Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws

Affordable pet insurance built by pet lovers for pet lovers

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws
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The Balance / Amelia Manley

Trupanion was founded in 2000 to help dog and cat owners cover the cost of vet bills when their pets became sick or injured. In 2009, two pet lovers created Healthy Paws to offer similar pet coverage and support the work of no-kill shelters. Both take a simple approach to pet insurance, offering customizable accident and illness policies that can reimburse vets directly.

Overall, we found that Trupanion offers more for your money than Healthy Paws. Trupanion lets you choose a no-deductible policy or a deductible from $50 to $1,000. The company also fixes its reimbursement at 90% knowing that policies with lower reimbursement rates end up making pet owners pay a lot more out of pocket.

Trupanion also offers add-on riders that can extend your coverage for a few extra dollars a month. This includes reimbursement for canceled trips, boarding fees, advertising expenses for lost pets, and even cremation or burial.

We reviewed both companies based on coverage options, pricing, customer service, extras, customer reviews, and more to help you choose the right coverage for you and your pets.           

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: At a Glance

  Trupanion Healthy Paws
Animals Covered Dogs and cats Dogs and cats
Deductibles $0 to $1,000 $100 to $500
Example Cost $40.36 to insure a two-year-old dog with 90% reimbursement, no annual limit, and a $500 deductible $31.99 to insure a two-year-old dog with 90% reimbursement, no annual limit, and a $500 deductible
Coverage Type Accident and illness Accident and illness
Additional Services Direct vet pay, complementary care, and pet owner riders Direct vet pay
Waiting Period Accidents: Five days
Illnesses: 30 days
Accidents: 15 days
Illnesses: 15 days
Network Size Any licensed vet in the U.S.,  Puerto Rico, Canada, and Australia Any licensed vet in the U.S. and Canada
Customer Service Phone, email, fax, 24/7 live chat Phone, email, fax, mobile app
Claim Turnaround Two weeks 10 days
Official Website Trupanion Healthy Paws

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Coverage

Trupanion and Healthy Paws both offer accident and illness insurance with a choice of deductibles and no lifetime coverage limits. While Healthy Paws lets you choose to be reimbursed for 70%, 80%, or 90% of your vet bills for covered services, Trupanion offers a fixed 90% reimbursement rate.

  Trupanion Healthy Paws
Deductible $0 or $50 to $1,000 $100, $250, $500
Reimbursement 90% 70%, 80%, 90%
Annual Coverage Limit Unlimited (per condition) Unlimited

The two also handle deductibles slightly differently. Healthy Paws offers a standard choice of deductibles starting at $100, which is a little on the high side. With Trupanion, however, you can choose a no deductible policy or a range between $50 to $1,000, selectable in increments of $5.

While both offer unlimited lifetime coverage, Trupanion has a unique unlimited coverage by condition policy. When your pet is first diagnosed with a condition, you only need to pay your deductible plus 10% of any remaining vet fees. The next time your pet is diagnosed with the same condition, you will only have to pay 10% of the service fee.    

Trupanion and Healthy Paws cover the cost of standard vet services for accident and illnesses including the following:  

  Trupanion Healthy Paws
Cancer
Diagnostic Tests
Surgery
Hospitalization
Prescription Medications
Prescription Food Up to 50% reimbursement  
Dental Illness or Injuries
Alternative Therapies Herbs only
Emergency Care
Euthanasia   When medically necessary

Neither Trupanion nor Healthy Paws cover the costs of exams and office visits, so you will need to pay for those out of pocket. Pre-existing conditions as well as the following services and conditions are not covered:

  • Wellness and preventative care
  • Dental healthcare
  • Spaying and neutering
  • Cosmetic or elective procedures
  • Injury or illness due to any intentional or neglectful act
  • Behavioral treatment
  • Non-FDA treatment or supplements
  • Breeding or conditions relating to breeding
  • Grooming or nail trims
  • Experimental or investigational treatment or medicine
  • Non-prescribed special diets or pet foods
  • Daycare/boarding

Trupanion also offers two paid add-on riders that cover services Healthy Paws doesn’t. These include a Recovery and Complementary Care rider that reimburses you for acupuncture, behavioral modification, chiropractic, and homeopathy care as well as a paid add-on Pet Owner Assistance rider that covers the following:

  • Damage to third-party property
  • Advertising and rewards for lost pets 
  • Boarding fees due to accident or illness 
  • Cremation or burial expenses

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Enrollment Process

Both Trupanion and Healthy Paws make it easy to enroll for a policy online without talking to a representative. Pets must also be under the age of 14 to be eligible for coverage from both companies. Additionally, Healthy Paws restricts pets over the age of six to a policy with a $500 deductible, 70% reimbursement, and unlimited lifetime coverage.  

Trupanion requires a full medical history and/or records of your pet before it can approve your first claim. Healthy Paws also requires you to get a full exam for your pet based on the age of your pet:

  • Five and under: Within the last 12 months or within 15 days after enrollment
  • Six and over: Within the last 30 days or within 15 days after enrollment 

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Claim Filing

Both Trupanion and Healthy Paws allow you to file claims online or by email, fax, or mail. Healthy Paws also lets you upload a photo of your vet bill online or through its mobile app instead of filling out a claim form. 

Both providers say that claims can be paid out in as little as 24 hours. Most reviews, however, state that Trupanion has a two-week turnaround time and Healthy Paws takes 10 days. Both companies also offer the option to reimburse participating vets directly for covered services so all you need to pay at the time of service is your deductible and/or reimbursement percentage. 

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Reviews

Both Trupanion and Healthy Paws have earned a rating of Excellent from Trustpilot based on customer reviews. Reviewers praise Trupanion for its high-quality customer service and fast claims process while Healthy Paws customers enjoy the company’s fast claims processing and reimbursement.

Both companies fare a little worse on Yelp, earning only an Average rating from customers. Yelp reviewers cite Trupanion for denying multiple claims, while Healthy Paws’ customers claim the company raises premiums without notice, especially for older pets.   

Although Trupanion’s underwriter, American Pet Insurance Company, is not rated by AM Best, it has an A rating for financial stability from Demotech. 

Healthy Paws’ insurance policies are underwritten by Chubb, which has an A+ rating for financial stability from AM Best.

Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws: Costs

Both Trupanion and Healthy Paws let you build a policy quickly and get a quote online. Note that your estimates may vary from the sample we used.

Trupanion Costs

An accident and illness policy from Trupanion for a mixed-breed, medium-size (20–55 lbs.), three-year-old, female dog with unlimited coverage, a $500 deductible, and 90% reimbursement came to $43.63 per month. Recovery and Complementary Care Rider coverage added an extra $7.50 per month for a total of $51.13 per month. Pet Owner Assistance Package coverage added $4.95 per month for a total of $56.08 per month.

An accident and illness insurance policy from Trupanion for a domestic longhair, one-year-old, male cat with unlimited coverage, a $500 deductible, and 90% reimbursement came to $24.59 per month. Recovery and Complementary Care Rider coverage added an extra $2.41 per month for a total of $27.00 per month. Pet Owner Assistance Package coverage added $4.95 per month for a total of $31.95 per month.  

Healthy Paws Costs 

An accident and illness insurance policy from Healthy Paws for a mixed-breed, medium-size (31–59 lbs.), three-year-old, female dog with unlimited coverage, a $500 deductible, and 90% reimbursement came to $34.00 per month.

An accident and illness insurance policy from Healthy Paws for a domestic longhair, one-year-old, male cat with unlimited coverage, a $500 deductible, and 90% reimbursement came to $14.60 per month.

Both Trupanion and Healthy Paws charge a one-time administration fee to start your policy: $25 for Healthy Paws and $35 for Trupanion. While neither company offers healthy pet or multi-pet discounts, Healthy Paws donates $25 on your behalf to help homeless pets when you refer a friend. The referral program is not available in Maine, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Vermont, or Washington.

Both companies also offer a full refund of any paid premiums if you cancel your policy within 30 days and haven’t been paid for any claims during that time.

What Are Trupanion and Healthy Paws?

Trupanion and Healthy Paws are companies that offer basic accident and illness insurance for dogs and cats. Each offers policies that will cover a portion of the cost of veterinarian fees if your pet becomes sick or injured.

Each policy comes with a deductible that you will have to pay in full before your insurance will cover the cost of any bill. This can be as low as $50 or as high as $1,000, with $500 being the average. Trupanion also offers a zero-deductible policy for a higher monthly premium.

Once you’ve met your deductible, each company will reimburse you for a percentage of your total vet bill. Healthy Paws lets you choose a reimbursement of 70%, 80%, or 90% while Trupanion fixes it at 90%.          

Rather than forcing you to pay for your vet bills upfront and wait to be reimbursed, both Trupanion and Healthy Paws can reimburse some vets directly so all you need to pay is your deductible and/or the remainder of your bill based on the reimbursement you chose.  

How Do Trupanion and Healthy Paws Work?

Both Trupanion and Healthy Paws will help you cover the cost of your bills if you have to take your pet to the vet when they become sick or injured. This can include diagnostic tests, prescription medications, surgery, hospitalization, and more. Unfortunately, you will have to pay for exams and vet visits out of pocket. 

Once you pay your vet bill, you will need to submit your claim to get reimbursed. You may also need to submit additional documentation from the vet that treated your pet. If the services fall under the company’s policy, you will receive either a check or direct deposit to your bank reimbursing you for a percentage of your bill based on your policy.     

As with nearly all pet insurers, neither Trupanion nor Healthy Paws will reimburse you for services related to any conditions diagnosed or indicated by signs or symptoms before the start of your policy or during your waiting period. 

Who Should Use Trupanion or Healthy Paws?

In most cases, we would recommend Trupanion over Healthy Paws since it offers a wider range of deductibles, affordable coverage add-ons, and a set higher reimbursement, all for a reasonable monthly premium. 

If you’re looking to spend as little as possible for basic pet coverage, you may want to consider Healthy Paws instead. You can build a policy with a lower reimbursement and higher deductible for roughly half as much per month than Trupanion. With those limits, you’ll still end up paying a lot out of pocket, but not as much as you would if you had no pet insurance.  

If neither of these options appeals to you, we recommend you shop around and look for the best pet insurance company that offers the coverage you and your pets need.    

How We Evaluated Trupanion vs. Healthy Paws

In comparing Trupanion and Healthy Paws, we looked first at the coverage each provider offered. We made sure to compare differences in standard services and conditions as well as any additional available coverage. Next, we compared the cost of premiums and options to customize policies to fit different budgets. Finally, we looked at how easy it was to submit and get reimbursed for claims and backed this up with customer reviews.

In the end, we decided that Trupanion gives you more coverage for the price. For just a few dollars more each month, you can extend your coverage with add-on riders that will reimburse you for extra expenses you’d face during an emergency, including boarding fees, the cost of canceling a trip, and advertising expenses for finding a lost pet. The company’s fixed 90% reimbursement also keeps more money in your wallet ensuring you’ll be able to give your pets the care they deserve.