Pet Insurance

Trupanion vs Healthy Paws Pet Insurance: Compare Coverage, Customer Service, Pricing & More

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Last Updated: May 22, 2024 | 10 min read | 27 Comments

This content was reviewed by our licensed insurance agent, Michelle Schenker.

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2 collies sitting kissing each other sitting on purple and orange rope leashes

Trupanion and Healthy Paws Pet Insurance easily make the best pet insurance companies list with their comprehensive coverage and speedy claim processing technology. Each has its own perks that win pet parents over and some areas that differentiate them. My detailed comparison will help you determine which insurer best suits your needs.

trupanion logo 250 transparent
Green button with white text "Get a quote"
healthy paws logo 250 transparent
Green button with white text "Get a quote"
Star Rating3.9/5.03.7/5.0
Best ForVet Direct PayNo-Cap Payouts
Year Founded20002009
Customer Support OptionsLive Chat, Phone, EmailPhone, Email
UnderwriterAmerican Pet Ins. Co.Chubb Group
A.M. Best Rating*UnratedA++
Demotech Rating*A’Unrated
Claim Processing Average2 Days2 Days
Can Reimburse Vets DirectlyYesYes
Payout LimitsUnlimitedUnlimited
Deductibles$0 to $1,000$100 to $1,000
Reimbursement Rates50% to 100%50% to 90%
One-Time Fees$35**No
Accident Waiting Period5 Days15 Days
Illness Waiting Period30 Days15 Days
Hip Dysplasia Waiting Period30 Days12 Months
Enrollment Ages0 to 14 Years8 Weeks to 14 Years††
Preventative PlanNoNo
compare quotes buttoncompare quotes button
*A.M. Best and Demotech report the financial stability of underwriters. Ratings range from A++ (superior) to D (poor) for A.M. Best and A” (A double prime, unsurpassed) to L (licensed).
**$25 in Washington; $0 in Maryland & Michigan.
†Pets enrolled after their 6th birthday for Healthy Paws have plan customization restrictions, and hip dysplasia is excluded.
††Healthy Paws will not enroll pets older than 4 years old in NY.

Coverage Comparison

Female vet inspecting a bulldog at a clinic with owner and vet tech next to them.

Trupanion and Healthy Paws each offer one accident and illness pet insurance policy available in all 50 statesPlans cover new accidents and illnesses, including testing and treatment for the conditions. Both companies cover emergency care, surgery and hospitalization, specialized exams and specialty care, X-rays, blood tests, ultrasounds, CT scans, MRIs, rehabilitation, cancer, chronic conditions, hereditary conditions, congenital conditions, non-routine dental treatment, prescription medications, and more. Neither insurer covers exam fees, pre-existing conditions, pregnancy, breeding, or unnecessary cosmetic procedures (e.g., tail docking, dew claw removal, ear cropping).

Examples of covered conditions from both providers’ base pet insurance policies include cancer, hip dysplasia, allergies, canine cruciate ligament (CCL) tears, chronic conditions, hereditary conditions, and congenital conditions. However, if symptoms for a condition were present before enrollment or during the insurer’s waiting periods, the condition is not covered and will be excluded from the policy. 

Through Trupanion, there is a 5-day waiting period for accidents and a 30-day waiting period for illnesses. Healthy Paws has a 15-day waiting period for accidents and illnesses and a 1-year waiting period for hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia coverage is excluded for pets enrolled in Healthy Paws after their 6th birthday.

Trupanion has two riders (add-ons) for an additional cost. The Pet Owner Assistance package costs an extra $4.95 per month and covers boarding fees in the event you’re in the hospital, liability coverage for third-party property damage, holiday vacation cancellation costs due to pet-related issues, cremation or burial for deaths due to an accident, and advertising and reward for lost pets. This rider is unique to Trupanion, and Healthy Paws doesn’t offer this type of coverage in its base plan or as an add-on. The Recovery & Complementary Care rider can vary in cost from a couple of dollars up to $30 in addition to the accident and illness plan. It includes coverage for acupuncture, chiropractic care, homeopathy, hydrotherapy, physical and rehabilitative therapy, behavioral modification, and naturopathy. Healthy Paws provides coverage for alternative therapies in its base insurance policy.

Base pet insurance policies from Trupanion and Healthy Paws cover non-routine dental treatment and trauma to teeth, face, and jaw. Additionally, Trupanion covers gum disease for canines and carnassials only, tooth extractions, endodontic disease for canines and carnassials, and developmental abnormalities if enrolled before 6 months old. Healthy Paws covers tooth extractions due to an accident.

Trupanion covers curable pre-existing conditions if there are no signs or symptoms within 18 months before enrollment, while Healthy Paws excludes them from its policies. 

Conditions and diseases that affect both sides of the body (referred to as bilateral conditions) are excluded by many providers if the pet has a pre-existing diagnosis for one side of the body. If the dog is diagnosed with the same condition on the other side of the body, most insurers, including Healthy Paws, exclude the condition from coverage. An example is if a dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia on the left side of the body before the policy’s effective date and waiting periods have passed. Providers with bilateral exclusions in their policies won’t cover hip dysplasia on the right side of the body. This can result in more financial strain for pet parents because dogs diagnosed with a bilateral condition on one side of their body are more likely to be diagnosed with the condition on the other. Surgery for hip dysplasia can cost anywhere from $1,700 to $4,500+, and having a significant vet bill excluded by pet insurance can be difficult for pet owners to cover. Trupanion is one of the few insurers with no bilateral exclusions in its policies.

Some pet insurance companies offer wellness coverage as an optional add-on to their insurance policy. These wellness plans cover routine vet visits and fees associated with annual exams, spay/neuter surgery, vaccines, dental cleanings, flea/tick/heartworm prevention, and more. With a wellness plan, preventive care is included in coverage and eligible for reimbursement. Neither Trupanion nor Healthy Paws offers an added wellness plan.

Coveragetrupanion logo 250 transparenthealthy paws logo 250 transparent
Behavioral TherapyAdd-OnNo x mark
Alternative TherapyAdd-OnBase Plan
Wellness Care For An Extra FeeNo x markNo x mark
Exam FeesNo x markNo x mark
Hip DysplasiaAfter 30 DaysAfter 1 Year
Non-Routine Dental TreatmentBase PlanBase Plan
Trauma To Teeth, Face, & JawBase PlanBase Plan
Gum (Periodontal) DiseaseCanines & CarnassialsNo x mark
Tooth ExtractionsBase PlanDue To Accident
Endodontic DiseaseCanines & CarnassialsNo x mark
Developmental AbnormalitiesIf Enrolled By 6 Months OldNo x mark
Bilateral ConditionsBase PlanNo x mark

Premiums & Pricing

Poodle with money dollar bills isolated on a white background

Insurers determine premiums based on the plan coverage level you select and your pet’s details (age, breed, and location). Trupanion was typically more expensive than Healthy Paws in the hundreds of quotes I ran. However, comparing identical coverage levels is challenging because Trupanion’s plans have 90% reimbursement. Healthy Paws’s reimbursement rate and deductible options vary based on the pet.

Healthy Paws has an annual deductible, whereas Trupanion’s is per condition and lifetime. An annual deductible is helpful if your pet experiences multiple accidents or illnesses during the policy period (one year) because you’re responsible for paying the deductible once per policy period. However, if your dog is subject to chronic conditions, like allergies, hip dysplasia, cancer, urinary tract infections, etc., Trupanion’s per-condition deductible for the life of your pet may be a better choice because you only pay the deductible once for each condition.

All Trupanion and Healthy Paws policies have unlimited payouts, so you won’t need to worry about reaching a maximum reimbursement limit.

Trupanion requires a one-time administration fee of $35 ($25 in Washington; $0 in Maryland & Michigan), while Healthy Paws has no one-time fees.

The table below shows Trupanion and Healthy Paws monthly premiums based on sample quotes with varying reimbursement rates and deductibles in parenthesis. I gave multiple examples for each pet from each provider to show how pricing can differ based on plan coverage selection.

Pet Detailstrupanion logo 250 transparenthealthy paws logo 250 transparenttrupanion logo 250 transparenthealthy paws logo 250 transparent
French Bulldog$193.76*$82.87$112.39**$68.99
Labrador Retriever $114.58*$41.11*$67.70**$54.46††
Golden Retriever $404.14§$101.61||$218.23#$83.07
Ragdoll Cat$41.93*$22.34$26.70**$26.29††
All plans have unlimited payouts and are basic accident and illness plans with no add-ons. French Bulldog quotes are for a 6-month-old male in the 92121 zip code (San Diego, CA). Labrador Retriever quotes are for a 2-year-old female in the 14211 zip code (Buffalo, NY). Golden Retriever quotes are for a 4-year-old male in the 33604 zip code (Tampa, FL). Ragdoll Cat quotes are for a 5-year-old female in the 78040 zip code (Laredo, TX). 
* 90% reimbursement and $500 deductible; ** 90% reimbursement and $1,000 deductible; † 70% reimbursement and $1,000 deductible; †† 80% reimbursement and $250 deductible; ‡ 70% reimbursement and $500 deductible; § 90% reimbursement and $0 deductible; || 90% reimbursement and $100 deductible; # 70% reimbursement and $0 deductible; ¶ 80% reimbursement and $500 deductible

It’s always best to get quotes for your specific dog to compare pet insurance costs. You can use our pet insurance quote form below to request multiple company quotes.

Discounts

Some pet insurance companies offer discounts for insuring multiple pets, bundling other insurance products, military status, veterinary staff, animal shelter employees, paying annually, and more. Neither Trupanion nor Healthy Paws offer discounts to pet owners.

Customer Service & Reputation

Pug Laying on the Floor Looking Sick

Customer service and reputation can be overlooked when you’re met with an attractive quote for your policy, but it’s one of the most important elements you should consider. I hope you never have to file a claim, but should the need arise, I want it to be as painless and easy on you and your furry friend as possible.

It doesn’t matter how much you pay; if you call a company and never get your questions answered or problems solved, you feel like you’ve wasted your money. Both companies offer multiple support options, including phone and email, and Trupanion has a live chat. A 30-day money-back guarantee is available through both insurers, so if you find that the plan you chose isn’t working for you, you can cancel and get your money back.

I looked through hundreds of Trupanion and Healthy Paws customer reviews from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Yelp, and Trustpilot. Overall, Healthy Paws had higher customer ratings than Trupanion. Both insurers are active online, responding to customers and resolving outstanding issues. 

The most common complaints I read about Trupanion were regarding high premium increases, avoiding claim coverage, and splitting a claim into two separate conditions (resulting in two deductibles). Pet owners complain of feeling unable to change insurance when Trupanion premiums increase because their pet has pre-existing conditions that Trupanion covers but won’t be covered by other insurers. 

On the other hand, Healthy Paws’s customer complaints primarily involve pet owners having their policies canceled because their credit cards expired. Healthy Paws says it sends out notices of upcoming cancellations via email and direct mail, but many customers state they never received any. Additionally, customers are dissatisfied with the dental coverage.

Claim Processing

Person holding pet insurance paperwork

The time it takes an insurer to reimburse claims can impact some pet owners’ decisions. Some can’t wait weeks for reimbursement, while others are fine waiting a little longer. Both Trupanion and Healthy Paws have among the fastest claim reimbursement times, with most of their claims being paid within two days. 

If you want to skip filing a claim, Trupanion can pay its portion of your vet bill directly to your vet’s office so you don’t have to wait for reimbursement. If you’re interested in this perk, you can talk to your vet’s office about having access to it. Healthy Paws has a similar option that is less widely known or used in the veterinarian community, but you can call Healthy Paws and see if it’s available at your vet’s office.

Plan Coverage Options

Two dogs at the vet.

Trupanion has a per-condition deductible with an unlimited payout limit for all plans and only 90% reimbursement available in some states, so its policies aren’t as customizable as those of other pet insurance companies

Healthy Paws has an annual deductible, unlimited payouts on all plans, and plan coverage level restrictions for certain pet ages. Below are the available plan coverage levels for Healthy Paws for varying pet ages.

  • Dogs and cats 5 years and under:
    • 90%, 80%, and 70% reimbursement
    • $100, $250, and $500 deductible
  • Dogs and cats 6 and 7 years old:
    • 80%, 70%, or 60% reimbursement
    • $250, $500, or $750 deductible
  • Dogs 8 years and older: 
    • 50% or 60% reimbursement
    • $750 or $1,000 deductible

Some insurers offer accident-only pet insurance plans covering conditions associated with a sudden physical injury. Accident-only plans cover conditions like torn ligaments, broken bones, bite wounds, and other injuries. These plans are typically more affordable than accident and illness policies. Neither Trupanion nor Healthy Paws have accident-only plans.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions we get asked about Trupanion and Healthy Paws. If you don’t see your question, reach out in the comments.

Why do vets recommend Trupanion?

Since 2000, Trupanion has paid more than $2 billion in veterinary invoices. Vets recommend Trupanion based on different factors. Some say it’s because Trupanion has more than two decades of pet insurance experience. Others say it’s because of the direct payment feature to veterinarian hospitals, which they’ve seen help their patients’ parents in times of stress. 

Does Healthy Paws raise its rates?

Healthy Paws premiums are determined based on the rates approved by each state’s insurance regulator. Factors considered include the cost of treatment advances in veterinary medicine, overall claims experience within the pet’s location, and the individual pet’s breed, gender, age, and other factors. Healthy Paws does not increase premiums based on the insured pet’s claim submissions.

Do Trupanion premiums increase?

Trupanion reviews pricing at policy renewal. It considers overall economic trends (e.g., inflation) and veterinary care trends (e.g., cost of treatments, treatment frequency, treatment improvement through technology advancements, etc.). Trupanion does not increase premiums based on a specific pet’s health status or the number of claims filed.

Which Is Better For Your Pet?

Trupanion and Healthy Paws can pay your veterinarian’s office directly and eliminate the reimbursement process altogether. Even without that feature, both companies average two days for claim processing, among the fastest in the industry. 

Trupanion doesn’t restrict plan coverage levels once pets hit a certain age and covers hip dysplasia for all enrollment ages. It has two plan add-ons for additional coverage, and dental coverage is more comprehensive than Healthy Paws. 

On the other hand, Healthy Paws has a better customer service reputation, and fewer customers complain about claims being denied. Healthy Paws covers alternative therapies at no extra cost, its premiums are often more affordable, and premium increases are typically lower than Trupanion’s. 

Overall, Trupanion and Healthy Paws offer similar pet insurance coverage. If chronic conditions are a worry of yours, Trupanion’s per-condition deductible may interest you. Meanwhile, an annual deductible from Healthy Paws would ensure you would only be required to pay the deductible once per policy period.

I’ve gone even more in-depth with individual reviews of Trupanion and Healthy Paws so you can expand your comparison. You can also read my pet insurance reviews, including my top picks, along with details on each of the most popular pet insurance companies. So, if you want to know how other providers compare against one another, you may find this review helpful in your pet insurance search.

Methodology

We review each U.S. pet insurance company to provide an unbiased breakdown of providers' performance in real claim situations. We use a 100-point scale for each pet insurance company to rank them. Our in-depth research includes:

  • Coverage & Exclusions (30%) - We scrutinize every policy from top to bottom and read all the fine print, carefully noting each exclusion. We factor in any age restrictions, required add-ons for basic coverage, and whether a company is available nationwide. Insurers with fewer exclusions receive more points in this category than those with less coverage.
  • Pricing (15%) - We evaluate pricing by running thousands of sample quotes for dogs and cats of various breeds, sizes, locations, and ages. We analyze which companies charge extra fees and discounts and consider which companies nick and dime pet owners with add-on coverage. Providers with the lowest premiums, fewest extra fees, most discounts, and fewer add-ons receive more points in this category.
  • Customer Service & Reputation (12%) - We assess hundreds of customer reviews, scope out the sign-up process, speak with representatives, and factor in company history and years in the pet insurance marketplace to determine the points in this category. Companies with an easy sign-up process, highly rated mobile apps, multiple ways to reach customer service, positive consumer feedback, and a seamless claim filing process score high in this category.
  • Financial Strength (10%) - Insurance is only beneficial if you can count on reimbursed claims. Companies with at least five years of nationwide experience and high A.M. Best and Demotech ratings receive high remarks in this category.
  • Customization Options (10%) - We consider customizations available to adjust your coverage to fit your budget. Companies with fewer restrictions based on breed, age, location, etc., multiple plan options, and more reimbursement, deductible, and payout options earn the highest scores.
  • Waiting Periods (5%) - Providers with the shortest illness and accident waiting periods and fewer additional waiting periods for other conditions merit high remarks.
  • Claim Processing (5%) - We share our firsthand experience submitting claims with companies and examine how long it takes to be reimbursed. Insurers with a vet direct pay option and short claim processing averages earn the most points.
  • Innovation (3%) - We meet with company representatives to discuss changes related to the industry, their company, and their offerings. Providers offering unique, comprehensive coverage and utilizing advanced technology receive more points.

Unlike many other review sites, we refuse to let pet insurance companies pay for the top spot in our rankings. Companies must earn their position in our comparisons by performing well in the marketplace. We also highlight each company’s pros and cons in light of their competitor’s strengths. In doing so for over a decade, we’ve helped pet parents make more educated decisions among the top pet insurance options. Pet insurance providers read our reviews, regularly check them for accuracy, and value our input to help create positive industry changes and better protect your pets. We only recommend the best of the best because it’s what our readers deserve.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Canine Journal has been covering the topic of pet insurance since 2012, well before other conglomerates discovered the rising popularity of health care for our pets. Many of our authors have personal experience with pet insurance, including Kimberly Alt, who has been Canine Journal’s go-to writer for pet insurance for over a decade, having written about nearly every possible facet related to pet insurance. Kimberly knows the subject so well that she can answer a breadth and depth of pet insurance questions immediately. And on the rare occasion she doesn’t know the answer off the top of her head, she can find it within minutes due to her extensive list of resources. Kimberly also consulted with Michelle Schenker, Canine Journal’s in-house licensed insurance agent, for additional expertise, to ensure accuracy, and give Canine Journal the authority to write about and assist readers in purchasing insurance policies legally. Kimberly has spent over 100 hours researching Trupanion and Healthy Paws, reading every line in their policies, speaking with their operation teams, and gathering quotes to bring you the most accurate information.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

Disclaimer: Information regarding insurance company offerings, pricing, availability, and other contract details are subject to change by the insurance company at any time and are not under the control of this website. Information published on this website is intended for reference use only. Please review your policy carefully before signing up for a new insurance contract or any other contract as your unique circumstances will differ from those of others who may be used for example purposes in this article.

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