Trupanion vs. Embrace

When looking into medical insurance for your pet, it's very important to get the facts and read the fine print. Be sure to do your research before making your decision. To make life a little easier, we’ve done some of that for you – read on to learn about the differences between Trupanion and Embrace.


Trupanion EMBRACE
Unlimited payouts Yes. No caps or limits on the amount the Trupanion policy pays out. No, all plans have annual limits on how much they'll pay out on claims
6 month waiting period for orthopedic issues No. Instead, waiting periods for all injuries are 5 days and for all illnesses are 30 days Yes, unless waived by a veterinarian signing a "report card" within first 30 days of the policy
Increases rates annually because pet is getting older No, ups and downs in rates are only due to change sin the cost of care or owner location Yes, automatically increases rates every year because pet age increases, in addition to other adjustments
24/7 support Customer care available 100% of the week Open less than 37% of the week.
M – F 8:30am – 8pm, Sat 9am – 1pm
Direct payment to veterinarians Can pay participating hospitals directly for all eligible claims Can only pay wellness claims automatically

We love informed decisions. See our policy for full coverage details.

Unlimited payouts

You never want your cat or dog to get sick or injured, but the unexpected happens — that’s where medical insurance can help. But if you’re limited by what your coverage can actually help you pay for, you may find yourself in a tough situation.

Trupanion has no payout limits. This means that no matter how high the bill or how many claims we have to pay for your pet, you never have to worry about running out of coverage.

Other companies often have annual limits. At most, Embrace will cover 90% of the veterinary bill up to $30,000 a year. That might seem like enough, but just in 2018 alone, the Trupanion policy paid out over $4 million in single claims that are $10,000 or more, including a payout for a single claim for over $71,000 .

See this example of annual limits options on Embrace’s website:

Embrace - Annual Reimbursement Limits

6 month waiting period for orthopedic issues

Like all companies, Embrace has waiting periods for injuries and illnesses following enrollment. This is completely normal, and Trupanion has them too. However, in addition to normal waiting periods, with Embrace there is also a 6 month waiting period for any treatment associated with any orthopedic issue. That can include hip dysplasia, cruciate ruptures, and luxating patellas.

Six months may not seem like a long time to wait, but we’ve found that both cruciate ruptures and luxating patellas are two of Trupanion’s most commonly claimed conditions and some of the most costly to treat. According to our database of claims, a Labrador Retriever that is between the ages of 2 and 7 years old is 80% more likely than the average dog to experience a cruciate rupture, and treatment will likely cost the pet owner nearly $4,000.

See this in Embrace's own policy wording:

Embrace - waiting periods for orthopedic issues

Embrace, Pet Health Insurance Policy, Page 4, Part I – Definitions, 8. Screenshot taken 10/21/2019.

You can have the 6 month waiting period reduced, however, but in order to do so you must visit your veterinarian after enrollment and get a special examination (determined by Embrace) that documents that your pet doesn’t have any pre-existing conditions related to orthopedic issues. This is just one more restriction that costs you time and money. And if you miss the opportunity to waive this restriction  or if your dog has had any limping or any knee issue in the past (even unrelated to these conditions), unfortunately, you could find yourself in a tough spot.

We love informed decisions. See our policy for full coverage details.

We don’t raise rates just because your pet has a birthday

Trupanion is unique because we are one of the only pet medical insurance company to always use your pet’s age at enrollment to determine your policy’s price.

Embrace, like most other pet health insurance companies besides Trupanion, use what is called “birthday pricing.”

Birthday pricing means that an insurer is likely to automatically raise your rates when a pet has a birthday, on top of any rate changes for inflation or other factors.

If your pet has a Trupanion policy, in our eyes they will always be the age they were when they enrolled.

For example, if your dog enrolls when they’re 8 weeks old, we’ll price them as an 8-week old for their entire life. They’ll be a puppy forever—both in your heart and your monthly cost.

When it comes to pricing, Trupanion is different. We know medical insurance is for the life of your pet, so we share the risk with all responsible, loving pet owners like you that enroll their pets at the same age, regardless if they enrolled last month or last decade.

Now, we aren’t saying that your rates will never change if you enroll with Trupanion. Like Embrace or other companies, we too must increase or decrease rates due to changes in the cost of veterinary care.

During your time as a Trupanion member, your monthly payment will go up or down based upon the underlying costs of all pets within your sub-categories. That’s how we share the risk fairly among all Trupanion members.

A price increase ultimately means that we can continue to offer our members the same value as we always have. It’s not about making money, it’s about providing our members what we said we would.

24/7 Support

Our call center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, even on holidays. Try calling Embrace at 3am on Sunday to see if your emergency treatment is covered, and all you’ll get is an automated robot.

Trupanion remains committed to our members whenever they need us. We know that those midnight calls can make a difference to the way your veterinarian treats a life-threatening situation and that’s why we make sure we’re there for you whenever you might need us.

Embrace is only available for coverage questions M-F, 8:30am – 8pm, and Saturday 9am – 1pm ET, that means they’re open less than 37% of the week, as opposed to Trupanion being open 100% of the week.

We can pay your veterinarian directly

Only Trupanion can pay veterinarians directly in minutes at checkout for all eligible claims with our unique software system.

There’s no more paying out of pocket and waiting for a reimbursement check. All you have to do is pay your portion of the bill, and we cover the rest directly with your veterinary hospital.

In many cases, our direct pay option requires no paperwork or phone calls from the pet owner.

Embrace may be able to reimburse you directly for wellness claims, but cannot do so for accident or illness claims.