Beware of Trupanion's many changes!

Out of 10

When I first started with Vet Insurance, I was very happy with it. I recommended it to everyone, my family, my friends, my vet, strangers, and on face book, but now Trupanion is no longer a company that can be trusted. In the past premiums were affordable and increases were minimal with no deductibles, and Vet Insurance advertised and boasted that they had no deductibles. The deductibles that they have now are outrageous, and the premiums without a deductible are no longer affordable. Vet Insurance boasted that they paid 90% of all vet costs, and with the exception of the initial consultation, this was true. Trupanion makes this same boast, but as of last April they will no longer cover the cost of the taxes, so their boast is no longer true. In Ontario this means that they will only cover 77% of the vet costs. To the consumer taxes are a part of the vet bill. The only boast that Trupanion makes that is appealing to me; the consumer is that they don't have a limit on what they do cover. From my stand point there are too many cons in comparison to the pros of Trupanion. I will no longer be recommending Trupanion to any one. I can understand changes made to new policies, but I don't think that they should be making these changes to current policy holders, who took out policies on Vet Insurance's promises. It's interesting that my premium went up just after makeing a costly claim on one of my cats. Since my cats now have pre-existing conditions it would be very difficult for me

Did you find this review helpful?
extruded disc
Claim Amount
Over $1000

Domestic Shorthair

Age of Pet
1 - 8

Leave a comment

Enter the characters shown in the image.
Posted: 04/05/2011

I just received a similar notice with a 40% rate hike. While I understand the need to keep the rates in line with the payout costs (let's face it, Trupanion could not pay out more money than they receive in premiums and investments), such a drastic increase tells me one of four things:
1. There has been an increase in what Trupanion covers
2. There has been a drastic price increase by veterinarians that Trupanion has to offset
3. Trupanion has drastically increased their overhead costs
4. The actuarial tables Trupanion uses to calculate insurance rates are drastically inaccurate, and their adjustment necessitates the rate hikes

#1 is doubtful, as Trupanion already pretty much covers most all services, and they would brag about this service coverage increase.

#2 is doubtful as such an industry-wide price increase would be howled about by all pet owners.

#3 according to Trupanion is not the case - I'll choose to take their word for it.

#4 sounds like the winner. Either the folks who calculated the tables made bad assumptions, or Trupanion deliberately held the rates down to get people on board and are now adjusting to the accurate rates. I tend to think it's the former - at least I really hope so. If that's the case there should not be such drastic rate hikes in the future, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Regardless, this is one serious rate increase and negates one of the reasons why I chose Trupanion. We have another pet - a very old cat - on VPI and her policy is not that much more expensive. I realize Trupanion offers solid coverage, but 40%? Really?

Not sure what I'm going to do at this point. I can say that if these rate hikes continue at this rate, I'm going to cancel the policy. If Trupanion cannot provide an accurate rate to cover the costs of service, then I have to question their business sense.

Posted: 01/07/2011

I totally agree, not paying the taxes, increasing rates to previous policy holders is not good business practice. Not a happy customer

Posted: 01/12/2011

I wasn't aware of the tax issue, but I don't doubt it. My situation is similar to Colleen's, and I feel the same distrust towards Trupanion. My dog's insurance started at under $50/month, had an increase to just over $50, and this February, they are raising it to $75/month! My dog isn't even two yet! Bottom line is: they can raise the rates to whatever they want, whenever they want.

Posted: 01/18/2011

Based on our claims history, your newest rate is based on the cost to insure the average pet of your situation; that being your pet’s breed, age at enrollment, and geographical location. On average, Trupanion pays out 70 cents in claims for every dollar received in premiums. This means that if you have the average pet, you would receive about 70 cents in claims per every dollar you pay in premiums. The unlucky pet would see much greater amounts. Also, just as a reference point, the industry average payout is around 50-55 cents on the dollar.For a little more information, here is a video of Darryl Rawlings, our CEO, explaining our pricing:

Posted: 04/11/2011

I also got an email from Trupanion enormously raising our cats' insurance rates.
Trupanion advertises that it does not raise rates due to age or claims, but that is not true. They do not raise individual rates, but pass on the costs of their aging insured pets and the costs of their increasing claims to all insured.

That means that in the first years you may get a low rate, but eventually you'll be hit with the greater costs Trupanion has and they will spike much more than with other pet insurers.

Their model of ';sharing collective costs' does not let you control your individual costs, by making extra preventive efforts towards the care of your pet(s) as opposed to the other insurance models, which incentivise their customers to take the best possible care of their pets and to negotiate the best vet deals.

It reminds me of socialist schemes without any incentive for individuals to perform better.

As to their argument that vet cost are rising, that is untrue. In fact, due to the economy tanking I can negotiate better deals with vets than a few years ago and their rates have certainly not risen 35-40% either!

The problem Trupanion is confronted with is that their high rate hikes will stimulate an inordinate number of insured to insure elsewhere and that will mean the ones remaining will be 'holding the bag'. Sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me.

The wise thing to do for those insured with Trupanion is to put their otherwise paid premiums in a savings account (or better) investment fund. You'll likely have the same or more money available for put health care costs, and if you have none, you'll be the richer.

Posted: 04/21/2011

Thanks for this information. I had been recommended this company for insurance on my new puppy but I will not deal with a company that uses such shady business practices. A 40% or more increase at one time is beyond ridiculous for ANY reason. I did not tolerate it when my auto insurance tried it (With no accidents or tickets) and I will not do it with a pet insurance company either.

Posted: 05/02/2011

My dog's premium just went from $50 a month to $91... Holy granola! I am slightly shell-shocked right now, and not sure what I am going to do yet, but my initial reaction is to start researching for another company. I would welcome reasonable increase, but not this insane hike.

Posted: 05/05/2011

I completely agree with their rate hikes. I got an email today from Trupanion stating that my month premium will go up from 38.00 a month to 126.00. I called them and they had the decency to tell me that due to the rising pet cost in my location, my rate was highered. I live in south bay san diego, where cheap vets do exists, mine is one of them,I am not in La Jolla. Give me a break Trupanion. You have lost my business, I refuse to pay your shady company 126.00 a month when I can put that into a savings account and use it if I need it, If I don't I end up wining and you have lost my business. FYI they have paid 2 of my claims for 500.00 each, thus being the reason I think Im being charged more than triple now! Really!? Waste of my time and money.

Posted: 07/01/2011

I purchased Trupanion for my puppy. On the one-year anniversary my premium went from 37 to 66. I did not have a single claim. They told me the increase was due to CA's Insurance Commissioner taking so long approving their request for an increase, the high cost of vets in my area, my breed, and inflation - huh? My vet hasn't increase his charges in the last year. If they had a rate request in to the Insurance Commissioner they should have disclosed that to all residents of CA that there was a pending rate increase so we would be better informed. Their contract indicates rate increase will only occur due to vet charges in the area. Why are they then utilizing cost of coverage for the breed? Look at their responses on Yelp. They tell people their increases were due to their low dedductibles, the AMOUNT of healthcare delivered and more claims being paid out. Their contract says nothing about these other factors. They state in CA the costs increased by 16.9%, yet my rates went up almost 100%. They should be banned from CA.

Posted: 07/18/2011

I was paying about $34 per month for just over 1 year to insure my boxer, never filed a single claim. Then they notified me they're almost tripling my monthly payments to about $97 to keep the same coverage. Not happy at all, I'll find another company, but I wonder whether this kind of increase is legal, or if there are grounds here for a class action suit. Any attorney's out there?...

Posted: 08/17/2011

Not paying taxes is a significant issue when the sales tax is 13%. This is not mentioned in the quotes they provide or on their web site. Bad enough they don't pay the vet fee.
Not impressed.

Posted: 01/27/2012

funny, I just wrote my review on my recent interaction with Trupanion and the sales taxes were also an issue for me. I live in Ontario as well and with the sales tax being 13%, it significantly cuts into the amount being covered. Add to that the consultation/examination fee and you begin to wonder why bother?