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Pet Health Insurance Company Interview: Trupanion

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Pet Insurance Interviews > Trupanion Insurance

Update March 2013: New coverage policies in effect

This interview is part of a continuing series of pet health insurance company interviews. I am using the same ten questions for a variety of veterinary health insurers so that viewers can learn about each company and compare what plans are available. In this interview, Joe Anderson, a representative from Trupanion insurance, answers ten questions about pet care plans available through Trupanion.

NOTE: Trupanion is a sister company to Vetinsurance in Canada, that Joe also provided interview answers for.

Question 1: How long has your company been in business, and where are you based?

Answer 1: We started in 1999 in Canada under the name Vetinsurance and issued our first policy in December of 2000. We expanded to the US under the name Trupanion in January of 2008, and Puerto Rico in July 2011. We now go under the name Trupanion in Canada as well as the US and Puerto Rico. Our original office was in Vancouver, BC and we now maintain that office as well as a Seattle, WA office.

Question 2: Are clients able to go to any veterinarian, or only through your insurance providers?

Answer 2: Clients can choose any licensed veterinarian in the Canada, the US or Puerto Rico, including referral specialists and emergency clinics. Trupanion follows an indemnity insurance (reimbursement) model where the pet owner pays his or her veterinarian upfront, then submits the claim to us. We would then reimburse the pet owner 90% for approved claims based off of the actual veterinary costs that the pet owner incurred.

Question 3: Are hereditary and breed-related conditions covered?

Answer 3: Yes, Trupanion covers all hereditary and breed-related conditions, as long as they haven’t shown signs or symptoms prior to full coverage eligibility. Hip Dysplasia is the one exception, as that is not covered under our core plan. We do, however, offer an optional package that includes Hip Dysplasia coverage for those concerned about it.

Question 4: Are age-related (senior) checkups, illnesses, and medications covered?

Answer 4: Senior checkups are not currently included in the Trupanion plan, as this qualifies as preventive or routine care, which we do not cover. Senior illnesses and medications would be covered.

Question 5: Does your company offer wellness plans?

Answer 5: Trupanion does not cover expected veterinary costs (the ones that you can plan for) because we believe that pet owners should keep their dollars in their pocket rather than paying us to handle their checkbook. Dollar trading for routine vet visits would double monthly premiums without adding value. Instead, Trupanion offers an affordable and practical type of pet health insurance that covers unexpected costs that you can't anticipate or budget for.

Question 6: What types or levels of health insurance medical plans are offered?

Answer 6: We offer one plan that covers all accidents and illnesses without imposing a deductible.

Question 7: If a wellness plan is available, can it be added to, or incorporated with, the medical health plan?

Answer 7: NA

Question 8: Is there an annual or lifetime benefit cap?

Answer 8: Trupanion is incredibly unique in our industry in that we have no caps on our coverage. This means there are no per incident, condition, category, claim, year, or lifetime caps on the amount we will cover for you.

Question 9: How are "usual and customary" fees determined?

Answer 9: Trupanion doesn't use a "usual and customary" fee guide of any sort, but rather reimburses based off of actual veterinary bill, subject to fees no greater than the amount charged to any other client of the treating veterinary clinic. Trupanion holds the stance that a pet insurance company should never dictate what veterinarians are charging their clients, and therefore will never set any type of benefit schedule or "usual and customary" fees.

Question 10: What specific things stand out about your company?

Answer 10: : Above all else, Trupanion cares about pets. From the top of the company down, everyone here is a "pet person." We all do what we do because we’ve been there and know what it feels like to face the anxiety and uncertainty of a sick pet. Our mission is to take away the financial aspect of the anxiety and ensure you can focus on getting your pet well again, without the worry of how high the vet bills will go or “Will my insurance company pay for this?"

Thank you, Joe Anderson, for taking time to answer these questions.

Please visit the Trupanion web site to learn more and ask any specific questions you may have. Company web site: Trupanion Pet Insurance

Pet Insurance Interviews > Trupanion Insurance

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