A Vet's Review of Trupanion Pet Insurance

by Frances Wilkerson, DVM

This review discusses coverage and payout structure

To get the most from this review, please read the Guide to Pet Insurance first.
For a detailed look at Trupanion, see Trupanion's Comparison Sheet.


Trupanion has offered pet insurance since 2008 in the USA.

Coverage Overview

In general, Trupanion Pet Insurance covers diagnostics and lab tests, surgery, treatments, hospitalization and prescription medications for accidents/injuries and illnesses.

Trupanion does not cover the exam fee for accidents/injuries and illnesses.

Non-routine dental coverage is more comprehensive than others.

Coverage For Chronic Diseases & Continual Coverage For Chronic Diseases

Trupanion Pet Insurance offers chronic diseases coverage and continual coverage for chronic conditions as part of the base policy, as long as the condition is not pre-existing and has not occurred during the waiting period.

Hereditary & Congenital Coverage

Trupanion covers hereditary and congenital conditions as long as the condition is not pre-existing and has not occurred during the waiting period.

Cancer Coverage

Trupanion covers cancer conditions as long as the condition is not pre-existing and has not occurred during the waiting period.

Coverage For Breed Specific Conditions

Trupanion covers breed specific medical conditions as long as the condition is not pre-existing and has not occurred during the waiting period.

Maximum Payout Structure

Trupanion has an unlimited lifetime maximum payout structure. This maximum payout structure will meet everyone's calculated "Worst Case Scenario Costs". (See: Picking the Right Maximum Payout)

Summary of Coverage and Payout Structure


  • Does not cover exam fee for accidents/injuries and illnesses
  • Is its own underwriter - Does not have a large financial party overseeing underwriting decisions

Good Points

  • Is its own underwriter - Able to make its own decisions about its underwriting terms and conditions
  • Coverage when travel out of state, to Puerto Rico, or to Canada
  • Generous unlimited lifetime maximum payout structure
  • Provides comprehensive coverage in the 5 important areas as part of the base plan:
    1. Chronic disease
    2. Continual coverage for chronic disease
    3. Hereditary/congenital conditions
    4. Cancer
    5. Breed specific conditions

Additional Comments Regarding All Pet Insurance Companies:

  • Make sure you research what customers are saying about the company. A company may have the 5 components that should be part of a pet insurance plan, but the company may not be a hit with customers. Sites to check include but are not limited to, Yelp.com and PetInsuranceReview.com. Things to look for include but are not limited to: How fast are payments paid?, What are customers saying about the pre-existing conditions policy?, How often are claims denied and for what reason?, What is the customer service experience like?
  • Make sure you understand what the waiting periods are.
  • Make sure you understand their bilateral conditions policy.
  • Make sure you understand any requirements that you must adhere to to maintain coverage.
  • Make sure you read the terms and conditions to get a thorough understanding of all exclusions.
  • Make sure you understand how and when your premium can increase.
  • If you change plan levels, there is a possibility that all medical conditions present under the old plan will be considered pre-existing in the new plan. Make sure you ask the company if this is the case.
  • For some companies, pre-existing conditions can be based on symptoms alone, a diagnosis is not needed. For example, if your pet had a cough before you applied for pet insurance and this cough was discussed and written in the pet's medical record, there is the possibility that all future cough conditions, no matter what the cause, would be considered pre-existing - even if there was no treatment given. Make sure you ask the company if this is the case.
  • Pet insurance companies are businesses. The top priority of any business is to make a profit for their stakeholders. Pet insurance companies can and may change your rates and terms to meet that top priority. A change of business ownership or underwriters can also be a catalyst for changes in your rates and terms.

    When you purchase pet insurance make sure you have a realistic understanding of this and how it can affect you.

Additional Reviews:

AKC | ASPCA | Embrace | Figo | Healthy Paws | PetFirst | PetPlan | Pets Best | Trupanion | VPI | 24 Pet Watch

**Disclaimer:This review is meant to supplement not replace your own due diligence. Please read all terms and conditions of the pet insurance plan before you buy.

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