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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 some of the differences between Trupanion and Fetch.

Are these features important to you?

Vet Direct Pay Can pay participating hospitals directly No automatic process to pay veterinarians directly
No age-based restrictions in payouts and coverage

Does not discriminate based on pet's age at enrollment

Limits reimbursement and deductible options at enrollment for older pets

We don’t restrict coverage with long waiting periods

Like most companies, Fetch has waiting periods for injuries and illnesses following enrollment. This is completely normal, and Trupanion has a 12-day delayed effective date.*

However, Fetch has a six-month waiting period for any treatment associated with damage or rupture of cruciate ligaments, luxation of the patella, or other soft tissue disorders of the knee.

Six months may not seem like a long time to wait, but we’ve found that cruciate ruptures and luxating patellas are two of Trupanion’s most commonly claimed conditions and some of the costliest to treat. According to Trupanion claims data, a Labrador Retriever that is between the ages of 2 and 7 years old is 70% more likely than the average dog to experience a cruciate rupture, and treatment will likely cost the pet owner nearly $4,100.00.

You can have the six-month waiting period reduced, but in order to do so you must visit your veterinarian within your first 30 days of enrollment and get a special examination that provides documentation showing that your pet doesn’t have any pre-existing conditions related to their knees. This is just one more restriction that costs you time and money. And if you miss the window for waiving this restriction, you could find yourself in a difficult financial situation. This is a terrible experience for a pet owner who is trying to do the right thing and get the protection of medical insurance for their pet.

Trupanion has one short 12-day delayed effective date. That’s it. And then you have the complete coverage of The Trupanion Plan.*

We don’t penalize pet owners with unexpected restrictions

It’s important for your pet’s health to have a yearly checkup. This crucial part of your pet’s normal veterinary care has the unfortunate potential to reduce your pet’s coverage with Fetch—all because of their annual wellness exam.

Fetch requires any pet under the age of 6 to be examined by a veterinarian within the past 12 months prior to enrollment to determine any pre-existing conditions. This all seems pretty standard and not particularly concerning. What is concerning is that this same stipulation that applies to new policies also applies to your continuous coverage. Enrolled pets under the age of 6 must continue to have yearly veterinary checkups. If for some reason you miss that annual health check they require, that next exam will be used to determine if any conditions will be excluded.

We’re not sure how severely they adhere to this—what if, for instance, you are just a few weeks past due for that annual exam? It appears that any conditions discovered at that next annual exam might now be considered pre-existing even though you’ve had continuous coverage. It also seems that even previously covered conditions will now be considered pre-existing, as well.

While it’s quite normal to require that a pet receive an annual health checkup, in our opinion the condition of using this as a way to exclude conditions seems unfair, especially when it comes to renewals where there hasn’t been any lapse in coverage. Fetch mentions this condition at least three times in their policy, so clearly they are taking it very seriously. That’s why we think pet owners should be aware of this policy stipulation.

We can pay your veterinarian directly

Rather than having the traditional insurance reimbursement model, Trupanion has changed the game and created a process that, once again, puts our members first. We can pay your veterinarian directly, before you even leave the hospital. We don’t want you to pay out of pocket and we think you probably don’t either. We don’t want you to have to worry about what’s going to get covered. In many cases, our direct pay option requires no paperwork and no phone calls from the pet owner.

Fetch only reimburses pet owners once they have already paid their veterinary bill, or if you call in during their open hours and request a special pre-approval.

Ask your hospital if they have the ability to accept direct payment from Trupanion. If they don’t, ask them to contact us so we can work with them to help ensure you’ll have the best experience possible.

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

Trupanion is unique because we are the only provider of medical insurance for pets that uses your pet’s age at enrollment to determine your plan’s price—for life. For example, if you sign up your puppy at eight weeks old, we’ll price them as an 8-week old for their entire life. This doesn’t mean your rates will never change as a Trupanion member. All insurers must increase or decrease rates due to changes in the cost of veterinary care. And while your pet has Trupanion coverage, your monthly cost 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 of our members.

But some providers including Fetch, use what’s called “birthday pricing.” Birthday pricing means that an insurer will automatically raise your rate when your pet gets older—on top of all other increases that account for inflation or other factors.

Trupanion considers cost for the entire life of your pet. Our pricing reflects a shared risk with all responsible, loving pet owners like you that sign up their pets at the same age. This is regardless of if the pet was signed up last month or last decade. When we have a price increase, it ultimately means that we can continue to offer our members the same value as we always have. This is our pricing promise to our members.

We have no deductible and offer a flexible payout percentage

Fetch has two deductible options: an annual deductible or an annual per condition deductible.

If you choose Fetch’s annual deductible, you’ll be required to meet the deductible once a year. Which means if your pet develops a chronic condition, you’ll pay for the same condition over and over, year after year. If you choose their second option—annual per condition option—Fetch requires that you meet your chosen deductible both annually and per-condition.

Many pets deal with only a few unrelated conditions over the course of their life. For a pet that is insured for 10 years that has one or two veterinary issues per year, you could pay your deductible at least 10 or 15 times if all the conditions affect your pet only a single time. If they have chronic conditions, you could pay up to 20 or 30 deductible payments.

For example, if your pet has diabetes and you’ve selected a $300 deductible, you’ll be out of pocket $300 before Fetch begins to pay. And if your pet also develops a skin condition due to allergies in within the same year, you’ll be out of pocket another $300 before Fetch begins to pay for this condition. And that amount is reset annually—every year you’ll be out of pocket $600 just for these two conditions.

The Trupanion Plan has no deductible. That’s right, we don’t have a set amount you have to meet before your coverage kicks in. And we let you decide what we pay. If a new illness or injury occurs after our 12-day delayed effective date, the Trupanion Plan starts paying.*

And our flexible payout percentage allows you to have maximum control over your monthly costs by choosing a payout percentage that works for you.

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

Have questions? Call 844.583.1534.
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* Maine residents: If your pet has received a full physical vet exam within the last 24 hours, our complete coverage starts with your first payment. We will start completing a Medical Record Summary for your pet immediately after enrollment, with no waiting periods or delayed effective date.