Trupanion vs. Embrace Pet Insurance: Which to Choose?

Review Summary

Trupanion and Embrace are two of the biggest and most popular players in the pet insurance industry, and both companies have many great aspects, making deciding on one over the other a difficult choice. Both companies offer excellent overall coverage, great customer service, and sterling reputations, but both also come with higher than average premiums for their service.

The main difference between the two is that Trupanion offers one expansive plan that covers accidents and illness, whereas Embrace has a fair bit more customization available in its plans, allowing you to choose exactly what you want coverage for. That said, Trupanion includes prescription medication in its plan, while Embrace will only cover medication for an additional cost. Minor differences like these can make or break your decision to go with one company over the other, and some aspects, like prescription medication, may be more important to you than others.

With this in mind, it can be both confusing and time-consuming to separate all the details and make the right decision, so we did all the work for you! In this article, we go in-depth with what each company offers so you can get a clear idea of which pet insurance plan is best suited for your needs.

divider 9At a GlanceTrupanion vs. Embrace Pet Insurance

Let’s look at the key points of each policy.

Trupanion
  • Deductibles: $0-$1,000
  • Reimbursement: 90%
  • Annual limit: Unlimited
  • Waiting period for accidents: 5 days
  • Waiting period for illnesses: 30 days
  • Waiting period for orthopedic coverage: 30 days
Embrace
  • Deductibles: $200-$1,000
  • Reimbursement: 70%-90%
  • Annual limit: $5,000-$30,000
  • Waiting period for accidents: 2 days
  • Waiting period for illnesses: 14 days
  • Waiting period for orthopedic coverage: 6 months

divider 10Overview of Trupaniontrupanion

Founded in 2000 by pet lovers, Trupanion runs with this ethos today, with a genuine concern for its customers and their pets. Trupanion is one of the fastest-growing pet insurance companies in the United States, as evidenced by the fact that it is also the only pet insurance company that is publicly traded. The company is known for its excellent customer service record and has paid out almost $1 billion in claims since its inception.

Policy overview

Trupanion’s policy features Vet Direct Pay, which pays directly to participating providers in minutes, negating the need for lengthy reimbursements and claim paperwork. The company will also pay 90% of eligible costs without any limits or caps, and it will keep your rates the same as your pet ages. There are also no limits on claims, like many other insurance companies, and a generous age limit of 14 years.

The real standout feature with Trupanion is the lifetime per condition deductible. Instead of paying an annual deductible that covers various issues, Trupanion has a system of paying one deductible for a given condition for the lifetime of your pet, which is ideal for animals that develop chronic conditions.

Core coverage

Trupanion covers most medical conditions, including accidents, illnesses, hereditary and congenital conditions, dental illness, and cancer. Medical treatments covered by the policy include diagnosis, hospital, prescription medication and food, emergency and specialty care, behavioral therapy, and mobility aids.

Trupanion is focused on unexpected emergencies, and therefore, like most pet insurance, pre-existing conditions are not covered nor is spaying/neutering. It also does not have a wellness plan nor cover preventative care.

Claims

Trupanion advertises that its claims will be reimbursed within 7 days, although it can take anywhere up to 60 days for some claims. We recommend the Vet Direct Pay option to eliminate hassles with paperwork and added expenses possibly caused by waiting.

To claim, you’ll need to complete an online form with an attached invoice, and Trupanion will assess your claim and reimburse it once it’s accepted. Trupanion does not offer different reimbursement options and instead, has a 90% standard deductible.

Pros
  • Fast claim reimbursement
  • Vet Direct Pay option
  • Generous age restrictions (14 years)
  • 90% reimbursement without payout limits
  • No claim limits
Cons
  • No wellness plans
  • One-time admin fee ($35)
  • No vet exam coverage

divider 9

Overview of Embraceembrace

Embrace Pet Insurance has a ton of good reviews online and is one of the most popular and trusted insurance plans for pets. The company began in 2006 and has grown rapidly ever since its inception, and it entered the digital world in 2015. Embrace also does its part for charity, donating $2 from every policy to shelters and funds three veterinarian technician scholarships every year.

Policy overview

Embrace offers several different plans for both cats and dogs, with different types of coverage that you can tailor to your unique needs. All of Embrace’s policies begin after 48 hours for accidents and a waiting period of 14 days for illnesses. Pre-existing conditions are not covered nor are prescription medication or wellness plans, unless you want to pay extra.

Core coverage

Embrace’s core accident and illness plan provides reimbursement for most treatments and can be customized to your needs with five different limits, five deductible options, and three reimbursement amounts to choose from. There is an option to supplement this with an additional wellness plan that covers vaccines, behavioral treatments, spaying and neutering, and microchipping, with an annual $650 limit.

For basic accident and illness coverage, Embrace has some of the most reasonable policy prices out there, although if you add in the wellness program, your premium is likely to double or even triple. There are also a few hidden fees to be aware of, including a once-off enrollment fee of $25.

Claims

Embrace has a streamlined claims process that creates custom forms for each pet you own, and they give a discount for multi-pet homes. The forms can be downloaded from the company’s website, or you can submit a claim through the Embrace app on your smartphone. Claims take an average of 10-15 business days to process and can be reimbursed via direct deposit into your bank account or with a check.

Pros
  • Covers most types of care
  • Discounts for multiple pets (up to 10%)
  • No limits on individual claims
  • No lifetime limits
  • Optional wellness package
  • Covers travel outside of the U.S. with your pet
  • Free medical history review
Cons
  • A few hidden fees
  • 6-month waiting period for orthopedic coverage
  • Some policies are not available online

Divider 8What Are the Differences Between Them? How Do They Compare?

Coverage

Edge: Embrace

Both Trupanion and Embrace offer comprehensive accident and illness coverage with their core plans. However, Embrace offers an optional wellness package and covers exam fees, while Trupanion does not.

Price

Edge: Trupanion

Trupanion offers 90% reimbursement, edging it ahead of Embrace, especially if you are a pet owner who needs coverage often. That said, both companies offer affordable policies, and Embrace allows more customization of its plans.

Customer service

Edge: Embrace

With both companies, you are bound to find negative reviews about customer service and waiting periods, but this is more due to the fact that customers are more likely to post poor reviews when they are dissatisfied than when they are happy. Embrace edges ahead because according to our research, it pays claims quicker than Trupanion without much hassle and has quick and friendly customer service. That said, we have found that both companies have great customer service across the board.

Claims

Edge: Embrace

Trupanion averages claim repayment in 14 days and allows 60 days, whereas Embrace averages 8 days for its core policy repayments and 5 days for wellness. While both of these are longer than several other competitors, Embrace has a shorter wait time overall.

Customization

Edge: Embrace

Embrace offers fully customizable plans with five different limits and deductible options and three reimbursement amounts to choose from, whereas Trupanion offers only one policy plan. But Trupanion offers 90% reimbursement and unlimited claim limits as a standard for its policy.

What the Users Say

A good way to gauge a pet insurance policy to get an idea of what others are saying about it. We scoured the internet for reviews from users to get a good idea of overall satisfaction for both Trupanion and Embrace. Note that many dissatisfied customers will use review sites to voice their disappointment rather than their good experience, and a customer’s dissatisfaction is often more to do with a misunderstanding of the policy limitations rather than the company itself.

A high number of users claim that Embrace is one of the best pet insurance companies that they have found, having never been refused a claim and the claim process being quick and easy. Plus, the convenience aspect of submitting claims with your phone and getting a quick repayment was a huge positive among customers. That said, some customers were unhappy with the high annual premium increases, sometimes up to 30%, even without making any claims.

Customers loved the personal attention that they received from Trupanion when resolving issues and covering 90% of their vet bill without argument or issue. The claims process is also a breeze and takes minutes to fill out. But there were several reports of customers being denied claims on the basis of “pre-existing conditions” where there were none, as well as hefty annual premium increases.

According to our research and looking at hundreds of customer reviews, we feel that Embrace edges just ahead of Trupanion.

Divider 2Conclusion

Both Trupanion and Embrace offer excellent policy options for your pet, with reasonable prices, great coverage, and supportive customer service.

Trupanion has an excellent reimbursement rate and the option of not paying a deductible every year, making it great for customers who need coverage often. The company also has a convenient Vet Direct Pay option, with some customers reporting that the bill was paid even before they picked their pet up from the vet, and there are no claim limits.

However, we feel that Embrace edged just ahead of Trupanion. With shorter waiting periods for illnesses and accidents, customizable policy options, discounts for multiple pets, and a free medical history review, it is a favorite for these reasons and more, and in our opinion, it is the better option for most pet owners.