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The inspiration for Trupanion, my childhood dog Mitzy

My name is Darryl, and I had the idea for Trupanion when I was only 14 years old.

I’ve been a pet-lover from a young age. When I was little, my family had a beautiful black dog named Mitzy.

One day, my family rushed Mitzy to the emergency veterinarian where we learned she had a twisted stomach. At only two years old, she needed surgery to save her life. It was a relatively routine procedure, but my family just didn’t have the $7,000 to afford her surgery.

I was heartbroken when Mitzy passed.

Growing up, I never forgot her or how preventable her death was. I knew there had to be a better way of handling a problem faced by so many pet owners – how to fund unexpected veterinary costs.

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Mitzy, Darryl's childhood dog

The beginnings of Trupanion

Fast forward 15 years. I graduated from college and made some money in different career paths, but I never felt content. At that same time I did something that would forever change my path: I adopted a dog named Monty.

Monty became my constant companion who kept my heart in the right place. I loved being a new pet owner, and the idea of building a pet medical insurance company slowly began to take shape. I dreamed of creating a company that was valuable to pet owners, their pets, and veterinarians. At the time, traditional pet insurance companies caused rifts between pet owners and veterinarians. Claims for common injuries and illnesses were denied, policies could be dropped for filing too many claims, and it could take weeks to get reimbursed for procedures that cost thousands of dollars. Even if my family had pet insurance for Mitzy, it wouldn’t have saved her life. There’s no way we could have paid her $7,000 bill and waited weeks to get that money back.

The first days working for Trupanion were spent on my boat, The Brisa. Monty and I would work for hours, then nap on the deck in the sunshine. It wasn’t a bad life.

Eventually, I was able to move off the boat and into an office. I insured my first pet (Monty, of course) in 2000, then insured 100 pets in 2001, and 1,000 pets in 2002. Slowly, I saw my dream come true – pet owners could now afford life-saving coverage for their cats and dogs and veterinarians could practice the best medicine. Today, Trupanion has grown to a team of around 500 employees, with nearly .5 million insured cats and dogs, and relationships with over 20,000 veterinarians in the US and Canada.

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Darryl and Monty on his boat, The Brisa

What this means for you

My team of smart, hardworking pet lovers work side-by-side with veterinarians to build a policy that works over the lifetime of your pet. We are the only company that can offer you:

  • 90% reimbursement with no payout limits for every enrolled pet, so you don’t feel financially overwhelmed in a time of need.
  • One simple policy developed by veterinarians so you can be sure your best friend is covered for all new injuries and illnesses.
  • The ability to pay our portion of the bill directly to your veterinarian as you check out, so you don’t wait weeks for a reimbursement check.

Terms and conditions apply.   See the full policy for details

I am extremely proud of our policy and this company, and I know the work we do is helping save the lives of cats and dogs. I truly believe that if Mitzy had Trupanion pet medical insurance all those years ago, she would have lived a much longer and healthier life.


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Darryl Rawlings, Founder and CEO

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If you’d like more information on how we’re innovating in the pet insurance industry, please give us a call at 855.210.8749. We’re available 24/7 for you and your pets.

If you’d like to get in touch with me personally, please send an email to
Darryl.feedback@trupanion.com.


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