A more recent player on the Pet Health Insurance stage with a bit of a novel approach is trupanion pet medical insurance. Although more recently founded than VPI, trupanion has been in existence for several years and has recently added to their “core” plan to provide optional coverage for Complementary Medical Procedures such as acupuncture and behavioral modification as well as offering coverage for hip dysplasia, a condition specifically excluded in many insurance plans. Although these coverages are optional and require an additional premium it may be of considerable value particularly in species and breeds known to be susceptible to this condition.
Trupanion’s core plan is a 90 % coverage plan with a choice of deductibles. This means that they will pay 90% of incurred expenses of most care after you pay the exam fee and the deductible that you choose. By always requiring the client to be responsible for the initial exam or consultation fee, Trupanion calculates that they can avoid having to pay “frivolous” visits thereby preserving resources for more serious veterinary care. Trupanion also boasts no maximum dollar amount for covered conditions. Given the rapid progress in the sophistication of veterinary care this can be useful in the unfortunate event that your pet suffers a bout with cancer which can demand costly care.
One aspect of this coverage that is unusual is the coverage for dental extractions but not dental cleaning. When contacted a representative from Trupanion explained that dental cleaning is more akin to routine or wellness care. Extractions, however, are more indicative of disease. They will cover the cost of x rays to evaluate whether teeth need to be extracted even in the event that no extractions are performed. Trupanion will also pay a pro rated part of the anesthesia expense since sedation is required in order to take acceptable x rays.
Trupanion appears to be a good value in the veterinary medical care insurance business. Although the premiums are a bit higher than the VPI plan, coverage seems to be more than worth the difference in price. The clarity of how the plan works should also be appreciated by pet owners who like to stay well informed.