There’s no doubt that our furry friends are more than just pets – they are treasured family members. So it’s only natural that we want to provide them with the best healthcare available. That’s where pet insurance comes into play. In this article, we will dive deep into two popular pet insurance providers, Trupanion and Pets Best, comparing their offerings to help you make an informed decision about the best coverage for your pet.
Overview of Trupanion and Pets Best
Before we delve into the details, let’s take a high-level look at both companies. Trupanion, a well-established player in the pet insurance sector, has earned a solid reputation for offering comprehensive coverage with no payout limits. On the other hand, Pets Best provides budget-friendly insurance plans that cater to a range of pet owner needs.
Coverage: What’s Included?
Trupanion stands out for its single, comprehensive plan that covers 90% of eligible veterinary costs for accidents and illnesses, with no payout limits. It covers diagnostics, surgery, hospitalization, medications, and even specialized treatments like chemotherapy and physiotherapy. However, it’s worth noting that routine and preventative care, pre-existing conditions, and exam fees are not covered.
Pets Best Coverage
Pets Best offers a more flexible range of plans, including comprehensive Accident and Illness plans as well as Accident Only plans. Their coverage varies from 70% to 90% after the deductible, depending on the plan chosen. What sets Pets Best apart is their optional wellness coverage that can be added to any plan, which covers routine care expenses. Like Trupanion, Pets Best does not cover pre-existing conditions.
Cost: Trupanion vs. Pets Best
Trupanion’s premiums tend to be on the higher end of the scale due to their comprehensive 90% coverage and no payout limits. Premiums are influenced by your pet’s breed, age, and location. There’s a range of deductibles to choose from, but keep in mind that they are per-condition and lifetime, meaning once you’ve met your deductible for a specific condition, coverage for that condition is paid at 90% for the rest of your pet’s life.
Pets Best is typically more affordable on a month-to-month basis. Their premiums are also determined by your pet’s breed, age, and location, and the coverage level chosen. With Pets Best, you can choose from a range of annual deductibles and reimbursement levels, providing more flexibility to find a plan that fits your budget.
Claim Process: Fast and Convenient?
Trupanion has a strong reputation for their speedy and straightforward claims process. They even offer direct payment to vets, meaning you don’t have to wait for reimbursement.
Pets Best also offers a simple and fast claims process with most claims processed within 5 days. They have a user-friendly mobile app for submitting claims, but do not offer direct vet payment like Trupanion.
Customer Service: Who Shines?
Both Trupanion and Pets Best boast 24/7 customer service lines. Trupanion’s customer service is often praised for their helpful and empathetic approach, particularly during stressful situations. Pets Best also has a good track record for customer service, and in addition to phone support, they offer online chat for quick queries.
Policy Flexibility: Customizable Plans vs. One-Size-Fits-All
When comparing Trupanion and Pets Best, policy flexibility is a significant consideration. Trupanion adopts a streamlined approach with one core plan that covers 90% of eligible costs, simplifying the decision-making process. This straightforward strategy may appeal to pet owners seeking comprehensive coverage without the fuss of multiple plan options.
Conversely, Pets Best offers a selection of customizable plans, which can be tailored based on the pet owner’s budget and the pet’s healthcare needs. The flexibility extends to the selection of deductibles and reimbursement levels, enabling pet owners to strike a balance between affordability and coverage.
Deductible Structure: Per-Condition vs. Annual
Trupanion’s approach to deductibles is unique and can prove beneficial for pets with chronic conditions. The company uses a per-condition, lifetime deductible, meaning once you meet the deductible for a specific illness or condition, you won’t need to pay it again, and Trupanion will cover 90% of the costs associated with that condition for the rest of your pet’s life.
Pets Best, on the other hand, uses an annual deductible model. This model resets every policy year and applies to all conditions your pet might experience within that year. Once the annual deductible is met, Pets Best will start covering costs according to the reimbursement level you’ve selected.
Policy Restrictions: Age Limits and Waiting Periods
Both Trupanion and Pets Best have some policy restrictions. Trupanion enforces no upper age limit, making it a strong choice for owners of older pets. However, there is a waiting period of 5 days for injuries and 30 days for illnesses after policy inception.
Pets Best also applies a waiting period: 3 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and 6 months for cruciate ligament events. Unlike Trupanion, Pets Best imposes age limits on some policies, which might exclude older pets from comprehensive coverage. It’s vital to scrutinize these details to ensure the policy meets your pet’s needs.
Wellness Coverage: Optional Extras for Routine Care
Pets Best stands out with its wellness coverage options. These are optional add-ons covering routine care costs such as vaccinations, health check-ups, and preventive medications. This additional coverage helps pet owners manage the recurring expenses associated with maintaining their pet’s health.
Conversely, Trupanion focuses solely on unforeseen medical costs arising from illnesses or accidents. Routine care and preventative treatments are not covered. Pet owners need to weigh the importance of wellness coverage in their insurance decision.
Claims and Reimbursements: Streamlining the Process
Trupanion goes the extra mile in facilitating claims by offering direct payments to vets. This feature alleviates the financial strain of upfront costs at the time of treatment. Pets Best, while not offering direct vet payment, prides itself on a fast and efficient claims process, often processing claims within five days. Both providers make the claim submission process user-friendly with online portals and mobile apps.
FAQ: Exploring Your Queries on Trupanion and Pets Best
What’s Covered in Trupanion’s Congenital and Hereditary Conditions Coverage?
Trupanion offers broad coverage for congenital and hereditary conditions, provided they aren’t pre-existing. This means conditions your pet is born with or are genetically predisposed to, like hip dysplasia or certain heart conditions, are covered under their policy as long as they manifest after the policy has started.
How Does Pets Best Calculate Premiums?
Pets Best calculates insurance premiums based on several factors, including your pet’s age, breed, and location, as well as the specific policy terms you choose (deductible amount, reimbursement level, and annual limit). This means that a young, mixed breed dog living in a rural area may have a significantly lower premium than an older, purebred dog living in a city.
Does Trupanion Offer Multi-Pet Discounts?
Yes, Trupanion offers a multi-pet discount. If you insure more than one pet with Trupanion, you’ll receive a discount on the monthly premium for each additional pet. This can be a significant advantage for households with multiple pets.
Are Alternative Therapies Covered by Pets Best?
Pets Best’s Accident and Illness plans do cover some alternative therapies, including chiropractic care, acupuncture, and physical therapy, when performed by a licensed veterinarian for a covered condition. It’s an added benefit for pet owners who prefer holistic treatments for their pets’ health issues.
How Does Trupanion’s Direct Vet Payment Work?
Trupanion’s direct vet payment feature, when available, means that Trupanion can pay your vet directly at the time of treatment. Instead of paying the entire vet bill upfront and then waiting for reimbursement, you would only be responsible for your portion of the bill (deductible and 10% co-pay). This service depends on whether your vet has Trupanion’s software and is willing to accept direct payment.
Can Pets Best Insurance Cover Prescription Medications?
Yes, Pets Best does cover prescription medications for covered conditions in their Accident and Illness plans. This includes prescribed medications necessary for treating your pet’s injury or illness, adding to the comprehensive nature of their coverage.
Does Trupanion Cover Dental Diseases?
Trupanion provides coverage for dental illnesses such as periodontal disease, provided that your pet has had routine dental care. However, it doesn’t cover dental cleanings, cosmetic procedures, or orthodontics. This coverage aligns with Trupanion’s general policy of covering unexpected medical costs rather than routine or preventative care.
How Do I Cancel My Pets Best Policy?
To cancel a Pets Best policy, you can reach out to their Customer Care Team via email, phone, or chat during their business hours. Ensure that you provide your policy number and the effective date of cancellation. It’s important to note that if you cancel in the middle of your policy term, you may be eligible for a prorated refund depending on your state’s regulations and whether you’ve filed any claims during that policy term.
What Isn’t Covered by Trupanion?
Trupanion doesn’t cover examination fees, wellness and preventive care, or pre-existing conditions. Additionally, any conditions that occur during the waiting period (5 days for injuries and 30 days for illnesses) are considered pre-existing and will not be covered.
Does Pets Best Cover Exam Fees?
Pets Best does offer coverage for exam fees related to accidents and illnesses as part of their ‘Elite’ plan. This includes emergency visits, specialist consultations, and regular veterinary visits tied to covered conditions. Having exam fees included could save pet owners significant costs over the lifespan of their pets.
Can Trupanion Increase Premiums Based on Claims?
Trupanion will not increase your premiums due to filing claims. However, premiums can increase based on factors such as changes in veterinary costs in your area, inflation, and changes in your pet’s age and breed. Transparency in this regard is vital to understanding how your premiums may change over time.
What is the Pets Best ’24/7 Pet Helpline’?
Pets Best offers a ’24/7 Pet Helpline’ to policyholders, providing around-the-clock access to veterinary professionals who can answer questions about your pet’s health. This feature is beneficial for non-emergency concerns or general pet health inquiries, ensuring that expert advice is just a phone call away.