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Trupanion Pet Insurance Reviews: Can You Eliminate The Reimbursement Waiting Game?

Trupanion is one of the oldest pet insurance providers in the industry. It's known for having extensive coverage and a compelling vet direct pay option to eliminate the reimbursement process. Could Trupanion offer the best pet insurance plan for your dog? This content was reviewed by our licensed insurance agent, Michelle Schenker.


Last Updated: May 25, 2023 | 4 min read

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Trupanion is one of the oldest pet insurance providers in the industry and is well known for its option to pay vets directly through Trupanion Express. Offering extensive coverage is something Trupanion has always done, but the premium can be a bit higher than its competitors. But pet insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution, and pricing can vary based on your pet.

As doggy parents, we want our pups to live as long as possible. Purchasing a pet insurance policy can help manage unexpected emergencies by offering financial assistance while tending to our dogs’ medical needs.

Our comprehensive Trupanion pet insurance review explains how Trupanion works, coverage options, and more. We also highlight some notable pros and cons that may be deciding factors for you. Let’s dig in and see if this company is your family’s best pet insurance option.


Trupanion logo
  • One of the only companies with no bilateral exclusions
  • Claims can be paid in less than 5 minutes via Trupanion Express
  • 90% reimbursement and unlimited payouts for all plans
  • Offers enrollment from birth

How Does Trupanion Pet Insurance Work?

  1. You pay a monthly or annual premium to maintain your dog’s insurance coverage.
  2. The waiting periods must pass before your dog is fully covered, and you are eligible to submit claims.
  3. If your pup becomes sick or injured (after your waiting periods), you visit the vet and pay your bill, asking for a detailed receipt with line items for each charge.
  4. You can submit claims via mail, email, or fax. Claims must be submitted within 90 days of the service date.
  5. If your claim is approved, reimbursement will be sent to you.

You also have the option to have Trupanion pay your vet directly instead of going through the reimbursement process called Trupanion Express. Trupanion Express isn’t available everywhere, so ask your vet if this is something their office can work with.

Pros & Cons Of Trupanion

Trupanion was founded in 2000, is underwritten by American Pet Insurance Company, and averages a two-day claim processing average. The company is commended for its extensive coverage, speedy claim processing, and vet direct pay option.

One of the only pet insurance providers that don’t exclude bilateral conditions (a condition that affects both sides of the body)No wellness plan options are available, and it doesn’t cover vet examination fees
Pays 90% reimbursement with no payout limitsQuotes tend to be more expensive compared to other companies
Enrollment is available from birth to 14 years of ageIllness waiting period is 30 days, compared to the market average of 14 days
Offers coverage for additional expenses incurred from alternative therapies such as physical therapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy, and behavioral modification trainingThere is a one-time admin fee of $35, $25, or $0, depending on your state
Your pup is covered in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico.Per-incident deductible, which means you’ll have to pay the deductible for each emergency your pet endures

What Types Of Plans Does Trupanion Offer?

French Bulldog being held by a vet
Trupanion has accident and illness plans with optional add-ons for supplemental coverage.

Accident & Illness Plan

Trupanion’s accident and illness plan cover accident-related claims, such as broken bones, foreign body ingestion, torn nail, etc., and illness-related claims, such as allergies, cancer, arthritis, vomiting, and diarrhea. These plans are the most extensive option available. Pets cannot be older than 14 years old at enrollment.

Accident and illness plans are somewhat limited in customizations compared to other pet insurance providers. All Trupanion plans have a 90% reimbursement with unlimited annual payouts. However, you can choose your deductible from $0 to $1,000 (in $5 increments), which can help you fit the cost into your budget. We’d also like to point out that Trupanion is one of the only pet insurance companies to offer a $0 deductible.

Your monthly premium is based on your dog’s breed, age, location, pre-existing conditions, etc. It’s best to sign your dog up for insurance sooner than later to minimize exclusions from pre-existing conditions they may experience with age.

Waiting Periods

Trupanion has the following waiting periods before coverage kicks in for a condition.

  • Illnesses: 30 days
  • Accidents: 5 days
  • Cruciate Ligaments: 30 days
  • Hip Dysplasia: 30 days

Optional Add-Ons

Trupanion has two optional add-ons for Recovery And Complementary Care and Pet Owner Assistance. Each comes with a fee. These add-ons can be removed or added at annual policy renewal.

Recovery And Complementary Care Rider

The cost of this package fluctuates based on your dog and is an additional charge in conjunction with your insurance premium. This package includes the following coverage:

  • Acupuncture
  • Behavioral modification
  • Chiropractic
  • Homeopathy
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Naturopathy
  • Physical therapy
  • Rehabilitative therapy

Pet Owner Assistance

This package costs an additional $4.95 per month on top of your insurance premium. This package includes the following coverage:

  • Advertising and reward (up to $500)
  • Boarding fees in the event you are hospitalized (up to $500)
  • Liability coverage for third-party property damage (up to $25,000)
  • Cremation or burial for deaths due to accident (up to $100)
  • Holiday vacation cancellation costs (up to $1,000)

Frequently Asked Questions

Pet insurance paperwork
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Trupanion.

Why Is Trupanion So Expensive?

Trupanion has a set 90% reimbursement and unlimited payouts for all of its accident and illness pet insurance policies. Because this results in more reimbursement and coverage potential for high vet bills, Trupanion’s premiums are higher than the industry average.

Is Trupanion A Yearly Deductible?

Unlike the majority of its competitors, Trupanion offers a per-condition lifetime deductible. For each new condition/incident your pet has, you will only need to pay that deductible once. Most competitors have an annual deductible, which means your deductible only needs to be paid once each year, no matter the condition.

Final Thoughts

There are dozens of pet insurance options, so why should you choose Trupanion? Trupanion’s unlimited payouts and 90% reimbursement for all plans means you’ll be more able to avoid high vet expenses because they’ll foot most of the bill. Trupanion Express is also a compelling feature since it eliminates the reimbursement process entirely for you.

But before signing up, read through your policy carefully to ensure you know what is included and excluded in coverage and that you’re comfortable with the terms. Recognize that pre-existing conditions aren’t covered by any provider, so any ailment you’ve taken your dog to the vet for in the past is most likely excluded from coverage.

Remember, getting quotes from several pet insurance providers to compare cost and coverage is advantageous. Just because a company is typically among the lowest price doesn’t mean it’s always the best value or that it will be the lowest for you. And a low price is only good if the coverage meets your unique needs, so read the policy closely before enrolling.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety or care advice. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, insurance expert, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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