Trupanion vs Healthy Paws
If you are a pet owner or a prospective pet owner and you are looking into pet insurance for your pet(s), then you probably have some questions. Some of the terminology can be confusing, and the fine print often needs explaining.
Here, we take a look at two of the major pet insurance companies – Healthy Paws and Trupanion – so you can see the similarities and differences between them. Both located in Seattle, where it is said there are more dogs than kids, that is where most of the similarities stop. For our breakdown, we look at Coverage, Customer Service, Claims, Cost and we do some sample quotes.
Healthy Paws and Trupanion are similar in terms of coverage, but Trupanion has things like Vet Direct Pay that works more like medical insurance and reimburses all qualified claims to 90%, while Healthy Paws has a shorter waiting period for illnesses. Both providers don’t cover exam fees, but Trupanion does offer more add-ons like wellness coverage and pet parent care for things like vacation cancellation and end-of-life arrangements.
|Reimbursement Levels||70%, 80%, 90%||90%|
|Deductible Options||$100, $250, $500||$0 to $1000|
|Waiting Period||15 days for accidents and illnesses||5 days for accidents, 30 days for illnesses|
|Wellness Coverage||Not covered||Add-on|
|Exam Fees||Not covered||Not covered|
|Claim Processing||10 business days||60% in 24 hours|
|Upper age limits||No||No|
|Hip Dysplasia||Before age 6, 12-month waiting period||Covered|
Coverage winner: Trupanion
We like their customizable deductible, and while the monthly may be slightly higher in some cases, they offer coverage for exam fees, wellness care and more options for alternative care than Healthy Paws.
Coverage will vary based on your location (they get this via your zip code when you do a quote), the age of your pet when you apply, the type of pet you have, breed, size, etc. We used a few different options so you could see the difference in the quotes.
To better show some of the rate differences, we did sample quotes for the most common dog breeds in America – a French Bulldog and a Labradoodle. We used a three-year old pet as an example, Phoenix zip code 85008.
French Bulldog, Age 3, Sample Quote
|$500 deductible||$500 deductible|
|70% reimbursement||90% reimbursement|
|$65.20 monthly||$103.56 monthly|
Labradoodle, Age 3 Sample Quote
|$500 deductible||$250 deductible|
|90% reimbursement||90% reimbursement|
|$34.80 monthly||$43.04 monthly|
Cost Winner: Healthy Paws
While Healthy Paws wouldn’t let us modify the deductible options for the French Bulldog, most owners know getting in that Frenchies can be costly when it comes to health issues. We like Healthy Paws is for their single deductible, whereas Trupanion has what’s called a per-incident deductible which can really add up.
One of the most important deciding factors for pet parents looking for pet policies are the claims. Everyone wants a guarantee that a pet insurance policy will cover all ailments. The good news is that if you follow the dictates of the policy and read the fine print, your pet’s vet visits should be covered. However, if you wait until your pet is sick or injured to get a policy, you will not get coverage for claims that include these pre-existing conditions.
Both Healthy Paws and Trupanion have a Vet Direct Pay option, where the vet charges based on a fee schedule and the pet insurance company pays directly to the vet. In these cases, you will not have to pay more than your deductible at the time of the visit.
Trupanion, as all of the other companies, is strict on preexisting conditions and holds its pet parents to all of the clauses in the policy. For a claim, you can’t submit exam fees. That includes getting an exam at your vet and then another one at an optometrist. You can only submit claims for the other services rendered. Also, with Vet Direct Pay, you may pay more a month, but if you have a participating vet, this should take some of the headache out of claim approval.
Healthy Paws Claims
Healthy Paws claims to pay out claims within 10 days, but this time could extend depending on if they need more paperwork or if they have questions about past veterinary care. They encourage you to do everything online and it’s even been stated in several online reviews that pet parents that sent documents via mail or fax had extended delays.
Claims winner: Healthy Paws
For both providers, they are strict on the fine print. Just because you think something should be covered doesn’t mean it will meet their criteria. However, since Trupanion has a fast-growing network of vets in their Direct Pay program, we pulled them ahead as the winner.
Both Healthy Paws and Trupanion have the good, bad and ugly when it comes to consumer reviews. It can be hard to tell from these sites and what is real and what isn’t, and we know that more people review things when they are unhappy.
Here are the common themes we found when analyzing each company’s Yelp reviews:
Common issues include problems with paperwork and needing to find more and more paperwork to get a claim processed along with raising the rates every year even with no claims filed. Customers like the general customer service but not the person behind the claim denials (they even name her!).
People claim that Trupanion takes a long time to cover claims and raises premiums every year – not due to the pet’s age but due to ‘cost of coverage in your area.’ Customers say that customer service reps are nice but that they can classify symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea as pre-existing, including things relating to those conditions in claim denials.
Here’s how to get the best customer satisfaction out of your pet policy:
- Enroll your pet as early as you can
- Keep track of all of your vet bills
- Try to stay with the same insurance company
- Get the best plan you can, going ‘up’ in coverage makes you need to get recertified
- Research your breed and their associated conditions
- Read the fine print again and again
Customer Satisfaction winner: Trupanion
Since they have such a large network of vets that they work with, we believe this will take out some of the claim denials that consumers have to deal with.
Overall winner: Healthy Paws
While we love Trupanion, our analysis shows that their claim pay rate and customer service were about the same. We found that Healthy Paws is more straightforward, and more affordable on a monthly basis.