The true cost of limited payouts

When an injury or illness strikes, there's no telling how severe it will be. Your pet may be lucky and not require medical attention, or your pet may be unlucky.

And if something bad does happen to your pet, what then?

Your pet's medical bills could be unaffordable.

If the worst happens and your pet needs extensive treatment (think diagnostic tests, imaging, surgeries, and hospitalization), the bill you’re facing could be a lot more than you think.

Domino the dog

REIMBURSED: $98,012.24

Condition: Lymphoma

Rexford the cat

REIMBURSED: $19,031.43

Condition: Urinary obstruction

Kendra the dog

REIMBURSED: $47,401.08

Condition: Arthritis, Adenocarcinoma

So you should just pick a pet insurance company and get protection for those worst-case scenarios, right?

Unfortunately, it’s not that straight-forward.

Not all pet insurance payouts are created equal

If you’ve done research on medical insurance for pets, you’ll notice that companies will talk about a reimbursement percentage (like 70%, 80%, and 90%) and they also talk about “payouts.”

When pet insurance companies talk about “payouts,” they are referring to the maximum amount of money they are willing to give back to pet owners.

Pet insurance companies disclose payouts when you first enroll in a policy, and payouts are restricted in one of three ways:


Coverage maxes out based on how much money has been paid toward a certain condition.


A pet insurance company says they will not pay more than $5,000 for treatments related to diabetes. If your pet has diabetes, once you’ve been reimbursed $5,000 you’re on your own for all costs related to diabetes for the rest of your pet’s lifetime.


You have a maximum reimbursement amount that can be paid out in a policy year.


Most pet insurance companies have pet owners pick their annual limit amount. If your annual limit is $2,000, that’s the most you’ll get back from your insurance provider each year, even if your pet’s medical conditions cost thousands more.


You are reimbursed a set dollar amount, and then the insurance policy stops paying out.


A pet insurance company has a lifetime limit of $10,000. If you spend more than that much money on your pet’s medical conditions over their lifetime, you’ll have to pay anything over $10,000 out of pocket.

With limited payouts, you just have to hope that your pet never experiences a condition that will cost more than the pet insurance company is willing to pay out.

Most pet insurance companies have payout limits

If your cat or dog is unlucky and you have pet insurance with a company that limits payouts, you may not get help when you really need it.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been making monthly payments for the past 5 years, you can’t get any more money from your pet insurance company than a payout limit allows.

After paying your premiums month-after-month, how do you think you’d feel if your pet insurance company refused to pay out any more because you’ve reached a financial ceiling?

Meanwhile, your pet is still in need of medical attention and the bills just keep mounting.

In a review of the more prominent pet insurance companies, quite a few have limits on their payouts:


Always unlimited payouts


Annual limits starting at $5,000


Option for annual limits starting at $2,500


Reimburses on a set benefit schedule


Annual limits starting at $10,000


Annual limits starting at $1,000

To complicate matters further, if pet insurance companies do claim to offer unlimited coverage, they may pay for this benefit by automatically raising your monthly rate as your pet gets older.

Trupanion always offers unlimited payouts

If pet insurance is meant to give your four-legged best friend the absolute best veterinary care possible, then it doesn’t make sense to pay for a policy that could come up short.

A Trupanion policy will never limit your coverage with caps or financial ceilings of any kind.

According to Pet Insurance University, our unlimited payout structure “will meet everyone’s calculated “worst case scenario” costs.” It’s also part of the reason why Wirecutter, a New York Times company, rated us as the best pet insurance option.

With no per incident, annual, or lifetime limits, you can choose the best care possible for your pet without having to hit a predetermined financial ceiling.

Plus, we don’t make you pay for this unlimited payout benefit by increasing your pet’s monthly cost as they age.

You deserve to be in complete control of your pet’s health care, and you should never have to settle for substandard treatment because your insurance company will not pay.

Don’t fear visits to the veterinarian. Rest assured that no matter what the future has in store, a Trupanion policy will support every enrolled pet with 90% reimbursement and unlimited payouts.

Get your pet's quote
Terms and conditions apply. See the full policy for details.