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Having a pet in the family can be one of life’s most rewarding experiences — a genuine bond of loyalty and love. However, having a pet in the family can also be quite expensive. It’s more than just kibble, grooming, and toys though. Your pet is a living, breathing critter; and, as such, needs medical care. Sure, you prepare for things like shots and check-ups, but what about unexpected health issues or injuries? Everything from an upset stomach to a serious illness can come with a hefty price tag. 

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Your health insurance covers you, but what about your furry friends? Without pet insurance, you can be on the hook for a large sum just to get your pets the care they need. Companies like Trupanion offer coverage to protect you against massive veterinary bills. There are plenty of pet insurance companies out there, and finding the right one takes research. To help you along, we’ve broken down everything you need to know about Trupanion so you can see if it’s a good fit. 

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Who is Trupanion Canada?

A medical insurance provider for pets, Trupanion offers veterinary coverage throughout Canada. In business since 1999, this company was founded by Darryl Rawlings, a canine enthusiast focused on helping pets live their best lives.

The company evolved into a publicly traded name in July 2014, using the stock symbol TRUP. Since that time, Trupanion has kept to its original goal of pet well-being. It contributes to charity initiatives throughout North America and is a proponent of pet fire drills. 

Impressively, Trupanion actually shot up on the stock market after the onset of the pandemic. However, with that aside, it’s remained stable over the last five years. Basically, as an insurance company, its financial history gives it merit and makes it a viable choice for pet owners. 

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What’s Covered With Trupanion?

Now that you know that Trupanion is a stable company, you can consider the coverage itself. There are multiple factors to consider, including the range of coverage and the deductible. Thankfully Trupanion keeps things simple with straightforward protection for both canines and felines. 


The coverage for dogs is fairly extensive, with Trupanion reimbursing 90% (once you meet your deductible) of vet expenses for all unexpected illnesses and injuries.

  • What’s Covered: Covered issues include hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia and diabetes. These are both common concerns with mix-breed dogs. It also covers unidentified concerns, like if your dog loses weight suddenly or develops a cough. The insurance extends to congenital issues. In addition, the insurance also covers costs associated with diagnostic tests, surgical procedures, herbal medicine, and prosthetics. It also acts as pharmacological protection since it covers prescription medication
  • Extra Coverage: To make the plan even more comprehensive, you can pay an added fee for recovery care such as acupuncture, behavioural training, naturopathy, or rehabilitative treatment. The Pet Owner Assistance Package provides advertisements and reward funding for lost pets and offers liability protection for damage (like if your dog digs up an expensive garden and the property owner sues). It also covers burial costs if the pet passes away. 
  • What’s not covered: The plan does not extend to pre-existing issues. Concerns that arose prior to enrolling are not addressed by the plan. Allergies are not covered nor are any medical problems that arose before the coverage period. 

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In Canada, cats are the most common pets with 37% of households having one or more feline friends. Trupanion offers plans to absorb the cost of veterinary care for cats. 

  • What’s Covered: The standard plan for cats covers the cost of 90% (once you meet your deductible) of veterinary care for your cat. The protection addresses diagnostic tests, stays in the hospital, prosthetics, surgical procedures, and an unexpected illness or injury. It offers coverage for situations where the illness arises due to a congenital or hereditary concern. 
  • Extra Coverage: Additional coverage is available to secure your interests in the event that you choose a homeopathic approach to treatment. It covers rehabilitative care after an injury and can cover costs that arise if the cat gets lost, including advertising and reward funding. Coverage extends to burial or cremation expenses if the cat passes away. 
  • What’s not covered: Coverage does not extend to conditions that existed prior to your signing up for the plan. Allergies and medical concerns which arise during the waiting period or before you get insurance won’t fall under the plan. However, if the issue arises due to an injury treated in the past, where the complication only showed up during your coverage period, it is exempt from the pre-existing condition clause. 

Check out PetSecure to see if they offer better coverage.

Additional Coverage 

Trupanion offers two options for additional coverage. It comes at an added cost, though it complements the existing coverage for a really comprehensive plan. 

Recovery and Complementary Care Package Add-on

This insurance package offers the same 90% coverage with no limits in seven unique categories. These include: 

  • Acupuncture: Many prefer traditional remedies, or wish to use them in conjunction with a western treatment approach. This add-on addresses those costs. 
  • Behavioural modification: If the pet requires any behavioural correction due to aggression or anxiety, for instance, this plan covers 90% of those expenses. 
  • Chiropractic adjustments: For knee and back issues, as well as other types of pain and lethargy, many opt for chiropractic treatment to attempt to realign the spine. 
  • Rehabilitative therapy: After the hospital stay due to a surgical procedure, many animals require supplemental care to get back in shape. Things like physical therapy are covered by this add-on. 
  • Naturopathy: Herbal treatment and other naturopathic approaches are used by many as an alternative (or complement) to standard treatment. 
  • Homeopathy: Treatment rooted in the belief that the body can heal itself in optimal conditions. As such, it encompasses multiple approaches to care which many insurance plans do not cover. 
  • Waiting periods: If your pet requires urgent treatment yet you are still in the waiting period before coverage takes effect, this add-on will provide treatment coverage. 
  • Hydrotherapy: Often used to treat arthritis, this involves using water to improve chronic conditions. In the veterinary community, it is mainly used on canines due to the prevalence of water-averse behaviour in cats. 

Check out why you should buy your insurance online.

Pet Owner Assistance Package Add-on

Different than the previous package, it is less focused on medical treatment and geared toward unexpected situations in the owner’s life. As with all other protection from this supplier, the coverage is a flat 90% with no cap. The coverage extends to: 

  • Lost pet assistance: If your cat or dog goes missing, Trupanion will cover expenses related to advertising and placing a reward. 
  • Boarding costs: If the pet’s owner is hospitalized, the insurance will cover the cost of keeping the cat or dog at a boarding facility. 
  • Liability protection: Should your pet damage property, this protects your interests in the event of litigation. 
  • Burial expenses: If the pet passes away, this insurance add-on package will cover either the cost of burial or cremation. 
  • Vacation cancellation costs: If a covered emergency arises when you would otherwise be on vacation, this insurance package pays 90% of the cancellation expenses. 

Should you use an insurance broker?

How Does Trupanion Pet Insurance Work?

The insurance claim process for Trupanion is fairly straightforward. You can use the plan at any veterinary office throughout Canada, the United States, and Puerto Rico. 

  1. The veterinarian submits the claim. Your vet will send the insurance claim directly to Trupanion using the information you provided upon arrival. 
  2. You pay 10% of the bill. Trupanion covers a flat rate of 90%, the rest of which your vet will charge you directly. 
  3. Trupanion pays the remainder. By paying the vet directly, you don’t have to deal with any administrative delays or hefty out-of-pocket costs. 

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Cost of Pet Insurance With Trupanion

For both dogs and cats, the payment is fairly straightforward. The fastest way to get an exact price for coverage is to get a quote online, directly through a site. Ultimately, it will depend on several different categories including:

  • Age: In most cases, the older the pet, the more expensive they are from a veterinary perspective. As pets age, they become more vulnerable to expensive medical issues like cancer, arthritis, and more. Because of this, if your pet is up there in years, expect to pay more. 
  • Breed: Certain breeds are genetically inclined to have specific types of issues. While the protection plans will cover a hereditary concern, the price of coverage is adjusted accordingly. Be aware if your dog is listed as a high-risk breed since it will result in higher premiums. It is less of an issue with felines, but the pricing is still breed-specific. 
  • Gender: Your dog’s gender plays a large role in its likelihood to have certain health concerns over the years. In order to account for this, insurance companies make it more expensive to have a female pet.
  • Location: Depending on the statistics of your location, the risk level for your pets differs. An example is the increased likelihood of getting hit by a car living on a busy street versus living in a rural setting. 
  • Deductibles: Trupanion takes an interesting approach to insurance deductibles. As with other insurance companies, it sets an amount that you must pay before the insurance kicks in. You can opt to pay the deductible upfront or over time. A unique feature is that you can get a lifetime-per-condition deductible. It’s designed to enable you to avoid paying more than once for a single condition. This is an ideal setup for pets whose breeds are predisposed to certain chronic conditions. 

Advantages of Choosing Trupanion

Trupanion is a stable company with a strong history as a pet insurance provider. Though insurance is never one-size-fits-all, this company has many advantages. These include:

  • 90% Coverage: All Trupanion plans, including the optional additional packages, pay for a flat rate of 90 percent. This is fairly high, especially when you consider the hefty expense of hospital stays and surgical procedures. 
  • No Coverage Limits: This company doesn’t cap its insurance. Your pet can get as much care as is necessary and all you’ll have to pay is ten percent of the fee. 
  • Number of Claims Don’t Affect Rate: The lifetime deductible per condition means you can get coverage regardless of how many vet trips it requires. No matter how many times the insurance is used, the rates remain unaffected. 
  • $0 Deductible: Though it will substantially increase the premium, you can opt for no deductible. It basically means that, after the waiting period, you will only pay ten percent so long as it is a covered expense. 

Is your family protected? Find out if you also need life insurance.

Disadvantages of Choosing Trupanion 

Though there are a lot of pros to Trupanion, there are some downsides as well. Choosing whether it’s the right company for your pet involves understanding the shortcomings. These include: 

  • Limited customization: The protection plans with Trupanion have very little room for adjustment. The standard coverage is very specific, as are the add-on packages. While the plans are reasonably comprehensive, there is no real way to tweak the plan to your individual needs. 
  • No exam fee coverage:  Pets, like people, require check-ups and wellness care. Not only does Trupanion not cover these expenses (since it only deals with ‘unexpected’ issues), it makes them necessary to make claims. You can void your protection by missing these appointments and it remains an out-of-pocket expense. 

Find out if your insurance agent is misleading you.

Final Thoughts

Trupanion has multiple benefits; and, from a fiscal perspective, has remained stable despite a troubling economy. It offers competitive rates and covers 90% without limits. The coverage is extensive, the waiting period is reasonable, and there’s the option for a lifetime deductible on specific issues. 

As with all pet insurance companies, Trupanion won’t cover pre-existing conditions. However, it will work with hereditary concerns. If your pet is likely to suffer from a chronic condition in the future due to a genetic predisposition, this insurance is a worthy candidate. Assess the risk factors for your pets; and, if they are healthy now but are likely to develop issues down the line, Trupanion is a good company to choose. 

Corrina Murdoch avatar on Loans Canada
Corrina Murdoch

Corrina Murdoch has been a dedicated freelance writer and editor for several years. With an academic background in the sciences and a penchant for mathematics, she seeks to provide readers with accurate, reliable information on important topics. Working as a print journalist for several years, Corrina expanded her reach into the digital sphere to help more people gain insight into the realm of finances. When she's not writing, you can find Corrina swimming and spending time with family.

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