium a savings account instead? At least that way you’ll have the money available and YOU will be getting the interest on it instead of a company that may or may not pay for conditions your pet developes down the road because it had some treatment years before that the company can manipulate into denial of covage when you really need it. And if you are fortunate and don’t need it later, you’re that much ahead of the game for your next pet.

    But it’s a gamble you say. What if my pet gets sick those first few months or years? Go ahead, get the insurance. When your pet is older and healthy start then start putting the preimums into saving instead. If it becomes a cronic thing they won’t cover it anyway so why not put your money where you might get a little return on it.

  • Mary

    Hi Amy – your point makes sense but it is limited. The same goes for people’s health insurance. Why not put it into a savings account instead of paying monthly premiums for it? The premium I pay for a $0 Deductible, 90% Reimbursement for a Boxer dog in the San Francisco Bay Area is $41 a month. A really serious vet bill can run into $2,000-$3,000 per incident and that’s being conservative. That is 5-6 years of premiums for one incident. As most pet owners know, as your pet gets older, the health issues start coming out. For the unlucky few, even young pets have a lot of issues that setting aside money in a savings account that earns 1% interest will not cut it. We do not know when accidents will happen so I will still stake my bets on getting insurance coverage so I do not have to stress out about providing the proper care for my pet and being severely in debt soon after.

    My 11 year old Boxer passed away last year and she had health problems from the moment I rescued her at 4 years old. My dog was covered by another pet insurance provider. When I added all the receipts (yes, I kept them all), I was reimbursed MORE than I had paid in premiums so to set this aside money in a savings account would not have done anything for me but cover maybe one incident if I’m lucky.

  • Liz

    So would a Daschund be covered for back surgery if she exhibted no symptoms but then later experienced a ruptured disk in her back? (It’s well known that Daschunds have a genetic disposition to IVDD and other back/neck issues).

  • Rachel

    I want to make sure I will be able to use TruPanion in NC as I have heard that pet insurance is “illegal” or not accepted by vets here? Please let me know ASAP as I will sign up as soon as I get an answer…thanks!

  • rj12

    I too have Trupanion and many questions and issues with them. First, we brought our pup home at 10 weeks and he had a UTI (he was born and raised til 10 weeks on a farm). It was treated and cleared. When he was about 10 months or so, he got another UTI. We also switched his food 3-4 times when the UTI’s happend. At 1 years old, he got a foreign object lodged in his intestines and had surgery. He does not swallow things and is a great, healthy dog.

    Well, he is now 2 years old and he just got a 3rd UTI. Trupanion is telling me that it is a “pre-existing” condition. My vet says they are wrong but obviously, the insurance company is in total control if they will pay me or not. My dog has not had a UTI in a year! Trupanion called me and in the middle of talking to them, we were disconnected. Trupanion never called back and I called them for the last 3 days at least 3 times a day. The representative said they would have a claims rep call me back but I am still waiting.

    Trupanion also advised me that they should not have given me money for one of my claims months ago, but they were not going to ask for that money back. One day, my dog would not eat. It was 7pm so I took him to the e-vet. The e-vet took an xray and there was a piece of bone in his stomach that was upsetting him. i gave him a knuckle bone that day and he bit a slightly large piece off and swallowed it. The vet gave him a shot for gastronitis and he was fine just hours later. Since my dog had surgery on his intestines months and months prior (he is 100% healthy and normal by the way and no short bowel problems at all), the Trupanion rep was telling me they should not have paid! WTF, the bone fragment would have upset ANY dog! It was not even to his intestines and he ended up passing it just fine.

    Now, my wife and I are very freaked out. Trupanion tells me a UTI is “pre-existing” even though my dog has gone a year without one. Trupanion tells me that his stomach problem is due to his surgery, but it was a damn bone fragment he bit off that caused it, not anything else and that any dog would have had this problem with a large piece of bone. I would put money on it that Trupanion will end up making thousands of dollars off of me since I will probably make a $200 claim (or less) every other year, if even that. We just have the insurance “just in case” he breaks his leg, just in case he steps on a piece of glass, just in case he eats a dead rodent that had died of poisoning, etc.

    Trupanion has not returned any of my 6 messages and I do not know how I will be able to keep them if they cannot tell me what they can cover and what they cannot. I understand that if my dog gets short bowel syndrome due to his surgery, Trupanion will not cover that, but outside that, it is ridiculous to not cover these things. We are very strict and give our dog only the best. Our dog does not even get any toys other then the really safe ones like Nylabones, Kongs, etc. I pay about $50 per month. I am starting to think of switching to another company or just putting my money in savings.

  • HeathCliff

    I subscribed to this string of posts some time ago, because I was wondering about Trupanion. I just want to share that my previous dog was covered by VPI, and we never had problems, except underpaying, and they adjusted when we complained. Currently I have Petshealth Plan, and again I’ve never had a problem. So I recommend both, though I think that Petshealth ends up covering at a bit higher rate.

  • Kathleen

    Our family stressed on which pet insurance company to use for our puppy. we opted for trupanion as they offered the pre-existing coverage for hip dysplasia before his one year b’day. Three months prior to his coverage beginning, he was seen by his vet and given a clean bill of health showing no signs or symptoms of any type. In March 2010, well after the 30 day waiting period, he is diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Please note that arthritis and/or degenerative joint disease is actually the first indications which can be caused by many factors such as too much exercise, diet, loss of enzymes, etc which can LEAD to hip dsyplasia! Guess what??? Trupanion is stating he had pre-existing conditions of hip dysplasia! How is that possible when he was given a clean bill of health! After denying my claims, I was not informed that I can submit an appeal. I had to ask. Remember, if you dog even cuts himself on glass while walking the streets, that too might be pre-existing as the glass was already in the street! what a joke!

  • Kathleen

    I cannot think of the name right now, but will check back later but Trupanion fell under another company name. I have that information at home. curious to see the denied claims under that company too.

  • Ally

    Hi,

    I just signed up with Trupanion and am growing concerned with some of the reviews. I have a few questions. I signed up my 8.5 month Labrador Retriever and I added the hip dysplasia coverage. The reason I did this is because I am extremtly worried that my lab might develop hip dysplasia. At 6.5 months we discovered he had elbow dysplasia. We took him to the vet because he had a slight limp on his right front elbow and it was swollen, they did xrays and our home vet referred us to a specialist (orthropedic surgeon), there they discovered he had elbow dysplasia. He did a arthroscopic surgery on his 2 front elbows ($3000 out of pocket), and my Oscar (my dog) is currently recovering from that surgery. For this reason I am concerned that he might develop hip dysplasia. He went in for a follow up with the surgeon 2 days ago for his elbows, and there has not been any signs or mention that he has hip dysplasia. I am concerned that the fact the he had elbow dyplasia this might be a pre-existing condition to hip dyplasia, but I know the 2 things are completely different? He is currently now exhibiting any of the signs of hip dysplasia, I just want the security of insurance being that we already are 3k in debt for his elbow dyplasia, but I do want to know that if he for some horrible reason does develop hip dysplasia, will we be covered? Thanks!

  • Kathleen

    Ally- i’m not a trupanion representative (thank God) because I actually like to be able to put my head down on my pillow to sleep and wake up and look at myself in the mirror without shame, but just the word dysplasia is like alarms going off. Apparently dysplasia of any type if existing in other area of the animal just might be tagged later if your pup does develop dysplasia in the hip. That is a 6000.00 surgery. If you need the surgery, opt for the “cementless” surgery. We went to AVS in Maitland Florida. Not sure where you’re located. I know the insurance is cheap, but I would highly advise that you keep it for “accidents” and not any diseases. Budget money every month and drop into a savings account. Hopefully you won’t need to have to dip into it, but I’m stuggling with a claim whereas my pup had NO signs, given a clean bill of health as it was required he get before his coverage went into effect and they’re still denying it so you tell me if you think they’re going to cover your pup who already has elbow dysplasia?

  • AMK

    All, This is a really good discussion. Would love to see more. My pups are turning 1 this month and next month so I am hoping to enroll by the end of June. Initially I was leaning towards Trupanion, but from the sounds of it, I may look elsewhere. Any other suggestions for insurance?

    Thanks—!

  • Lynne B

    AMK- try http://www.gopetplan.com/ I have had them for over a year for my two dogs. I have filed two claims and they were both paid quickly. My vet loves them too and said they are the first company she has dealt with that doesn’t try to find a way NOT to pay the claims. You can set whatever you are comfortable with for deductible and co-pay, I have a $50 deductible and 10% co-pay for $27 a month for each dog. The two claims I filed would have cost me more than two years worth of premiums.

  • Donna Lou Morgan

    I initially went with Trupanion and switched to Purina. Here is my post from last year with info. I hope this helps!

    I have a new cat and went with Purina (www.purinacare.ca) They have good options and rates. Just another option for everyone to consider. I pay $17 per month for my cat. A cool idea was the policy stays with the pet and can be transferred to a new owner.
    PurinaCare® Plan Benefits*:

    * Provides benefits for vaccinations, dental cleanings, spaying/neutering and flea and heartworm preventive. (Premium plan only)
    * Covers treatment for accident and illness (Preferred and Premium plans) including diagnostic tests and medication.
    * Covers hereditary conditions.
    * PurinaCare® reimburses 80% of eligible expenses after your annual deductible is met.
    * You pay one deductible for the year, not per incident.

  • Arthur

    Just a warning for those considering Trupanion for pet insurance. I have been waiting for over a month to get a claim approved for my now six month old English Bulldog. I had to take him to the vet to get his “cherry eye” corrected.I submitted the receipts and all the required forms as soon as I got home. I received an email conformation from Trupanion the next business day. After that several weeks went by without any update. Finally after almost a month, a rep called me and asked for records of his shots. I told her I already sent them in. Two weeks later I just got an email telling me they are requesting more records from the vet. Keep in mind my pup is only six months old. We bought him at 12 weeks and he had never seen a vet. He had all of his required shots when we purchased him. I sent copies of his shot record to Trupanion. This delay in reimbursement is ridiculous and I am starting to think they don’t want to honor my claim. I will cancel my insurance with them as soon as this is done.

  • Stacy Kowalchuk

    Hi everyone,

    Sorry for the delay in response. There have been issues with this website which makes it difficult for us to respond to your comments. However, we encourage you to call customer service (800-569-7913) if you ever have questions as they can answer all your questions right away, rather than waiting for a message board response 🙂

    Ally – Hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia are two completely separate medical conditions and coverage would not be denied for one based on the other. As long as your enrolled pet had hip dysplasia coverage prior to exhibiting clinical symptoms (or of course a diagnosis) of hip dysplasia, there is no reason that a claim for diagnostic testing, medications or surgery would not be able to be approved.

    I would also like to note that Trupanion’s policy has recently been changed so that there are no payout limits whatsoever. Please take a look at our comparison charts for more details: http://www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/Why_Choose_Trupanion_Pet_Health_Insurance/Compare_Pet_Insurance_Companies/PurinaCare-Comparison

    In response to Lynne B and Donna Lou Morgan- Unlike both PetPlan and PurinaCare, Trupanion does not increase premiums due to pet aging, covers 90% of the actual bill (no customary fees schedules), and is currently the only provider to offer a $0 deductible.

    Arthur- Thank you for bringing forward your concerns. In general, the first claim typically takes a little longer to process because we have to obtain all of your pet’s medical records. We collect all that information including “normal vaccine” history, as that helps establish a normal and healthy base line for your pet.

    For your pet’s medical history, we started to request the records on the first day of the claim submission. There were several delays in obtaining your pet’s history due to a few different areas of confusion including multiple contact attempts until we finally received the information we needed from the veterinarian. We apologize for the frustration and the delays they caused.

    Now we have your full documents on file, and have been able to complete and close your submitted claim. Because we have your pet’s records, future claims processing times should be much quicker.

    Again, please give us a call if you have any questions or concerns to receive a more timely response. Thank you.

  • Michelle

    I signed up for free 90 day coverage with Trupanion for my two cats (one is 7 years and one is almost 2 years old). They are both indoor only cats. They had their full series of shots as kittens, but I have not kept up with the vaccinations. I had to put a very much loved cat to sleep a few years ago due to her getting cancer from vaccinations. After reading up on it, I decided that I saw no reason for my indoor only cats to have vaccinations. It appears that if I ever have a claim with Trupanion, the first thing they will do is ask for a vaccination record. If I do not have one, will the claim then be automatically denied? I realize that if they get one of the illnesses that a vaccination is supposed to prevent, it would be denied. I’m willing to take that chance. I don’t want to watch another kitty go through what my beloved cat went through with her cancer. If Trupanion will automatically deny any claim due to the cats not having vaccinations, I will not renew the coverage and will look elsewhere. Does anyone know the answer to this?

  • Shannon

    Just wondering…. I vaccinate my pets myself.. I take them to the vet for there rabies vaccines & any health concerns but I do the other combo vaccines myself. My vet honors these vaccines as acceptable and gives me guidance if needed (especially as to which brands seem most/least effective for that current year in our area). Would Trupanion accept those vaccines? Or are they going to say my pet is not vaccinated because the vet doesn’t do it? Is this going to effect calms in the future…

  • Stacy Kowalchuk

    Good questions!

    Michelle- When a first claim is received for processing it is standard practice that we request a copy of your pet’s full medical records including the vaccine history. In your case since there is no history as you are choosing not to vaccinate, we would indicate that in your pet’s medical history on your policy. If your pet comes down with an illness that could have been prevented, then that illness would not be covered. A claim that is not related to vaccinating your pet would not be denied because you are choosing not to vaccinate. As long as no clinical symptoms were present prior to having full coverage with Trupanion, then a claim for an illness or accident is eligible for review.

    Shannon- Our guidelines on what we will accept for vaccine protocol is that it should be given by a registered licensed veterinarian. Since you are choosing to administer the vaccines yourself, should it come up in question on a claim concern, we would take the results from a titer test showing that the preventive levels are present for the pet’s antibodies for that vaccine.

    • Shannon

      Thanks Stacy for replying! I do have another question for you…

      I recently got a Cavalier King Charles Puppy… 2 weeks after I got him I took him into the vet to be checked out because he had diarrhea for several days in a row. He also had really dry, flaky, itchy skin. The vet went ahead and gave him panacur in case he had any kind of intestinal parasite that they had missed(Even though he had a negative test 10 days prior.) She said it could have also been from a change in food and environment. While I was there I had her do a skin scraping just to be on the safe side. She found nothing on the skin scraping and told me it probably had something to do with the diarrhea causing his body to not absorb the nutrition from the food. She sent me home with a few days worth of prescription diet just until his belly got better and told me if I didn’t see an improvement to come back. Well now 2 1/2 weeks later my puppy looks GREAT! No diarrhea, no itching, and his coat is fuller and silkier then ever! I was planning on putting him on insurance but now I’m worried as to what the above could do to his coverage….
      1.) Would it be in my benefit to take him back to the vet just so they can have it on record that he is better? Or will that have no effect?
      2.) What kind of conditions would this exclude from future claims?
      3.) Will this simple & typical puppy “problem” follow him for life?
      (For example:
      A couple months from now he gets diarrhea from eating something?
      If a year or two from now he comes down with some kind of skin condition? would these be considered “pre-existing”)
      The main reason I’m hesitant about getting him on your insurance program right now is the fact that I’m worried that these “intestinal related” problems or “skin related” problems will be excluded for life… Any info would be a great help!
      Thanks!

      • Stacy Kowalchuk

        When a first claim is submitted, your pet’s full medical records are requested to assist us with processing your claim. Part of that review process includes verifying if pre-existing conditions or symptoms that have been present prior to having coverage with us are related to the current claim situation going on. For situations such as this, our policy also outlines that if no symptoms are present within an 18 month period prior to enrolling, that they are eligible for review. This way if something happens as a puppy and again several years later, it will not penalize your pet for their lifetime of coverage.

  • Michelle

    Thanks Stacy. I think I will be renewing with Trupanion.

  • VC

    I signed up recently with Trupanion and am now having second thoughts. While it seemed that Trupanion has by far better coverage than any of the other pet insurance vis a vi cost, getting claimed appears problematic, particularly since unlike HMO type health insurances for people, where the hospital first obtains approval before treatments, pet insurance requires you to pay the bill then cross your fingers and hope they agree to cover you.

    • Stacy Kowalchuk

      VC – All pet insurance companies in the US work the same way, in that you first pay the veterinarian, then submit your claim to the pet insurance company to be reimbursed. The benefit of this is that you can take your pet to the veterinarian of your choice and don’t have to choose from a limited list.

      At Trupanion, we also have the option of filling out a pre-approval claim form in which you would get your vet to list an itemized estimate of the procedure, then we could determine the outcome of the claim before you get any veterinary procedures done.

  • VC

    A pre approval process would certainly be welcomed. It more or less assures policy holders that the company would stand by it’s policy. Thank you for your response.

  • Brenda

    So what company has the best pet insurance? Is $0.00 deduticable good?

  • Mark

    Hi all,

    I joined Trupanion 1 day before I picked up my 1st puppy (a boxer called Rocky). When we took Rocky to the vet for his shots they discovered he had a heart murmur, the vet said this was a not uncommon for a young boxer and they usually grow out of this condition by 16 weeks. After 16 weeks the murmur was still present so the vet suggested an x-ray and blood tests then a possible trip to a Cardiologist.
    We had the x-ray and blood test done and then filed a claim with Trupanion which was DENIED!!! They say we didn’t wait for the 30 day period.
    A typical insurance company, take your cash then refuse your claim.

    Trupanion?? more like Falsepanion.

    I would avoid this so called pet insurance company and shop elsewhere

  • Elena

    Trupanion makes the claim that they cover 90% of your expenses but they kind of forget to mention that they don’t cover the examination/consultation fee. We insured our poodle puppy at 9 weeks and pay $34/mo. When we took our 6 mo puppy to the emergency room, the bill was $171. Trupanion reimbursed us $77.
    That is really only 45%!!!

    The $85 exam fee was not covered! I carefully went back to read the coverage and sure enough, EXAMINATION AND CONSULTATION FEES ARE NOT COVERED.

    I am now going to look into other policies.

  • Kevin

    I have Trupanion for my Bullmastiff. Last year they paid out over $13,000 for our claims. Our girl needed 2 TPLO surgeries. At first her injury was very difficult to diagnose and she had an MRI and CT scan. They covered everything. It did take some time for them to reimburse us because they needed all vet records and there were a few vets. I don’t fault them for throughly investigating the claim, of course they had to investigate, they were asked to pay over $13k on a policy that costs $35 per month.
    It seems like many people believe that a company should cover everything whether pre existing or not with no questions asked on a policy that costs $35 a month. This simply isn’t possible, the company would be out of business in two days.
    I know what they cover and what they don’t and I think it’s a great pet insurance company.

  • Tanya

    You insure your car, you insure your house, why don’t more people insure their pets? The other thing people just don’t get is, if your house burns down and you run out and get insurance it is considered pre-existing therefore your claim will be denied. If you have a car accident and then run out and get isurance your claim will be denied. Most veterinarians offer a 30 days Trupanion certificate during the your puppy or kitten’s first exam (8 weeks to 1 year). The 30 days is at no cost to you the customer so I would recommend activating the certificate within 24 hours and that way it is documented on the veterinarian’s medical records that your pet has no pre-existing conditions. I signed up my German Pinscher when she ws 4 months old with a complimentary 30 day certificate from Trupanion. She has had 3 claims in 3 years and each and every one of them has been covered. I truly believe this is one of the better companies out there and that a lot of other pet insurance companies are like car insurance companies. They keep jacking up the rate and if you are a bad driver aka have an unhealthy pet your deductible continues to go up and up and up. This is not true of Trupanion. 2 thumbs up!

  • Jackie

    I recently adopted a 5 year old Maltese from my neighbor. Long story short, my neighbor has since left the country and I have no way of getting in touch with her.

    I have been researching different pet insurance companies and I must admit, Trupanion sounds very appealing in comparison to others.

    My only concern with purchasing with Trupanion is their “pre-exiting” clause. I have no way of obtaining my dog’s medical history and I’m concerned at how this may affect my policy should I need to make a claim in the future.

    For example: What happens if I make a claim for diarrhea in the future. Would Trupanion deny my claim b/c I don’t have medical records for my adopted dog?

    I would truly appreciate any feedback,
    Jackie

    • Stacy Kowalchuk

      Jackie – I also adopted my dog who was found as a stray so she had no prior medical records. If your dog has any pre-existing conditions, it is likely that you know about them already (ex: limping, itchy skin, etc.). When you file your first claim, we take a look at all available medical records which typically includes a full veterinary examination in which they will note any existing symptoms. If your dog currently has a clean bill of health, then it’s likely that there are no pre-existing conditions!

      Just be sure to note the day that you got the dog when you enroll.

      Best,
      Stacy Kowalchuk

      • Jackie

        Stacy, thank you for your response. I have one more question before I sign up. You have a sample policy on your website that I’ve been looking through. Under 5b.(1) it states, “we do not cover illness resulting from any condition for which evidence and/or symptoms of their potential manifestation already exist at, or 18 months prior to, the policy enrollment date”

        The last part of this clause is confusing to me. What exactly does it mean when you state, “or 18 months prior to, the policy enrollment date”. I will be taking my newly adopted dog to the vet next week for a complete check-up prior to enrolling (if this makes a difference in your answer). I’m worried as I don’t have 18 months worth of my dog’s medical history. Does this mean I will have to wait 18 months to file my first claim (if needed)?

        Many thanks,
        Jackie

        • Stacy Kowalchuk

          Jackie – This clause is relating to pre-existing conditions. It simply means that if your dog has shown symptoms of a condition, or required treatment (medications or diets or surgery etc.) for a condition in the 18 months prior to your enrollment date, coverage likely will not apply to conditions relating to those symptoms.

  • Jeff

    Kitten is 12 weeks old today and enrolled with Trupanion today. I am subscribing to this thread to monitor follow up comments. This is my first pet and a new experience with pet insurance. I am favorably impressed with Trupanion employees contributing to this forum.

  • Sara Dosch

    DIFFERENT OPINION.If Trupanion is only for puppies and kittens that must be a new policy. In Jan. 2010 my dog became seiously ill and required months of treatment. She was 8 yrs.old.The total vet bill was about $5000 and Trupanion paid about $4000. They paid without a struggle and amazingly fast.

  • Wendy Arsenault

    Alex, in your April 27 reply to a question about the $20K lifetime benefit limit, you say Trupanion does not have any limits per year, per accident, or per illness. Although the question was about total dollar limit instead of other limits, I’m not sure your statement is fully accurate. I read my policy again today, and noticed for the first time (my fault) that we don’t get compensated for the deductible (in my case $200)and co-insurance (10%) for each and every medical condition, and if they are treated in two policy periods, you have to pay the deductibles twice. “Each and every medical condition” means to me that if an illness or injury resulted in different conditions, rather than different causes, you might have to pay three (or worst case six) deductibles for a broken back leg, a damaged spine, and the loss of a front leg for one instance of getting hit by a car, for example. Or after becoming infected with FIV, develop different conditions such as GI infection, seizures, and cancer. Multiple deductibles, especially if treated from early June to late June in my case, would be expensive and quite a shock if you’re not expecting it.

    • Stacy Kowalchuk

      Wendy – To help clear things up, our deductible is per-incident. Your deductible will only be applied once for each incident for the life of your pet and if it is more than the amount of your bill, then the remainder of the deductible would be applied to the next vet bill for that same condition/incident.

      In your example of getting hit by a car, you would only have to satisfy your deductible once because all of those conditions are related back to the one incident.

      Also, our policy has recently changed to remove the $20K lifetime limit and we now have no payout limits.

  • Kelli Sposato

    I have recently purchased Trupanion for my two dogs, one a 7 year old Shih Tzu and the other one, a three year old American Eskimo mix. I purchased a zero dollar deductible per incident and Trupanion advertises, 90% payout per incident, minus exam fees.

    After my Shih Tzu’s waiting period, I noticed a blue cyst on his back leg. I brought him into the vet and he biopsied the fluid inside. It turned out to be nothing, but the Cytology work cost $114. As promised, Trupanion quickly processed my claim and has sent out a check in the amount of $103.05. They do not cover the exam fee, but they are quite upfront about that. Also, having a zero deductible on my two dogs is only a few dollars more a month.

    I am very pleased with Trupanion and feel confident that I will be able to properly take care of my two beloved babies in the future.

  • elizabeth51608

    I enrolled my kitty when he was just 2 or 3 months old. I paid about $20 per month. Shortly therafter my cat was diagnosed with a heart defect. Trupanion has been great to pay the claims we have submitted. I chose a $0 deductible so essentially I pay for the exams, and Trupanion picks up 90% of the rest.

    I work in a vet clinic and I frankly find that most claims that are denied by ANY insurance company have reason to be denied. A lot of people try to get the insurance after they find out there is something wrong with their pet, instead of as a preventative measure.

    I’m not saying that is always the case, but suggesting that maybe people need to take the time to thoroughly check out an insurance policy and understand its limitations before holding the company responsible for a failure to pay claims.

  • Trina Bartlett

    Don’t get this insurance if you have to pay any deductible! I brought my dog to the vet because he was sick and they broke his visit and subsequent treatment (all related) into 2 separate $500.00 deductibles! Practically no benefit to have insurance. I feel like I’m paying way too much ($50.00/month with a $500.00 deductible for a young healthy mixed breed dog) to be stiffed when I finally need to use my insurance. Sorry, but I cannot recommend Trupanion to anybody. They seem to over use the “per incident” deductible to pay out as little as possible. I’m really disappointed.

  • Kevin

    I have Trupanion for Sadie, my Bullmastiff. I have made several posts here over the last two years. I continue to be impressed with this company and I highly recommend them. Sadie had major knee problems last year which cost well over $10,000 to fix. Trupanion initially denied claim because one of the vets called her injury a disease and therefore it fell into the waiting period. The vet did not clarify that Sadie’s stifle disease was a result of an “injury”. The third party review cleared it up and Trupanion paid all claims.
    Once third party vet cleared up the issue, Trupanion paid all claims (and there lots of them to many different vets) without any further questions.
    Recently I discovered one claim was not paid for invoice of a year ago. I am almost positive I FAX’d claim to them, but did not have proof. I called them, they said to FAX claim. They called yesterday to say they were paying it even though they had no record of receiving it until now, well after their 90 day time limit for making a claim.
    I continue to be very impressed with this company.
    Not many companies would pay out $900 when they could have denied for not making claim in time.
    I’m very impressed.

  • Jeff

    Trina could you provide more detail about the nature and cost of treatment and what did Trupanion consider two incidents? $500 seems to be a high deductible for small pet major medical insurance. I elected no deductible since I am expecting to pay for each office visit – that will be my deductible.

    • Trina Bartlett

      I brought my dog to the vet because he was using the bathroom around the house + occasional vomiting and diarrhea. They examined him from head to toe and took blood and urine samples. We paid the $500.00 deductible. When the urine test came back it showed some abnormal transitional cells in his bladder. This indicate a possible bladder tumor. Vet told me to watch his urine and bring him back if he pees blood. Two days later he did so I brought him back. Trupanion charged us another $500.00 deductible for this because they say it wasn’t related to the first visit. For me I thought it would be since they checked his urine, tested it and found abnormal cells during his first visit. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t know how insurance can be of any major benefit if they break every incident down into so many “categories”. We had a $0 deductible plan with trupanion before and it was great. The only problem is that we were paying over $70.00/month. It seems too high to me for a mixed breed young, healthy dog. Does anyone else pay that much?

      • Jeff

        Age,breed and regional costs by zip code affect premiums. When comparing for unlimited coverage with other companies was the premium competitive? Was the claim reviewed by the independent vet? I hope both conditions resolved favorably for your dog and it is healthy and well again.

  • Lynne B

    I have petplan http://www.gopetplan.com for two of my dogs and pay $27 a month for a policy with a $50 deductible and a 10% co-pay. My benefits are maxed at $7,500 a year, but the nice thing is that when you buy the policy, you can decide on annual limit, co-pay and deductible. I have had two claims, both were paid promptly and with no questions, I couldn’t be happier.

  • Lynne B

    to clarify, that is $27 a month for each of my two dogs.

  • Shelly

    I was originally very unhappy with Trupanion when they kept denying claim after claim after claim last year on my newly adopted 2 year old cat, saying the random infections were allergy related. Plus her heart defect was discovered just prior to purchasing the insurance, which made the expensive cardiology visits pre-existing. I decided to keep Trupanion since it was only $25 a month with $0 deductible, and boy am I glad now. My cat recently got very sick for 3 months from food poisoning caused by contaminated cat food. Her bills totaled over $4,000. Trupanion paid without any problems and will cover her illness for life. Pretty good considering I’ve only paid in $400 total since I purchased the policy. They also paid out half the cost of a $1200 dental, even though they don’t cover routine or periodontal disease dental work. Add those to the various other claims my sick cat has had over the last year and they are definitely losing money on me, so I can’t complain. I think you have to be very quick to buy the insurance immediately to avoid ANY pre-existing issues with claims, but it’s definitely worth keeping around anyways for instances such as mine when unexpected injury or illness occurs. You’ll be thankful to have anything when you’re at the emergency hospital staring at a $2,000 estimate just to get your pet in like I was. And now I can breathe easy knowing all of her lifetime follow up care for this illness is fully covered.

    • Sue

      I’m pleased to see you adopted a 2 year old cat and Trupanion paid most of your recent claims. I was worried when I another persons comment saying they only covered kittens under a year old. This didn’t make sense to me since they have different age groups on their website. We are with another plan currently, but I’m seriously considering switching our 1 1/2 year old pet to Trupanion, as I can get a $0 deductible and they pay 90%, and not 80% like our current one does. Plus the unlimited amount per year, instead of my current $4500! I’ll not switch my other pet as she does have a pre-existing condition which the plan we now have is covering. Very happy that I read your comments Shelly.

  • Trina Bartlett

    My dog was 4 years old when we got him, healthy with no pre-existing conditions. He is a Golden Retriever/Lab mix. We live in Alberta, Canada. I don’t know why it seems like I am paying more for his insurance than other pet owners. $72/month with no deductible for years and now $50.00 with a $500.00 deductible with Trupanion. is this steep?

  • Stacy Kowalchuk

    Trina, thank you for your comments. After reviewing your claims, I see it was noted that we verified with your veterinarian that the submitted conditions were separate, so the deductible was applied to each. Our deductible is per incident so your deductible will only be applied once for each incident for the life of your pet and if it is more than the amount of your bill, then the remainder of the deductible would be applied to the next vet bill for that same condition/incident. It would not be applied twice for the same condition. You may adjust your deductible at any time to be higher or lower, but the present conditions would stay with the higher deductible in place.

    Trupanion’s premiums are based on your pet’s breed, geographical medical costs, and the age of your pet at the time of enrolling. So enrolling a younger dog of the same breed in your area will reflect a lower premium than if the pet is older at the time of enrollment. Trupanion does not penalize (raise premiums) for unlucky pets needing to submit claims nor for your pet aging. Please feel free to call us directly if you have any additional questions.

  • Mathew

    This might be a stupid question but I just got a 9 week old pup and signed up for Trupanion insurance upon the recommendation of my vet. It is my understanding that all routine visits and vaccinations are not covered. Is that correct? Also, would neutering not be covered as well? Thank you.

    • elizabeth51608

      @ Mathew, yes that is true. Trupanion insurance is for accidents, illness, & injury. When I compared policies they have the highest coverage for those things since there is NO PER INCIDENT LIMIT!!! This is very important to understanding insurance policies. Other companies will cover, for example, “car accident” up to $5000. That’s as much as they are willing to pay, no matter how high the costs go. Trupanion has no limits and covers a percentage of your pet’s bills instead of a flat fee. This definitely benefits you!!!

      You can budget for the routine care, and if you can’t afford it then you really can’t afford a pet, you know?? But Trupanion absorbs the cost of serious medical problems and emergencies that you can’t foresee or plan for. They have been great to cover my pet’s heart condition for the past year.

      My advice to you is the get a $0 deductible or the lowest you can afford (like $50) while your pet is still young and the cost is low. This will save you countless expenses if he/she ever does have a problem. Enrolling young and NEVER allowing the coverage to lapse means that pretty much everything that happens in your pet’s life will be covered. And that’s pretty priceless. LOL!!

  • Karen

    I have had Trupanion for 2 years for my rescued mini schnauzer, but have never had to file a claim. I recently adopted two retired racing greyhounds, both just over 2 years old. My questions: neither dog was spayed until just before they left the track – this is common practice; the dogs are not altered until after they retire. So they were both over a year old. Since I had no control over when they were spayed, does this mean they will not be covered if they develop a reproductive/hormonal type of cancer? Also, they are no longer racing for a living, but they still LOVE to run with each other or with other greyhounds (only in open, fenced places, not a track, for fun and certainly not for betting on) If one of them sustains an injury running in this manner, will it still be covered?

    Thanks.

  • Calvin

    What a joke. After taking my 10 week old puppy to my vet for her first check up, I was offered 30 day free free coverage from Trupanion. My puppy had a clean bill of health that first check up, but her subsequent fecal exam indicated she had worms so we started treatment immediately.

    Before my 30 day free trial expired, I purchased a policy for my puppy, (They charge you $25 to open an account, so the first month isn’t really free….)

    After spending $266.74 on fecal exams and 3 courses of antibiotics I submitted my claims, well within their 90 day cutoff date. Trupanion declined my claims stating that they “do not cover illness from any condition for which evidence and/or symptoms of their potential manifestation already exist at, or prior to the policy effective date.”

    What a joke. My puppy was healthy when we first saw the vet. As a routine, the vet suggested I bring in a fecal sample to test. But there were no indications of illness during the initial exam, when my Trupanion coverage began.

    This was a simple claim process. I immediately cancelled my policy with Trupanion and signed up with one of their competitors. If Trupanion is unwilling to cover my puppy for worms, I hate to think of dealing with them about something serious.

    I wasted my time speaking with two of their representatives, Sarah and Jacqueline. After speaking with Sarah, she said she would speak with the Vet, (a quick phone call would my vet would have cleared up this mistake). However, a few minutes later I got a call from Jacqueline at Trupanion who asked me what was up? (I guess customer service can’t communicate their clients’ concerns with the claims dept. or take notes.) So I spent another 10 minutes explaining the situation.

    Poor customer service. Poor company policies.

    I suggest you try one of the other pet insurance companies. This one is a joke. Unfortunately, I’m not laughing. And Trupanion just lost a very good customer. And as a “social customer” I’ll do my best to spread the word….

    • Jeff

      Your experience is no laughing matter. The puppy had worms at the initial exam and the vet could not diagnosis without a stool sample which was provided at the second visit. You did not mention if this occurred during the first thirty day waiting period for sickness coverage to be effective. By dropping your coverage with Trupanion another waiting period would have to be incurred with a new insurer exposing the puppy to another illness which would not have been covered. It seems to me Trupanion did what they say they will do and your criticism is unfounded. I had the same treatment happen to my kitten and never expected claims to make a payment. The treatment was successful and there are no preexisting conditions and we are beyond the waiting period now. As long as I pay the premium my kitten will have coverage for the duration of his life. I shopped carefully and read the policies of other companies and am confident Trupanion offers an excellent major medical coverage for sickness and accidents. I could not find another company offering better coverage.

      • Calvin

        Jeff,
        Thanks for your comments.

        However,here are the facts that you’re probably not aware of since there is no “waiting period” with Trupanion’s “30 days free coverage.”

        I was offered by Trupanion a “free” 30 Day coverage as long I activated my policy within 24 hours of my first visit to the Vet. (I activated the policy that day.)

        I had no waiting period.

        I left the vet’s office on 8/30 with a puppy that had no signs of any infection or worms.

        I subsequently had my puppy checked as suggested the vet as routine. That’s when the worms were discovered.

        The 30 Day Free coverage from Trupanion reads: “Your healthy puppy or kitten has received a certificate for 30 days of free coverage from Trupanion. With your veterinarian’s signature and activation of this certificate, your new pet will have $20,000 in health coverage for diagnostic tests, surgeries and medications, should your pet become sick or injured within the next 30 days.”

        Jeff, not only did I activate the policy within the 24 hour timeframe required, but I subsequently purchased a policy before the 30 day free coverage expired. (As I mentioned in my earlier post, Trupanion charges $25 to activate your actual policy, so they are parsing terms when then say the first month is Free.)

        So, they are rejecting my claim for $266 in diagnostic tests and medications.

        So, Trupanion didn’t do what they said they would do and I am now a customer of VPI.

        Jeff, I’m not exposing my puppy to anything, since I now have coverage with a new company and since I self insured myself with Trupanion these past 60 days I’m no worse off.

        Bottom line, Trupanion found a way to not honor their policy and they lost me as a customer. Other prospective customers should be wary.

        • Stacy Kowalchuk

          Hi Calvin, thank you for your comments about your recent claim experience with Trupanion as we appreciate hearing both the good and the bad. To better help clarify the trial period, coverage is not extended until after the certificate has been activated. We do offer the first 30 days of trial coverage free, with no funds being charged unless you decide to continue the coverage after the trial is up. Your trial was continued so a charge was processed after the first 30 days had passed. To further clarify the claims process and the free 30 day trial coverage, an exam is a requirement before activation can happen. Should there be any conditions or symptoms present during the exam, before the trial is activated, the already present condition or symptoms are not eligible for coverage. This is what has happened during your claim experience. When you had your puppy in to the vet, on the exam before the trial was activated there were symptoms present that were consistent with what was claimed for. In a case such as yours, it is unfortunate, but no coverage can be extended. I hope I have helped you understand how our free trial and claims processing works. Should you have any more questions, please call us to further discuss.

  • Insurance Person

    I’ve read so many comments here it would be impossible to address them all. Let me start off by saying this. I’m not an licensed professional for pet insurance and I don’t work for an insurance company. I am however a licensed insurance professional (so I do understand how to read an insurance policy and the overall intent of one) and I do have a trupanion policy. I have never submitted a claim yet so I can’t speak for their claims handling but I can speak for the fact after review several major companies I decided on this one. This is the best value of all the ones I reviewed!
    One reason I picked this one is because the premiums were slightly under all other companies quoted. It wasn’t by much only a few dollars but a few bucks is a few bucks.
    Additionally we do not have a deductible unlike what the other comapnies. Most had a annual dedubtible or per inccident deduct.
    Another great saving with this polichy is the co insurance is only 10%. Only one other company offered 10% and only for a certain plan picked. All others were 20%. Again more savings.
    And a VERY important note. The premiums do not go up due to claims. Think about this. If you have you have a few car accidents a year don’t you think your car insurance company will increase your premium. The answer is yes most companies will adjust your policy to offset the risk that a person or pet has become. This policy doesn’t which is FANTASTIC!

    I do understand their are exlusions and not everything is included. As an insurance person I know there is no way possible to cover every scenerio or companies will go bankrupt. My advice to customers is to read you policy inside and out. I have yet to see someone’s story on here where I haven’t seen it spelled out explicitly or implicitly in the policy. So know what you are getting before hand. If you do you wont’ be so upset when you find out something isn’t coverd.
    Some of these situations it seems the problem was a Vet who couldn’tproperly diganose and treat a problem as opposed to a company who denied coverage after SEVERAL claims for the same problem. I don’t know about you but if one of my children had reoccuring problem a dr couldn’t fix I would eventually get a second opinion. Don’t beat a dead horse with this stuff. Use common sense!
    People expect everything from their policies. Remember insurance companies operate on the notion that they will make enough to pay all their expenses including claims and still stay solvent not to turn a profit. Also keep in mind all insurance comapnies and policies are regulated by the state they are written in. Your state represents your best interest at hand. That means if the company or policy didn’t meet state guidelines the policy wouldn’t be able to be written in that state. They must be doing something right to be licensed in your state. The best thing you can do when picking out a policy is to really, really, educate youreself. I can’t tell you how many times in my own experience people will compare apples and oranges when it comes to policies.
    Also a big pitfall for some people is calling other insurane companies to see if a claim would be covered in their company. Consider this: If your car needed to be fixed would you rather the receptionist at the garage answer questions about the car or the mechanic? When you call a customer service rep or sales person you are contacting the “personality” of the company. They only have the knowledge to servic customers, answer general questions and of course SELL!!!
    You want to speak with an underwriting department (if possible ) or even claims. They can give you specifics about what their partiuclar company guidelines are if you are unsure of statements in your specific insurance contract.
    Also I would like to point out something stated in the inital article. Of couse their are not any coupons. Almost all states would deem any such thing as ILLEGAL! Companies are allowed to give certain kinds of discount like say a disount you may get on your car insurance policy for having your homeowners and auto with the same company. What you won’t ever see is an insurance company sending you coupons. Think about it. When is the last time you saw that major car company with the little green reptile offering coupons? They don’t because it is illegal to do so. So don’t expect to find one on here.
    So in closing I will say this. Although I don’t represent Trupanion or am I any way affilated with the company or any other pet ins co I do think this is the best value. I know more than the average Joe as I am an underwriter with an insurance license. This company seems to be very competative and great on paper. My prediction is actually they are so competetively priced and their coverage offering is so good you may actually see an increase in premiums in future as their costs increase. So I would buy to lock in the great value now before it that happens. Def check all companies out too. I already have a policy with trupanion but I still check other companies I find out about just to see if that one can beat what I have So far none have come even close. But it is always a good idea if when you do decide on one to periodically review other companies just like you should with say car insurance. Also be leary of people writing articles basing their sole judgement on the structure of a website. It is obvious to me( or any other insurance professional) this person who wrote the first artical is only basing their opinion on the “cover” of the book. Discern, discren, discern! I hope this helps some of you who have coverge with this company or just other dog owners like me out there who are searching for the right company for their needs.

  • Trina

    I canceled my Trupanion coverage today after 5 years with the company (at a cost of over $4000.00). They have disappointed me so much with the way that they get out of paying for anything. I want people to know that if you have a deductible they will use it against you to the point where you get little to nothing back. I just spent over $1300 at the vet and I got back only $130.00 from Trupanion. What is the point of insurance? Now my vet has recommended laser treatment for my dog’s arthritis and guess what? Trupanion won’t cover that OR physiotherapy because they consider it “alternative” medicine. They are an insurance company and they care more about money than the well being of your pet. I think this is what has disappointed me the most.

    • Jeff

      Trina, What insurance company did you find that provides alternative medicine care at a premium that you paid? Which modalities did the Vet use to treat your dog if alternative medicine was not approved by insurance? How much was the deductible?

  • Ken Z

    I’m 0-2 with Trupanion. I have a Mastiff that got denied both times we filed the claim. The first time he was limping at 4 months. The vet put possible ACL. We filed the claim but the policy was too new so they denied the claim (okay, fair enough). Turns out it was not the ACL, it was Panos (growing pains). At 10 months he was limping again. The vet put potential Panos but it turns out it was just a sprain. Trupanion denied it again saying now it was pre-existing. Fact is, we aren’t asking for an operation. These were just minor health issues that clear up on their own. Our claim is just for the office visit and x-rays. So far this insurance has been worthless and we are considering dropping it.

  • Jeff

    Ken Z, Trupanion offers major medical insurance for accident and sickness not for “minor health issues that clear up on their own”. Cost of office visits are not covered. Which insurance company offers the coverage you would like for a premium like Trupanion is asking?

    • Ken Z

      Taken from your site:

      “All diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medications (including hereditary and congenital disorders).”

      The fist “illness” was Panosteitis. X-rays were taken (diagnostics) and Metacam was prescribed. That fell within the waiting period and we completely understand.

      The second “injury” was a soft tissue injury but involved the same leg. X-rays and interpretation were done.

      The confusion might have arisen because initially because we jumped the gun when submitting the documentation. Listen, we have never had pet insurance so we were not exactly how to go about it. We submitted the first claim immediately after our visit before the x-rays came back which said “possible ACL injury” when a day later we found it was panosteitis. The second we submitted immediately when it was assumed panos (and listed “possible panosteitis”) but after the weekend when a third party viewed the x-rays, it was determined to be a soft tissue injury.

      Our vet said she would call Trupanion today.

  • Calvin

    Jeff,

    I’m curious. In an effort to get full disclosure, what is your role with this blog site? What is your affiliation with Trupanion? Are you sponsored in any way or connected with Trupanion?

    I don’t see any pages on this blog site that provides background on “About us.” So I’m curious.

    Thanks!

    • Jeff

      Calvin,

      I am a new policy holder with Trupanion. A stray kitten adopted me in August of this year. This is my first pet and first occasion to research the pet insurance market. I have no affiliation with this blog or Trupanion other than as a subscriber interested in the experiences others are having with Trupanion.

      I share the perspective of Insurance Person posting on October 24.

      I purchased Trupanion as soon as I realized any preexisting conditions would limit future reimbursements. I live in a small rural PA community and pay $23 per month with no deductible. If there is a better written policy available for sale in PA I haven’t found it.

      I am familiar with insurance language,as is Insurance Person, and expect Trupanion to honor any coverage stated or implied. PA Insurance Department has a Consumer Service section available to help if difference of interpretation occurs. As I read some of the criticisms I believe some pet owners have unreasonable expectations of their coverage and seem to believe Trupanion will try to take unfair advantage. Trupanion would be well served if it answered every negative comment posted here. Good will is a valuable commodity. The best advertising is by word of mouth or in this case by internet. I would never have learned about Trupanion if not for this site.

      Until recently I was unaware veterinary costs were so high. Friends put a 10 year old dog to sleep because of an expensive surgery estimate. Most people I have contact with do not have their pets insured and are likely to put pets to sleep rather than pay thousands of dollars. Small animal insurance is a new market and needs to be promoted more than it appears. More well pets insured might reduce our premiums.

      I’m doing my part and speaking favorably of Trupanion until I have reason to believe otherwise and enjoying the new found friendship of my kitten 🙂

      Calvin, I hope my reply answered your question.

  • Trina Bartlett

    I was paying almost $50.00/month with a $500.00 deductible with Trupanion which I actually think is quite a bit of money. I understand that certain types of alternative medicine are not covered under most insurance plans, but I certainly never considered physiotherapy to be alternative.

    The only other option that my vet spoke to us about for my dog’s spondylosis arthritis was surgery. Spinal surgery is not an option for us because it would be very high risk and I’m not willing to put my dog through that for occasional arthritis flare ups. Not to mention that physiotherapy would be part of his rehabilitation.

    Overall I feel that Trupanions coverage was not helping me in any way. By the time you factor in paying a high premium every month, a $500.00 deductible for every issue (and don’t think that there will never be more than one deductible per visit!), vet consultation fees, plus all the exclusions and limitations of the plan it was actually costing more to bring my dog to the vet than if I didn’t have insurance at all.

    I have no regrets about canceling my insurance plan with Trupanion. When the time comes that I have to spend more money on my dog I will have peace of mind that Trupanion probably wouldn’t have covered the anyway.

  • Ken Z

    Our vet talked to Trupanion today and clarified the actual “injury/illness”. Trupanion told her to document that on her official letterhead, get that to them and they would reaccess the claim. I’ll keep everybody updated.

  • Lisa

    I am confused. On the website it states that there is a 5 day wait for accidents, and a 30 day wait for illnesses. I understand that part. Then people have posted part of the policy stating there is an 18 month wait for pre-existing or abnormalities. So which is it? IF my kitten is only 4 months old and healthy today, how long would she have to wait for treatment if something is discovered after purchasing the policy? If they decide she had it or it was congenital, even if she showed no symptoms would she be covered?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Lisa, the 5 day and 30 day waiting periods are for any new conditions that may arise. For any conditions that your pet has had prior to enrolling, our policy outlines that if no symptoms are present within an 18 month period prior to enrolling, that they are eligible for review.
      So if you were to enroll today, you would have the 5 day waiting period for accidents and 30 day waiting period for illness.
      I hope this makes sense, but please feel free to give us a call to clarify at 800-569-7913

  • julie

    Noted above someone suggests not reading policy holder complaints, but the comments of employees- really?

    Trupanion did not cover a claim, the first I made for my dog, this insurance company is a scam and I am telling everyone I can. They will take your money and do not pay claims. There is not a fair dispute process, this is something that does not benefit the pet owner.

    Suggest to your vets and pet owning friends to avoid this company.

    • Kelli

      By any chance was it pre-existing? Or did your vet send all your records? When I made my first claim, they required my dog’s complete file of records and it took a little while. When I made the second claim, it was processed in two days. I couldn’t ask for better service. I am very happy with my policy.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Julie, thank you for your comment. We have Trupanion employees respond to posts on here because there have been many questions and confusions and we want to make sure that everyone gets the information that they are looking for.
      I apologize for your recent frustration with your claims experience, however I wanted to let you know that we do have a dispute process for claims. Please give us a call at 800-569-7913 and we’d be happy to explain.

  • Ken Z

    Update: Trupanion covered most of the claim after the vet sent documents to them for further review. Because I was new to this insurance thing, I submitted the paperwork immediately after the vet appointment when the diagnosis was speculative and inaccurate. From now on, we will get the final diagnosis from the vet before filling out any paperwork. I appreciate the fact that Trupanion was willing to work with the vet to straighten everything out.

  • Rasha Gad

    I agree that Trupanion is your most basic straight forward pet insurance. In terms of service & coverage all insurance companies are just about the same, really, that be for you or your pet or your car:). One thing to watch out for though with Trupanion, is the fact that your pet premium changes by location and they determine the location by postal code!!! I moved 6 blocks still in the same city actually in the same neighborhood for crying out loud and my pet insurance premium went up 3 $ / month !!!

  • Tobias

    My dog will be 4 years old this month and I would like to purchase insurance for him. However, about a year ago, he had bloodwork done that showed a slight elevation in one of the kidney values. Six months later, we re-ran the bloodwork and everything came back normal.

    If I were to enroll my dog today, and lets say in February 2011 he gets sick and it is kidney related, would this be covered. I’m guessing the answer is no, because of this clause:
    “For any conditions that your pet has had prior to enrolling, our policy outlines that if no symptoms are present within an 18 month period prior to enrolling, that they are eligible for review.”

    However, if he’s healthy until say 2014 and then we discover a kidney issue, would this be covered since it’s way past the 18 month period?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Any injury or illness that has shown symptoms prior to enrollment but has not shown subsequent symptoms for a period of 18 months may be eligible for coverage pending a review of the pet’s history.

  • KAREN

    I enrolled my dog with Vetinsurance (the company that apparently was bought out by Trupanion) almost 6 years ago. They faithfully took my premium every month and when my credit card was reissued were kind enough to call me immediately to get the new expiry date!! After that everything was downhill. Premiums go up at an alarming rate. Deductibles mean that you can never claim for anything. Calls are returned eventually, but the same person rarely follows through, so I have to go through the entire story several times. I got two letters today telling me that my premium is doubling (they acknowledged an error on the first letter, but the premium is exactly the same on the second) DOUBLED. With no explanation other than they apparently are on the cutting edge of technology. Given that I have two dogs, and that the premium will be in excess of $125 per month, I am likely better off banking the money and having my own “insurance policy”. It is clear that whoever wrote this “review” was paid by the company. At least someone associated with Trupanion gets paid. They don’t pay too many claims.

    • Julie

      I also received a note from Trupanion today telling me my premium was more than doubling. I called them and was told it was because of the high number of claims and rising vet costs in my area (Vancouver). When I suggested I take my dog to a different vet in another area they said the cost was based on where I live and not where my dog goes to the vet. We also received the ‘rising cost of vet care’ excuse when our premium went up earlier in the year.

      • Stacy at Trupanion

        Hi Karen and Julie. We understand that you are frustrated with just receiving notice that your premium is being adjusted. To have pet insurance is to share the risk fairly amongst all policyholders. Over the lifetime of having the policy, your premiums will adjust to keep up with the actual utilization and standard of care being provided and used in your geographic area while taking into account the breed of your pet and their age at the time of enrollment. Our name was changed to Trupanion earlier this year, but we are still the same company with the same values. Trupanion continues to not penalize for any claims submitted nor for your pet aging. Plus with unlimited payout on claims, there is no risk of running out of coverage. Claims are reimbursed at 90% for diagnostic tests, surgery, medications and hospitalization when your pet is sick or injured. All policy holders have the option of choosing a deductible to better customize their plan. Call us to further go over any changes to your coverage and if you feel any of your claims were improperly reviewed, please contact your claims adjuster as we do offer a dispute process for secondary review.

  • Mikael

    Hi Karen, even though you find it “clear”, I have received nothing from Trupanion. Please read people’s comments. There are almost 200 and the large majority is positive in nature. I am not denying that you’re not pleased but if the majority is, then I believe that the company is doing a good job.

    If you want to see how poorly a company can perform, then head over to the Banfield post. 99% of customers are not happy with that company.

    /Mikael

  • KAREN

    Well, just try to put through a claim. You will still have received nothing!

    • Mikael

      I’m not saying that the rise in cost is fair. Only that 1) I’m not paid by anyone and 2) People have generally been happy with the company. 🙂

      /Mikael

      • LM

        Why does it matter what my real name is? This is a site about insurance reviews and it seems there are a lot of unhappy customers.

        BTW, I spoke with my Vet yesterday when I had my dog in for her annual check up and she said that the rate increase sounded preposterous and advised just putting money away for a rainy day or using a credit card especially for the dog expenses should they arise. The receptionist also told me that I’m not the only one who is dissatisfied with this company due to unreasonable premium increases.

        I do note that the bulk of the good reviews are quite old and recently they are just unreasonably upping the premiums in order to force people into taking a deductible. I personally find that to be a skeezy business practice considering the marketing 3 years ago revolved around never “forcing” their customers to take a deductible.

        I checked out their facebook page recently and noted that there are quite a few upset customers over there, as well as some vehement apologists…two of whom were revealed to be connected to the company via one or two simple clicks of the mouse. If you are going to have company people posting vitriol against upset customers on social media (while posing as “regular” customers) my advice is to teach them how to hide their company connections better! It’s pathetic really. I can only imagine the same thing happens on sites like this. Right Mikael?

        • Stacy at Trupanion

          LM, I can assure you that any responses on the Trupanion Facebook page, this website, and other websites by Trupanion affiliates are candidly labeled as so. We do not pose as customers or falsify reviews, just as we do not remove negative reviews because we strive to be transparent and honest.

  • LM

    Wow. What a SCAM this company is. I got my dog as a puppy about 3 years ago and thought I was doing the responsible thing by getting insurance for her just in case anything happened. I carefully researched all the options and went with what was then VetInsurance (now Trupanion). My monthly payment then was $35, something I decided I could afford. There was no deductible (another reason I chose it) and a lifetime limit of $12,000 (which the website/brochure ASSURED customers only like 1-2% of animals ever exceed this amount in a lifetime).

    2.5 years later the company that claimed NO increase in premium except for rising vet costs now costs me $110 per month. I just got an email a few days ago stating my premium is going from $65 to $110 (a $45 dollar increase!!). This is blatantly trying to get me to agree to a deductible… despite the fact that I chose this company due to their lack of a deductible. In fact, the brochure at the time claimed policy holders would never be forced to take a deductible. This is just a slimy and despicable way of trying to force customers into paying more.

    I am devastated. I feel utterly ripped off and scammed by this company. If I could do it all again I absolutely would NEVER sign up for this SCAM. Sure, vet costs might increase – but a $75 MONTHLY premium increase in 2.5 years for a service I have NEVER used? I am not going to keep throwing my money away into this SCAM. I am just sorry I didn’t get out as soon as the premium started rising up regularly for no good reason (vet costs cannot be rising that rapidly and if they are I would like to see proof). Sure the company states you will not be penalized for making claims, but it clearly appears we are PENALIZED FOR OTHER PEOPLE MAKING CLAIMS!

    To all the company people and apologists on this website – how can anyone say this is good value? How can anyone argue that with the facts I was given 3 years ago I could have made an informed choice on this?

    New customers BEWARE – rising premiums are the norm. Do yourself a favor and ASK AROUND at your local dog park or even other people at your vets office/puppy training class etc. Since I found out about this newest increase I have asked around and have found that everyone who uses this company has a similar story to mine.

    If I could afford $110 per month I wouldn’t need pet insurance! WHAT A SCAM.

    • E

      you are so right- everything behind TRUPANION seems so unethical. After purchasing my policy in June of 2008, paying 39 per month, I have since already been advised of 2 increases to my monthly premium- as of Jan it would then total over 114 per month. reflection almost a 3 fold increase in only 2.5 years.

      Only after did I specifically ask did I learn that the original policy covering a max of 20 000 with no deductible was no longer applicable and that a deductible was now enforced. I was given no notification of any change.

      They claim they are making all these changes for the advantage of pets and owners yet the advantage seems rather intrinsic to the company itself and their inherent profits. I have looked into other companies to learn that their premium increases are not even close to what Trupanion imposed on their policy holders.

      all existing customers are at a loss as pets are now all older and it is much more challenging to acquire good quality, affordable coverage when a pet has aged. This is further noted as they actually boast about the profit margin of the company and how fast the company is growing. I completely agree with the comments above- WHAT A SCAM.

      I will say this, Darryl Rawlings, the CEO of the company is respectable in that he granted a full refund of all monthly payments I made to the company as I expressed how I found all their efforts rather deplorable. If you are upset with the company and its merits- ask for your money back and put it in a savings account for your pet while you shop around for a company that respects clients that supported them along the way. truly, truly deplorable.

      • Mikael

        Maybe it is just me, but why is it that so many of you love to call “a scam” but you aren’t man/woman enough to even use your first name when commenting?

        If you have something so say, then say it, but don’t hide while doing it 🙂

      • SJ

        I recently signed up 2 adult dogs I took in. I have not filed any claims yet but I’m confused with this comment. I had the option of no deductible when I enrolled but you claim that a deductible is now enforced… How can that be? If that is the case I’m thinking about switching already just from all the increases I have read about!!!! I’m already paying almost $100 for the adult dogs!!! My budget will not allow for that to double or even triple!!!! I enrolled with insurance to HELP with possible vet bills.

        • E

          Hi there SJ- sorry for the confusion of terms- when I signed up the deal that was in place was full coverage up to 20 000 max. the new stipulation (that was not even notified to existing clients prior to the change) is only 90% coverage… this is with no “deductible”. as far as I understand, they now have various other deductible options in place but I was referring to the fact that it changed to only 90% coverage. so sorry for the confusion.

          As far as the lovely guy above… I’m quite certain that all that all Trupanion know exactly who I am.

  • KAREN

    Stacey:

    FYI I did call the company the very same day my premium doubled. I left a call back number just as the automated reply asked me. I am still waiting for the call back. This is completely in keeping with every contact I have had with this company. I am amused by the rating that the president of the company asks customers to fill out. I am quite sure that if he reads them, he dismisses the negative (mine) comments. No effort has ever been made to improve the quality of customer service. Just because this company is deemed (by Mikael) the best of a terrible lot doesn’t make it worth while to enrol.

  • T Nguyen

    I’ve been with Vetinsurance for 4 years now. We have 2 dogs insured, one when we first got him as a puppy, and one when we adopted him (3 years ago, he was at the time 1.5 years old) – I suppose at the time you could enroll a dog at any age.
    We have had no issues with claims, and have probably submitted 8 claims or so over the years for both dogs combined. Claims for things ranged from: ingestion of foreign object which required 2 x-rays and induction of vomiting, suspected ingestion of fertilizer and a call to poison control, infections from scratches, ear infections, some sort of gastro bug that needed some other tests, and the list goes on. All our claims have been approved with no problems.
    Our monthly premiums have increased slightly (I live in Calgary), not as much as some here have been stating. I believe at the time of enrollment our premium for our puppy was was $35/month in Aug 2006, looking back through old emails, I find that this premium was now $37 in Aug 2008, and I’m currently being charged $40/month in Dec 2010.

  • Kylee

    Looking into getting insurance on our puppy. He is a year old and in great health. I want to find out what I need when purchasing pet health insurance. I have only had my dog taken to free clinics and a clinic to be neutered. Would I need any other paper work on him when getting insurance?

    Are there any waiting periods if my dog is a healthy dog god forbid he come down with an injuries or diagnoses? or would he be covered right away?

    I know you do not cover any pre-existing conditions or hereditary conditions that they might be born with. So if your dog has a hereditary condition that you do not know of and is later diagnosed is that covered?

    Thank you!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      All new enrollments have waiting periods of 5 days for accidents and 30 days for illnesses. We don’t require any paperwork for you to sign up; when you file your first claim we will request your puppy’s medical history.
      We do cover hereditary and congenital problems if they are not pre-existing. So if your puppy begins to show symptoms of a hereditary condition after enrolling and past your waiting periods, then it would be covered.

  • Paula

    We have been with VetInsurance/Trupanion for 3 yrs now and we too had a HUGE premium increase recently. Ours went from $70/month to $135/month! It’s basically doubled! I’m extremely disappointed with this company and will urge others not to join.
    Prior to the company changing names we had no issues, but a rate increase this large is unacceptable. I’d move elsewhere but my dog has health issues that will require expensive surgery when he gets older.
    Do you think it’s worth complaining to the Better Business Bureau? Has anybody else done this yet?

  • Jeff

    I’m new to pet insurance. So if i have a healthy 8 year old Min-pin is this the best insurance for me and or will she be covered like a puppy would be? With no deductible they quote me $50.32 per month.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Jeff, we offer the same great plan to all pets, regardless of age, and your coverage won’t be limited just because of signing up with an older pet. Trupanion covers diagnostic testing, treatments, surgeries, and medications for accidents and illnesses with no payout limits.
      Our customer service team is really friendly and would be happy to answer all of your questions 🙂 Call 800-569-7913

  • Goetz

    I’m with Trupanion since almost two years; I choose them because of their coverage, the no deductible policy and due to reviews I found. After 1 year in (and one claim, which was paid without any problem) I was confronted with an increase in premium due to inflation. I said ok and paid. Now I received an email stating that my premium will increase by 103% (no spelling mistake) if I want to maintain the zero deductible; I was also informed that I can reduce the premium when I accept a deductible. This “increase” was justified by new methods of treatment and associated higher cost. I questioned the insurance and was told that rates (especially in my area were calculated wrong and can’t be maintained) etc etc. I’m considering to involve a lawyer to get them to honor the contract we signed. At this point I recommend stay away from them as they are not acting in hood faith.

    • Jeff

      Goetz,

      I am interested in what your state insurance department has to say about the extra ordinary rate increase beyond inflation. The rates, policy and sales literature are approved before coverage can be sold. I do not read any where in the policy or sales material that premiums may be raised beyond inflation. Good faith is a standard of the insurance industry. Attorney fees will probably exceed the economic gain for you acting alone. Your inquiry will serve all of us. Good luck. Jeff

  • cindy

    Wow, I certainly hope premiums don’t increase, I’ll keep a look out. But I have such confidence in Trupanion. My dog is only a year and a half, I took out Trupanion when he was just over 6 months, I believe. Even though he enjoys good health now, that may not last. My sister has 2 samoyeds. Both are always in the emergency room. One just had a spontaneous pneumothorax (not sure if I git that right), a collapsed lung, she was leaking air. Awful, she almost died. But my sister loves her animals & rushed her to the closest facility. Her bills are now probably around $6000 for one incident. I know 10 years of premiums won’t equal that much money, so even though I’d have to charge something like that, knowing Trupanion will reimburse 90% is very comforting. Yes, money shouldn’t be & isn’t an object, I love my little dog, but when the time comes & he is sick, I don’t want to sit there digging in my purse for a way to pay. You just don’t know what can happen.

  • Disappointed

    This is my 2nd increase in less than two years!! I received an e-mail notification this afternoon with the following “explanation”:

    Advancements in veterinary medicine continue to improve the quality and lengthen the life of our pets. As cutting-edge technologies and techniques become the standard of care, Trupanion is committed to making these new options available to our policy holders. As a result, a rate adjustment is planned for 2011.

    Our most recent monthly premiums went up from $55.64 to $70.02. That is a 30% increase! I don’t recommend Trupanion to anyone because they are also very slow in getting around to processing claims. They’ve improved a little bit since we first joined in the summer of 2009, but we’ve been declined for claims that even our veterinarian tried to help us dispute.

    Our pup came from BCSPCA at 9 weeks with a clean bill of health (ironically enough they’re covered by VetInsurance/Trupanion as a part of the adoption) and contracted what seemed like a bladder infection within 2 days (no cultures were ever found by the way). After a few more vet visits and declines by Trupanion (because her first vet visit was within the 30 day waiting period) they claimed that her subsequent infections (ahem, a FULL YEAR LATER) were of the same incident… She hasn’t had any infections in over a year now either. So if she ever had one again I’ll be surprised if they claim it’s the “same incident”

    I don’t understand how they process these claims, but when they respond with a veterinarian’s opinion, isn’t that simply someone they hire to do their bidding? It’s like when a researcher finds damning information about pharmaceuticals… they can’t publish it because the research belongs to the company funding the research. I’m feeling a bit cynical about this insurance company. This 30% premium increase is just about the final straw though.

    Go somewhere else.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      If you compare our most recent rates with our competitors’ rates, you will see that we are in the same ballpark for pricing. While we remain competitive with our pricing, we offer much more value for the dollar. We are the only company that covers 90% of the actual costs of diagnostic testing, treatments, surgeries, and medications with no payout limits, and we don’t try to control costs, allowing you to see any vet at any price. For more detailed information, please visit http://trupan.in/trupanionfaq.

      If you and your veterinarian disagree with the outcome of a claim, I encourage you to pursue our claims appeal process. If a claim has been denied and you have disputed the outcome, Trupanion does have a third party independent veterinary review process. The disputed claim goes to a specialist within the veterinary industry that will review the claim form documents, full medical records along with our policy wording to ensure that the proper claim outcome has occurred. This review process is completely independent and if the specialist disagrees with our claim denial decision and feels the claim should be honored and paid, then Trupanion follows the direction of the expert opinion. Please call your claims specialist at 1-800-569-7913

      • Goetz

        Hi Stacy,
        I do not disagree that your current rates are in the same pricing ballpark as your competitors’ rates. However, we are talking about increases in high double or even trible digits to existing contracts – a fact nobody at Trupanion seems to be too concerned about.

  • Tanya

    I received an email informing me my monthly premiums will be going up 39%! I signed my dog up when she was 4 months old. I was paying $45.70 and am now paying $63.68. As a Registered Veterinary Technician I can say that the cost of veterinary medicine has NOT increased by 39%! A fellow co-worker has 2 cats that are insured and her monthly premiums went up 90%! Small increases are easier to swallow then one big one, especially in today’s economy. Very disappointed at how this was handled 🙁

  • Holly

    Very sad to see the quality of this insurance has declined so quickly!!! When I enrolled not long ago they had good reviews… It has been nothing but a downward spiral of complaints. I do agree SMALL increases are acceptable but I think 30% or more is uncalled for. My pets are currently clear of any pre-existing health issues so I am switching them over to Embrace as they seem to have a reasonable plans and currently better customer ratings.

  • Debbie

    Well, I got the same dreaded email as everyone else today. I have been with Vetinsurance (now Trupanion) since my dog was a puppy (she’ll be 8 in January. I’ve also had my cat with them since a kitten (he’ll be 5 in January). My premium will rise from $62.25/month for the cat and dog to $86.93/month for both with the $0 deductible. A $296.16/year increase! Even my best friend who is a vet, as is her husband, has said that sure things have risen but not by 40%!!! I’ve had regular increases before but it has been anywhere from $7 to $11 for both combined. Want to know how I can keep my rates the same? You guessed it. Pay a $250 deductible! It is like they are forcing you to accept the deductible so that they can get people off of the $0 deductible policies. I would have to look back at my original policy to determine how many increases I have had but I am sure I’ve had about 5 increases – so about about 1 increase every other year. Sure they don’t penalize you for making claims but they’ll get you eventually. If I opt for the $250 deductible I’m sure I’ll see yet another increase anyway, so what’s the point. You know that when I originally signed up with them almost eight years ago, the main reasons that I chose them was: 1) no deductible, 2) no geographic profile to determine your premium rate and 3) premium not based on breed. Boy how times have changed! They’re really not any different than any other pet insurance company. I get that costs go up and they wouldn’t stay in business if they didn’t make money but this is bordering on the insane! I’ve now opened up an ING Direct savings account for veterinary medical expenses and put my monthly premium payments into that. I’m calling Trupanion/Vetinsurance today to register my dissatisfaction and canceling my policy (by mail as well, as stipulated in their policy – at least I follow what their policy directs even if they don’t). They’re losing a loyal customer who has recommended them to many other pet owners – not anymore. I am so disappointed.

  • CarrieA

    I too was hit with %67 premium increase. I find it odd that Vetinsurance offered these plans at a low rate and operated just fine, but along came Trupanion, and within less than a year of the switch we have all been hit with these obscene rate increases. It’s clearly a shameless cash grab. I chose Vetinsurance after much research. Pet insurance is sketchy at best, but Vetinsurance seemed like the safe, honest choice, and it was…. until Trupanion took over. I now consider Trupanion one of those bottom feeder insurance companies. I would strongly advise against enrolment with this provider.

  • PatriceJ

    I signed up in 2004 for a 6 month old puppy. My premium was approximately $25 a month. Over the years this has climbed to $47, an increase I was not happy with – but still withing the realm of affordability and somewhat reasonable. Now I am faced with a ridiculous increase to $72…3 times my original fee (and with no claims)! Like others who have posted, I feel completely ripped off. I have no choice but to cancel.

  • Ann T

    I am so disappointed with the rate increase. My email informs me of a nice 50% increase. My wages are barely increasing 2.5% so where am I going to find the extra money? do my children sacrifice Hockey or do I let the dog die?

    I have made one large claim for a knee surgery and I am wondering if the other knee will need to be done, so I can’t cancel the insurance.

    The have me right where they want me.

    I would not advise anyone to start with this company.

  • Lynne B

    I have had petplan (gopetplan.com) for almost two years and no rate increases. I pay $27 a month for each dog, that is for 10% co-pay, $7500 annual max per dog and $50 deductible. I’ve had two claims and they were paid promptly. My vet handled all the paperwork I just take the forms in to her and get a check about 2 weeks later. You can adjust any aspect of the plan to fit your needs/budget, I highly recommend them

    • Shirley

      Lynne, I am considering Pet Plan but I have seen some bad reviews about them. Can you tell me how you feel they are doing for you now? They are a bit less expensive than Trupanion for the same services. Thanks–Shirley

  • Rasha Gad

    I have just received my pet’s premium increase like everyone. I replied asking if there was any sort of extra coverage specifically in areas that I most spend money on my pet like regular vet’s visits,dental cleaning .. etc and the answer was obviously “no extra coverage” and the famous we cover 90% of illness and diagnosis. I am not really sure whom are they trying to fool??? All insurance companies has more or less the same formula with different presentations. So one will say we cover 90 % no regular visits others will cover 80% with regular visits .. if you do your math, you are paying exactly the same with any given company. So lets drop the money issue here and talk about customer service, integrity and ethics!. Unfortunately, I have yet to deal with an insurance company that gives much concern to the above. The whole deal is about how much more money can they make off you and the sad part is that they claim to care about you and your pets!! Take a stand people and quit being slaves to these companies. I have ended my insurance contact today with Trupanion cause I don’t believe a word they are saying about their reasons for increasing the premium plus I am not going to pay more money and get nothing in return for paying that extra buck. I am going to open a bank account and put the monthly premium in it monthly and in case my pet is sick I will sure find some money to help me with the bills. The more I think about it the more assured I feel as opposed to gambling my money with such companies and as we all know there are no grantees that you get paid for your claims. I do hope that many people do take action and stop being herds to such co-operations that sells you false grantees and plays on everyone’s insecurity to the future. Make good use of your money and really spend it on your pet when he/she needs it as opposed to risking it with such companies!

  • June

    I’m still confused about pre-existing condition policy. I just got a puppy, went to the vet the next day and was told the puppy had a respiratory infection…a cold…the kind so many pups in pet stores come down with. He’s on antibiotics to treat it and I suspect it will be cleared up soon. Will all subsequent ailments related to respiratory issues now be excluded for the rest of his life? I would think if he’s got no further ailments for a year or more, then the latest condition shouldn’t be excluded. Am I correct?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      June, we take all circumstances into account when reviewing for coverage including the cause of an issue and time frame in between episodes. When reviewing these conditions, the decision would be based on your pet’s medical records that your veterinarian has written. So as long as the medical records indicate a clear medical differentiation between the two episodes, then coverage can be applied. However, if the future illness appears to be consistent with the previous illness, then it’s possible that coverage may not apply. Please feel free to give us a call for clarification at 800-569-7913

  • Sara

    Do not get insurance through trupanion. Use to have great plans that I would recommend to all my friends, neighbours, and even other people in vets office. My premiums have been on a steady rise like others have complained of. To make my premiums the same as before I would have to settle for a $500 deducible plus the monthly premiums. The is over $800 a in one year if I were to make one claim for my spayed indoor cat that has never had a claim. I would be better off saving this money.

    The premium increase in not what I am specifically upset about, it is how it is impossible to cancel! I called 4 times and each person told me they didnt have authorization to cancel my policy and that I would have to wait to speak with a customer retention sales specialist. Seriously. So again and again I would have to leave a voicemail to recieve a call back which I never did. Still waiting to get through or get a call back. I feel like I am dealing with a timeshare company or a huge scam.

    • RR

      Hi Sara
      if you send an email asking them to cancel your policy at a specific date they will have to do that immediately, because its a written request. This is what I have done and I got a confirmation for cancellation in less than 24 hours. I think they want to talk you out of it thats why they promise to call but the easy way is email.
      here are 2 emails that I have used in the past ( very recently) and they have responded if you write in your request your name, pet name and policy number
      premiumupdate@trupanion.com
      info@trupanion.com
      Good luck canceling, i think its the right decision

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Sara, I apologize for the frustration you have experienced in trying to get in contact with our retention specialists. If you’d like, please e-mail me with your policy number or full name and I’ll have someone contact you as soon as possible. My e-mail is stacy@trupanion.com

  • rj12

    ONLY USE TRUPANION IF YOU HAVE A BRAND NEW PUP/KITTEN. My dog was one year old and swallowed a foreign body. I called Trupanion and they said he would be covered. Trupanion blamed EVERYTHING on his surgery of having some of his intestines removed. They said urinary tract infections, upset stomachs, sicknesses, etc on his foreign body ingestion. My dog got into the garbage once and ate a chicken bone, had to get some shots to calm his stomach. Trupanion said that was due to his incident. The company is ridiculous. Do yourself a favor and dont use Trupanion.

    If you have a brand new pup, Trupanion maybe ok. I don’t see how they can deny claims and say everything is “pre-existing.” I used Petcare Pet Insurance with my old dog and they were absoulutely great, http://petcareinsurance.com. I am now in the process of looking into legal action. I have friend that joined Trupanion that have already dropped them due to my experiences, which hopefully many others will follow. I’m sure “Stacy” is a nice person and she is just doing her job for Trupanion. The fact is they are not a good company. Take your chance with them if you choose but you will be sorry. Good luck.

    • Jeff

      rj12, Were your claims appealed? What does your state insurance department have to say? Every pet health insurance policy I have read excludes pre-existing conditions – Trupanion is no different.

      Why would you advise your friends to drop in force coverage if there are no pre-existing conditions? That is no favor. Where are they to find better coverage? You chose Trupanion for a reason – because no other company offers more comprehensive accident and sickness coverage at this time for the money.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      rj12 – Because I do not have your name, I can’t look into your policy for specifics.
      If you and your veterinarian disagree with the outcome of a claim, I encourage you to pursue our claims appeal process. If a claim has been denied and you have disputed the outcome, Trupanion does have a third party independent veterinary review process. The disputed claim goes to a specialist within the veterinary industry that will review the claim form documents, full medical records along with our policy wording to ensure that the proper claim outcome has occurred. This review process is completely independent and if the specialist disagrees with our claim denial decision and feels the claim should be honored and paid, then Trupanion follows the direction of the expert opinion. Please call your claims specialist at 1-800-569-7913

  • Shawn Shaub

    I just purchased a policy from Trupanion for my 11 month old puppy and 7 year old cat. I cancelled it 30 minutes later.

    1) When I was enrolling online, the website would not accept my credit card information. I called the 800# and the associate said it must be my bank. She did not even offer to process anything for me over the telephone. When I said “I guess I’ll have to get pet insurance elsewhere”, she laughed.

    2) I tried the website again, and it finally went through. I opted for the Hip Dysplasia coverage. HOWEVER, when I received the documentation it was INCORRECT. The Hip Dysplasia Endorsement said it voids policy section “a(3) of section 6”, which is NOTHING about Hip Dysplaysia. The correct section was “a(2) of section 5”. If I would have had a claim, it would be possible to deny my claim because the documents were incorrect. Legally Trupanion would not have been responsible because you have a responsibility to read your documents closely.

    Shady from the start… shady in the end. I work in the Property & Casualty Insurance industry and did not feel comfortable as a customer of this company.

    • Jessie P.

      Good luck cancelling your policy! Not only is their policy information not updated, but neither is their contact information.

      The policy directs you to email “notice@trupanion” to cancel, but if you email that address it doesn’t exist. If you go to their website for contact info, it lists “info@trupanion.com”, but if you email that no one ever responds. You just get the same email sent to you as if it came from Trupanion.

    • Jeff

      Shawn, It would be helpful to all of us if you would share the opinion of your state Insurance Department. It has the obligation to approve all policies and endorsements. Thank you in advance.

    • Shawn Shaub

      Denise from Trupanion has called me today and was very nice and seems proactive in addressing my concerns. Any company can create a bad experience, but I feel Trupanion has tried to correct the situation immediately. I have opted to continue with them and give them another chance. Even though you may never use insurance or need it, and yes you may have some claims denied, insurance is truly important for the situations when they do cover your need. You can’t always let human error be a reflection of a company as a whole.

      • RR

        Do you consider increase in rates that sometimes goes to double without good reasons a Human Error? If a company gives itself the right to increase rates to that extent without proper justification I have second thoughts about their ethics. Today you got a nice rep., tomorrow you get a nasty one .. its not the rep. its how the company carries its business and the way they have been manipulating their clients, especially those with pets who developed conditions while being with Trupanion, shows me how unethical they are in their dealings because as a customer you have no choice but to pay if you are in this situation. I canceled before my pet develops any conditions while being with this company because i can not trust them any longer .. its sad because once I did believe that they were a good company but that is history now

        • Jeff

          RR, I shopped diligently to cover my now 6 month old kitten in PA and found Trupanion to offer the best value of coverage and price. I won’t know until the time comes if premium will rise. My expectation is cost will go up because we as pet owners are willing to utilize better and more advanced medical care because we choose to insure our loving pets rather than opting for economic euthanasia.

          Trupanion does not want to raise rates to a level where it will drive away healthy pet business nor does it want to under charge and lose money because we are using more of the better care and it must also be mindful of competitors. What is the sweet spot? A question every insurer must consider. Remember Trupanion is dedicated to paying 70 cents of every premium dollar in benefits with a goal of increasing that to 80 cents. On average the rest of the industry is paying 50 to 55 cents of every premium dollar.

          Are renewal rates the same as new business rates on the quote page?

          • RR

            Jeff, remind me again, do you work with Trupanion or are you a faithful customer? it is valuable information at this point to know whom are we talking to.

            To comment on your last reply regarding rates, its understandable that any business would adjust its rates to stay in business if it has to , don’t forget that most of us do work and/ or own business even. But there is a difference between adjusting rates verses greedily raising rates from a minimum of 30% and going up to 70%, in some cases, as we have seen reported by some of the Trupanion current customers. I was one of the customers whose premium rate went up and guess what, I take my pet almost every couple of months to the vet for check up , dental cleaning .. etc and services prices are pretty much the same over the past year in my area and Trupanion coverage is about the same too with the underwriting department working at full capacity ( by the way I never objected to refusing my only claim), the only difference it seems, that over the past month or so, is increases in premium rates!!

        • Jeff

          RR, I’m a concerned customer with no other affiliation with Trupanion. Many of the posts do not include enough detail to make an informed judgement. Such as ages, breed of pet or location. Some breeds maybe predisposed to expensive treatments in higher cost zip codes. Your experience with wellness care costs being relatively stable are not driving up premiums. It’s the extraordinary life saving/changing costs at higher utilization rates that are driving premiums upward. Another factor maybe the growing body of knowledge of an increasing population of insured pets. This industry is relatively new and information about insured care is growing constantly. Trupanion is not in the cost containment driver seat. It is one of several allowing no limits on providers or the prices charged for state of the art care. We choose the vet and authorize heroic measures to save our companions. Our 10% share of costs incurred maybe the limit we would have self imposed in days before insurance. This is great for vet incomes. I’m surprised vets aren’t promoting insurance more. When they do exercise their influence more it could be a substantial business changer. More insured well pets may help contain increasing premiums.

          • RR

            Jeff, if you are truly just a concerned customer as you say then I must salute Trupanion for having such loyal customers who are as informed as you are and most of all stand up for them at times when they are sinking down hard. I hope they manage to keep you on board for as long as possible:)

            Now to comment on what you have just said, any business usually have a business plan which more or less predicts how they will carry on their business now and in the future, taking in consideration the industry they are in, practices, consumers inclination and preferences, rates and many other factors that you have mentioned in your replies that made them increase the premium rates in your opinion. Now if we assume that they are a truly sincere company and they are only trying their best to sustain their business then they must have screwed up big time with their initial business plan & forecasting of their business to have an increase of a minimum of 30% to sometimes 70%!!! which leads me to the same result, I can not trust them as a customer!
            Good luck with Trupanion and as I wished earlier for you, I hope that you stay satisfied with them and they are with you, however as of this comment page most of the people here aren’t which makes you an exception until more satisfied Trupanion customers tells us more about how happy and understanding they are with the drastic increase in premium rates!All the best

  • Shelly

    I have a question for everyone who has been posting about extreme rate increases. Where do you live? Is this just a Canada thing? It’s making me nervous. I purchased the policy for my cat 18 months ago and my premium is still the same. I haven’t heard of any increases in the DC, MD, VA area. Unfortunately, during the 18 months I’ve had the policy my cat has developed numerous chronic medical conditions, which means I could never switch companies without EVERYTHING being pre-existing. So I feel stuck. Although, I have had a few claims denied, I feel I cannot complain too much since they have easily paid out over $5800 in the 18 months I’ve had the policy. Pretty fair considering I’ve paid in only $438. I do worry what will happen if premiums skyrocket here too, or her denied conditions get worse, but what can I do? The only option I can think of is to buy a secondary policy with another company as back up. But everything up to now will cause major pre-existing condition policy issues. She’s had everything from heart, GI, allergy, infections, teeth, etc. I’m fairly certain any other company would just flat out deny anything I’d submit.

  • rj1204

    Jeff,

    Trupanion claims everything is pre-existing. My dog was 100% healthy, he had parts of his intestines removed but he never developed any problems from this…..short bowel syndrome, infections, etc. Like I said before, he got into our garbage and ate some chicken bones and other things. I took him to the vet to make sure he did not eat anything like plastic or metal in the trash. They took x-rays and other things and also said his stomach was very upset (obviously) and gave him a shot to help calm it down. Trupanion said this was “pre-existing.” I don’t think so! My vet does not agree with them and neither did the emergency clinic. The dispute department is ridiculous to have my vet or an ER vet type a whole page supporting my arguement???!!! They are not attorneys and do they really have time to do this for patient after patient with insurance disputes? Basically, out of the 7 claims, Trupanion denied them all saying they were pre-existing. Not one of them were pre-existing. I am an educated person and understand insurances.

    Jeff, you wrote “You chose Trupanion for a reason – because no other company offers more comprehensive accident and sickness coverage at this time for the money.” What YOU don’t understand is Trupanion looks for every way possible to get out of covering a dog. I experienced it first hand. Trupanion on paper looks great! I thought they looked better then my last company and on paper, they do. Turns out they fought me on everything. As a good dog owner who payed over $1,000 to Trupanion and received nothing, I am just simply giving my opinion to other dog owners to use another company if they want piece of mind, satisfaction, and a dog insurance that won’t make things up or look for things to deny your claim.

    I believe Trupanion would cover a broken leg or something though since there is no way around it. My dog plays at the dog park and runs fast. He and another dog were running not too long ago and the other dog ran him into a fire hydrant, right in the stomach. Since my dog had an intestinal problem, I was afraid Trupanion would say that the injury was “stomach related.” Thank god he seemed ok and was fine. You should have faith in your insurance company. I didn’t.

    I also agree this company is so hard to reach. By phone or email, it takes repeated calls and emails. They are a Canadian company I believe and maybe they just work different hours. Either way, I am done and my friends and family are in the process of cancelling their policies. They see my experience and don’t want to deal with the same thing. I recommended Petcare because I had them and they never denied one claim.

    Again, these are my experiences and if I were reading these posts deciding to use Trupanion or not, I think your choice is clear. Good luck!

    • Jeff

      rj1204,

      If I experienced your ordeal I would feel exasperated too. I would expect my vet to cooperate and substantiate their diagnosis. As an insurance person you recognize the provider is appealing to the sensibilities of another vet not a claims adjuster. I would also cc all appeal information to Consumer Affairs of your state Insurance Department. You know there is nothing like focusing an insurance company attention when it receives a regulatory inquiry. Claims seems to resolve in your favor more often than not to avoid further scrutiny. It seems you have a substantial amount of money at stake to make the effort worth while. I sure am interested in your favorable outcome. Your situation could be me in the future. Good luck and to your dog too.

      I still don’t know how to evaluate finding a better carrier than Trupanion since all I have to go on is the written policy and the will to hold it accountable.

  • Donald Eckhard

    Hi Melissa: I have a 14 month old black female lab. I rescued her. When I picked her up, she had kennel couph and a couple of weeks later developed a stomach virus, and a couple of weeks later was diagnosed with tonsilitis and a couple of weeks later, the vet labeled her condition as IBS. During this time, the Vet at Banfield prescribed different antiobiotics. I did a crash course in Holistic medicines for dogs for fear of killing her with traditional meds.
    I finally stopped dog food and had my butcher friend grind lamb and turkey with bones, adding Nupro dog supplements, Gentle Digest probiotics, “george’s” aloe water, and my pup became well and is a beautiful happy puppy. About three months ago, while running with her, she fell to the ground and an Xray showed missing cartilage on her left hip, so I put her on Cosequin DS plus and she is doing very well.
    The reason for this long email is a request for you to zero in on what insurance she would be eligible for in light of her pre-existing conditions, and what plan you would recommend for her going forward.
    Respectfully yours,
    donald

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Donald,
      To answer your second question first, Trupanion only has one simple plan that covers accidents and illnesses. You don’t have to be confused by adding in cancer coverage, illness coverage, or decide between different coverage limits. The only decision to think about is your deductible and premium. Here’s a blog offering some advice: http://trupan.in/eUjNF0

      The way pet insurance works is pretty simple. It will cover accidents and illnesses that occur during policy coverage. Conditions that occurred or showed symptoms before policy coverage would be considered pre-existing and wouldn’t be eligible for coverage.
      I can’t quite tell you clearly what would and would not be covered for your dog, but if you go by what I said above, you can get a basic idea. Please feel free to give us a call with more questions! 🙂 800-569-7913

  • O

    Ever since VetInsurance in Canada has changed to Trupanion, it has been nothing but bad news for policy holders. In an effort to lock clients into acquiescing to a ‘per claim’ deductible, Trupanion is increasing policy holder’s monthly premiums in an abhorrent and extremely manipulative way. They are citing “increasing veterinary fees in your area” as a legitimate reason, however they provide no data or proof of this increase. As an employee at the largest specialty veterinary hospital in Western Canada, our data does not reflect this so called inflation in veterinary fees. Increasing policy holder’s premiums beyond the actual cost of inflation is truly a disgusting tactic used by Trupanion. VetInsurance used to be a fair, ethical and well respected company with many positive reviews, however Trupanion is truly devoid of any ethics and if they can’t provide actual data to policy holders as requested, their actions can be considered fraud and illegitimate. Truapnion backed by Omega insurance company is managed by a larger investment firm which provides information on the amount of holdings and investments they manage, however provide no information on what the company’s assets are hedged against. Why would anyone want to be part of this company? Every pet owner should be aware of their disgusting and manipulative tactics as they are acting merely as a giant corporation; both greedy and ruthless.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Thank you for your comments and I would like to respond to hopefully clear some things up. Firstly I would like to note that our deductible is per-incident, not per-claim. This means if your pet gets an illness such as diabetes that it will face for the rest of its life, the deductible only has to be met once for life.
      I agree with you that veterinary costs have remained fairly flat. However, technology and procedures have greatly advanced (TPLO surgery for example) and the usage of these procedures as well as visiting veterinary specialists is becoming more mainstream. Our latest premiums are based on the average pet of your situation (breed, age at enrollment, and geographical location) and we pay out 70 cents on the dollar for the average pet (versus about 50 cents in the industry average). This means that if you have the average pet, you will get about 70 cents back in claims for every dollar that you have paid in premiums. The unlucky pet will see much more, while the lucky pet may not need to file claims as frequently. We did not arbitrarily increase premiums, but based these adjustments on the average pet for your situation and our claims experiences.
      Subsequently, we must file with the department of insurance to get rate adjustments approved in advance which means we cannot just raise rates no reason. I hope this makes sense and would like to let you know that Darryl Rawlings, our CEO is willing to speak with anyone who would like further clarification.

  • Maureen

    I have read a few of the comments here about Trupanion and can only attest to my actual experience with them. I had 0% deductible insurance for my cat and, unfortunately, she died a couple of months ago at the age of 12. If I had not had Trupanion I would not have been able to give her Hyperthyroidism treatment which was quite expensive along with all of the prep work which costs a small fortune as well. Fortunately, Trupanion covered all cost (that the policy allows for, minus physician fees and other non-included expenses). She died shortly afterwards but at least I was able to give her all of the best care without having the guilt of whether I could’ve saved her if I’d have had the money to treat her.

    Trupanion was excellent in every way possible, they went out of their way to authorize claims even though I did not have her history (since her vet of 10 years passed away and the doors were closed without any vet records for all of his patients). They were very prompt with payment and always kept in touch with the status of each claim. I would hear within days of each filing and the Trupanion employees were always so caring and helpful with each claim filed.

    When my cat died I was so heart-broken I couldn’t even call them to inform them, yet I was so financially strapped by that time that I knew I had to cancel her policy before the next installment. I emailed them and let them know that she had to be euthanized due to her on-going deterioration. I asked them to accept my cancellation without a phone call as I was too broken up to speak about it, and they cancelled it and conveyed their deepest sympathy for her passing.

    I have just adopted a new kitten (6 weeks old) and will be contacting Trupanion next month to begin the process to insure her as I would not even consider another insurance agency after having Trupanion.

    Hope this helps those on the fence of which company to choose.

  • Bert

    I am in the market for pet insurance and doing some basic web researching and reviewing. I have not purchased yet but am leaning towards Trupanion. Like was said by others their web site is first rate. While I will need to review their policy small print, the high level plan comparison info is very helpful. Of course there are both positive and negative reviews – but that’s true with anything. You can’t please everybody. What impressed me the most was not only that Trupanion tries to reply to these posts – but that Stacie was willing to give her direct email address. That says a lot to me personally. A big part of customer service is attitude – even more than policy. Her replies have guaranteed that I call them to dig deeper. I don’t expect to find perfection, thus Trupanion is looking like a potential winner ….

  • RR

    Brett, I was with Trupanion for 1 year before I canceled my policy with them last month due to unreasonable increase in the premium rates. Before they did that many customers, myself included, would have agreed with you. In my opinion after the mess they have created with many customers over the past few months, I would not be surprised if they would have hired or assigned an employee “dedicated” to answer complaints from unsatisfied customers because I am sure they expected such responses with high increase in their premium rates. So I would not really give them credit for customer service for assigning someone to stand up on their side and defend an unethical/ unreasonable increase in rate and try to win new customers to make the company look better! I would say save your opinion on customer service until you have purchased a policy and actually dealt with them when they have to pay!! Good Luck

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      PR, As you can see on this blog, we have been responding to questions and concerns long before these recent rate adjustments. We just want to be able to provide answers to the questions that are floating around the internet about Trupanion so that pet owners can have all of the information they need.

  • Maureen

    I’m sorry to hear that some of you had such a bad experience with them, I had an excellent experience and will definitely be getting a new policy once my new kitty has gone through the blood work, spayed and shots, and gone through the initial policy requirements.

    I do not (nor have I ever) worked for Trupanion, and filed several claims during my cat’s last year of life and never had any problems with Trupanion trying to deny any of them. My policy amount did not change and was cancelled 2 months ago after the loss of my cat. I can’t say that nobody’s insurance cost went up but can only attest to my own policy. I have priced the policy for my new kitty and found it is only $20.49 a month which has $0 deductible (I like the idea of not paying anything extra after getting vet care). I think this is pretty reasonable considering one vet visit can easily cost the annual cost of insuring her.

    If anyone would like additional information you can contact me at mredhead@brbilaw.com which is my office email but I have access to it day and night. I know it’s hard to put out the cost of insurance each month, but I could not have afforded the care my previous cat needed had it not been for Trupanion.

    I could have been lucky and gotten the only 3 representatives who were caring and efficient, but I really doubt I was that lucky. I would imagine that most of them are professional and caring people.

  • SJ

    Maureen,

    What are the initial policy requirements?

  • Maureen

    I know I had to send in blood work within 30 days at a minimum, but I prefer to do that while she is being spayed so she can be a sleep when they take it. She’s only 7 weeks old so I don’t want her to be spayed just yet.

  • Maureen

    Hi SJ, you may see this reply twice, I replied via blackberry but didn’t see it post so I’m now replying from my PC.

    They need blood work done within 30 days of joining. My baby is only 7 weeks old so I don’t want to have blood drawn with her being so tiny. Next month she’ll be a little older and stronger and I’ll then be able to get her spayed (which you want them spayed or neutered for the policy, if at all possible) and have them draw her blood while she’s under anesthesia so she’s not feeling the added pain.

  • SJ

    Well that has left me VERY confused. I just recently acquired 2 adult dogs. I enrolled them the same day they came home to me. They have no medical history prior to me owning them. Both were spayed & neutered within the 30 day wait period as Trupanion required. I spoke to Trupanion several different times to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I was assured OVER and OVER that I did not need to have any blood work or special testing done. I was assured that there would be no restrictions on future claims (as long as it was within the policy) on anything that happened after the 30 day wait period. Can someone please clarify this?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      SJ – We no longer require medical history or any special testing in order for you to enroll your pet. When you file your first claim, we will collect your pet’s medical records from the veterinarian(s) that it has seen.
      Because you say that they do not have medical history, we would just go by any records from your current vet (as I imagine you have probably taken them to the vet since you got them). I hope this helps!

  • Maureen

    Hi SJ,

    My last cat was almost 11 years old when I took out the insurance policy with Trupanion, so it may have been needed because of her age and the fact that her previous vet died so there were no records. I haven’t done the policy yet for my new kitten so I don’t know yet whether that’s a requirement since you were told it wasn’t. That would be great if it isn’t as I would hate to have blood drawn from such a tiny little thing as a 7 week old kitten, but I was just going from what I had to do on my prior cat. I wouldn’t worry about it if you checked and they said you don’t need any blood work as they may not require that any longer. They never asked me for the blood work for my previous cat but it was listed in my trupanion policy I received, that may have been the policy they send out when the animal is a little older.

  • SJ

    Thanks Stacy. Yes, both dogs have been seen, vaccinated, & spayed/neutered. But I didn’t do any blood work. Thanks for clarifying!

  • Karen

    I have a 3-4 year old mini schnauzer (rescue, so we didn’t have much history) and adopted two female retired racing greyhounds within the past 7 months. We may be adding another greyhound this month (a littermate of one of my girls). I have enrolled my three with Trupanion. As far as their spaying – all racers are kept intact until they retire, then they are spayed or neutered before coming to re-homing groups. If they ever develop a reproductive system cancer, will that be covered, or will it be an automatic denial because they were older when they had their spay performed? Also, very often dogs come off the track with worm infestations – both of mine had hookworm that was completely resolved with Panacur. If they ever get hookworm again or any other intestinal worm or intestinal problem, will this automatically be denied as pre-existing? Some comments by others on this thread have gotten me worried, and thinking maybe I’d be better off banking their premiums or switching companies.
    Thanks for your help.

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Hi Karen,
    We do not cover conditions that arise from the lack of use of preventive health care. For example, fleas which could be prevented with regular flea preventive medication, etc.
    Spaying and neutering is a preventive measure for mammary cancer, testicular tumors, and other conditions.
    Our policy outlines that coverage is limited for pets that have not been spayed or neutered before turning 1 year old or by their veterinarian’s recommendation. So to answer your question, we would not cover uterine or ovarian conditions that could have been prevented by spaying/neutering (you can see the details in our policy, section 5 e 1).
    The concerned comments you have seen are from a recent rate adjustment in Canada in which we brought premiums up-to-date. I understand it may appear scary, and of course no one wants to see rates go up, but the new rates are in line with veterinary spending and they are also quite comparable to our competitors’ rates. We are still the only company with no payout limits and flexible deductibles to fit your budget. If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to call us at 800-569-7913 as we are happy to help clear things up! 🙂

    • Karen

      I figured that might be the case, I suppose I was hoping there might be some exclusions since we adopters have no choice/control over whether or not they are altered. The same was the case for my mini schnauzer, we don’t know his exact age because he was tied up in someone’s back yard until animal control then rescue picked him up, so his first “owners” didn’t bother to neuter him. I’ve had no issues with the premiums, but have been a bit concerned about exclusions, especially with the greyhounds. Thanks for responding so quickly.

      • Stacy at Trupanion

        Karen, for adopted pets, our policy outlines that pets should be spayed our neutered within 30 days of adoption for full coverage. So if you adopt an older pet, it can still be eligible for full coverage.

  • Maureen

    Hi Stacy,

    Since you’re so good about replying in this forum, would you mind answering this (I would call but I would imagine it’s something other pet owners may want to know the answer to as well). My kitty just turned 8 weeks old so I am about ready to insure her with your company, but I have not had her spayed yet since most vets recommend a minimum of 3 months and usually having them spayed at 6 months. I’ll definitely get her spayed but I want to do it at a time I think would benefit her the most. Does Trupanion have any suggestions of when the healthiest age is for spaying? I am hesitant to do it prior to 3 months as I’ve heard there can be complications due to type of anesthesia used on kitties, but if it’s safer at 6 months then I’ll wait until then. Calling the vet isn’t much help as they look at it being safe enough at any interval and may want to schedule her when it suits their schedule. Since Trupanion is all about insuring the healthy pet I figure your company may have researched this to determine the healthiest stage of when to spay or neuter them.

    Also, is there anything I should be concerned about if I insure her prior to having her spayed? I don’t want to get her policy and have it exclude a lot of medical conditions due to her not being spayed and then once I send in the paperwork showing she has been spayed find out later that my policy doesn’t cover her because it was never updated or because she joined without first being spayed.

    Thanks!

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Maureen,
    I can’t recommend a specific time that is best for your kitten to be spayed because each pet grows and develops a little bit differently, so we can’t really say exactly when it would be best for your individual pet. For the most part, we see pets being advised to be spayed or neutered around 6 months of age. However, there are many pets that are spayed or neutered at an earlier age, and some at a later age. Ultimately, your veterinarian would be the best person to seek for advice, since they are able to meet with your kitten in person.
    You will not experience any coverage limitations in relation to spaying/neutering so long as she is spayed before 1 year of age, or as recommended by your veterinarian. I hope this clears everything up!

  • Maureen

    Great thanks Stacy!

  • Barry

    I want people in the market for insurance to be aware that Trupanion is putting forward unrealistic increases in premiums. I have my pet insured for 2 years in which the rate increased 21%. The arguments for the increases when requested remain very generic and the company fails to provide specific information around the rate increase for your pet. The obvious alternative being offered is to increase your deductible. I suspect to find a response to my posting talking about fair value and reasonable price levels in the competitive field. But when you are shopping please look for caps in the rate increases to protect yourself. They are out there.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      A company that caps its rate increases also caps its payout on claims. Our values are that we are not there to tell you how much you’re allowed to spend to save your pet’s life which is why we have no payout limits.
      Based on our claims history, your newest rate is based on the cost to insure the average pet of your situation; that being your pet’s breed, age at enrollment, and geographical location. On average, Trupanion pays out 70 cents in claims for every dollar received in premiums. This means that if you have the average pet, you would receive about 70 cents in claims per every dollar you pay in premiums. The unlucky pet would see much greater amounts. Also, just as a reference point, the industry average payout is around 50-55 cents on the dollar.
      For a little more information, here is a video of Darryl Rawlings, our CEO, explaining our pricing: http://trupan.in/hCwnZU

  • Barry

    Thanks Stacy for your additional comments. These are exactly the same arguments that pursuaded me to join Trupanion in the first place (two years back), as I supported the phylosophy and liked the payout mechanism. These arguments you use have not changed since (you are not paying out more than when I enrolled, nor have you changed payout limits), yet your rate has increased 21%. The justification for this increase is a blend of factors that nobody will be able to detail out. I have not seen fees for vets or medication in my area increase dramatically, I have enrolled my pet as a puppy. So the only thing left is that my breed has been truly unfortunate to an extend it warrents a 21% hike. I have a hard time accepting this without getting further details from the organization.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Barry, I agree with you that veterinary costs have remained fairly flat. However, technology and procedures have greatly advanced (TPLO surgery for example) and the usage of these procedures as well as visiting veterinary specialists is becoming more mainstream. While I cannot publish our actuary data, our latest premiums are updated based on the average pet of your situation and our claims experiences in relation to those.

  • Sean Zarella

    Hello, we recently adopted a cat 6 months ago, and just got her spayed january 9th.2011 Will this limit my coverage for all cases? even those that do not pertain to any repoductive areas?

  • leanna

    Hello Stacy

    In our case, we want to insure our 7 month old puppy and it is recommended by our breeder and in the contract at he not be neutered until 18 months of age, due to him being a large breed and neutering may affect growth hormone. How would this be addressed under the exclusion policy? Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Leanna,
      I would recommend that you speak with your veterinarian about the best time to get your new puppy neutered as they can provide the best guidance.
      Our policy outlines that coverage is limited for pets that have not been spayed or neutered before turning 1 year old or by their veterinarian’s recommendation. So if you were to hold back on neutering your puppy because of a breeder recommendation and without the input of your veterinarian, it could affect your pet insurance coverage. Please give us a call if you’d like to discuss this further! 800-569-7913

  • Linde

    Hi!
    I came to this website because I have heard that Trupanion is better than my current pet insurance, VPI. After reading all of the above reviews, I am kind of surprised by the unhappiness of the consumer. I was immediately intrigued by the coverage of pre-existing conditions if there are no symptoms within the 18 month period prior to the claim, but after reading the downside of Trupanion coverage, I think I’ll stick with VPI.
    For those of you who are upset with your Trupanion coverage, these are the things that I enjoy about VPI:
    1) My premium has been $36 per month since the day I enrolled my dog as a puppy five years ago and has NEVER increased.
    2) I not only have accident and illness coverage, but I also get preventative coverage included in the same premium amount. My yearly vaccinations and checkups are covered on a fee schedule and are covered at about 70%.
    3) I have never been denied a claim and I have had a few major accidents/illnesses since getting the insurance 5 years ago.
    4) We don’t have a deductible. Everything is paid on a fee schedule.
    5) Your policy renews every year, so you are only paying for one year of coverage at a time. If you decide at any time that VPI is not for you, you can cancel your policy without feeling like you’ve been scammed. Besides, if you had your vaccinations and exam covered by VPI that year, you probably got your premium amounts reimbursed in the cost of the vaccinations that they cover. It’s definitely worth it!

    Good luck to all of you!

  • rj12

    I would use Trupanion for the following and following only.

    1. If I got Trupanion coverage before I even picked up my pup, so Trupanion cannot claim that things are “pre-existing” no matter what.
    2. If big increases in rates are not a problem, so when Trupanion increased rates, it wouldn’t matter.
    3. If you don’t mind sacrificing good customer service.

    I made the mistake of recruiting a couple coworkers to join Trupanion for the $25 gift card to Petco. One coworker was with Pets Best and the other had none. Both have already cancelled Trupanion due to my experiences. Even my vet won’t recommend Trupanion……..tell you something?

    Stacy and all the others on this site can try to explain things and it makes sense at times. But what they say on this site and what Trupanion actually does when they do not reimburse you and deny your claim is what is so frustrating. That is what all the customers here are so angry about. I would go with Pets Best, VPI, or Petcare.

  • Barry

    Hi Linde,

    Wise choice! As we write I am checking out these benefits you have listed. Given my dissatisfaction with Trupanion I am very open to switch. Seems VPI has the deal. Thanks for bringing this forward.

    Barry

  • Lynne

    You might want to check out ‘pet plan’ http://gopetplan.com . I have had them for over 2 years and they are fantastic. No rate increases, no hassle over paying claims (and I have had two fairly major claims)You can adjust the copay & deductible to fit your needs. I chose 10% co-pay and $50 deductible for a premium of $27 a month for each of my two dogs

  • Kristin

    Hello Everyone, I need your advice~ I have a 2 year old Maltese Shitzu~ I have decided to buy pet insurance. There are so many web pages out there ~ It becomes a bit overwhelming~
    I am leaning towards Embrace. The $15,000 a year max is a bit scary though.. Any thoughts?? Thank You, Kristin

  • Barry

    Hi Kristin,

    I would suggest you go anywhere but Trupanion. Read the comments above>

  • Maureen

    I feel bad for those of you who have had a bad experience with Trupanion, I had an excellent experience from the time I signed my 11 year old cat up until she past away a few months ago. They never denied any portion of my claims right through to her hyperthyroid treatments. They are caring professionals who go out of their way to ensure your pet gets the treatmnent they need without regard to cost. I just got a new kitten and have already signed her up with Trupanion – never gave it a second thought – Trupanion was great for me and my cat.

  • VetTech

    It seems the people that have had the biggest problems here are the ones who don’t take the time to read the fine print. Ah, how lovely is the instant gratification society we live in. As someone who is NOT related to the insurance field but has been a licensed technician for 15 years I can tell you the following:

    1) Yes, veterinary costs have gone up…as the price of everything else has. Our specialist exams have gone up to $145. Do you seriously think the price of human insurance hasn’t gone up? You bet it has-you just don’t think about because all you have to pay is the co-pay when you go to the doctor. As technology improves costs go up. Period.

    2)If you think vets and techs are making money hand over fist you’re insane. I’ve been in the field my entire adult life and I still don’t make more than $20 a hour…but that’s the price you pay for doing what you love. I digress…

    3)Remember when you’re paying for a specialized surgery-such as a TPLO, FHO, PU, etc.-you are paying for a SPECIALIST to perform the surgery. As with MD’s, DVM specialists are going to cost more. Now I ask you-would you rather pay $6000 out of pocket with no reimbursement, or would you rather get some if not all of that money back?

    4) I work in an emergency clinic. Trust me-if something happens to your animal you’re going to want coverage. An average trip to an ER nowadays not including the exam can run in excess of $300-$500 for 24 hours of treatment. Why put your animal to sleep for something that can be treated if you can’t afford it you don’t have to???

    Perhaps someday our pets will have the luxury of having the same insurance benefits we do. My pets are my children. Having pets is a choice. Having children is a choice. I don’t see why it should be any different.

    I have friends in the pet insurance industry and I can tell you that no one WANTS to deny anyone coverage. In fact it’s quite the contrary. It is the consumer’s responsibility to do all their reading and research BEFORE they make a decision. If not you have no right to go on a tirade.

  • Marcy

    I recently signed my 5 month old great dane up with Trupanion. I know some people who use trupanion and others who use other companies (FWIW my 5 year old great dane uses VPI). I signed the new puppy up with Trupanion because I can get hip dysplasia coverage and I like that I can choose my deductible to adjust my monthly payments. I just filed my first claim 1 week ago and 2 days ago received notice that the claim had been processed. If all other claims get processed this quickly I will be very happy!! Claims with my other dog take about a month to process. I wish I could switch my adult dane but she has had problems over the years that would most likely be preexisting if I switched.

  • Shirley

    I am researching pet insurance for my new 2 yr-old kitty adopted from a shelter and have read the posts above. It sounds like the increased premium rates for Trupanion is of great concern. I live in Chicago. Has anyone experienced rate increases in this area? Do any of the other pet insurance companies have caps on rate increases? Also, for those that do not recommend Trupanion, what pet insurance would you recommend and why?

  • Matt

    I have been reading comments regularly and my experience with this company has been nothing but possitive. I have 2 labs insured with trupanion. The 20 month old had a claim last year that was promptly paid and I posted my experince at that time. My 1 year lab old just had a cas of pancreatitis. Three days in hospital plus diagnostic tests, medications, etc. came to $1450.00. My claim was procesed in les than a week and was reimbursed $1240.00. My dog had giardia before the one month period but the adjuster stated that the two problems were unrelated. The adjuster did remind me that some stomach issues might be denied in the future if they feel its connected to the giardia. She said at that point they would speak to my vet if she felt otherwise. So far Trupanion has done right by my dogs, my rates have remained the same here in NJ and I am very happy that my dogs are insured through them

  • Matt

    Edit that last postmy payment will a little over $1100.00

  • Lynne

    Shirley, I have had a great experience with petplan. I have had two claims. The first one was when one of my dogs was running through the woods and a branch pierced him and broke off in his side, it required surgery. The bill was around $600 and petplan paid exactly what they said they would- 90% less $50 deductible. The second claim was for my puppy, it was only 30 days after I added him, and I was afraid petplan would balk, but once again they paid the full claim within 3 weeks. He had some retained baby teeth that had to be surgically removed. My vet loves petplan, she says they are very easy to work with. If you go to their website, you can put in what kind of deductible, co-pay and annual limit works for you, so it’s completely flexible in letting you decide what you can pay. Read their site for information on ‘pre-existing’ conditions. I really like the fact that if a pet is diagnosed with a chronic disease, they don’t exclude coverage at the end of the premium year and call it ‘pre-existing’ you really have to watch for that with pet insurance companies. They don’t cover routine vaccinations or spay/neuter, but I did the math and the companies that cover those things end up charging you as much in premiums as you would pay out of pocket anyway.

    • Shirley

      Thanks very much, Lynne and also to Matt for your replies. This has been a tough decision. I was also very concerned about pre-existing and hereditary conditions and randomly selected “reasonable amounts” as determined by an insurance company. For those reasons, I ruled out ASPCA and VPI. I narrowed down my final decision between Trupanion & PetPlan and ended up choosing PetPlan for the following reasons:

      1. I was very concerned about the above comments for Trupanion relating to the high premium increases. This is too bad because I was really leaning towards them, especially based on the comments people provided regarding their positive claims experiences. I discussed with PetPlan. They told me they do have premium increases for ages 5-11 but they average about 7%/annually. My cat is 2 yrs old and the rep told me there should be no increases until age 5 with the exception of inflation–however, in this economy, that should not be an issue. I was very concerned about the 50% increases that some consumers contested with Trupanion as that seemed random and excessive.

      2. The price for comparable coverage was about $8 cheaper/month with PetPlan vs. Trupanion. By paying Quarterly, I was able to get coverage for their Bronze Plan–$8,000 of annual coverage, which renews again every year–at about $12/month with a $200 deductible and 90% co-pay for actual vet bills. Trupanion’s quote was about $21/month for the same coverage. So, even if the premium does go up a bit, it will take a bit for it to get up to what Trupanion had quoted me today.

      3. Trupanion self-insures itself. The underwriting company for Trupanion owns Trupanion–it is not a separate company. If they went bankrupt, then there may be no insurance. PetPlan’s underwriter is an A+ rated insurance company, separate from Fetch Inc, which owns PetPlan. They have also been insuring pets for 33 years so have a good track record.

      4. I went through each point listed on Trupanion’s website regarding PetPlan and some of the info listed is not completely correct. I also went through the PetPlan and Trupanion policies and terms to make sure I understood both.

      5. The Better Business Bureau did report that Trupanion had 0 complaints in the last 36 months while PetPlan had 19, which were “resolved”. They also rated Trupanion as an A and PetPlan a B–so that was better for Trupanion.

      6. PetPlan confirmed that my new kitty’s pink eye she got from the shelter would be covered again (if it occurred) after a 12-month non-recurrence of the issue and then no longer considered a pre-existing condition.

      7. One thing Trupanion does have better than PetPlan is a one-time deductible/per incident vs. PetPlan’s per incident/per annual year and a no limit/per year or per lifetime. I spent $5,800 last year for my 7 yr old kitty with kidney/bladder stones and sadly she did not survive, so I felt that $8,000/per year was a reasonable amount and the coverage I got affordable. PetPlan will actually cover food for bladder stones for up to 6 months, which is the only company I saw that would do that.

      These review blogs have been very helpful to me. There are many differences between these pet insurance coverages and it is important to understand, compare and determine what kind of coverage is needed and what can be afforded. For $135/year, it is worth a try and hopefully I will never need it!

  • JCD

    Question: If a puppy under 1 year old suffered a broken leg and had it surgically repaired, and if something happened to another leg in the future, would that be considered a pre-existing condition?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      While I can’t make a blanket statement because all incidents are different, I can say that if an incident is completely unrelated to a pre-existing incident, then it will not be considered pre-existing just because it’s the same ‘type’ of incident (i.e. leg breaks).
      However in the case of cruciate ligaments for example, if cruciate problems (post-enrollment) exist due to pre-existing cruciate problems with the opposite leg, then they are not covered.
      I hope this makes sense, but please feel free to call with more questions! 800-569-7913

  • Amber

    My husband and I are adding a new fur baby to our family so we are looking at insurance because we had 2 incidents 2 years ago with our current fur baby. Both are boxers. My question is regarding coverage on the older boxer. He had 2 seperate incidents with mast cell tumors which were both removed and he had an exam by an oncology specialist and was determined that the tumors were not systemic and after 6 months of no additional tumors cleared. He has had no incidence of recurrance of mast cell tumors. My question is 2 fold. 1. Would these tumors cause him to be considered as “pre-existing” and no coverage would be offered in the future if another tumor presented itself? 2. We now check out lumps that we find immediately and have them aspirated. The charge is usually not very much, but would those be covered since they are not preventative?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Amber,
      In regards to your question, I can let you know that as long as your dog has not had any mast cell tumors being present within the last 18 months prior to starting coverage with us, then they would be eligible for claim review. The other lumps that you have found on your dog, based on what you have said in your question, sound like they have been present for your dog within the last 18 months. If this is correct, we would not be able to cover the lumps that you are currently finding and having them aspirated. Please call us directly if you have any additional coverage questions or to get coverage started. 800-569-7913

  • Trueler

    Guys, there are no pet insurance companies who will pay you more than you have already paid to them in premium! I have researched policies, reviews, and asked people when we were trying to find pet insurance for our dog. So, the main conclusion is to avoid any pet insurance company, because you will only loose your money.
    Saving $50/month on your own bank account for future veterinary expenses is much better. It is always your choice!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Trueler, I’m not quite sure which pet insurance company you have experience with, or where you got your information. But speaking on behalf of Trupanion, we have many policyholders that get back far more in claims than they ever paid in premiums. Premium pricing is based on averages. Some policyholders will file lots of claims and get back much more money than they put in, and some will rarely or never file claims.

      • Trueler

        Where do you get money to cover much more than customers put in?

        “One in two pets will experience a major illness or injury
        during its lifetime”. Major illness or injury will definitely cost much more than premiums paid. Not a major illness or injury sometimes may be comparable to the premium paid (usually it is more).

        On the average it is definitely true that any customer will not receive more money than he/she has already paid. Taking into account operational costs of the company which may be about 20-50% of the premiums, we can see the maximum return of 80% of the premiums.

        That is why I’m advising people to think about saving the same amount each month on a bank account in stead of paying it to any pet insurance company hoping that the company won’t apply the “fine print” to customer’s claim…

        • Stacy at Trupanion

          Some customers will receive much more than they paid in premiums, while others will never have to file a claim. With Trupanion, the average pet owner will get 70 cents in claims for every dollar they paid in premiums. (Pet insurance industry standards are about 50-55 cents for every dollar.)
          This is insurance, not an investment. Pet owners do not hope to get more money back than they paid, but if something should happen to their pet, they can count on us to be there and help cover the costs.

  • Maureen

    I wanted to add a note to what Trueler said. I have personally experienced receiving more in claims than I paid in premiums. I had only been insured for about 10 months at $40 a month when my cat began having problems. Trupanion paid their allotted amounts (denying nothing other than physician fees which are not payable) and covered her hyperthyroidism treatment as well. All in all, I probably paid in approximately $400 and received in claim payments approximately $1,800. So I can personally vouch for that not being the case. Had I not had her insured I would not have been able to give her the very best care possible. I don’t know where Trueler got that information from, but it’s not the case at all. They were very good and I was so pleased that even though my cat died, I now have my new kitten insured through them. They will make back their money over the years with my new kitty, but I can rest assured that if I ever need anything expensive I don’t have to weigh my kitty’s life against my pocketbook to give her that care. They operate like medical insurance does> you may pay into your premium monthly, but if you have major surgery they are not going to deny you that treatment because you haven’t paid in enough to “earn” it. I know that even if the surgery costs thousands and I have to have blood work and treatment months prior and months after – it will all be covered. I doubt that if I put that $50 a month in the bank that it would really be there for my kitty in the future, whereas paying out $20 a month will ensure she has the very best care and treatment she deserves.

  • Skyz

    Trueler,

    I’m sure for some people that might be the case but my mom enrolled her new puppy as soon as she got it. She has a $35 a month premium. Within 3-4 months Trupanion had covered nearly $2,000 in medical bills! They are also covering monthly medication that is more then double what her monthly premium is.

    Due to her wonderful experience I enrolled 2 dogs that I took in. While I have only been with the company personally a few months I must say they have wonderful customer serves! You can chat with a live person online and get your questions answered right away. I filed my first claim and had no problems what so ever.

    For an insurance company that offers $0 deductible and no lifetime limits I must give them the highest recommendations!

  • Amber

    Hmmm, while very informative, not pertinent to the question that I have about pre-existing condition.

    Specifically I wish to know if I insured my pet who has had mast cell tumors 2 years ago that were successfully removed and upon a vet check (oncology specialist) has been cleared of not having mast cell tumors present, if they would still be considered pre-existing since he has had them before?

    Thank you.

  • Shirley

    Amber,
    I am certainly no expert but have been researching various policies intently. You would need to contact your insurance provider and read the policy carefully. Each one is different–some better than others. A few state that cancer–regardless of where it is in the body–is considered the same “incident” so those likely would not cover you. Some say that once there is a illness, it will be considered a “pre-existing condition” the following year upon policy renewal unless you have purchased in advance a “continuing coverage” policy that then would cover a new condition. Others say that a condition will no longer be considered “pre-existing” if there has not been a re-occurence for 12 consecutive months; however, they all have the disclaimer that they would need to review medical records and that may not apply to all illnesses. My guess is that any kind of cancer probably would be considered a pre-existing condition but you should call directly to ask.

  • Eva

    complaint: After 5 calls to cancel the policy (we don’t have the dog anymore), waiting approx 15 minutes 3x, talking 2x with different ladies and leaving a message once with the “cancellation department”) we were to get an e-mail confirmation. Nothing. Their customer service is unacceptable! I’m glad we never had a situation where we would have needed their help! Not recommended.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      We’re sorry to hear how difficult it was to get through to us. In researching this matter, it appears as though we had an invalid email address on file for you initially, which is why you were not receiving our communications to you. Your policy has now been cancelled and a refund has been issued. We believe everything is now squared away, but if you have any questions please contact us at 800 569 7913.

  • Barry

    Trupanion: enrolled July 2008 36.90 CAD as per last month 49.15 CAD. 33% increase, no claims, enrolled as puppy, no pre-ex conditions. No explanation offered for continuous increases. Waiting for the next communication from them to break the 50 CAD barrier. Consider the facts.

  • erica

    Barry- could not agree more with your comment.

    enrolled JUNE 2008- 39CAD
    notice DEC 2009- premium increase to 59CAD
    notice DEC 2010- premium increase to 115CAD

    Further- policy details were changed without notice to me.

    reading the overall frustrations from SO many consumers, it is clear that a class action law suit should be filed ASAP.

    this company has no integrity. period.

    • Goetz

      As mentioned in earlier comments, premium increases over and above 70% are common. Unfortunately! Agreed that it appears that Trupanion isn’t acting in good faith … however, they stay within the framework given by the contract we all signed.
      In my case I seeked advise from Consumer Complaint and received feedback as follows “…in Ontario, pet insurance is not regulated like automobile insurance. As a result, there are no requirements for insurance companies to receive approval of their underwriting rules and premium rates or pet policies from the government”. So forget about any law suit; at least in Ontario. Everybody who complains about the increase has three choices: a)stay with Trupanion (with or w/o deductible), b)go with an alternate provider, c) go self-insured.
      If you don’t trust them anymore, find their acting not ethical and/or expect further increases in the 2 digit range it’s easy … cancel the contract!

  • Debbie

    As I mentioned in a previous post I had been with them 8 years and gone through several premium increases. This latest (40%) was the final straw. I managed to get through to them (finally) and canceled my policy. Well, I learned my lesson that it was a complete waste of money. I’ve opened an ING account and I am putting monthly payments into a savings account – that will be my Vetinsurance. Trupanion can bite me (pun intended).

  • Shirley

    For those with complaints against Trupanion, you may want to consider filing a complaint through the Better Business Bureau. As of now, there are 0 complaints against them. They currently have an A+ rating as a business because of this, which does not seem to be consistent with the complaints that I’ve seen.

  • Mike

    After reading 49 pages of comments I have one question about a $20,000 limit. On the website i have not seen anything about a limit.
    Is the limit for an incident or for a total of all incidents.

    Where can I see a document specifying exactly what this $20 k limit is referring to.

    I am considering purchasing an insurance policy for a new puupy.

  • Mike

    As I wrote in my previous comment we are considering insurance for a new puppy who will be born in February.

    My concerns are:
    1)I read that there is no limit yet I see comments about a $20,000 limit
    What is this about?
    2)I have never had any serious health problems with my pets but I am
    concerned if:
    a) Bloat is covered?
    b) Cancer coverage.
    c) If dog is on flea and tick control and dog gets lyme disease
    is this covered?
    3) Is there a sight where I can look at a sample policy with
    definitions .

    • Shirley

      Mike,
      From the research that I did, each company is vastly different and all of the info on their websites may not be completely consistent with the actual benefits provided. You should ask the company(s) you are considering to either tell you where to find a sample policy on their website (they are usually not readily available) or have them email you one. This will tell you what is/is not covered including the types of illnesses that could come up, their policy limits and how they handle pre-existing and/or hereditary conditions. If you have questions, call the company and ask for clarification. I found that Trupanion’s website comparing different policies was somewhat helpful; however, some of the info regarding competitive plans was not completely accurate. Be sure to contact the other company to verify the information and/or review their policy.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Mike,
      1. In the past, the Trupanion policy had a $20,000 lifetime limit. This limit was removed in June 2010 and we now have no payout limits whatsoever.
      2. We do cover bloat (in fact, it was our featured claim of the week on our blog this week) as well as cancer so long as they are not pre-existing to policy coverage.
      -If your pet were on regular flea/tick preventives and still got lyme disease, then it would be eligible for coverage so long as you had proof that the pet was receiving regular preventative medication (and that the condition is not pre-existing).
      3. You can view our sample policy in the Policyholders section of our website: https://www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/Member/Policyholder

      I hope this helps and please feel free to give us a call with more questions! 800-569-7913

  • Amber

    What was especially frustrating for me, and why I will probably opt to not get pet insurance at least through Trupanion, is that I called them to ask specifically if something was covered and their answer was basically “probably”. Well, that makes me nervous. I don’t really understand how that can be. Either it is or it isn’t. Your car insurance can’t say “probably”. There are very specific circumstances in which it is covered and if those criteria are not met then it is not covered. Very cut and dry. That just seems shady to me and like an opportunity for a claim to be submitted and them wiggling out of it.

    I am not going to pay $50/month for something that is PROBABLY covered. I’ll pay $50/month if something is covered.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Amber,
      Unfortunately, we cannot guarantee claims outcomes without having your pet’s full medical history and information. My best suggestion would be to take a look at our sample policy on our website so that you can see what is covered and then base that on what you know about your pet’s medical history (as far as pre-existing conditions might go).
      I hope that helps with your decision!

  • Mike B

    I am looking at trupanion. I have a question on pre ex. My new 11 week old puppy went for his inital check up and they discovered he had a Yeast infection in the ear. Under your policy is this considered a pre ex and future ear infections will not be covered

  • renee

    So glad that i read these comments re. trupanion. I was all set to enroll my dog. Your increases are disgraceful! I will now seek an alternative.

  • eric

    hi i am looking at trupanion i have a 2 year old cat who recently broke his leg if i get insurance now and somewhere down the road he re broke his leg again would this be considered a pre-existing condition

  • mowens

    hello, if i enroll my 7 mo old cocker spaniel puppy today and she gets some sort of eye disease such as cherry eye or entropian 1 month later will it be covered or will it be considered pre-existing? thanks!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Mowens,
      If you were to enroll today and your puppy were to get a condition today, it would not be covered. We have a 5-day waiting period for accidents and 30-days for illnesses so conditions that occur during this period would not be eligible for coverage. If you have more questions, please feel free to call customer service (they are awesome and very helpful!) at 800-569-7913

  • Nate's Mom

    Nate is a 3 mos old Cavalier King Charles and we picked him up on Feb. 8, 2011 with a clean bill of health from breeders vet. Well, as soon as we got him home he started showing signs of a “cold”. He was sneezing, coughing, etc. On the 10th we brought Nate to the Vet and she admitted him to the hospital and he was diagnosed with “aspiration pneumonia”. He was treated inpatient for 3 days and he is home with us now, felling better, but a long way to go. While inpatient the hosp did xrays and saw that he has “cardiomegaly” [large heart] . The vet feels this might be from the illness, but would like to do an echocardiogram to make sure this is the case and not a congenital defect that these dogs are known for.
    Now, if he does have this issue with his heart, would you consider this a pre existing condition? Although it is not yet clear what is causing this.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      So sorry to hear about Nate’s poor health and I hope he recovers soon! Unfortunately, this would be considered pre-existing. The definition by our policy is an “Illness resulting from any condition for which evidence and/or symptoms of their potential manifestation already exist at, or during the 18 months prior to, the policy enrollment date”. You can read the full policy on our website under the Policyholders link.

      You may want to check your contract with your breeder to see if there is a health guarantee and/or if your state has a pet lemon law regarding the health purchased pets.

      • Joe

        Stacy,

        I am confused as why Nate’s heart condition is determinded “pre existing”? Is it because the Cardiomegaly may be a complication of the pneumonia or is it the enrollment date.

        • Stacy at Trupanion

          Hi Joe,
          The reason this condition would be considered pre-existing is because the pet was not yet enrolled with us when the condition occurred. Conditions that occur prior to full policy coverage are not eligible for review.
          Feel free to give us a call if you’ve got more questions! 800-569-7913

  • tyler stanley

    Trupanion: My first claim with them was denied yesterday. I am hear reading your comments, thinking I will cancel and use the monthly payment in a savings account toward all my younger dogs future care like surgery to fix the problem. Not just Trupanion, but remember insurance companies are looking at your claim with an eye on facts to deny it. They’re not looking for best ways to pay it. So if any wording in the vet’s medical work-up can be construed as guilty of disease, then that’s the way it goes. Stamped denied. And note some pet insurance companies draw a distinction between “curable” or not “curable”and Trupanion does not. My dogs condition is fixable but it doesn’t matter on some policies. This is my third dog and the first two lived long healthy lives and needed vet care only after age 12-14 years. One at 15 got cancer and it was just her time then to go. So these loving pets cost me nothing, gave everything for a very long time. I invested my money in preventive care, check-ups, and healthy snacks and food. The bottom-line is risk. Insurance prays on our need to be secure for those unexpected things that can and do happen. I have insurance because I don’t want to gamble with my dogs health. If he gets hurt I want to take care of him not look and decided can I afford to take him to the vet. Trupanion may or may not be the best out there? But I found them to be most considerate and friendly, very knowledgeable pet people and available anytime. That’s important but they aren’t deciding your claim in customer service. If your animal is considered to have a pre-existing condition then why buy pet insurance? What is the likelihood of your pet getting hit by a car? Falling off the desk? having another so called disease? Pet insurance would be wise to portion out pre-existing conditions based on what it is and the projected costs of future care and whether it is “curable” and “fixable” with relatively low cost surgery. One more thing I thought a diagnosis had to be made to legally define what is “pre-existing” but not, it is any treatment for an incident and just that little to deny a claim. My point is there are four leading insurance companies so read closely to their terms especially what isn’t covered. If you decide you are not a gambler buy one that meets your needs based on your pet breed and your own level of caring for them. If you are spaced-out as a pet owner maybe it is likely your pet will be hit by a car. If you don’t watch out for your pet then maybe she will fall off the desk on the 12th floor. It reminds me of those car repair warranties that found every little thing to exclude your claim. Engine oil was a quart low or you let your mechanic savvy Aunt Janet work on it; always something. I bought one of those warranties once when young and stupid never since and my car runs fine all 15 of them since that one. What’s your piece of mind worth?

  • Shan6872

    I bought a bulldog puppy back in October and on Thanksgiving his foot was stepped on. Later that night, he was crying so we took him to the ER. They took x-rays, checked him out and said he had a “soft tissue injury of the right hip”. Right after that, I decided I better get insurance. This breed can become costly.

    My baby healed up shortly after that no problems. He was running around playing just like any 3 month old puppy would. A month and a half later, he became very lethargic, not using his hind legs, not eating, not wanting to get up and hurting if you moved him or tried to pick him up. At this point, I’ve only been covered 36 days, remember it’s a 30 day waiting period for illness. Who would have thought!!!

    Back to the vet we went. X-rays taken, possible fracture of a vertebrae. Vet sent x-rays to a neurologist to look at for possible nerve damage due to him not using his hind legs. Diagnosis..discospondolytis- infection of the spine. MRI, 2 days in the hospital with 48 hour antibiotic drip. Initial bill, $2800.00.

    Submit claim, 2 weeks later-denied! Pre-existing symptoms! Right hip injury/lameness must = infection of the spine. Because the part of the spine infected is painful and it’s his lower back. Not his hip, but his back. The best part is the reply to my email on how they came to this decision. Answer- “we go off symptoms, not diagnosis”. Interesting. You went to school longer and know more then both my Vet and the neurologist.

    So, I am now on part 2 of this claim. I’m disputing this denial at the moment. I have x-rays from the first visit to prove there was no sign of this disease. Secondly, this disease is caused from an infection (staph, e-coli, strep etc) that has targeted the spine. There is no way that a puppy could be infected with such infection, for the entire month and a half and not show any signs of being sick!!!! During the 10 days after the vet sent the x-rays to the neurologist, he went down hill fast. I thought I was going to lose my puppy. We were on the phone almost every day with our vet to see if they had received anything back from the neurologist. He wouldn’t move at this point, just laid around crying. (With in 1 day of the antibiotic drip, he was almost totally fine.) That infection was through out his body by then, no way he could have gone a month and a half and be perfectly fine if he had it before.

    My puppy has to have monthly x-rays and be on antibiotics 3x a day for 6 months. This is going to be very costly, so I can see they will try to do or say anything they can to get out of it. But with a letter from my vet stating there was no signs of it, x-rays to prove it, I don’t see how they can.
    Will update when I get the final results. Tomorrow is the 2 weeks they said it would take for the 2nd review.

    • Fred

      like I said….they sell “illness” and pay out for symptoms……

      • Shan6872

        So…after all this time, my claim went to a 3rd party (Trupanions Dr of choice of course) This Dr reviews all the medical records for my puppy, along with whatever information Trupanion told him. We get his report back yesterday and he has agreed with Trupanions original denial of the claim. This Dr stated that my puppy showed “continued discomfort” from November until Jan, when I took him into the vet when he became ill.
        Where the hell this Dr got that information from is beyond me! No where in my vet notes does it say, my dog was in continued discomfort!!! He was totally normal a few days after his foot was stepped on in November. Trupanion must have supplied this erroronius information to him. Of course he would have came up with this diagnosis if my dog showed discomfort the entire time. He was not sick, he was not in discomfort after his foot healed, he was a normal 3.5 month old puppy. Running, playing, jumping all the time until the morning of Jan 8th.

        Beware everyone, don’t get this insurance if you have ever taken your animal to a vet prior to purchasing the insurance. They will not pay your claims, everything is pre-existing!!!

  • Dorrine Mulcrone

    Trucompanion just notified me that my monthly premium has increased over 53%!!
    How can this be be right??? I have had the policy only 18 months with 0 claims. Trupanion says it is due to increased medical costs for pets. My veterinarian says they are certainly smoking something! I, of course, am going to cancel the policy & have nothing more to do with these morons!!!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Dorrine,
      I understand how the percentage can seem shocking, however we do not raise our rates arbitrarily. Because we cover 90% of the actual bill with no limits, we must adjust our rates to keep in line with the amount of animal health care being delivered. Premiums are based on the cost of the average pet of your situation (breed, age at enrollment, deductible chosen, and geographical location). Please feel free to call us if you’d like to adjust your deductible to get a lower premium. Here’s some more info about our pricing: http://trupan.in/trupanionfaq

  • Vanessa

    Hi,
    I have a few questions, I have an 8 year old Black Lab and was looking into Trupanion for my dog. I was told that you should really consider pet insurance before your dog is 9. Now, my dog (abby) had surgery last year because her uterus was infected and needed to be removed, the costs are killing my financial belt and she is not spayed. If she was accepted for Trupanion would her previous medical bill costs be covered?
    Thanks,
    Vanessa

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Vanessa,
      If your pet has any current conditions then they would not be covered. No pet insurance company covers the costs of pre-existing conditions. However, if you were to enroll her today and she were to experience any other unrelated accidents/illnesses in the future, for example swallowing chocolate or a foreign object, etc. then those would be eligible for coverage. Please feel free to call 800-569-7913 with any questions!

  • Fred

    Hi Stacy –

    I filed my first two claims ( under $300) and it was denied and I am finding what you “claim” on your website to pay for illness is not at all true…. too bad you sell that you treat illness and just look at symptoms. If the pet has the symptom the past 18 months, the claim is rejected. My pet had a UTI in November – completely cured with no trace by the first week in December. A new UTI in March – totally different bacteria and the claim was denied. How would you feel if you had a sore throat in November and another one in February and your health insurance company denies your claim. Too bad November was for Strep and February was for cancer…..your dead…… they may be dogs…but they are family.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Fred,
      I apologize for your recent dissatisfaction. However, we strive to be transparent with what is and is not covered by making our policy available on our website.
      I encourage you to give us a call so that we can clear up any misunderstandings and ensure that your next claims experience is a positive one. 800-569-7913

      • Fred

        Stacy -My dog’s doctor called today and tried to convey her that the original infection was cleared up and that this was a different strain of bacteria, but it fell on deaf ears – she even mentioned that she was arguing with your claim’s people. It seems if you dog had an infection before, its just not covered!! Reminds me of stories that you hear about people with their dealings with health insurance companies. She is a highly regarded vet from the University of Pennsylvania’s school of Vet Medicine. I am on the faculty of Johns Hopkins University…. thanks for providing me a lecture on very poor customer service. I will continue to use social media to convey my dissatisfaction at your company – that is why you monitor it…..
        FYI – she had a sonogram today and I am sure that will be DENIED also…….

  • Pat

    Hello,
    Just found this blog. Would a 7 month old puppy diagnosed with hip dysplasia be eligible for your pet insurance?

    Thanks

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Pat,
      Your puppy would be eligible for pet insurance coverage for any future accidents or illnesses that may occur, but hip dysplasia would not be covered since it is a pre-existing condition. Please feel free to call us with any other questions you may have! 800-569-7913

  • Kate

    I see in your sample policy it says this:

    “Illness resulting from any condition for which evidence and/or symptoms of their potential manifestation already exist at, or during the 18 months prior to, the policy enrollment date”

    Does that mean, for example, if my cat had a UTI 3 years ago and I enrolled him today, that any future UTIs would be covered since it had been over 18 months?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Kate,
      If no symptoms have been present in the past 18 months, then a UTI in the future would be eligible for coverage. Please give us a call if you have any other questions! 800-569-7913

  • Matthew

    I want insure my 10 year old female Siamese that has been fixed. After reading some of these not so good reviews about peoples claims being denied I have a question about pre-existing. If my cat gets injured or sick during the 30 day waiting period I understand it will not be covered. But will that deem that injury or illness “pre-existing” and not be covered throughout the life of my cat?

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Matthew, this is correct. All pet insurances have waiting periods which is why we encourage pet owners to enroll as soon as possible.
    Please keep in mind that injury and illness waiting periods are different. The waiting period for accidents is 5 days and it is 30 days for illnesses. They are retroactively in place at 12AM of the day that you enroll.
    Feel free to call us with any further questions! 800-569-7913

    • Matthew

      Sorry let me rephrase that. After I enroll me pet for insurance, if something were to happen during the 30 day waiting period whether it be an accident or illness, will that injury or illness that happened during the 30 day wait period now be considered “pre-existing” for the life of the pet?

      • Stacy at Trupanion

        If an illness were to occur within the 30-day waiting period, then it would be pre-existing to policy coverage. Our accident waiting period is 5 days, so after 5 days has passed since enrollment then accidents are covered. If there is an accident during the 5-day accident waiting period then it would not be covered.

  • Jonathan

    I transitioned from another company to Trupanion a few months ago. Boy what a mistake! I took my dog Jacob to the vet because he had large lumps forming under his skin on his chest and side. The vet decided to run tests which included aspirating the lumps and checking them under a microscope and doing blood work to see if everything was normal. Everything check out and Jacob is fine, thankfully. The vet suggested that I submit the $450 bill to Trupanion as I had coverage. The vet had just been pitched by Trupanion as to all of their “perks” and “benefits” to pet owners and he encouraged me to submit a claim. I did. Weeks went by and I kept getting automated emails indicating that the vet didn’t send records to Trupanion. I called the vet and in fact they’d sent Jacob’s records several times to Trupanion and they were getting the same automated messages asking for “medical records”. I contacted Trupanion for clarification and after several attempts to blame my vet for not sending information, they admitted the vet did send information but they’re looking for Jacob’s medical records from back when he was a puppy (he’s 9 btw). They wanted 9 years worth of vet records but apparently the vet and I are supposed to decode “medical records” as meaning his entire medical history from birth. The information from my former vet was sent and now we’re in limbo. Weeks have gone by and Trupanion continues to jerk us around. My vet is less than impressed. I’m less than impressed. The bottom line is they indicate that their claims process is painless and quick. IT’S NOT. Communication with them is unclear and fragmented. This is nothing like I thought I was switching to. I cannot recommend Trupanion at this point because it’s simply not what they say it is. They seem to be more concerned about wasting my time (and the vets) than actually processing the claim. I’m certain that they will pay the claim but regardless I’m switching to another insurance company and I’m sharing my story with everyone so they don’t make the same mistake I did and trust Trupanion.

  • Jonathan

    Trupanion paid the claim for Jacob following my post. The local representative/partner for them is awesome and she helped out a lot. The company has some serious communication issues to address in my opinion to keep better track of information and be up to date. I’m going to give them a shot a little longer and see if things improve.

  • Jenny

    I have a question, I noticed your limited coverage refers to working pets.

    Would a dog that does agility, obedience or conformation be a working pet?

    What about a dog who is intact,(will be neutered eventually), would it not be covered say for a torn ACL surgery or a bloat surgery because of his intact status?

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Hi Jenny,
    Limited coverage for pets that have not been spayed or neutered by the recommended age does not apply to all accidents and illnesses. Spaying and neutering is a preventive measure for mammary cancer, testicular tumors, and other conditions. You can access our sample policy at https://www.trupanionpetinsurance.com/Member/Policyholder and see the details in section 5 e 1.

    Also, dogs that compete in agility etc. are not considered working pets. Please feel free to give us a call with more questions, our customer service team is really awesome! 800-569-7913

  • Jenny

    I was ready to sign up for trupanion and found another website with reviews.

    It seems every complaint is about the drastic rise in premiums, and I mean drastic- to $130 a month!

    This seems to be the norm, I can not imagine the only people this happened to just happened to post on the other site.

    Is this they typical fee increase? There are a lot of people who had significant increases. That makes me very nervous!

    Here are some of the sample posts-

    1/10 Not the plan I signed up for
    I signed my french bulldog up for insurance as soon as I got her. The $30 monthly premium was affordable, and I really liked being able to make decisions on her healthcare based on well-being instead of my financial situation. VetInsurance changed their name to Trupanion, and ever since then, her premiums have increased due to “inflationary vet costs” four times. Now her monthly premium is $120 — not affordable at all. And even if I switch, all of her “preexisting conditions” won’t be covered by another provider, so I’m screwed either way. I’m a hugely dissatisfied and very suspicious of all other insurance companies. I’m going to cancel and save instead, what I’m going to be recommending to anybody who listens.
    Injury/Illness: skin problem Breed: French Bulldog

    2/10 Watchout for BIG increases in rates
    We signed up with vetinsurance (now trupanion) 4 years ago at $30/month. They’ve increased our premium to $55/month over the last four years “due to the vet costs in my region”. This month they told me my new premium would be $110 to keep my coverage the same. What’s next? $500/month? True, the service is great, claims have always been payed promptly (only about $1500 over 4 years), but the only choice now is to cancel the policy before my dog is old enough to really use it! It’s not like vet costs have tripled in my area, watch out- what you sign up for is not what they will ask for in a couple years time!

    /10 HOW MUCH?????
    got notification of rate increase for 2011….from $45 to $75 per month! Shocked! Very healthy 5 year old dog…the odd ear infection. Wish I had been banking monthly payments in a savings account from the beginning! I will start now…and I recommend anyone with a new puppy do the same!
    Injury/Illness: not sure Breed: Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
    Claim Amount: under $100 Age of Pet: 1 – 8

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Jenny,
      I understand your concerns and I would be happy to address them. Firstly, we recently adjusted premiums for our Canadian customers to bring rates up-to-date. The adjustments brought rates in accordance with the cost of the “average” pet of their situation, based on breed, age at enrollment, and geographical location. This means that each individual saw a different level in change and some even saw decreases. In most cases, the reviews you’ll find on websites are from people on the ends of the spectrum.

      Our new rates are comparable to our competitors’ rates (so if any of these customers who experienced an increase chose to switch, they would still experience similar premiums but without the 90% coverage and no payout limits). Also, we have already updated premiums on our website and have been selling new policies at these updated rates.

      We are the only company to offer no payout limits, so we must adjust our premiums accordingly based on our claims experiences. For example, when someone with a 4-year-old Labrador in downtown Seattle sees an increase to their premium, it means that we are paying out more claims for the average 4-year-old Labrador in that area.

      I hope this makes sense, but please feel free to give us a call as we’d be happy to explain further! 800-569-7913

  • Andrew Mahr

    I have a little pomeranian puppy who has an open fontanel. The Trupanion representative(that visited my vets office here in Dallas) said that it didnt matter and that he would be covered by the pet insurance. He also developed bronchitus a few days after signing up for the insurance. The doctors original checkup notes stated that his eyes were watery. My little pomeranian started having siezures a few weeks later and has required a trip to the neurologist and a prescription of phenbarbital. Last week I submitted my claims to trupanion. The ones for the siezures and the ones for the bronchitus checkups. They will not cover any of the bills. They claim now that an open fontanel is a pre-condition for siezures and the watery eyes noted by the doctor indicated that bronchitus was develping and therefore also fell under the pre-existing condition category. They did however want to reimburse me for coccidia medication, even though their contract specificly states that they do not cover parasitic infectons. Im up to $2k in vet bills and up until this point had been sleeping a little easier thinking trupanion had me covered. But all they want to help me with is a $12 deworming medication after paying them $50 a month for coverage. My advice is DO NOT BOTHER WITH THEM! They are all about the business(playing lawyer) and have little interest in providing excellence in customer service to their policy holders.

    Andrew and Puppy Ewok

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Hi Andrew,

    To better clarify for you, we were not able to extend coverage for Ewok’s seizure activity or respiratory infection as symptoms were noted in your pets medical records prior to your activation of your coverage with us. Unfortunately, we do have guidelines to follow when reviewing claims, and in your case, the seizures had already started and symptoms for a respiratory issue were present, which included watery eyes with congestion sounds found in lungs, which are consistent with the conditions that were being claimed for. When present symptoms for which you are claiming are consistent to the conditions present prior to starting coverage, it makes the conditions pre-existing and not eligible for reimbursement.

    To address your parasite concern, our policy indicates that we excludes coverage for “parasite control including but not limited to internal and external parasites for which readily available prophylactic treatments are available;”. There are no regular prophylactic treatments for coccidia which is the reason you were able to receive coverage for the medication. Andrew, I understand the frustration you have with your first claims experience with Trupanion, and I encourage you to give your claims adjuster a call if you’d like to further discuss the outcome of your claim so that we can help ensure that your next claims experience is a positive one. 800-569-7913

  • Natalie

    Since you seem to be fielding a lot of questions Stacy maybe you can answer one for me. My cat is overweight, if she were to develop diabetes would it be considered pre-existing since she’s overweight and that can be a reason for a cat to become diabetic? Or would it possibly not be covered because the fact that she’s overweight could indicate that she/I did not follow the preventative care advice/ guidelines?

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    That is a great question, Natalie. It is true that obesity may increase the likelihood of diabetes. Of course we recommend that pet owners keep their pets at a healthy weight, however we would only consider diabetes to be pre-existing if there were existing signs or symptoms prior to your policy coverage. Feel free to give us a call with more questions – our customer service team is really friendly and helpful!

  • Isabella

    What’s to keep someone from just not bringing their new animal to the vet for the 30 day waiting period to avoid any condition being found as pre-existing? If I brought a new puppy to the vet after 35 days for her first exam, is anything found during the exam considered pre-existing because it’s the first one, even though it’s after the 30 day period?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Isabella,
      For most conditions, your veterinarian can easily tell if symptoms just began within the last few days, or if they have been present for at least a few weeks. Also, we would hope that if your pet is sick, you would seek veterinary care as soon as possible.
      We encourage people to enroll pets as early as possible to avoid any conditions being preexisting.

  • Denise

    I bought a puppy that came with a 30 trial of Trupanion insurance. I keep reading over and over again about a 30 day waiting period. If this puppy becomes ill within the first 30 days, would his bills be covered?
    How could you offer a 30 day trial when there is a 30 day waiting period?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Denise,
      I understand your confusion with what you are reading online, but I can further clarify for you. Our policy does have 2 waiting periods that most of our policyholders go through before full coverage goes into place. This is a 5 day waiting period for accidents and a 30 day waiting period for illness coverage. Some new pet owners like yourself have a trial coverage for new puppies or kittens, that if they have an exam done then activate the coverage with us within 24 hours, then our normal waiting periods are waived. If you require further clarification on this, please call us at 800-569-7913 and we can go over your trial specifics with you.

  • Teresa

    I have had insurance with Trupanion a few days after I got my maltese puppy. It’s been over 2 months now so he’s passed the waiting period. The other day he fractured his leg. I submitted the claim form yesterday for the reimbursement which is still pending but my question is, today I discovered he needed a head cone to keep him from chewing on his bandages. Can I submit the head cone purchase at the same vet for partial reimbursement? Also, does Trupanion cover the follow up visits which will also require more xrays and such? Thanks!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Teresa,
      If the leg fractures were approved for coverage, then the E-collar would be included as well so go ahead and submit the claim. And again, if the condition for which you were claiming was covered, then follow-up visits are eligible for coverage as well. Feel free to give us a call to further discuss! 800-569-7913

  • mimipatk

    Dear Stacy,
    we moved from Germany to the US in August 2010 with the whole family, including the furry ones 🙂
    We are now looking for a insurance for them, because we just realized that compare to Germany, veterinary care is extremely expensive in the US.
    In case our dogs get sick, how can we prove that there were no preexisting symptoms and that reimbursement will be accepted by Trupanion? Our vet in Germany is fluent in English and can probably provide you with documents, but will you accept them?
    Since August 2010, we did not need a vet and we will go probably in a month for the yearly vaccination.
    Thank you for your answer!

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Hi Mimi,
    We would accept your pets’ records from your veterinarian in Germany as well as any records that are created at your next vet visit here in the US.
    Keep in mind that we have waiting periods of 5 days for accidents and 30 days for illnesses, so I would advise enrolling as soon as you are ready!
    Please feel free to give us a call at 800-569-7913

  • Angelina

    I have trupanion on a pet who had to go to the emergency vet for being attacked by another dog, had blood loss, puncture wounds to her head and other tears on her head.

    Trupanion DENIED MY CLAIM!!! I am canceling my insurance, this is a ripoff. BEWARE. Bc the bill did not itemize every thing they did but charged in one fee, the claim had been denied even though the bill states the pet came due to being attacked and this was an emergency and an injury.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Angelina,
      I understand how you might be feeling frustrated about your recent claims denial. Hopefully I can clarify our coverage so that your next claims experience will be a positive one. We cover 90% of the actual costs for diagnostic testing, treatments, surgeries, medications and hospitalization for unexpected accidents and illness. The invoice that we received for Audrey’s treatment for the trauma to her ear had one item listed, which was for the emergency examination fee. The exam fee is a cost that is not eligible for claim reimbursement regardless if for an emergency visit or routine care. If the invoice had included charges for diagnostic testing, treatments, or medications, then you would likely have seen a different outcome with your claim. If you have not had a chance yet to review our policy wording for coverage details, I would suggest taking a look so that no future surprises happen on your next claim with us. If Audrey requires any further veterinary care for her recent accident that includes diagnostics, treatments, medications, etc. then I encourage you to submit claims for these as well.
      Please give your claims adjuster a call at 800-569-7913 if you would like to further discuss.

  • Teresa

    I have had insurance with Trupanion since Feb 2011. A couple of weeks ago my Maltese had an injury with a hairline fracture on his rear leg. I submitted everything to Trupanion. Since this my first claim ever I was nervous to see the outcome. I was sure to send all his vet records since birth that I had and made sure I submitted the invoice and claim form correctly. I also submitted a claim for the e-collar the following day. They did say the first claim could take a little longer than normal to process. Mine took 7 days exactly. I received my reimbursement exactly as I should have. You have to be sure your invoice is itemized so they see the exact charges for their services. They do not pay for the doctors fees or things such as teeth cleanings or nail trims so if you get a invoice with just a total be sure you tell them you need it itemized because I just about guarantee your claim will be denied otherwise. I’m happy my experiences have been good but just as human insurance, they don’t cover every little thing so people have to understand that. It’s not just a issue with pet insurance it’s with all insurances. I submitted another claim today to re-due the splint on my dogs leg because it was starting to slip off and I have no worries that 90% of the entire bill will be paid (there’s no doc fee with this visit since it’s a f/u to a previous injury).

  • Andrew

    DONT FALL FOR THE Trupanion scam like Angelina and I did. Instead of providing a great service, they pay Employees like Stacy to scour the Internet promoting trupanion and interpreting a round about policy for those who they deny coverage to. You’d be better off sticking $50 a month away in a cookie jar incase of a pet emergency. At least then you wouldn’t have the pressure of both vet bills and having to come to the realization that you’ve been getting ripped off by trupanion every month.

    Andrew and Puppy Ewok

  • Laura

    Wow, what can I say…I signed up for Trupanion about 1.5 years ago and have on the whole been happy with the service…until today when they notified me that our premium would be increasing from $43.09 to $102.28 per month. They state that it has nothing to do with our usage but rather “We review policies every year to ensure that your premium is the same as other pets based on breed, location and deductible”.

    I am canceling this policy on principal as it tells me that they are unable to fiscally manage their operations.

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Hi Laura, I understand how the new rate must be a shock, however our updated rates put us in line with the actual costs of veterinary care. If you compare our most recent rates with our competitors’ rates, you will see that we are in the same ballpark for pricing. Because we cover 90% of the actual bill with no limits, we must adjust our rates to keep in line with the amount of animal health care being delivered. Premiums are based on the cost of the average pet of your situation (breed, age at enrollment, deductible chosen, and geographical location). If your premium increases, that is a sign of more health care being delivered and more claims being paid out for the average pet of your situation. Please feel free to call us if you’d like to adjust your deductible to get a lower premium. Here’s some more info about our pricing: http://trupan.in/trupanionfaq

  • Bob M

    Was going to use this company to insure my great dane pup.
    What stopped me was the applicable taxes and one time $35 docuentation fee. Nobody legit charges these for insurance.
    I started reading some of these replys and I will just set up a bank account for the pup and put the premiums in there.
    These plans are all a big rip off that play on peoples emotions.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Bob,
      Thank you for your insights. What some don’t seem to get is that pet insurance is just that, insurance. Pet insurance, like any other insurance, is meant to cover the high costs of the unexpected. If your pet were to be very unlucky and experience many injuries and illnesses, you would see much more money in claims from the insurance company than you put in.
      If your pet is lucky and is healthy its whole life, then you would see much less money paid out in claims than what you put in. Does that make it a rip off?

      Veterinarian, Dr. Doug Kenney recently wrote a great blog post about pet insurance versus a savings account that I’d highly recommend anyone take a look at.
      http://www.petmd.com/blogs/healthyassurance/2011/may/which_is_best_pet_insurance_or_savings_account

      Applicable taxes vary by location and at this time, only a few certain states and provinces require them.
      Please feel free to give us a call if you have any other concerns or would just like any clarification about our policy or the charges. 800-569-7913

    • Andrew

      I agree with you Bob M! I’ve been trained in my line of work to sell guarantees and warranties just by playing with peoples emotions and presenting analogies to scare them. I shouldve considered that when signing up for trupanion but they’ve got a good thing going for them when you look down into your little puppys eyes wanting the best for him. Just as it is with the guarantee and warranty companies I’ve worked with, when you go to use your protection you are denied by someone on the other end of a phone twisting and interpreting a broad policy. Start your savings account and get a good chunk of money saved. It’s better than feeling like you’ve been suckerpunched when your claims are denied!

      Andrew and puppy Ewok

  • Ken B.

    I just got a premium notice that my premium went up from $41 to $66 month. My dog is 1 year old. I had a claim for $130 paid. They told me on chat that they have not raised premiums since starting in 2008. They should raise rates of 3-4 year policy holders now, and gradually raise rates as you are with them. They lie when they told me today they don’t raise rates based on age of pet or claims. I don’t thing vet bills have gone up 62% since 2008. Don’t get scammed by Trupanion. You will be sorry after 1st year.

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Ken,
    I just wanted to let you know that we hear you and understand how the change in your premium can seem as a shock. While veterinary costs have remained fairly consistent, the amount of care being delivered has increased. We continue to pay more claims and pet owners seek more advanced veterinary care for their pets.
    It is true that premiums are not increased based on age brackets or number of claims filed. Our updated premiums are based on the average cost of a pet of your situation, based on factors including age at enrollment, breed, chosen deductible, and geographical location. A pet with the same factors as yours would have seen the same change in premium, regardless of any claims filed or not.
    We cover 90% of actual costs with no limits and on average, pay out about 70 cents on the dollar compared to the industry average of 50-55 cents on the dollar. I encourage you to visit http://trupan.in/trupanionfaq and learn more about our pricing and values.

  • diana

    i would like to know how do you guys count the 30 days trial after signing up for the insurance? Like if I bought the insurance on 4/20/2011 and my pet gets sick on 5/18/2011 wouldnt that be 30 days exact?

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Hi Diana,
    The trial periods and waiting periods are retroactive to 12am the day that you enroll. That means that if you enrolled on 4/20/2011, day #30 of the trial would fall on 5/19/2011. I hope this answers your question, but please feel free to give us a call to clarify! 800-569-7913

  • jenn

    For all those that think Trupanion is so wonderful… beware! We just got notified that our premium will be increasing from $35/month to $135/month due to “increase in service costs in our area.”

    We have had SCAMpanion now for 1 year and have filed 0 claims… so we have received no benefit (and couldn’t be attributing to this cost increae).

    In short, SCAMpanion has stolen $420 and is now trying to get us to leave (aka cashing their chips in).

    • Brent

      Hi, Jenn! If you live in California, you can file a complaint with the California Department of Consumer affairs at this link:

      http://www.dca.ca.gov/consumer/complaints.shtml

      If you’re not in California, just Google the agency for your state. Everyone should do this. Let them know that Trupanion is making false claims on their website. These claims are:

      “With Trupanion, the only times you will see premium increases is to adjust for the inflationary cost of veterinary medicine.”

      “Your cost is determined by the breed of your pet, their age at time of enrollment, and the local cost of veterinary care in your region.”

      And then let the Agency know of your rate increase, and the fact that increases are widespread. We can put a stop to this deception that Trupanion is perpetrating on all consumers.

      Regards,

      Brent

  • jenn

    Stacy,

    It is a rip-off when you decide to increase our rates to the point that we quit and don’t receive that coverage anymore.

    I pay for term life insurance now. I pay a fixed amount every month for the next 20 years. If I get unlucky and die then the benefit is paid. If I get lucky and live then I have wasted my money. And to your point, that is how insurance works.

    But!

    The difference is that I if I get pancreas cancer in 10 years and my risk of dying goes way up… my life insurance company doesn’t make me pay 4 times more what I am currently paying.

    For whatever reason, that is what you and your fraud of an organization has done and that is what makes SCAMpanion a rip off. You have decided, ex post facto, that you are not going to be profitable from me and are increasing my rates from $35 to $135. There is no way this was a miscalculation of service costs in my area. You can’t even tell an honest lie.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Jenn,
      Your feedback is welcomed and you are certainly justified in feeling the way that you do. As I have responded in previous posts, our premiums are priced based on the average pet of your situation. For example, my dog’s premium is based on the average cost of a mixed-breed 3-year-old dog in Seattle with $0 deductible. When you see an increase in your premium, it is a reflection that the average pet like yours is experiencing many health issues.
      You would see the same change to your premium regardless of whether or not you filed claims. By our values, we do not punish a pet owner with higher rates just because they had an unlucky pet and filed lots of claims – this is not something for which the pet owner can plan.
      We are the only provider to over 90% actual coverage with no payout limits. This option has greatly benefited many pet owners and in order to keep offering this type of service, we must keep in line with the average cost of each pet by adjusting premiums accordingly.
      We do not arbitrarily inflate premiums just to take your money. There is a long process in which we must provide sufficient data to insurance departments to be approved that the updated premiums are fairly priced based on the cost of that pet.
      Subsequently and unfortunately, the cost of a policy with a $0 deductible continues to increase as we are the only provider to offer a plan with $0 deductible and the plan gets utilized. Premiums are all based on our claims experiences and averages of payout, and naturally, policies with no deductible see higher dollar amounts reimbursed on claims.

      Our CEO, Darryl Rawlings, does a good job explaining pricing in this video – http://trupan.in/j2BU2l

  • Gina

    I have had Trupanion for close to 2 years for 1 pet and for a year on 2 other pets. I got a notice that the premium for my 1 dog was changing from $49 to $110 effective June 28. Just got another notice that the premium for my other dog is increasing effective July 28 from 49 to $119 (there have been no claims submitted for this dog and a few small on the other dog. My 2 year old cat – his premiums are increasing from $21 to $41. He has never had a claim either. There is no logical explanation for more than doubling all these premiums. I am being forced out of insurance and will in all probability be cancelling 2 policies since I cannot afford them. Trupanion have advised I should raise the deductible. Lets not forget this is not an annual deductible this is a per incident/issue deductible, so by raising the deductible in truth of fact, only gives catastrophic coverage. I left VPI for Trupanion. Big mistake. As soon as I can afford it I will be moving the policies I have to cancel back to VPI. There has to be a much better way to raise premiums unless the company is in financial trouble. If thats the case then its probably best to leave anyway.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Gina,
      We do not increase rates because a policyholder did or did not file a claim, so premiums were adjusted regardless of a policyholders’ claims history. Accidents happen and pets get sick and this is something for which we cannot plan which is why we do not punish unlucky pets.
      We must keep our premiums in line with the average cost of a pet of your situation based on breed, age at enrollment, chosen deductible, and geographical location. When you see an increase in your premium, it is a sign that the average pet like yours is filing more claims and receiving more healthcare. We are the only provider to cover 90% of actual costs with no limits, so we must adjust to keep in line with the costs. We do not arbitrarily increase rates – they must be justified and approved by the DOI. Subsequently, we are also the only provider to offer a $0 deductible and this option continues to be utilized. The $0 deductible factor caused a greater change to premiums than those policies with deductibles. Not all policyholders saw the same increase, or even any increase because, as I mentioned before, it is based on each policyholders’ individual factors. As we gather more claims data, we become better at accurately determining the average cost of each pet and location. While we remain in a competitive ballpark for pricing, we still offer much greater value with 90% actual coverage and no limits.
      Our CEO, Darryl Rawlings, does a good job explaining pricing in this video – http://trupan.in/j2BU2l

  • jenn

    “We are the only provider to cover 90% of actual costs with no limits”

    Typically, being the only anything in business means you don’t last because you haven’t figured out what all your competitors already have.

  • Brent

    Trupanion is knowingly and willingly deceiving consumers. From the Trupanion web site:

    “With Trupanion, the only times you will see premium increases is to adjust for the inflationary cost of veterinary medicine.”

    “Your cost is determined by the breed of your pet, their age at time of enrollment, and the local cost of veterinary care in your region.”

    I was hit with a 74% rate increase after only 11 months. Their talking points/spin does not pass any “smell test.”

    Brent

  • jenn

    Brent,

    Fear not… Stacy will soon respond with the same answer that she keeps giving everyone. Personally, I would really appreciate it if she would elaborate or actually provide some information that wasn’t just typed from her corporate manual, or perhaps even fall on her sword?

    The fact is, Trupanion is either deceiving its customers or is completely incompetent. There is no third option. Either they are intending to milk money out of us and then chase us away, or have been completely inept in determining what the costs are for a 90% policy (and why none of the competitors offer it) and what actual veterinary expenses are. They could probably use a few more actuaries on their staff and a few less sales people.

    But between us, you got off easy with only a 74% increase… ours was over 200%.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      While we do promise not to penalize a pet owner with higher rates for their pet having a birthday or filing claims, we cannot promise never to increase rates.
      Costs continue to rise and veterinary technology continues to advance. With the availability of pet insurance, pet owners are able to be more liberal with their decisions for treatments at the vet.
      I do agree that the recent rate adjustment was an increase much larger than inflation. The reason for this is because our rates in California were behind current costs of veterinary care. Premiums in California had not been adjusted in nearly four years and it is a lengthy process working with the DOI to get new rates approved. With more claims history, we are able to more accurately price each pet.
      If you haven’t already, I really encourage you to check out this explanation – http://trupan.in/j2BU2l

  • Anna

    I am writing out of pure frustration & disgust in the recent increase by Trupanion. Not so much of an increase but the INSANE amount of increase! In my case 100%. Let alone they sent notification by email which I never received or read? I can only assume Trupanion is hoping some of us will cancel our policies (probably many I’m sure) because as much as I try to understand “why” for the extreme increase, none of it makes any sense to me. It’s much, MUCH, cheaper for me to insure my horse for fULL major medical & DEATH than insuring a dog or cat thru Trupanion for far less coverage. Heck, it’s much cheaper to insure my spouse & myself with life insurance and never an increase! Shame on Trupanion. I had recommended many people over the last 2 years and now I will be canceling before the next premiums due and surely will tell anyone to be aware before purchasing. Now Stacy, no need to respond to my email as all of us can read your repetive statements above. This is very sad as I loved Trupanion before this unbelievable premium increase.

  • Kristin

    Stacy and Everyone-

    I am one of those Trupanion customers who have been hit with an increase of over 50%. It turns out that I am one of the lucky ones, it seems. I think its completely ridiculous, to say the least. I’ve been reading the same responses over and over, and I get it. Veterinary costs, whatever. My concern is that these type of increases will become the norm. This is NOT inflation. As it is, my dog is just over a year old and no longer eligible for hip dysplasia coverage from other insurance companies, something that is important to me because I have a German Shepherd. But what happens when, next year or perhaps the one after, my rates escalate to $100 per month or more and I can’t afford it anymore??? What if he has to go to the vet for something in the mean time and then would have some pre-existing condition that other insurance companies would then no longer cover? I think the reason that many people are so VERY ANGRY is that there is no assurance that this will not become the norm. Can I live with my new rate? Sure. But if this happens again, I won’t be able to afford it. So unless there is some statement or something at least somewhat limiting future increases I will have NO CHOICE but to leave. Not because of this increase, but because of potential future increases and the nature of the insurance company and pre-existing conditions. I have lost a pet before due to being unable to pay for their treatment, and I refuse to have it happen again. This is not me complaining about company policy, this is me being left no choice but to choose another insurance company for fear of not being able to pay for treatment when its really needed (either by potentially astronomical Trupanion premiums, or by my dog developing a pre-existing condition in between now and when they raise their rates again, which the next insurance company will not cover). If this company can give us some written expectations and/or guidelines for the future I think a majority of us will be a lot happier.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Kristin,
      I completely understand what you are saying and where you are coming from. You are correct that veterinary procedure costs have remained fairly flat. We are currently in the process of bringing premiums up to date, some of which had not been updated in nearly 4 years. In the future, premiums should be updated more regularly, making it less likely to see such a great change.
      We don’t believe in fee schedules or low per-claim limits. Because we are liberal with our coverage, premiums must be adjusted to account for the average cost of your pet. On average, we pay out 70 cents on the dollar compared to the industry average of 50-55 cents. Unlucky pets will see much greater payout on the dollar whereas the lucky ones will see much lower payout and this is the nature of insurance. Subsequently, we are also the only provider to offer a $0 deductible and this option continues to be utilized. The $0 deductible factor caused a greater change to premiums than those policies with deductibles.
      I encourage you to give us a call if you are still feeling uncomfortable about the situation. You may also speak with our CEO who is much better at explaining pricing.

      • jenn

        Stacy,
        Wow, your rates haven’t been updated in 4 years and so my rate is increased 200%???? I picked the wrong career…

        Wait a second… how come the office visit with my Vet is the same as it was 4 years ago? And when we had our last dog spayed 14 years ago (at the same vet) the price was only $40 less than what we paid last September? (260 compared to 220 Yes, I actually saved all the veterinary receipts.)

        Interestingly enough, you said that technology continues to advance so costs go up? Not according to my bill which saw the blood lab work go down from $35 to only $15, laser cauterization reduced from $65 to $35. Actually, the only things that increased in price were the vet’s time and the medication. (Go figure… pharmaceuticals cheating us too!).

        Something isn’t passing the sniff test. Since you keep standing on the same platform, so will I. Trupanion is either deliberately cheating us, or is completely inept. Either way, clearly you are not a company I ever intend on doing business with again.

        Since you have failed to accept fault and/or provide any substantial response I intend on persuading every dog owner, dog breeder, dog trainer, and dog veterinarian I know to never use or recommend your company.

  • Stephanie

    Hi Stacey,

    First I would like to start by saying that your service is second to none!

    I insured my Golden Retriever with Trupanion when Lexi was 8 weeks old. By the time she was 6 months of age her vet bills were well over $10,000 dollars. Trupanion never questioned a thing, I submitted the claims and 24 hrs later I received notification that the claim was being reviewed and within 7-10 days I received a cheque in the mail. From that point on I new I had choosen the right insurance company.

    Thank you Trupanion you have a customer for life,

    Stephanie

    • jenn

      Stephanie, what in the world did you do to that poor dog?

      Anyway, when your year rolls along and you get a 200% increase in your premium we’ll see if your song remains the same about being a customer for life.

      • Stephanie

        Jenn,

        What did I do to my poor dog???? I did nothing but get my dog the best medical care possible. My dog has Hydrocephalus which was confirmed when she had an MRI done……..she is a happy, loving dog who has been given the gift of excpetional medical care due to the fact she is insured by Trupanion.

        Honestly Jenn I would suggest you think before making assumptions about other peoples pets and how they are cared for.

        • jenn

          Perhaps not the place for a philosophical discussion, but IMHO a 2 month old animal that requires $10K worth of healthcare in 4 months isn’t receiving “the best medical care.” The most expensive, yes. But not the best.

          However, what’s done is done and I am hopeful that she now lives a happy, pain-free life.

  • Ken B.

    Stephanie,

    Wait until you have been with Trupanion for 1 year and see if the premium increase is worth it. If your Golden has chronic problems, it may be worth the increase you will see. Good luck to you.

    Ken

  • Rodney

    I far is Trupanion from insuring pets in the state of Delaware?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Rodney,
      While we can’t make any guarantees because it is all dependent on the state’s department of insurance, it is our goal to be available in Delaware by the end of the year.
      Feel free to give us a call and can notify you when this happens.

  • Lori

    I am looking for a new insurance provider for Golden Retriever puppies that I place with adoptive families. I’ve been using another company for the past 3 years and have just received an email that as of July 17, 2011 they will no longer offer policies to breeders that do not produce a minimum of 20 puppies per month, year round. Needless to say this was a shock to see this email in my inbox. We are a small family breeder of high quality companion goldens and to say that they now only want to work with breeders placing a min. of 20 puppies a month year round only goes to show that they are wanting to work with puppy mills and that is NOT us. I would like to know more about your services and costs/coverage and if available in Texas. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you as soon as possible.

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Hi Lori,
    We are in the process of working on a new program with which we can work with breeders. In the meantime, I encourage you to give us a call to discuss other options! 800-569-7913

  • Tara

    I have a 6 year old female with no problems to date but I did not spay her for a few years. I lost a kitten to a spay that went bad. It took a pregnancy years later for me to risk it again. I also have a 1.5 year old male who was neutered a bit before he hit sexual maturity (6 months) and just had a Urinary block last week. I paid the whopping $1650 but I was smart and saved for something like this. It did however, make me re-think pet insurance for more costly concerns that may come up with my female which brought me here.

    After reading through hundreds of reviews here and elsewhere, I am pretty skeptical about getting coverage. Although I do see True Companion as being the better Canadian Pet Insurers, I do not see how pet insurance would benefit my current situation. I should add though, that I really appreciate an insurer who takes the time to reply to the negative and positive comments on here. It really helps to paint a better picture.

    What stops me from purchasing policies for my pets today is that the policy states “that my female who was not fixed within her first year but is fixed now will not be covered for anything resulting from fighting, aggressive behavior or by getting hit by a car? I’d like to know how a spayed female being hit by a car relates to her late fixing? I can see an unaltered male more aggressive behaviors being in question, but again how does it relate to getting hit by a car if they are fixed at the time of the incident? If either of my cats get hit by as car it’s because up till they got fixed, they were strictly indoor cats and have no idea of the pending dangers out there. I let them out in the yard with me now though but give them heck when they leave it. Neither of my cats are aggressive but there are a lot of cats in our neighborhood that run around freely. When they come into our yard my cats will get territorial and if those other cats don’t leave or get aggressive, both my cats will stand their ground and fight back. Well except for one black cat, both run and hide from him…lol. Cats are territorial period.

    My male has a pre-existing urinary issue so coverage for him is pointless. I do not expect anyone to cover that but I am very concerned that any future issues that may come up with him will somehow be related to the urinary issue and denied.

    Comments on the per incident deductible really concerns me as well. It seems to be cheaper in the long run to run a higher monthly premium anyway so…….

    Monthly premium for my female with no deductible = $47.73
    Monthly premium for my male with no deductible = $38.79
    So $86.52 a month = $1,038 per year X 5 years = $5,191

    So over the course of 5 years, I will pay $5,000 for the “hope” that whatever issues do come up, do not fall under and of the exclusions? Ruling out anything involving a car accident, fighting or aggressive behavior, anything that can be related to the pre-existing urinary condition in my male and anything that can be related to mammary, hormonal skin conditions, uterine or ovarian conditions in my female. I am certainly no expert but how is there anything my policy will cover that could happen?

    It seems to me that pet insurance is only really beneficial if you start the policy at a really young and if they were fixed within the first year.

    So if I put away $100 a month for 5 years I would have $6,000 not including interest for surprise vet costs. If nothing happens, I continue to collect interest and keep saving. If something does happen, I have at least some of the money and hopefully can cough up the rest. Either way, I know the money I put away for them every month will be used to help any future health concerns. Pet insurance would definitely help for the very extreme vet costs but given my current situation, I think I run a very high chance of never seeing approved claims.

  • Tara

    I should add, I would gladly pay $100 a month in premiums if there was an insurer out there that was 100% honest, fair and equitable but nothing that seeks to profit is ever fair and equitable in our monetary system so that is to be expected.

    Why don’t insurers provide industry set and regulated guidelines on exactly what conditions relate to others. In my case, I’d like to see a list of conditions that would be rejected based on my pre-existing urinary condition up front.

    I don’t want to hear “may be covered” as I’ve heard many times in this thread. I work in the financial industry, “may” works like the word “sale”, it attracts people to open their wallets while transferring liability to the buyer.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Tara,
      To answer your first question: The reason “hit by car” coverage is not extended to unaltered pets is because intact pets are more likely to wander and have larger territories. In a specific claim for a pet being hit by a car, we do look at the individual circumstances surrounding it to determine whether it is consistent with our policy exclusion.

      As for your other question about which conditions would be considered related to the urinary problem, we would certainly recommend speaking with your veterinarian about what possible conditions may arise due to the urinary issue. If a condition is medically related to the urinary issue, then we would not be able to extend coverage. However, if a claim were denied and you and your veterinarian disagreed with the outcome, we do have a claims appeals process.

      I encourage you to give us a call if you have further questions as it is easier for us to give you more specific information on your situation. 800-569-7913

  • jenn

    Stacuy,
    Wow, your rates haven’t been updated in 4 years and so my rate is increased 200%???? I picked the wrong career…

    Wait a second… how come the office visit with my Vet is the same as it was 4 years ago? And when we had our last dog spayed 14 years ago (at the same vet) the price was only $40 less than what we paid last September? (260 compared to 220 Yes, I actually saved all the veterinary receipts.)

    Interestingly enough, you said that technology continues to advance so costs go up? Not according to my bill which saw the blood lab work go down from $35 to only $15, laser cauterization reduced from $65 to $35. Actually, the only things that increased in price were the vet’s time and the medication. (Go figure… pharmaceuticals cheating us too!).

    Something isn’t passing the sniff test. Since you keep standing on the same platform, so will I. Trupanion is either deliberately cheating us, or is completely inept. Either way, clearly you are not a company I ever intend on doing business with again.

    Since you have failed to accept fault and/or provide any substantial response I intend on persuading every dog owner, dog breeder, dog trainer, and dog veterinarian I know to never use or recommend your company.

  • Mickey

    I REALLY wish I had found this site before I was sucked in by Trupanion! I adopted two Papillons. A mom and her son. I could afford insurance on one(Mom) and not the other. The son started behaving as if his back/hip area was giving him pain, so we went to the vet. The vet determined he was suffering from patella luxation,grade3, both rear legs. Evidently, he was born this way and compensated for it as best he could by walking like a woman in high heels, crossing one foot in front of the other. Eventually, this caused his back to hurt.The vet, being thorough, took x-rays to be certain of his diagnosis and to be certain there was no other cause of his pain, such as disc disease. The x-rays ruled out disc disease. We had the condition repaired, he healed beautifully and all was fine. A month or so later in early 2011, we were able to insure him with Trupanion.
    In late July of this year, he started showing stiffness in his neck/shoulders. Back to the vet. More x-rays. This time, focus was on the head/neck area and disc disease was diagnosed. The vet has clearly stated that the two events are not related. Trupanion denied all claims to date saying that the SYMPTOM of pain/tenderness was noted before he was insured and that that symptom is now a pre-existing condition. What twaddle! According to them, anything that is now and forever connected with a pain/tenderness symptom is “pre-existing” and not covered. My vet is appalled. She recommended this company to me. She has written a letter to Trupanion, but based on what I have read here in this blog, I seriously doubt it will do any good. Oh, they also hit me with a rate increase on the other dog after the first year. So, after checking around and finding out how financially shaky this company seems to be, I am going to get this issue resolved and place my money in a medical account for my kids. Trupanion has shown it is as despicable as the worst of the human health insurers. If you choose to do business with them after reading this, at least you will have been warned.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Mickey,
      Trupanion covers veterinary medical costs due to unexpected illness or accidents. Our determining factor is the first appearances of symptoms for an illness or accident since communications with our pets can be limiting. We use symptoms rather than diagnosis so that we can start to cover claims sooner rather than waiting for a diagnosis to be made. (One of our competitors cannot offer coverage until a definitive diagnosis has been made) Also, it is not uncommon to see symptoms being present with no definitive diagnosis made.
      When reviewing a claim for coverage, we do take into consideration the whole picture of what is going on for a pet. If symptoms are consistent prior to coverage and again during coverage, we reference what is presented on the claim form and in a pet’s medical records. If consistent symptoms are present and no medical reasoning can be explained for their difference then we are not able to extend coverage on a claim.
      That being said, we do have a claims appeals process if you and your veterinarian disagree with your claim outcome under our policy. Please give your claims adjuster a call to learn more.

  • arry

    I am so happy I saw all these reviews today. Was just about to sign up my 11 mth old Lab with Trupanion while looking for an alternative to 24PetWatch. The premium increases are outrageous and since I show my dog and he’s intact, Trupanion is not for me. Wow. It was so easy to buy into the hype. They do an excellent job on their website drawing you in. No thanks, not in this economy. I’ll pass.

    Good luck to everyone here in your search for the right coverage! FYI, I do not recommend 24 PetWatch for their rate increases if you file claims. A savings account for your dog would make more sense as it sounds like it would be for Trupanion as well.

  • Katherine

    Thank you Jenn & Mickey for taking the time to post your input on Trupanion. I was also about to sign up my 1 yr old small dog with this company. After reading your experiences and others (majority against) i will not sign up with them. I will also make sure to spread the word in my community of pet owners. Thank you again.

  • Al

    I purchased Trupanion Pet Insurance after asking a list of questions..Will Rates Increase when my pet ages? I was assured by the Trupanion that rates would never increase as my pet ages. They might have minor rate increases for all members of 5% every year or two or rate increases for new members. Not more than 5% she assured me. Less than a year later Trupanion increased my rates 25%. I had only one tiny $100 claim for a minor incident. I am a educated pet consumer that takes better care of my pet then the average pet consumer. Because I have learned a lot about holistic pet care, my pet is healthier then many pets the same age.

    I called Trupanion that said only members with aging pets would get rate hikes like 25% but many other members did not receive this rate hike. And they didn’t even raise raises for new members. I am an existing Trupanion Pet Insurance customer so I should not receive rate hikes of no more than 5% in a year as I myself have been supporting Trupanion longer than a new member. I am angry as Trupanion outright lied to me.

    Had Trupanion been honest about this upfront and on their website that 25% rate hikes will be for any members with aging pets, then I would not be angry because I would have considered this before spending one dime with Trupanion. I don’t like companies that out right lie to consumers to steal their money, then rip them off later and basically laugh in your face when you call them on the lie. Trupanion needs to put this on the Home page of their Trupanion website. Trupanion raises rates 25% for any aging pets. Please consider can you afford a yearly 25% rate hike before buying Trupanion Pet Insurance.

    I was planning to adopt another pet. As my two elderly pets recently died at 16 and 19 due to old age. But with this Trupanion Pet Insurance rate hike, I cannot afford in this economic depression caused by our own government, to take on a new pet that needs a home. I would like to adopt an older dog from the shelter that needs a lifesaver as I know all the animal shelters are killing the older sweet dogs, andy dogs over 7 are killed immediately, but with the cost of Trupanion Pet Insurance, we just can’t afford to save a life.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Al,
      Firstly, I would like to apologize for the misinformation that you have received. It is absolutely not true that aging pets are penalized versus new or young pets. When you enroll with us, your premium will always be based on your pet’s age at the time of enrollment.
      We are in the process of bringing premiums up-to-date which in some areas, have not been updated in nearly 4 years, but do not impose premium changes if you have been with us for less than a year which is why you received your premium change notice around your 1-year mark. It took time to build up significant claims evidence to justify the new rates and have them approved by the state’s department of insurance.
      The premiums you see today and on the website are much more up-to-date and any future changes to premiums are predicted to be much less surprising.
      Because we offer such liberal coverage of 90% of actual costs with no payout limits, we must adjust premiums to the average cost of a pet like yours based on factors of age at enrollment, breed, chosen deductible, and geographical location. You would have seen the same change to your premium regardless of claims filed and that 25% change in your premium was unique to your individual situation. Other pets saw different changes to their premium depending on each situation. We are just keeping up with the average pet costs based on our claims experiences and unfortunately, the delay caused a greater change to premiums. I do apologize for your frustration.

  • Leigh

    Unfortunately, our dog came from the breeder with ear mites and tapeworm. Both have been cleared up with medication from our vet and received a follow up vet visit to confirm they were gone. If she ever gets another case of ear mites and tapeworm is this considered pre-existing even if our vet says the new illness is unrelated to the previous case?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Leigh,
      If your dog were to get ear mites later in life, it would be reviewable for coverage if the first pre-policy episode of ear mites is shown to have fully cleared.
      In the case of the tapeworms, however, those are not something that would be eligible for coverage because there are prophylactic treatments readily available for tapeworms.

  • Drew

    So disappointed in this service. We started coverage on our dog 16 months ago when he was only 4 months old because if what they offered and because they were recommended by our vet. However, just like every other player in the insurance industry, they are only out screw you. The promise of no rate increases based on the pet’s age is false. My dog turns 2 next month and conveniently the premium is increasing from $39 to $97, more than doubling what we have been paying. They claim it is because of increased costs in vet care, but my visits to my vet haven’t cost me any more than they did a year ago, let alone double.

    I will be terminating their service, and do what I should have been doing all along; putting the monthly payments into my own account.

    I do not recommend them, unless you only want reasonable service at a teaser rate for the first few years of your let’s life.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Drew,
      I apologize for your frustration and wanted to reassure you that rates do not change based on your pet’s aging. In your case, your premium would always be based on a 1-year-old dog since that was the age at which you enrolled your dog.

      We are in the process of bringing premiums up-to-date, which in some areas have not been updated in nearly 4 years. It took time to build up significant claims evidence to justify the new rates and have them approved by the state’s department of insurance.
      The premiums you see today and on the website are much more up-to-date and any future changes to premiums are predicted to be much less surprising.
      Because we offer such liberal coverage of 90% of actual costs with no payout limits, we must adjust premiums to the average cost of a pet like yours based on factors of age at enrollment, breed, chosen deductible, and geographical location. We are just keeping up with the average pet costs based on our claims experiences and unfortunately, the delay caused a greater change to premiums.

  • jinny

    i had a trupanion for only one year.
    i choose to pay 40.45 for each month and i never use insurance
    but they increses my monthly payment 50.15.only one year.
    im not happy for this insurance.
    if y looking for dog insurance y have to check to this problem.

  • Lilly

    BAIT AND SWITCH is all I have to say.

    My policy went from $53 to $98 a month. And I got “lucky” with “only” a 100% increase.

    And isn’t it funny that they wait after 1 year to increase your rates?

    Now that my dog is over 1 year old, I can’t sign her up for hip dysplasia in another insurance even if I were to leave Trupanion.

    They know if they hike up the rates before the dog turns 1 year old, customers will just switch as it’s still possible to get a good rate and coverage for a dog less than 1 year-old at other companies.

    This is WHY THEY WAIT ONE YEAR BEFORE INCREASING YOUR PREMIUMS for enrolled puppies!!!! They know that any dog over 1 year will incur much higher premiums and deal with pre-existing conditions if you attempt to switch insurance companies, so they wait until after 1 year so you are more likely to bite the bullet and take the rate increase for the sake of your pet. It makes me sick that they can get away with this.

    I don’t understand how people like Stacy can go around pretending to be on the pet’s side when all they’re doing is using deceitful business practices to get your money and trap you into a no-win situation.

    No rate increases in 4 years???? THAT IS NOT THE CUSTOMER’S FAULT! This company’s business model is unstable, shady, and ineffective.

    If you read this and are considering enrolling, PLEASE be aware that you will eventually get ripped off and will most likely have to cancel the policy.

    Especially, if you have a puppy younger than 1 year-old PLEASE choose another pet insurance so your pet can receive appropriate vet care later on when its really needed. If you wait until your dog is older than 1 year it will be much harder as puppies always get small diseases here and there (UTI, cough, etc) and those will certainly be considered pre-existing everywhere else.

    And if you live in California and are a victim of their false advertising, please file your complaint here:
    http://www.dca.ca.gov/consumer/complaints.shtml

    Stacy, no need to copy/paste the same irrelevant response here. You fooled me, and that was my fault. Hopefully all the reviews here prevent Trupanion from fooling others who still have a choice.

    • Matt from Hawaii

      I have a 2 year old female french bulldog who I’m insuring through PetPlan. I was going to sign her up with Trupanion due to positive reviews at other review sites. Fortunately for me, Trupanion isn’t licensed for business in Hawaii.

      Petplan will cover congenital and hereditary conditions provided your pet isn’t symptomatic. Frenchies are prone to respiratory and joint problems. Petplan told me that they would cover these issues by having our vet submit a report to them stating that she hasn’t had preexisting conditions.

      I don’t work for Petplan. Good luck.

  • Joe

    I am glad I found this website. I was going to insure my son’s puppy with Trupanion, but after reading about the rate increases I decided not to. Trupanion claims that they do not raise rate according to age, but that is their way raising their rates to whatever or whenever they feel like. If they based their rates according to a published rate/age schedule that you would be able see ahead of time that would be better (for the consumer). Be smart people, open your eyes and don’t buy into this scam.

  • Cristena

    Hi Stacy – I have a question for you. I took my 8 month old pup into the vet because he started to limb on his back leg. They checked him out and and said they could find nothing wrong. Give it a few days with a pain med and go from there. Nothing was diagnosed. If I was to sign up with Trupanion, would this be considered a preexisting condition? Thanks for your time!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Cristena,
      It is difficult to give you a definite answer as it would depend on the situation. There is a possibility that if your pet were to develop a limp on that same leg post-enrollment that it could be related to the first occurrence, thus excluded from coverage. However, there are instances in which a condition in that leg could be unrelated to the first instance of limping and might require clarification from your veterinarian. Please give us a call if you’d like to further discuss! 800-569-7913

  • Lilly

    As an update, I filed my complaint with both the California Deparment of Consumer Affairs and the California Department of Insurance. I received a letter from DOI last week stating that they had reviewed my complaint and had sent a request to Trupanion for an official response along with supporting documentation regarding the ridiculous premium increases. Trupanion has 20 days to respond.

    We’ll see what the official response and supporting documentation from Trupanion is.

    Anyway, I will update again after I receive more information.

    I’m one of the lucky ones to have a dog without any existing medical issues, so I’ve canceled my policy, and moved my dog Luna to PetPlan. My new policy with PetPlan has a $50 deductible, with 90% reimbursement (including exam fees, which Trupanion doesn’t reimburse, and which are around $60 -$80 here in orange county, CA)and I’ll be paying $68/month.

    Compared to a policy with $250 deductible, with 90% reimbursement (less exam fees, which basically means my deductible is really $300-$330) at $66/month with Trupanion.

    I feel for those Trupanion customers who can’t switch their pets to another insurance due to pre-existing conditions and now face the choice between paying ridiculous premiums or not insuring their pets at all. So sad.

    I hope prospective customers that read this thread learn from the experiences here and make a better choice for their pets.

  • Linda

    I am appalled by all that I have learned about Trupasnion in the past 3 weeks. My premium is to go up up 200% – not 5, not 10 not 25. My verteinary costs have NOT gone up – I have another uninsured dog that has to have tests regularly – has for four years now – price still the same! I went online with Trupanion and requested quotes for 3 differnt but similar breeds (one which has high incidence of both EPI – Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficincy – AND hip dysplaysia)in the same local, same age and the quotes were in the range of $50, $70 and $100!! The middle one was the breed known to have very high incidence of those two issues not the breed with the highest quote! Did the same for another demographic area and found exactly the same results with just a slight variance in quotes within dollars from the first set. I have been online trying to find where Trupanion says they charge differently for different breeds – vets don’t! AND when I got my initial quote when I registered just over a year ago – I was not informed that I would be charged differntly because of breed nor did I find it anywhere in the info available. I am going to find out how to write my comments on Facebook as well – more people need to know what is happeneing. Like another person, I am going to be forced to withdraw my policy – an expensive lesson learned. I had felt I did my homework – had a friend with same breed as I whose policy has not gone up (in the second demogrphic area) yet prices quoted have – she is going to investigate today.
    Please be upfront with what one may expect with premiums when prospoective clients inquire! Where else does one get a 200% increae?

  • Damien

    I had the same experience with trupanion. They claim that they will not raise your rates, but instead they impose a “cost of doing business tax.” Basically it doubled my rates and my vet bill certainly has not gone up that much. False stories and lies.

  • al

    Hi Lilly, who posted above. Please let us know the outcome of your complaint against Trupanion Pet Insurance.

    Remember, you can sue Trupanion Pet Insurance at your local Small Claims Court. You purchased the policy from your home, so the Pet Insurance Co must travel to your local Small Claims Court to defend their case if you file a complaint against them. Even if they don’t show up, the judge will hear your case and make a decision with or without Trupanion showing up for the case.

    For others, remember you can also Copy/Paste and post the complaints at ComplaintsBoard.com RipOffReport.com Complaints.com PissedOffConsumer.com etc.

    Also post your complaints on on Craigslist.org on your local city under Pets in the Community free ads area.

    If you have a complaint, the best way to help is to share your experience with others in as many places as possible. Once you write up your complaint, just COPY and PASTE it on the other sites.

    This helps other consumers who have a problem with either Trupanion Pet Insurance or any other corporation that has ripped you off to warn others, so they are more careful before purchasing pet insurance or any other product or service.

    Because of the complaints boards, I have made much better decisions and been ripped off much less, after reading other consumers complaints.

    We all must share our experiences, because corporate greed is out of control, as we can see with Trupanion Pet Insurance, and everything else.

    Consumers must help each other. Thanks everyone for posting your complaints so we can help each other.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Al,
      After seeing you use the term “corporate greed” I would like to provide some clarification as to why our premiums had to be adjusted.
      Trupanion’s policy has no payout limits. We are the only pet insurance provider to offer this and we are also the only pet insurance provider to offer a zero deductible option.
      We value being able to provide optimal care to pets without having to worry about reaching limits. In order to provide this type of service, we must keep up with the cost and we do this by sharing the risk equally. Rather than paying the average cost of an insured pet in general, your premium is priced on the average cost of your specific pet based on breed, age at enrollment, selected deductible, and geographical location.
      The updated premiums are completely based around claims and being able to provide this service, and 0% of any increases goes toward overhead costs.
      Updated rates must first be approved by your local insurance department given that new rates are not excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.
      Finally, we issue a notice of at least 30 days so that you, the pet owner, can make a decision of whether you want to adjust your deductible or discontinue coverage altogether.
      I encourage you to take a look at this video which has a complete explanation of our pricing: http://trupanion.com/why-trupanion/value

  • Linda

    Al, Thanks for the awesome info – I am in Canada – so will have to see how differntly things work here with lodging complaints with the various facilitators! I have gotten the lamest responses still trying to justify the increase which just “don’t fly” – but they have acknowledged in the emails that they do charge differently for different breeds – WHICH NEEDS TO BE ON THEIR WEBSITE!!
    I am still in a state of shock that the increase can be so high – someone said on this site their policy went from the $50 range to the $100 range (similar to mine) as 100% increase – that’s a 200% increase – what goes up 200%? Certainly not vet costs, not wages, nothing I can think of.

  • al

    The insurance dept Trupanion keeps speaking about, is just another one on the Corporate Greed list. Big Insurance corporations and Insurance Boards are on the Greed list. Just like health insurance is no longer affordable for most. Insurance Corporations and Insurance Boards have been ripping off Americans for years. And Trupanion is jumping on the bandwagon for the great profits in insurance thats why Trupanion is doubling and tripling everybody’s rates.

    Thats why OccupyWallstreet.com and October2011.org and AlterNet.org is so important. These great people are fighting for our rights against a corrupt government and greedy corporations. Fighting to save America. Help support them with Thank You comments… Occupy Your City, post on facebook, twitter, Craigslist.org under Politics.

    Students, Retirees, Unions, Unemployed, Underemployed, Under Paid, Children, Teenagers, Adults and Anyone and Everyone who wants to save America from corporate greed and government corruption.

    OCCUPY Your City and Make History

    The Occupy Wall Street protest is a full bore indictment against corporate greed and dysfunctional government. It’s a demand for nation building here at home.

    People young and old are taking the streets, sleeping in tents, donating pizza, even publishing their own Occupy Wall Street Journal newspaper, and websites, to let our government and corporations know that we are a democracy that’s not for sale.

    We all want to save America because we love America and big corporations and a corrupt government are stealing and ruining America.

    Maybe Trupanion will see the light, and return to the rates people had when they signed on. Otherwise, Trupanion is going to continue with their own Insurance Greed as they are part of big corporate America, ruining Americans lives.

  • Brian

    Here is the *really* sleazy thing about their little one year anniversary “present” that they give you (i.e., a 60% premium increase)…I can go to their website right now, enter in my cat’s info as if I were a new customer, and get a significantly lower rate than they are offering me as an existing customer. So the ARE bate-and-switching, no doubt about it.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Brian,
      I would just like to provide some clarification on this. Your rate adjustment notification was issued at least 30 days in advance. At the time that your new premium goes into effect, new premiums will also go into effect on our website for new customers. Your premium is still based on the age at which your pet enrolled.
      On average, we pay out about 70 cents (versus the industry average of 50-55 cents) in claims for every dollar received in premiums so when you see an increase to your premium, it is a sign that the average pet like yours is receiving more health care. I encourage you to learn more about our pricing here: http://trupanion.com/why-trupanion/value

      • Brian

        It’s still sleazy though. It still means that anyone who signs up right now will pay less for the same coverage throughout 2012 than any of your existing customers whose anniversary date comes after Nov 1st (or whenever the date is).

        Shouldn’t it be the opposite? Rewarding existing customers?

        It no longer matters to me though as I am now an ex-customer as of Nov 1st. Healthy Paws is a much better company imho. Both in terms of how they treat people and in terms of the rates that they currently offer.

  • Jenn

    Stacy,

    Still spreading your corporate lines I see? Why is it that you never responded back to my post back on 7/22?

    To any new readers that are skipping to the bottom, you may want to check it out.

  • J. Blume

    I’ve had Trupanion for my two dogs for around 2 years, and at this point, I am very unhappy. I’ve only filed three claims. One was for medicine, so I got $12 back. One was for a nail that had somehow grown close to one of my dog’s paw pad, irritating his foot. It ended up being around $200. It was denied because “it was the owner’s responsibility to keep the paws trimmed.” Well, I do get my dog’s nails cut every month, and neither the groomer or the vet saw anything wrong until he started limping.

    So, the last claim I put it takes the cake. I filed in March. My dog Buster got a viral infection on his foot. In October, I get an email saying that they are waiting for the entire records from my vet from March to the current date! Ok, I give them the vet’s number. So they get the records.

    Well, today, I get an email that they’re working on the claim, but they need Buster’s entire record from an emergency animal hospital that Buster went to three years ago!

    I wrote back and told them that Buster does not see that vet and if this is their claim process, then I am going to cancel both my dog’s policies. Lo and behold! ONE HOUR later I get am email saying that the claim has been processed and paid.

    So, I guess they didn’t need some random vet that my dog saw years ago. I guess they didn’t even need Buster’s records from the date of the claim to the present, because, logically, the problem was an infection and it happened in March.

    I am disgusted! I never had this problem with the ASPCA insurance, and I’ll most likely go back to them;

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi there,
      I do apologize that your claims experiences have been frustrating. It is standard for us to collect all prior veterinary medical records even if the condition being claimed is completely new. We do this rather than requiring records up front at the time of enrollment and it helps us process any future claims.
      Should you and your veterinarian disagree with a claims outcome, we do have a claims appeals process. You can learn more about this by calling your claims adjuster at 800-569-7913.

  • Linda

    I am still absolutley appalled by the shoddiness of this group – it seems from reading all posts most people face a huge increase upon the end of their first year. I have already expressed my opinions in previous posts but just wanted to update – there was no satisfactory justification given for increase from $50ish per month to $100+ upon the “anniversary” of enrollemnt sas of on Oct. 23, 2011 I terminated my policy. I could only write off my premiums paid over the past year as bad judgement on my part – I got sucked in to believe they were what I thought they were.
    However, my dog had surgery to remove a cyst from his head the 17th. Talk about timing!! I will say they were prompt in payment – it made me feel a little better about the investment I had made that half of basically went down the tubes!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Linda,
      To provide a little more information, we have not updated premiums in some areas since we began selling policies there (up to 4 years ago in some states). This year, we reached a point at which we had enough data to bring premiums up-to-date with what they should actually cost. Because some premiums were essentially 4 years out of date, this is why you may have seen such a significant change.
      In the future, adjustments will occur in a more timely manner to reflect the actual cost of pet care for your individual pet (based on the averages of its breed, age at enrollment, geographical location, and deductible chosen). If the average pet like yours is receiving increased health care in a given time period, then you would see a slight increase, but if that pet on average has been generally healthy and making fewer trips to the vet then you would see a slight decrease. Premiums are directly based around the average pet like yours based on the factors mentioned above so when you see an increase in your premium, that is a sign that the average pet like yours is making more trips to the veterinarian.
      I encourage you to learn more about our pricing here: http://trupanion.com/why-trupanion/value

  • Linda

    Stacy,

    I certainly did all the research, did all the reading provided and still say – my dog had never had reason for a claim – had no health issues, my vet costs have certainly in one year, let alone the past 10 years for my other pets, not increased 100% of the original quote – not even 25% and I live in a fairly large city – Calgary, AB. The same quote for a German Shepherd (#1 for EPI, and of course, HD/DJD very common – both very costly phelath issues) would have been almost half the premium increase you gave me within the one year period. You may use all the reasoning/literature/justification that you have but again – where in the corporate world does anything increase 200%? Perhaps the wise thing to have done was to ding all new clients – but then you likley wouldn’t have any!!!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Linda,
      I would like to reiterate that it’s not the costs/prices of veterinary procedures themselves which have remained fairly steady. Our premiums are based on the average cost of healthcare given to the average pet like yours.
      For example, should there be an increase in foxtails in your area next spring and lots of dogs like yours are needing surgery to get them removed, then you would likely see an increase in your premium.
      If, the following spring, there were rarely any foxtails in the area and dogs were making much fewer trips to the veterinarian, then you would likely see a decrease to your premium.

      These are just examples of course, and premiums are based on the overall costs on average.
      We pay out about 70 cents in claims for every dollar received in premiums versus the industry average of about 50-55 cents. We must adjust premiums with current costs and spending so that we can continue to offer 90% actual coverage with no limits on payout.

  • Jenn

    Stacy, I figured I would just keep reposting this until you have any insight to share… your silence will be acknowledged as admittance by you that Trupanion has scammed us, and perhaps you as well.

    Originally posted on 7/22/2011
    Stacy,
    Wow, your rates haven’t been updated in 4 years and so my rate is increased 200%???? I picked the wrong career…

    Wait a second… how come the office visit with my Vet is the same as it was 4 years ago? And when we had our last dog spayed 14 years ago (at the same vet) the price was only $40 less than what we paid last September? (260 compared to 220 Yes, I actually saved all the veterinary receipts.)

    Interestingly enough, you said that technology continues to advance so costs go up? Not according to my bill which saw the blood lab work go down from $35 to only $15, laser cauterization reduced from $65 to $35. Actually, the only things that increased in price were the vet’s time and the medication. (Go figure… pharmaceuticals cheating us too!).

    Something isn’t passing the sniff test. Since you keep standing on the same platform, so will I. Trupanion is either deliberately cheating us, or is completely inept. Either way, clearly you are not a company I ever intend on doing business with again.

    Since you have failed to accept fault and/or provide any substantial response I intend on persuading every dog owner, dog breeder, dog trainer, and dog veterinarian I know to never use or recommend your company.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Jenn,
      Rather than re-posting, I encourage you to read my response to Linda just above. It is not the fixed veterinary prices themselves (which have remained fairly steady) that have contributed to our rate adjustments but rather the increased scope of available treatments combined with pet owners being able to make more liberal decisions regarding veterinary care since we have no limits on payout.

      It sounds like there are still some parts that are unclear to you regarding our pricing so I urge you to give us a call as we’d be glad to explain.

  • Amy

    Currently, my pet is covered with VPI insurance. I got a discount with VPI through work, so seemed like a good option. A few months ago, VPI reimbursed a decent amount toward our cat’s foreign body incident. Not great, but was good and fair according to the schedule. Well, I accidentally gave our cat an inappropriate toy to play with, and this past week he had foreign body incident #2 (completely my fault). I was potentially looking at switching insurance companies anyways, so I called Trupanion. I didn’t mind that they were a bit more expensive, I am willing to pay for good insurance. After speaking with Trupanion, it turns out that if our cat had 2 foreign body incidents ever, they will never never ever ever cover it. I was assuming there would have to be some type of waiting period (20 months, 24 months, etc) under which he would have to be incident-free before they would cover him again. Turns out that is a big fat no. I will say, I was really frustrated until I read the posts on this forum. Seems like Trupanion doesn’t have the best reputation for paying out claims, so perhaps I dodged a bullet here.

    I will say to those of you who are evaluating pet insurance policies that while VPI does have per-incident payout schedules, they were fair, they paid us what they told us up front (no guessing) and we had our checks within 14 days.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Amy,
      Thank you for your honest review – it is definitely helpful to us to hear unbiased feedback about the pet insurance industry.

      I would like to provide a little more clarity about our coverage. Whether or not foreign body incidents would be covered in the future for your cat is entirely dependent on your individual situation. From the answer you were given by customer care, it sounds like both of your cat’s incidents have occurred within the last 18 months. If this is the case and both incidents were non-food items (such as toys), then it is correct that future non-food-related foreign body incidents would be ineligible for coverage. However, if the other incident were food related or if it were more than 18 months ago, then future incidents would be reviewed for coverage at 90% of actual costs with no limits per incident or per year. Finally, even if non-food foreign body incidents would not be covered, we would still review claims for food-related foreign body ingestions (such as chicken bones, etc.). I hope this helps clear things up.

      • jenn

        Call you? So that you I can wait on hold for 20 minutes plus before finally getting to speak with someone who knows even less than you? (yeah, I didn’t think that was possible either.)

        Trupanion is a scam.

        You keep flaunting that you are the only insurance provider that covers 90% with no limits. So that means you are either far smarter than your competition or haven’t figured out what they already have. Given your responses, or lack of, I think we can all draw our own conclusions.

        I appreciate your loyalty and dedication to a company you believe in, but why wouldn’t you? I am sure they pad your pockets quite nicely with all the increases to our premiums. Even my veternariarn has decided that he/she won’t recommend your company which means far more than my, or anyone else’s testimony on here.

  • Brian

    The trouble with VPI is that you really have no idea what you are buying when you sign up with them. They give you this big long list of things that they cover, and amounts that they pay for each of those things, but since you have no idea what is *not* on that list, or what the actual charges are likely to be when your pet runs into one of those problems, you really don’t have a clue what your coverage is and what you’ll have to pay out of pocket. Honestly, the only reason I think they have such a complicated schedule is to obfuscate their actual % that they pay out, because it would be embarrassing to them if people knew it.

    I think anybody who takes the trouble to compare them to PetPlan of Healthy Paws can’t possibly choose VPI with a straight face. In fact, I strongly suspect that when other insurance companies want to make themselves look good, like the whole BS .75/1.00 vs .50/1.00, they are more than likely comparing themselves to VPI, because they are easy fodder. It’s also not a coincidence that VPI has abysmal satisfaction numbers in the pet insurance review page.

  • Linda

    Stacy,

    You continue to demonstrate a lot of resilence – your repsonses are a bit of a put down that we don’t understand your pricing – as I have said before – ding the new clients and reward those who were there before the huge unreasonable, unjustifiable increases to which there is no consistency – you may not have lost a lot of customers, but you can bet the word is spreading!

    Linda

  • Lynn

    I am considering Trupanion because of their coverage for illnesses that arise after the 30-day waiting period.

    Some other pet insurance policies “reset” pre-existing conditions at policy renewal. This means if your pet becomes ill during the policy year, that illness will become pre-existing at policy renewal.

    I had experience with this a few years ago when my cat was diagnosed with kidney disease. The first diagnosis was made in August, and our Petshealth policy renewed in September of the same year. No claims related to kidney disease were covered after the policy renewal.

    As I understand it, Trupanion would have covered this for the lifetime of the pet, as long as it was not determined to be pre-existing when I first enrolled in the policy. Please correct me if I have misunderstood.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Lynn,
      Yes, this is correct that both our policy coverage and deductible are lifetime. This means that you will never experience the end of a policy term in which coverage or deductibles start over or reset. Let me know if you have any further questions!

  • Linda

    Lynn,

    Hope you can afford their premiums along with the increase that come a year enrolling. Also, their deductible, I BELIEVE, is per claim. good luck!
    Linda

  • Jenn

    Stacy, since you and your company have failed to address my questions and concerns, I have begun my conquest against you. I have contacted a local well respected kenell club that has a newsletter circulation over 500. They will no longer advertise Trupanion. Addditionally, they are going to publish my testimony with my facts, not your corporate fictions.

    I consider this to be step 1. Step 1 of about 30 and I won’t stop until Trupanion is suspended from doing business and/or admits their fraudlence and changes their policies. I would hold myself personally accountable if I allowed you to cheat any more unsuspecting customers.

    Additionally, I have contacted an attorney that is very interested in pursuing a class action lawsuit against Trupanion and I would imagine there are many on this site alone that would be more than willing to jump on board.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Jenn,
      Trupanion provides coverage across North America. Rates are calibrated and actuarially certified to not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. A premium is determined based on the pet’s age at enrollment, their breed grouping, geographic area, deductible and whether they have chosen ‘optional’ and/or ‘additional’ benefits. All else equal, insured pets who falls in the same “like” risk group pay the same premium regardless of individual claim experience. Risk groupings are determined by our actuaries to ensure that they are statistically credible and equitable (i.e., risks groups do not benefit from or subsidize other risk groups). We are not in the cost containment business; and are able to reimburse our members their veterinary medical costs at 90% for diagnostic tests, surgery, medications and hospitalization; with no payout limits. To have lower costs, we would have to change our business model to have limits on what we can cover – we do not believe in doing that.

      Trupanion does adjust premiums to keep pace with the with the ongoing changes in the cost of animal health care (principally driven by the increasing prevalence of advanced technological veterinary care available). We do not raise premiums because of pets aging or for filing claims. If you would prefer, I could have someone follow up with you directly about your concerns. Please let me know and the best way to get in contact, thanks.

    • Donna Crichton

      So what is happening with your Conquest of Trupanion? I am interested because their shoddy practices in response to my bank’s requirement for witten evidence to support my claim of Trupanion failure to inform has resulted in my bank canceling my credit card and spoiling my perfect credit rating! ALL the cards are stacked in favor of these corporations of course therefore the notion of “customer service for a complaint”. Is ludicrous. Both the bank and the insurance company do NOT act in disservice to their own profit advantage. I learned a major lesson from this sickening experience with my dog’s life hanging in the balance. NOW I AM IN CHARGE and as DOG is mt witness we will never be forked over again.
      Not by this system.

      • Stacy at Trupanion

        Hi Donna,
        I’m a little unclear about the bank issues that you are describing. However, after looking into your policy, it appears that the last payment we accepted was on 5/11/11 which was for the last month of your policy.
        If you believe that you’ve been billed past that date, please give us a call. I want to make sure that everything gets straightened out!

  • Barb

    Wow! I was comparing rates and policies on pet insurance and was about to spend 80 dollars a month for two dogs. But after reading these comments I am not liking the randomness of the Trupanion policy and rate increases.

    If the company has not increased their premiums in 4 years in some areas, then does that mean the online application process and rates for a new customer are reflecting old out of date information.

    Then I have an issue with the increase in Vet costs “for a pet like yours”, just because alot of dogs in the area are getting foxtails and mine only romp in my groomed backyard and never get near the desert or foxtails, my whole premium will go up? Really? That seems crazy. And a decrease in premiums, when has anyone experienced this-ever! I realize some breeds may be susceptible to certain conditions (which is why you are asked during the enrollment process what breed you have)or some may be more likely to be in a certain situation with different environmental dangers or circumstances(which is part of why you are asked for your zip code during enrollment) But I thought those factors were all reflected in your quote after receiving this info. it just seems as like after a year your saying, Rottweilers are getting in more fights this year in South Florida so everyone gets an increase, huh?( And I love Rotties folks, so no one get offended by the reference, because I just made it up.) That seems a little unfair. It would be more fair and reasonable to give up front cost increases like other companies do –that relate to age. Then at least you know what your in for, and it’s based more individually on your pet. Older pets need more care—it makes sense and it’s not about “most” pets or vet costs in your area. As for additional increases due to rising Vet costs and advancing technology in veterinary care, there should be a disclaimer stating any increase due to this would(and should) be capped at a specific percentage named per year, if they are deemed necessary.

    Trupanion seems way too random to me,not that it’s a scam, but just a clever way of marketing themselves as being very competitively priced, and really this does allow them to raise rates seemingly at will. I will not be getting this type of policy for my pets and will continue my research.

    p.s.–I also thought it odd that when entering breed info.and there is “mixed breed” in there—which happens to be one of my dogs—how that could be a true reflection of the insurance costs without knowing any other specifics, like the size and what type of mix it is. Just seemed strange. And I agree with the person who thought it odd about the one time $35 application fee, who else does that?

    Thanks to all for their comments, it has made me really think about this in another way, and be able to look at this objectively and not just based on the initial cost.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Barb,
      We appreciate you sharing your concerns and it is our goal to be very transparent as a company so that you understand exactly what you’re getting. It is true that we have been updating premiums for our members, as some areas still have premiums that were not reflecting the current cost of health care for pets. With greater claim data, our actuarial staff have updated premiums this past year that better demonstrates the average cost of each pet (based on the factors I mentioned before). Premium changes vary based on individual factors at enrollment, and can increase or decrease as the cost of care changes. The premiums you see on the website when you get a quote today are current. For existing policyholders, we do not send out premium notification of an adjustment until the policy is at least a year old which is why people are receiving them at different times during the year. Insurance is a shared risk across like groups so while some pets may be healthy their entire lives, others will be unlucky and experience accidents or illnesses, which is why premiums are based on what could happen to the average pet. We chose to not penalize our members due to individual claims experience or your pet aging, that way when an illness or accident happens, you know that we are here to assist with your unexpected veterinary medical costs. Premiums will adjust as the cost of animal health care costs that come into us, deductibles are optional and a good way for a member with us to better customize their plan to fit their needs. Our sign up fee offsets the cost for our super cute pet id tag that we provide with enrollment which gives 24/7 peace of mind should your pet go lost or is missing. Call our customer care team should you have more questions or to start your pet’s enrollment, 800-569-7913.

  • RK

    Hi, I am so glad I found this site. I have a male long hair maine coone half breed, 4 years old. I was thinking of getting insurance from Trupanion, but having second thought now after reading through your experiences. Can anyone point me to a better option please? Sincerely appreciate your feedback.

  • im1ofmany

    Hi There
    Believe it or not i have read every single post from Jan 21, 2009 w/ Mellissa – Dec 15,2011!! OMG! I’ve been at this for a while (as is evident by my posting time). Anyway i would like to start off on a positive note and say that your continued response to peoples inquiries and posts is quite impressive. A little off subject but, what happened to Melissa? one guy asked but no one ever responded. She was VERY good, her responses conveyed the sincere concern she had for people and their pets and i grew quite comfortable with her style of response. On the same note, responses got somewhat sketchy until July when Stacey stepped in (thank goodness). I must say you guys tend to get a little deffensive with the negative comments huh? 😉
    So, i have this expression i always use “Everything’s A Scam”.(not saying that directed to you guys here at Trupanion) like you’ve mentioned on several occasions, when it comes to buisness you have to make $ to stay afloat, i get it. i hear alot of people complaining about denial of claims and not getting reimbursed for things they’re pets needed. also having procedures done and then finding out they wont be reibursed (for whatever reason).
    This brings me to my questions (finaly right)lol
    1) If i start my policy for my dog at say 2 months old, before doing so i should get a vet visit done right?
    2) what should the vet be checking for or is it just a physical?
    3) so basically if theres nothing wrong when i take him in and he gets his physical and the doc gives him a clean bill of health no issues, that means i’ll never have to hear the words pre-existing condition right?
    (PLEASE MAKE SURE MY UNDERSTANDING OF THIS IS ACCURATE)
    4) is it possible to submit all claims before procedures are done?
    5) if so and i do this does that avoid the surprise of you guys telling me “we cant cover that”?

    Sorry about all this (im a first time pet ins shopper) just want to make sure i make the best decision for us.

    thanx

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi there,
      Firstly I’d like to say that I appreciate you taking the time to read through all of the comments and offer your honest feedback. Melissa has unfortunately moved on in her career and no longer works with us.

      I apologize if the responses regarding rate increases have come off as defensive. They were of the purpose of explaining the reasoning behind the adjustments to reassure that we are not just arbitrarily taking more money for no reason. But I do agree that the way it happened wasn’t favorable and would like to have seen it approached differently. That is one negative thing about the industry being so young – it’s still a learning curve. But like I’ve mentioned above, now that we have established business in all of these areas, rate adjustments should occur in a more predictable way from now on.

      To answer your questions:
      1 and 2. We don’t require a vet visit for enrollment, however, it may be in your benefit to get a regular exam. This way you would know whether your dog were showing any symptoms or if he is completely healthy and nothing would be a surprise later down the road.
      3. Theoretically, yes. However, if any conditions or symptoms develop during the waiting periods, then those are considered pre-existing. Full policy coverage comes into effect after the waiting periods have passed which are 5 days for accidents and 30 days for illness and begin retroactively at midnight on the day you enroll.
      4 and 5. You can submit claims in advance. We do have a pre-approval process for claims in which you can get an estimate from your veterinarian (say your dog needs surgery and you’re not sure whether to proceed) and submit it to us. Then we can let you know beforehand whether it will be covered and you can go ahead and make your decision.

      We strive to make all information available up front so that there are no surprises, so I’m glad that you’re asking questions and I commend you for doing your research and being skeptical. Please feel free to give us a call or let me know if you have more questions!

    • Brian

      im1ofmany,

      You are being extremely naive in asking such questions to an insurance agent. It’s a “game”, and here is how it’s played:

      When you make a claim, they will pour through every bit of your pet’s history and try to find reasons to deny your claim. They pay people to justify the denial of claims. If you go to the vets and he finds a runny nose, then they can use that to deny any upper respiratory problems your pet will *ever* have. Diahrea? Oh oh, must have an existing problem with the digestive system. Your pet throws up? Oh oh, that is a generic symptom and could be used to deny almost anything. You get the picture. The *last* thing in the world you should do is go to the vet and get a comprehensive exam *before* signing up. That is how the game is played…

  • im1ofmany

    hey stacy
    thanx for the response. u answered everything perfectly.
    i do have 1 more question,
    i’ve read other comments and seen cases where the vet gives a clean bill of health and then an issue arrises and trupanion says the condition is pre-existing.
    please tell me if i understand this correctly:
    although in some cases the pet owners and vets said there was nothing wrong with the animal there were small issues noted (diahreah for example) that seemed normal at the time but when more serious issues arrose it was understood that these were connected to the seemingly normal issues from before.
    when you guys look for prior medical history, i wouldnt have any since my dog is a 2 month old puppy right?

  • kathy

    Regarding Brian’s Response be low

    ———————————————————-
    “Brian
    December 30, 2011 at 10:46 pm · Reply
    im1ofmany,
    You are being extremely naive in asking such questions to an insurance agent. It’s a “game”, and here is how it’s played:

    When you make a claim, they will pour through every bit of your pet’s history and try to find reasons to deny your claim. They pay people to justify the denial of claims. If you go to the vets and he finds a runny nose, then they can use that to deny any upper respiratory problems your pet will *ever* have. Diahrea? Oh oh, must have an existing problem with the digestive system. Your pet throws up? Oh oh, that is a generic symptom and could be used to deny almost anything. You get the picture. The *last* thing in the world you should do is go to the vet and get a comprehensive exam *before* signing up. That is how the game is played…”
    ———————————————————-

    This is very true, regardless pet or human insurance. I am healthy but my own human animal health insurance rates tripled and I can no longer afford insurance.

    Any thing you or your pet sees a doctor about is preexisting. This is the game of all insurance companies.

    I just read that kroger and woolworth are both looking to start pet insurance companies. They said it is very profitable so they want to get into it too and make big bucks. So more pet insurance co are getting in on this.

    I still have pet insurance for my pets, as they need it more than I do. Pets are killed without being able to pay their medical bills, so I only have pet insurance as a Necessary Evil. When I have more money, I will cancel it. If a human gets sick and doesn’t have health insurance, you can still get free health care and they will not kill you, like they do to cats and dogs.

    I also recommend the VETERINARIAN CARE Credit Card that pays for Vet Care interest free. I have used it 3 times, and been able to pay off the vet care within 6 months interest free. So that does work and is helpful if you don’t have the cash to pay for vet care right away. Most vets take it, but call first to make sure the vet you go to has the Vet CARE credit card or will sign up for it. If your favorite vet doesn’t have it, ask them to sign up for the Vet Care Credit card. Just search online Veterinarian CARE credit card to sign up or ask your vet for the application handed out at vet offices.

    Beware of Trupanion pet insurance, they do raise prices after you sign up, and they raise rates for aging pets. And we had one pet that didn’t have previous vet records and they refused to cover it.

    I may adopt another pet, but I am concerned that I will not have any vet records so I doubt trupanion will cover this adopted pet without any previous vet records anyway.

  • im1ofmany

    HEY BRIAN
    thanx for the advice. i’m definately new to the pet thing so i appreciate the insight, but i would never consider myself naive. i didnt want to put them on the defence right away as has been their track record in past comments, but i am a firm believer in my line “everything’s a scam”. unfortunately this is the world we live in. actualy all my questions were hypothetic since i didnt even pick one out of the litter yet. really i agree w/ u on everything u said, but asking an agent doesnt kill anything when youve got nothing to cover. even still facts are facts, alot of these pet owners went to have their pets examined and had all the normal pet stuff recorded (diareah, vomiting, not eating) all things that as u said can be used against them at a later date of the insurers convenience to be sighns of ANYTHING.
    i had a friend who got pet ins. on his puppies before they were even born (i had never heard of this) but it just so happened that one of the puppies was diagnosed w/ bone cancer…ins. was forced to cover everything.
    the main thing i am trying to find out is what qualifies as pre-existing, can they go back to an animals blood line or what?
    and am i required to have a preliminary exam before im insured?
    anyway thanx again for the advice,stay skeptical
    im1ofmany

  • im1ofmany

    HEY STACY
    the main thing i am trying to find out is
    ~what qualifies as pre-existing, can they go back to an animals blood line or what?
    ~if a certain breed is known to have certain medical conditions, and later in this animals life this condition shows up (well after the 30 days)is it considered pre-existing or do you cover that?
    and
    ~am i required to have a preliminary exam for my pet before its insured?

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Hi im1ofmany,
    A condition is only deemed pre-existing based on actual, existing symptoms or diagnosis that exist prior to policy coverage. We do cover hereditary and congenital conditions, so a condition won’t be automatically excluded just because you have a breed that is prone to that condition.
    The wording on our policy states that a pre-existing condition is an “Illness resulting from any condition for which evidence and/or symptoms of their potential manifestation already exist at, or during the 18 months prior to, the policy enrollment date. Illnesses that occur during the 30 day waiting period and accidents that occur during the 5 day waiting period will be considered pre-existing conditions;”

    If you are getting a new puppy from a reputable breeder, then likely it will not have any pre-existing conditions.
    We do not require a veterinary exam for sign-up, however it is pretty standard when bringing home a new pet (whether it be a puppy or an older adopted dog) to have them examined for any pertinent medical issues.

    P.S. In response to Kathy, we do cover older adopted pets as well (I adopted my dog when she was about 3 years old with no prior medical history). When you adopt a new pet, it’s likely that the shelter has gotten a veterinary exam for it, or that you will be required to get an examination shortly after adopting your new pet. This would reveal whether your pet has a clean bill of health or is experiencing some symptoms.

  • kathy

    I am looking at adopting an older pet, which means 8 years or older for dogs and cats. I am meeting with an elderly man who will be going into assisted elderly living apt and they don’t allow dogs. Don’t know why. He can’t find his vet records as his place is a mess because he doesn’t have any help or a maid to clean up. He doesn’t remember the vet’s name, I guess he has oldtimers disease, so his memory is rather foggy when talking to him. But he has a very sweet large 90lbs older dog, I would guess to be 8, 9 or 10 years old. He called the shelter, but they said they kill all dogs over 5 years old immediately, and just keep room for the puppies and young dogs only. The shelter does not do any vet check for any dog over 5 years old. So this dog does not have any vet records that I can find, and the shelter refuses to do any vet check on any older dog that is brought in. So I may adopt this dog before it goes to the shelter, because the shelter said it will be killed within the hour of drop off. I don’t know why they call themselves a “shelter” a shelter means a safe place, most shelters kill, so therefore they are not a shelter, they are a killing center, which would be the right name.

    So anyway, how can I INSURE this old dog with Trupanion, if I save its life before this old man leaves for the assisted living facility that refuses to allow him to bring his best friend?

    This is another problem with America, Assisted Living Facilities should allow pets for our elderly so they can live their last years with their best friend. People need to refuse to use to hire any Assisted Living that does not allow pets. Talk with your pocketbooks, if they refuse pets, refuse to spend money with them. Thats how things will change. And call and email every facility that refuses pets.

    I am trying to help one old dog, but there are so many older pets that are killed when the elderly go to Elder Care Assisted Living.

  • Stacy at Trupanion

    Hi Kathy,
    It’s great to hear from people like you who are willing to save the life of an older dog.
    You can certainly enroll your new senior pup with us! It’s just the same as it would be if you had found it as a stray or adopted him from a shelter.
    What I would recommend is to first take him to the vet to get an examination to ensure that he is healthy or catch any conditions as soon as possible, if he has any. Then, you can enroll over the phone so that we can be sure to make a note on your policy that you don’t have any of his previous vet records.
    Thank you for rescuing him!
    800-569-7913

  • J. Blume

    DO NOT TAKE YOUR DOG TO THE VET FIRST! Then, anything the vet finds will become a pre-existing condition.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Unfortunately, if the dog currently has any conditions, then they would be considered pre-existing, whether or not a veterinarian has diagnosed them. It’s important to seek a veterinarian and treat any ailments early on and prevent them from getting worse.
      Occasionally we have seen cases in which a pet has been sick for a long time but the owner refuses to take it to a veterinarian because they are waiting for their insurance coverage to kick in. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help, because their veterinarian can tell whether a pet has been experiencing symptoms for a while (eg. since before they signed up for insurance), so this won’t affect the outcome of a pet insurance claim and will usually result in the animal suffering for a longer period of time.

  • Rob Reid

    I find the “adjusting premiums” getting old with Trupanion. I have had my rates adjusted twice now to the tune of a 150 percent increase in two years. My dog has been “lucky” he has been healthy, unfortuantely I can’t say that about my bank account. When do the rate increases stop Trupanion?

  • Brian

    “When do the rate increases stop Trupanion?”

    When enough people drop them for better insurance and Trupanion wises us that they don’t have the pricing power that they think they do.

    Just switch to Pet Plan or Healthy Paws.

  • Mila from Ontario

    Hello all,

    I was thinking of switching insurance to Trupanion but after reading this post I will never do so. I have been with PetCare and I have never had an increase of 100% or 200%. The most I have been increased by is 5% and at max 10%. I have their MasterCare Complete and I have had two to three claims for accidents such as my pups eating chocolate or eating a shoe. I have always been paid within 14 days.

    When my first pup was a month old, the vet heard something when checking my pup’s heart. My vet noted it might be a murmur but more tests needed to be done. Well, PetCare sent me a letter saying that they would not cover any heart conditions as they would be pre-existing. My vet rechecked weeks later and she determined that there was no heart murmur and that it might have been something my puppy grew out of. I explained to my Vet that I got a letter from my insurance about the heart condition. My vet then told me that she would sent a letter to my insurance letting them know that there was no murmur and that my pup should not have any clause about heart conditions on his policy. My vet was really nice like that 🙂

    Anyways, within 14 days, I got a letter from PetCare stating that they would remove the heart conditions clause. I was really glad that my insurance listened to my vet. I am not an employee of PetCare nor am I making up what has transpired.

    The only reason I was thinking of switching was because I have now adopted a 13 year old Bichon Frise and I have no idea of her former health as I have rescued her from a neglectful situation. The whole “no extra charge for chronic conditions” and “premiums and coverage don’t change on pet’s birthday or after filing claims” almost sold me but now I am more than comfortable staying with PetCare. I will also advise my vet, my dog walking clients, and any dog owners I know about the questionable practices of Trupanion.

    Mila

  • Mila from Ontario

    P.S. My oldest and first pup is now 7 years old going on 8 years old and my youngest is 6 years old going on 7 come this May. The oldest is the one with the presumed “heart condition”. I can just imagine Trupanion claiming it as a “pre-existing condition” and disregarding my vet’s letter to the contrary.

    Mila

  • Traci

    Hello,
    I have a 2.5 year old black lab. I signed up for Trupanion last year and have not submitted a claim.

    A few days ago, after a brisk 2.5 mile walk followed by a short ball throwing session, she started limping. I called the vet who told me to rest her and approved an Rx for Rimidyl. Rest seems to help, but she is an active dog and likes to run around the house despite her injury.

    My questions are:
    1) As the vet said this injury is most likely orthopedic, the vet recommends seeing a specialist directly if her limping does not subside or returns after exercise. According to Trupanion, do I need a referral or can I just make an appointment with the ortho vet?
    2) I understand the office visits are not covered, but what about testing such as Xrays?
    3) Will Trupanion cover any option the vet offers. For instance, if the vet gives the option of medication/wait and see vs. surgery – will Trupanion cover surgery should we choose it?

    Thank you for your time!
    Traci

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Traci,
      Coverage extends to emergency and specialty veterinarians and you do not need any type of formal referral.
      Xrays and other diagnostic testing would be eligible for coverage.
      Lastly, we do cover medications and surgery so the choice of treatment is up to you! 🙂
      If you have any further questions, I encourage you to give us a call so that we can get you a quicker response. 800-569-7913
      I hope your dog is doing better since the injury!

  • Sarah

    I just signed up my french bulldog puppy with trupanion, I really appreciate all the informative information posted here especially when it comes straight from the insurances company. Very useful! I will report back with my experiences as they come!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Congratulations on the new puppy! We’ve had four Frenchie puppies at different times in the office (now all grown up) and I just love them to pieces – they have such great personalities!
      I’m glad you’ve decided to share your feedback and we’ll be looking forward to hearing how your experience goes.

  • Matthew

    Sarah, I also researched insurance companies in 2009 through several websites and was going to use Trupanion because of the number of positive reviews. Fortunately, Trupanion isn’t licensed for business in Hawaii or I may have had problems with claims for my Frenchie that others have experienced and posted on this site. Customer satisfaction with Trupanion appears to have been declining since 2010. Did you read the posts or do you work for Trupanion and posted your comment in order to keep this thread active?

  • Sarah

    Matthew, I did read almost all the posts except a few near the bottom. Ive had several recommendations for various insurances companies and was debating between PetSecure and Trupanion. Since my pup is only 9 weeks old with no conditions reported on his visit, I do not think I should have problems unless someone can explain how I would as he does not have pre-existing conditions. I agree that some of the claims made on here have shown Trupanion to be very knit picky (ie. taking common symptoms like diarrhea and applying them to any number of illnesses). Seems like a lot of the issues are coming from this clause. Some of the complaints I feel are valid, others, not so much. I like how they will pay 90% of his vet bills and don’t really mind that they don’t cover routine care like vaccines and spay/neuter because I would do that regardless of insurance as a responsible pet owner. I will continue to report how things go with Trupanion and will drop them like a hot potato if I have any ridiculous issues….And no, I don’t work for them, I’m a social worker…

  • Sarah

    Also I am curious Matthew as to what insurance you use? I am in Canada so my options may be different.

  • Matthew

    Sarah, I purchased a policy through PetPlan for my Frenchie girl. I don’t know if they’re licensed for business in Canada. You can go to their website to obtain a quote. They also have a Facebook page. I’ve had good experiences with them so far. They’ll cover illnesses and injuries as long as its not a pre-existing condition. My vet wrote a letter that I forwarded to Petplan when my girl was 6 mos. old stating that she didn’t have any pre-exisiting conditions because I was wanted to be covered for joint, allergy and breathing issues that Frenchies have.

    I hope that you have fun with your Frenchie. They’re different, in a good way, from any other dog that I’ve had. Good luck.

  • Sarah

    I have already signed up with Trupanion, have you had a bad experience with them or something? I have read mixed reviews about basically all the insurances and Trupanion does really seem like the best option from the 5-6 others Ive checked out in terms of prices and what they cover. I will look at PetPlan though. I wanted to get the insurance for the things as you’ve noted: their breathing problems from enlarged palette I believe as well as spine problems they may get.

  • Matthew

    Sarah, I was originally going to sign up with Trupanion, but found that they’re not licensed for business in Hawaii, so I don’t have person experience with them. I found this website after signing up with Petplan. The negative posts combined with the sometimes contradictory responses from the Trupanion rep made feel lucky that I didn’t enroll with them.

    I hope everything works our for you and your Frenchie.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Matthew,
      Thank you for your honest feedback as a customer going through the pet insurance shopping process. Frenchies are such wonderful, fun dogs and I’m glad you made the decision to insure her (though I hope your pup is one of the lucky ones and doesn’t experience any serious health issues!).
      Also just to note, Trupanion is licensed for business in Hawaii.
      Thanks!

  • Matthew

    Stacy, I called Trupanion in the first quarter of 2010 and was told by your representative that you weren’t licensed in Hawaii.

    Thanks.

  • Sarah

    Stacy, I have a question. I just received my puppies vet information in the mail from the breeder. My frenchie went to the vet for his check up and his slip shows he had his vaccines. I signed up for Trupanion after this checkup, this is ok right? He of course will be going again in a few weeks for his needles but this initial 1st vaccinne checkup can be considered his first checkup and therefor determine if there were any pre-existing conditions such as diarehha, fleas, etc…?? He had a clean bill of health from the vet on his first visit and no symptoms of anything now just a happy little pup!

  • Sarah

    Dates are: Vaccines on April 4th, I signed up for Trupanion about 4 days ago, and his next vet appointment is April 25th. So I can use his first vet checkup as his initial exam clearing him of any sickness or pre-existing conditions correct? I have no reason to believe he will have sickness this next vet checkup but I want to check the guidelines here to be certain of qualifications if god forbid he does have something wrong!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Once the waiting periods pass (5 days for accidents and 30 days for illnesses) then you can be assured that anything that happens would be covered. Waiting periods are standard with all pet insurance companies. If he were to get sick during the waiting period, it would not be eligible for coverage, but it sounds like he’s a pretty healthy pup so I don’t think there is anything to worry about!

  • Melinda

    Hi Stacy-
    Can you fill us in a bit more on the breeding category at Trupanion. I just signed up (in the 30 day waiting/trial period). I categorized my intact Chow as breeding and will be paying the extra premium. Tks in advance for any info.
    Melinda

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Melinda,
      I’d be glad to provide more information! Our regular policy for non-breeding pets excludes a few conditions related to the pet being intact due to higher risks such as mammary tumors, testicular tumors, ovarian conditions etc. (see section 5.f.(1) of our policy). Categorizing a pet as a breeding pet provides coverage for all of those conditions that would otherwise be excluded. It also provides coverage for any complications which may occur during pregnancy, but does not extend to routine breeding care. I hope that helps! Feel free to give us a call to further discuss – 800-569-7913

  • Tali

    Beware of Trupanion as it seems they could care less if your dog dies or not. How can a possible toxin or foreign object ingestion could be suspected as pre-existent when it happened 7 months after my dog was insured with this company?I have 5 dogs for of them insured with this company. I was told the definition of pre-existing condition in this company is at their discretion regardless of what the vet says. All my dogs are rescues dogs. One had problems which I had not clue they existed. Yet Trupanion denied my claim claiming it was per existent , i said ok because i was never made aware of a review dispute claim processs and paid over $40000 on my own.That was a several months ago. Recently the same doggie got ill for what could been toxings from eating something or could have been a foreign object ingestion. My vet put the preapproval claim (this is the only vet my dogs have ever going to and trupanion has all medical records for this dog yet Stacy sat on the approval because she suspected my dog had seeing other vets for treatments other than vaccines which is not the case. I told her I did not have any other besides what she already had and her vaccinations at the pet smart for 2010. I adopted this pup when she was about 5 months late 2009 and got her vaccinated on 2010 for the required routine vaccines and never needed vet care until she got sick and took her to my current vet end of 2011. I have not hear from trupanion yet…. Now I’m concern if my other 3 doggies adopted out of a killed shelter ever get sick if they will refused claims because I dont have proof of medical records prior to their adoption. Also it seems Trupanion definition of ” pre-existing” condition is based on their own discretion regarldless of what the vet says so beware… I’m extremely dissapointed with there customer service and their less than transparent process on labeling a condition as pre existing…. Again how can a possible toxin ingestion or foreign object ingestion be suspected to be considered pre-existent when it happened 7 months after my dog was insured with them? ….

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Tali,
      After looking into your policy, it appears that your claim is still in process with no outcome as of yet. We are awaiting the rest of your pet’s medical records before we can continue. It appears as though your claim adjustor has been attempting to contact you with no success so if you could please return her call at your earliest convenience, we can finish processing your claim and let you know of the outcome either way.

  • Maria

    I have two dogs insured with Trupanion. One of them had 3 procedures and all 3 claims were denied. I am cancelling my insurance since there is no point in paying if they deny everything.
    I hate it that I threw all these payments in the trash, it was a waste of money.

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Maria,
      I’m sorry that your recent claims experiences have been less than satisfactory. Unfortunately no pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions and according to your dog’s medical records, the leg was injured a few days prior to your insurance coverage. If you would like, you can have your veterinarian write us a letter explaining how the two injuries are unrelated and we would be glad to re-review your claim. Please give us a call if you have any questions 800-569-7913

  • FrauleinM

    I’m noticing that Trupanion is very clever in not covering Exam Fees, Diagnostic Tests, Etc. This is generally 90% of the bill. They’ll pay for the medication which is marginal. Every time I go to the vet, I ask them to prescribe something so they’ll cover something. It’s a scam!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Fraulein,
      You are correct that Trupanion does not cover exam fees and we make this information readily available on our website as well as in our policy. What we do cover are diagnostic tests, surgeries, treatments, and medications. You can read a more detailed description of what we cover here: http://trupanion.com/pet-insurance/policy-overview

      If you have any concerns about coverage, I encourage you to give us a call so that we can clarify! 800-569-7913

  • Erika L

    DON’T BUY TRUPANION!!! They rejected my claim for my dog’s broken tooth because, prior to coverage, a vet wrote she had some tartar. She’s three years old and has beautiful teeth. Ridiculous and a RIP-OFF!

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Hi Erika,
      I’m sorry to hear about your frustration and hope that your dog’s mouth is feeling much better since treatment. Unfortunately, your dog’s teeth showed signs of tartar prior to coverage which is an early warning sign to further conditions of the teeth such as abscess which is what your dog experienced. Because the first signs appeared before coverage, the condition is considered pre-existing.

      Your claim adjuster has also reached out to you providing information on our appeals process, so if the tooth fracture was due to an accident, I encourage you to pursue this route.

      We would be happy to further clarify so please give us a call if you have any concerns or questions. 800-569-7913

  • AMMW

    Is there a grace period of continued coverage with trupanion after the policy is canceled? Like 14 days?

    • Stacy at Trupanion

      Your policy is active through the time period for which you paid. For example, if your billing date was the 15th of the month, and you canceled your policy on the 14th, then it would only be active for one more day. But if you canceled on the 20th, then you would have until the 15th of the following calendar month.

  • Walter B

    I signed up for Trupanion on 4/26. I now have been trying to cancel within the 30 day allowance period for a full refund. I have sent 3 emails and have had no response. At least I can dispute the charges on my cc.
    In reading the dispute above about the dogs tooth and tarter. That is incredable how it can be used to deny a claim. The dog is 3 years old. But that is not my battle.

  • Jessica

    So far Trupanion has been the biggest waste of my money. We have a 2-year fox terrier that has meningoencephilitis (an inflammatory brain disease). Trupanion had denied ALL my past claims, but my vet said this was definitely NOT pre-existing. We had my dogs spinal tap fluid tested for infectious diseases and every thing possible to prove this. Trupanion took the longest possible time to gather information from all my past vets. They then went through all the past doctors notes (all observations, not test results) looking for any information that would give them an excuse not to cover over $6000 in claims. The reasons they stated for “pre-existing” were random notes that doctors wrote while observing my dog in exams. Example: “Dog shakes.” Wouldn’t your dog shake every time a male came near them after being beaten by them as a puppy? All notes were well over a year old and no longer apparent. In fact, all the information they pulled were from visits before we discovered my dogs food allergies. When I called Trupanion asking them why they didn’t take my dogs recent doctor’s notes, spinal tap and blood results into consideration (all stating and proving this was a sudden illness), they kept saying, “we have to do things in black and white. And what’s on paper is what we have to go off of.” I argued with them and realized that they KNEW denying my claims were BS. Their main goal is not to help pay for unforeseen medical costs, but to do anything possible not to pay out. I’m now in the appeals process with my veterinarian on board. Trupanion’s only redeeming quality is its customer service (unless you get someone from the Puerto Rico location. Then you’re really screwed). I really need help paying for my dogs illness and am at a loss of what to do if Trupanion, undoubtedly, denies my appeal. I do not recommend this company UNLESS you have a new puppy.

  • rictor noren

    I’ve had Trupanion insurance for 5 years. They’ve denied ever claim we’ve made, and even told us that we weren’t doing our part to ensure the health of our dog.

    We finally submitted a dental bill for 1900.00 and were told that we weren’t providing adequate preventative dental care at home. We brush our dog’s teeth every day and often 2 times a day. Our vet said that given our home care regimen, it was genetic.

    When I told this to the woman on the phone her response was “I just work here.” I said “of course you do, that’s why I’m contacting you.”

    We cancelled this week, and I would strongly encourage others considering Trupanion to think otherwise.

  • Lisa Spano

    My three-year-old Shih Tzu was just diagnosed with a liver shunt which is a congenital disease and should be covered under my policy. To date I have been rejected three times through appeal processes as Trupanion refuses to cover the expenses and operation needed for my dog. The reason they give is because she showed a “symptom” at her two-year comprehensive visit (the year before) when she had routine blood work and her liver enzymes were “slightly elevated”….so slight that the Vet did not even disclose or document it. At her 3 year comprehensive visit, routine blood work was done again and the enzymes came back elevated at which time the vet informed me and let me know that she wanted to put her on Denamarin (medicine) for a month as she suspected she might have eaten something that cause the liver enzymes to elevate. One month later at a follow-up visit the blood work was done it again in the liver enzymes were extremely high which prompted the vet to order a ultrasound which then confirmed that she has a congenital disease called a liver shunt. The vet let me know the specifics of the operation and said that it should be covered under my insurance if my policy covers congenital diseases which it does. I then contacted Trupanion and they rejected each and every claim that I submitted. Because of the alleged “sign” that was never disclosed to me, they are now refusing to pay for any services related to this congenital disease of my pet. What started as very upsetting news that our pet was ill has now escalated to a horrific experience of being denied insurance and not being able to afford the high costs involved in the needed operation. Under no circumstances would I recommend this insurance to anyone! I am looking to pursue this issue legally. If anyone has had a similar issue and/or can recommend someone that can assist in pursuing this matter, kindly let me know.

  • Jen

    I will never recommend this company to anyone! I called multiple times before I started a policy, what they told me seemed to good to be true. I asked multiple times, whats the catch. Sure enough after paying $50 a month for over a year, I finally had to use them. What a joke. $1200 vet bill that was broken up in 2 vet visits (so I could actually afford to pay it) and Trupanion says it is not the same problem! I called to verify it was indeed the same incident. They then said I need to have my vet email them a letter with all the info. So now I am begging my poor vet to take time out of his practice to email a ridiculous letter because one word was omitted from the issue description.

    On top of this they have changed my policy 3 times without telling me, resulting in being charged $10 more monthly for the last 7 months. So now I have to fight to not only get my vet bill paid, but reimbursed for the monthly fraud!

    Please take warning! This company is a scam. I know we all want to do whats best for our loved ones, but this will only stress and hurt you in the end!

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