Pet Insurance 101

As you may know, we’re BIG fans of pet insurance here at Encina, but we’re the biggest fan of Trupanion. We make it a point to talk about pet insurance with every person who comes through the door because we know how hard it can be to come up with a large lump sum of money to treat, care or even save the life of your pet, and we don’t want anyone to not be able to help their beloved furkid.

Here’s why we love Trupanion and what you should know:

Trupanion allows you to choose how much you would like to pay a month and how much of a deductible you would like.
     Example: Sally finds it easier to pay $56/month for her dog Rover, and has a deductible of $250 while John finds it harder for month to month payments so his monthly payment is only $35 with a deductible of $750.

Trupanion pays up to 90% of the bill back to you
     Here is a real claim from Trupanion:

Harmony the 5-year-old mixed-breed dog recently experienced some serious health complications. She was rushed to the emergency vet for lymphocytic/plasmacytic gastroenteritis, which is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Secondary issues with this condition were septicemia and bacterimia which are conditions in which the bloodstream becomes infected by bacteria and can be life-threatening.

Harmony was at the clinic for 6 days receiving surgery, medications, fluids, and regular monitoring. Harmony was released and we are wishing her a quick recovery.

Costs can quickly add up in an emergency situation as you will see below. It’s fortunate that Harmony’s owner had her insured so that she could take care of all the necessary veterinary treatment without cost concerns.

     Total claim amount: $12,216.99
     Deductible applied: $500.00
     Exam fees: -$149.00
     10% co-insurance: -$1159.80
     Trupanion repaid: $10,411.19

Trupanion allows you to add on extra services
     Reward for a lost pet, boarding for your pet should you be hospitalized, acupuncture, physical therapy, feline kidney transplants and more are available through Trupanion

     Other pet insurances may give you a yearly or lifetime limit of how much they will pay out, but Trupanion doesn’t! If you’re unlucky enough to have a dog who eats everything or a cat with a chronic illness, you may find that other pet insurances will say, “ok we’ll cover you but only up until we have spent $5000; after that, you’re on your own!” but that is not the case with Trupanion.

In the end, we feel that Trupanion is a simple plan that gives you the ability to customize it to your financial needs and your pet’s medical needs as well. We like the flexibility they give customers and we love that 90% coverage! If you’re interested in more information, be sure to let us know next time you are in.

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Pet Insurance 101
Pet Insurance 101 graphic created by Trupanion.


  1. Tuck Says says:

    I purchased this policy for my Mom’s dog after these nightmares with AKC and Embrace.

    I use to have the AKC and it was horrible, then I changed to Embrace. I thought they were to good to be true. Yup another illusion of a provider and I am heart broke over it.

    Things have changed and I am not so happy and no longer would ever recommend Embrace (who would have thought but it is true – they showed who they really are).

    The customer service is friendly but the reason we have pet insurance is for that security for our beloved pets not for a friendly voice.

    Embrace is no longer a stellar provider based on my experiences. I appealed a claim and the Chief Underwriter on behalf of RLI Corporation (Embrace) did not even have the right procedures referenced for the proper sides in her written “DENIAL”.

    I really expected to have a review of appeal based upon accuracy not omissions and incorrect references. Clearly if the Chief Underwriter is not capable of that, no wonder things are as they are. You would at least think they would communicate accurate information when they tell you they are denying your appeal. That speaks volumes.

    So heartbreaking to see what has become of Embrace, a provider I would recommend to everyone, well no longer — they also have loop holes.

    I once recommended Embrace highly – never again — so when you see that Embrace is Amazing — roll it forward 1 year — the story is entirely different.

    • Christina says:

      Tuck, sounds like you’ve had quite the experience with pet insurance companies 🙁 Did you know that Trupanion offers a free 30 day trial? Next time you take a trip to your veterinarian, ask them if you can try Trupanion out for free for 30days. They don’t require any payment information so don’t think you will be getting automatically billed once those 30 days are up!

  2. I have done extensive research on Pet Insurance and although I think Trupanion offer a good product they are very expensive and have several restriction that they don’t mention on their website or in the brochure.

    Trupanion claims it does not raise rates as your pet ages, but it will raise rates if the price of
    veterinary care in your area goes up. I think that’s a given since the cost
    of veterinary care has gone up exponentially over the past several years!

    They will also not pay for surgery to repair a Cranial cruciate injury (ACL)
    or ruptured patella until your dog has been insured for at least a year. In some cases they refuse to pay for a ACL repair even if your dog has been insured for a year. They will also not pay to repair a torn ACL if your dog has had previous surgery on the other leg.

    Pet Plan on the other hand will pay to for surgery to repair a torn ACL, but your dog needs to be to insured for
    six months before it will do so. However, that waiting period can be waived
    if your veterinarian will state that the dog’s knees are stable. Although my
    dog had surgery to repair a torn ACL on her left rear leg, PetPlan
    reimbursed me ($4,800 of the $5,000 cost) for surgery to repair her torn ACL
    on her right leg four months later.

    If you compare the two companies, Trupanion is approximately four times as
    expensive as PetPlan. I currently pay $56 a month to
    insure both my dogs (ages 6 and 4 years). This reflects a rate increase from last year’s premium.
    A similar premium with Trupanion would be $174 a month.

    I would suggest that anyone looking to purchase pet insurance not only look at each company’s website, but call
    each of them for clarifications about what’s covered in their policies. When
    I called Trupanion and asked questions about specific types of surgery, they
    were very vague about what they would and wouldn’t cover.

    Trupanion’s website has a cost comparison chart that compares the cost of a
    Trupanion policy with other companies. However, when the site compares the
    cost of their coverage with that of PetPlan, it lists PetPlan’s coverage as
    much more expensive than it actually is.

    • Christina says:

      Hi Candace; thank you for the detailed comment!

      Sounds like you have had a wonderful experience with PetPlan and we’re very happy to hear that. We personally like Trupanion because of the no limits (yearly or lifetime), the ability to customize your payment/deductible and how much they cover. In the end, it’s important each pet owner takes the time to research their options (like you did) and if they have any questions, to call the company direct and ask someone (like you did!). Either way, we encourage all pet owners to find and keep a type of pet insurance they feel comfortable with and whatever fits them best; it can literally be the choice between life and death for your pet!