Friday, July 17, 2009

Pooches:Trupanion Pet Insurance

Oh the joy of pet insurance, well not exactly. So in an earlier post, we wrote about the joys of being an Embrace Pet Insurance customer, but how quickly this changed in a year. In the past year of having Embrace Pet Insurance for Mr. B, we only filed one claim, which was not reimbursed due to the deductible and the fact that they only reimburse 80% of the vet bill. When it came time to renew, they raised their rates almost 41%. Our premium for Mr. B went from $451 to $635 in one year. They told us in an email that this was due to inflation of veterinary medical costs, but upon further review we discovered that our premium also increased due to Mr. B's age. If we continued with Embrace, the call center representative told us to expect a 20% increase in our premium next year and a smaller percent increase in our premium every year after until Mr. B reaches the age of 10. We calculated that at this rate our premium with Embrace will be over a $1000. We asked them to do some estimates for the next 6 years for us, but we have yet to receive this email. So we went back to square one to look for another pet insurance company. These were things we had to consider when looking at different companies. 1. We looked at the reviews on Pet Insurance Review and further investigated the top five reviews, excluding Embrace. We looked for the more recent reviews and read the ones with older dogs and if there were any premium increases.
2. Are there premium increases with our pet's age? This was an important consideration since Mr. B is 6 years old, which is the age when most pet insurances increase their premiums.
3. Again, we looked at the deductible and the amount paid of the actual veterinary bill.
4. We examined per incident limit, limit per year and any exclusions such as hereditary or congenital disorder (we found that most pet insurance companies are all the same regarding exclusions).

Why we chose Trupanion?
Mainly because they do not raise premiums due to pet aging. Though, they only offer the $20,000 limit with no limits per year, claim, illness, procedure, or condition, we hope and believe that he will never exceed this limit in his lifetime (knock on wood). They have very flexible deductible options and they cover 90% of the veterinary bill arising from injury or illness. Our premium is very reasonable and we have the peace of mind that we will not see a 41% premium increase again, but maybe a 6-10% due to inflation of veterinary medicine costs.

Things to think about regarding Trupanion:
They do not cover the veterinary exam fee, so we will need to pay our deductible, plus our vet's exam fee, which is $75, plus 10% of the rest of the bill. This plan is mainly to safeguard against injuries or illnesses. Also if Mr. B's medical costs exceeds the $20,000 limit, we would have to start a new policy and all of his illnesses and injuries will be considered a preexisting condition. Finally, there is a 5 day waiting period for injuries and a 30 day waiting period for illnesses.

All in all, we are pretty happy with our choice to go with Trupanion for Mr. B and hopefully, we will not be looking for a new pet insurance for several years.


MurphyDog said...

Thanks so much for your experience with both Embrace & Trupanion! It is definitely not an easy choice. So many variables...some cover holistic medicine (which I really like), others dont cover prescriptions (which for a giant breed can get expensive on their own!), some have annual deductibles, others have per incident deductibles. INFORMATION OVERLOAD!

I was finally settled on choosing between the three (trupanion, embrace or PetPlan), but now VPI is changing how they do some of their policies so I am starting to at re-include them in my evaluations. fun stuf!! I do appreciate your help though!

Debbie (Murphy's Mom)

Unknown said...

Nice! I just got Trupanion as well and I have been really happy with their policy and services.

In regards to the $20,000 limit..they got rid of it and no longer have a payout limit. Looks like they are the only company doing that as well. Very cool I think! :) Yay for NO limits!

Monnico said...

I have PestBest and have used it quite a lot with great success in the last few years. The guy who started it was originally from VPI and a vet specialist recommended it as it has good coverage for specialists. So far so good.

TheQueerBird said...

I know this is an old post, but I'm finally buckling down and looking into insurance for Faegan. I had just opened the Embrace website and then read this - thanks for the tips! I'm about to check out Trupanion, but I'm wondering if there's anywhere else you considered? Do you have insurance for both dogs, or just him? thanks!

Two Pitties in the City said...

I didn't do as much research, and Miss M has PetCare insurance which has the breed restrictions, and they are very hard to work with (they mailed be a letter that they would cover something, then after I did the procedure they conveniently lost the letter saying they would cover was a lot of time and frustration). E did a lot of the research and we originally had Embrace which seemed equal to Trupanion but we were so angry when the premium increased drastically. We were able to switch to Trupanion because Mr B hadn't had any problems for that year he was on Embrace. Miss M can never switch over because she already has too many 'pre-existing conditions'.

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