What’s the best pet insurance – Lemonade or Trupanion?
Different pet parents will have different priorities. In putting Lemonade and Trupanion side by side the most important thing to say is that the final say will be a personal one, as no insurer is objectively better than another.
For example, Lemonade, a relatively new company, offers an incredibly fast turnaround when it comes to claims processing, thanks to its particularly sophisticated app, but it's currently available in fewer states than Trupanion, which may rule it out entirely for you.
Ultimately, ‘best’ just translates as ‘best for you’. We hope this guide helps clarify your thinking. We recommend using our super-speedy pet insurance comparison page which will help you decide on a pet insurance plan to choose.
What do the plans cover?
Trupanion and Lemonade each offer accident and illness plans covering things like hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions.
Through its Recovery and Complementary Care add-on, Trupanion can cover alternative therapies for you. Lemonade also asks that you take out an add-on in order to have these covered. Lemonade covers things like rehab, MRIs, and euthanasia. Trupanion covers prosthetics and non-routine dental coverage and will pay for half of your furry one’s euthanasia fees and prescription foods.
Like most insurers, both only offer coverage for cats and dogs, which is worth thinking about if your pet does not fall into these two furry categories.
Are there any exclusions?
Both Trupanion and Lemonade have the standard exclusion for pre-existing conditions. Lemonade makes a point of saying that preventable situations and neglect are not covered in its plans.
Lemonade covers hip dysplasia (and other congenital conditions) as long as there are no symptoms until after your policy has begun. Its waiting period for dysplasia is 14 days, while Trupanion’s, also happy to cover hip dysplasia, is 30 days.
How expensive are Lemonade and Trupanion?
Lemonade is likely to offer you a cheaper deal. Although Trupanion’s policy riders are reasonable, a typical quote will be noticeably higher than at Lemonade. Premiums at Trupanion are trickier to reduce because you can only adjust your policy by changing the cost of your deductible (though this is more customizable than with any other insurer). However, Trupanion has an unlimited coverage cap and won’t raise your premium as your pet gets older.
At Lemonade, the coverage cap is up to $100,000 annually (you can go as low as $5,000). It charges extra for paying monthly (Trupanion doesn't) but has no enrolment fee at all. Trupanion has no transaction fees but could ask for a one-time enrolment fee (between $25 and $35 if you live in one of the states in which it is requested).
Lemonade has more reimbursement options – not difficult, as Trupanion only has one (90%) – and with lower reimbursements come lower premiums.
To be sure of an exact comparison for your pet, use our indispensable quote calculator – there will be examples where the difference is less significant.
Do Lemonade or Trupanion offer discounts?
Trupanion only offers a discount to service/therapy animals, preferring, it says, to "offer all customers the lowest possible premiums across the board". It does have an offer program, which gives you 30 days of coverage for free (with no waiting periods) if you treat or acquire a pet at a participating partner.
Lemonade offers a 5% multi-pet discount and gives you 10% off if you bundle with the people you live with. It also gives you a 5% annual discount to encourage loyalty.
Are the plans customizable?
Yes, but less so at Trupanion. At Trupanion you can’t change your reimbursement level from the standard 90% but you can customize your deductible amount to anything up to $1,000. Trupanion claims to be the only company that offers a lifetime per-condition deductible, meaning pets with a chronic condition would only ever incur the cost of the deductible once. For around $5 per month you can also add the Pet Owner Assistance Package, which covers expenses out of the vet’s office like cremation, boarding fees if you have to go to hospital, and rewards for lost pets.
Lemonade has three deductible ($100, $250, $500) Over at Lemonade you can have things like vet visit fees and physical therapy covered by choosing the Extended Accident and Illness add-on package. If you want to focus more on prevention and wellness, you can add on a package that pays for things like vaccines, blood tests, dental cleaning, and annual wellness exams.
How do I make claims?
Paying via an app is an option with Trupanion, who require you to make a claim within 90 days. You could also submit a form on their website, by email, or – if this is what floats your boat – by fax.
Like Trupanion, paying via an app is an option with Lemonade. Really it is the option: the AI-led app processes claims easily and more quickly than competitors, with the company claiming that 30% of claims are approved in three minutes. Why bother with post or email?
Are they easy to contact?
They certainly are. Trupanion have a range of options: live chat; contact form; social media; a 24/7 toll-free number (888.733.2685); and an email address. Their headquarters are in Washington, while Lemonade’s are in New York. They have an app; they are available on the phone (844.733.8666); and you can reach them on social media or email (email@example.com) but this information could be a little easier to find.
Trupanion customers appear to be contented people, citing the customer service and efficient claims process as reasons to stay with them. Some claim that it can be difficult to procure payment from Trupanion but, on the whole, the feedback is very positive.
Fetch’s customer service is very popular and, while it changed its underwriter in 2016 and upset some customers as a result, the feedback now is terrific.
Frequently asked questions
People ask us a lot of different questions about the pet insurance providers we work with. It’s the smart thing to do because no two insurers are the same. Here are some common questions (and the answers!).
What are the waiting periods?
Fetch says 15 days for illness and 15 days for accidents. Trupanion says that you can expect to wait 5 days for accidents and 30 days for illnesses, so they kind of balance out.
Do the plans include behavioral treatments?
If you take out Trupanion’s Recovery and Complementary Care Rider you’ll have them covered. Fetch doesn’t require you to take out a separate rider, offering up to $1,000 in behavioral therapy and medicine.
Is there a maximum age for enrolment?
At Trupanion it’s 14. Fetch has no maximum.
Do they need my pet’s medical records?
Yes, both will. Trupanion needs your pet’s full medical records but makes no mention of it being only for your first claim. Fetch says that it wants detailed medical records from the most recent check-up your pet had.
Will the insurer pay the vet directly?
Trupanion will, but only if the vet has its Trupanion Express software (around one in six vets do). Fetch, however, does not offer this as an option.
Is my pet covered in other countries?
Fetch covers you in the US and Canada. Trupanion also covers Puerto Rico.
Do they have a vet telehealth service?
Fetch does. Trupanion does not.
Final verdict: Trupanion vs Fetch
As a more experienced provider, Trupanion may be considered a trustier pair of hands than Fetch. Their reimbursement speed seems slicker. But their less flexible policy may be restrictive to a lot of people, even if their deductibles scale offers a great deal of individualization.
For many people, Fetch are a more appealing proposition. Offering behavioral therapy, a range of reimbursement percentages and annual coverage limits, and a plethora of discounts, they should be taken seriously by anyone looking for pet insurance. They certainly give Trupanion a run for their money but, whichever of the two you choose, you’ll be in safe hands – both companies know what they’re doing and are popular with their customers.
Have a coffee. Have a chat with your pet. Think about it long and hard. We think you’ll come to the right decision!