This is the second in a series of posts on a recent Consumer Reports review of the pet insurance industry. Click to read the first post and second post in the series.
On Friday, August 13, Consumer Reports released a review of the pet insurance industry, comparing nine policies from four companies, including Trupanion. We are happy to say that Trupanion was named as the most cost-effective pet insurance company, mirroring what Consumer Reports is looking for in a preferred plan. In previous posts we explained a few of the points made about Trupanion. Today, I want to expand on some of the points made about our competition.
First, the report states that the “ASPCA limits coverage to “reasonable costs” based on veterinary pricing in the area in which the fee was incurred.”
‘Reasonable costs’ are common in the pet insurance industry. This basically means that a pet insurance company will only pay what they think is a ‘reasonable’ charge for your claim, not the actual amount your veterinarian charged. For example, if your veterinarian charged you $1,000 for a surgery, but your insurance company feels that the charge should have been $500, you would only be reimbursed $500. Trupanion does not believe in these conditions. We do not impose ‘reasonable costs’. We pay 90% of the actual veterinary bill for costs arising from injury or illness, less the veterinary exam fee and deductible, if selected.
Next, the report states that “VPI posts a long schedule on its website outlining the maximum payouts for each illness or injury.” This is also fairly common in the industry. This means that if your pet has a chronic problem, like diabetes, you will only be reimbursed up to a certain amount for that particular illness. So any claim you submit after that maximum payout limit will not be reimbursed. The Trupanion plan has no payout limit over the life of the pet and no limits per year, claim, illness, procedure, or condition.
Finally, the report states that “VPI has its own long list of excluded conditions,” but the report does not list out those exclusions. It is important to be aware of all exclusions in your plan, because your plan may exclude an illness or injury that is common in your pet breed. Important VPI exclusions to be aware of include congenital disorders, hereditary disorders, musculoskeletal disorders in the first 12 months (including hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, osteochondritis dissecans, aseptic necrosis, and cervical vertebral instability), two urinary tract disorders in the first 12 months, age-related ocular disorders, two endocrine disorders in the first 12 months, ACL damage in the first 12 months, collapsed trachea in the first 12 months, and histiocytosis in the first 12 months.
Trupanion, in comparison, does not exclude congenital or hereditary disorders, and the only exclusions in our plan are pre-existing conditions and hip displaysia (for which we offer optional coverage for dogs and cats enrolled before their 1st birthday).
Heather Kalinowski lives in the Seattle area with her husband, two sons, and two rescued pups – an Italian Greyhound named Ava and a Spaniel mix named Jackson. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with her family..