Addressing Trupanion’s negative reviews

As an organization, we’ve helped thousands of pet owners afford life-saving care for their cats and dogs, and the vast majority of our reviews are positive.

But the truth is, there are some people who did not have a good experience with us.

Just about every organization is going to get a few negative reviews. But to us, every review is personal because it concerns the well-being of cats and dogs.

We took a very close look at every one of our negative reviews, and here’s what we discovered:

A breakdown in communication

Have you ever thought you were communicating clearly to someone, only to find that they didn’t understand what you were saying?

It seems that we haven’t been communicating clearly with some of our members.

Their negative experiences are completely our own fault, because we did not do enough to educate them on what they should expect from a Trupanion policy.

In fact, after looking over our negative reviews, almost every negative comment can be traced back to a simple misunderstanding and a breakdown in communication, and we take full responsibility for that.

In an effort to be completely transparent, we are going to present the top areas of misunderstanding based on our negative reviews.

By explaining what caused these issues, we hope that you will:

  1. Understand what we cover
  2. Understand what we don't cover
  3. Use this information to make the most informed decision regarding medical insurance for your pet

Pre-existing conditions – the most common cause of misunderstanding

Pre-existing conditions cause the most worry out of anything in the pet insurance industry, because no pet insurance provider covers them.

And what exactly is a pre-existing condition?

Pet insurance companies use this definition:

Pre-existing condition: A sign or symptom of a medical condition that a pet displayed before enrolling in a pet insurance plan or during the pet insurance plan’s waiting periods.

Any pre-existing condition will not be eligible for coverage if:

  • It occurred during your pet’s waiting periods (the Trupanion policy has a waiting period of 5 days for injuries and 30 days for illnesses)
  • It occurred before your pet was enrolled in a policy

To determine if something is a pre-existing condition or not, Trupanion only looks at medical records starting 18 months before your pet enrolled in our policy. This means if your pet vomited once or twice and has been generally healthy since, their vomiting isn't automatically labeled as a pre-existing condition.

For us to deny something as a pre-existing condition, there has to be a clear note in your pet’s medical records that indicates your pet was unwell prior to enrolling.

We have a team of trained veterinary professionals reviewing claims just to make sure we’re fully understanding your pet’s medical history.

Sometimes we get things wrong, but we have the power to overturn claim decisions when necessary.


“Trupanion denied our claim because of a “pre-existing condition”. That makes no sense. There is no known cause for my cat’s stomach issue. Every vet we know is helping us dispute Trupanion’s reasoning. Based on other peoples’ experiences, I’m not holding my breath.”


“I’m exceptionally happy to update this review. We worked with Trupanion to provide additional documents from our veterinarians. Trupanion reversed their decision because this was clearly an acute condition, and they are paying our claim. Through it all, their customer service team has really been top notch.”

We have a dedicated appeals team that works around the clock to fairly and accurately process claims. Click here to see a detailed, step-by-step breakdown of how we review claims and handle appeals.

What if I think my pet has pre-existing conditions?

Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition or shows symptoms hinting at a pre-existing condition, they are still eligible for coverage of any new injuries and illnesses.

Often, older pets enroll with symptoms of a pre-existing condition that would not be covered. However, the older a pet gets, the more likely they are to develop new issues that may fall under coverage.

If your pet has had multiple illnesses in their lifetime, it may be harder for any new issues to be eligible for coverage and it’s recommended you open a savings account to help with any future health expenses that an insurance policy can’t cover.

The single best way to avoid pre-existing conditions is to enroll your pet while they are young and less likely to have experienced past medical issues.

Other causes of misunderstanding

Though most negative reviews focus on pre-existing conditions, the remaining negative reviews are concerned with policy exclusions, rate increases, and unclear medical records.

Here is an example that shows each area of confusion, and what you can learn from these experiences:
Terms and conditions apply. See the full policy for details.

If you are ever concerned or confused about our claim process, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our customer care team: 888.733.2685.

We are available to help loving pet owners 24/7, because no one should be worried when it comes to their finances or their pet.

A 24/7 lifeline for policyholders

We believe in a system of checks and balances. We know that when people are involved, there is always room for error.

That is why Trupanion has a team of employees dedicated to responding to your claims experience, both positive and negative. Call our award-winning customer care team at any hour of the day and we’ll fight to make sure your claim is processed fairly and accurately.

Trupanion customer care: 888.733.2685

We take our customer feedback seriously and use any information we can to help improve our policy.

Our help isn’t just limited to phone conversations, we are always monitoring social media and review sites for any chance to connect with members.

We want our members to always know where things stand, which is why we make ourselves available 24/7 to help answer any questions, comments, or concerns.

Our goal for the future

Our policy was written with the help of veterinarians to give your pet the best medical care possible. 90% reimbursement, unlimited payouts, and covering all unexpected injuries and illnesses have benefited thousands upon thousands of pets over the years.

But for us, that’s not good enough.

We want every single Trupanion pet and pet owner to have a truly exceptional experience with us. That’s why we will continue working with any and all frustrated policyholders and that’s why we will continue to educate potential policyholders.

Terms and conditions apply. See the full policy for details.
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