If your pet needed emergency veterinary service, would it be covered by insurance?
Veterinary bills and emergency services must often be paid upfront and can be very costly. Pet insurance can offset this by providing coverage for both routine and emergency vet visits.
Below, I’ll compare two of the top-rated pet insurance providers in Canada: Fetch vs Trupanion, based on the following criteria:
- Average premium costs
- Coverage for illness and accidents
- Coverage for hereditary conditions
- Dental coverage
- Extra coverage
- Customer ratings
I’ll explore the pros and cons of each company so you can find the best pet insurance for your fur baby. Let’s take a look!
In 2021, Petplan partnered with a popular pet blog and resource centre, The Dodo, to form Fetch by Dodo. The New York-based insurance provider serves all states in the US and most of Canada, excluding Quebec and New Brunswick.
To date, Fetch has insured over 280,000 pets and has developed an excellent reputation with its customers. It currently has a Trustpilot rating of 4.4 and has great reviews regarding customer service, pricing, and flexibility.
One of the standout features of Fetch is that the company doesn’t impose age limitations on your pets, allowing you to insure young puppies/kittens as well as older dogs and felines.
Trupanion offers very similar coverage to Fetch. Like its competitor, Trupanion doesn’t impose age limitations on dogs and cats covered by the policy. Trupanion even allows you to insure your pet from the day they’re born, which is something that very few other pet insurance companies offer.
Trupanion has a 4.2-start rating on Trustpilot, and most reviews are positive. The few negative reviews mention Trupanion may significantly increase premiums upon policy renewal. This means that it may be better to opt for longer-term policies with Trupanion.
One of the standout features of Trupanion is that the insurer doesn’t impose payout caps and immediately reimburses the vet or animal hospital, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
First impressions are important, but they’re not everything. Now, let’s take a few minutes to review these two pet insurance providers side-by-side, so you can see which company best fits you and your pet’s needs.
When it comes to insurance, you want to ensure you’re getting the maximum value and coverage for the lowest possible premium. This is why it pays to do your research.
Fetch is very upfront about its premium costs and states that the average customer pays $35 per month to insure a dog and $20 per month to insure a cat. This is a very affordable premium, in my opinion.
The only downside of this is that Fetch’s deductibles start at a minimum of $250, which could leave you paying more out of pocket.
Trupanion, on the other hand, allows customers to choose a deductible ranging between $0 and $1,000, allowing a little bit more flexibility. Of course, the lower your deductible, the more you’ll pay in premiums.
Unfortunately, Trupanion doesn’t offer any data on their average premiums. Based on some research, though, I’ve found that the insurer’s premiums can range anywhere between $22 and $100 per month, depending on the pet’s health, age, breed, and the deductible the customer chooses.
Although Trupanion offers lower deductible policies, I like how Fetch is more upfront about its pricing model.
Like saving money on your life insurance policy, you may be eligible for lower premiums if your pet is in exceptionally good health.
Both Fetch (formerly Petplan) and Trupanion offer comprehensive coverage for illnesses and accidents with all pet insurance policies, whether you’re insuring your cat or dog.
Your pet’s veterinary care should be covered for any unexpected injuries or sickness. Some of the items covered by both insurers include:
- Emergency and in-home veterinary visits
- Prescription medications
- Overnight hospital stays
- Surgery and rehabilitation
- Lab tests, CT scans, X-Rays, and other diagnostics
- Breed-specific care
- Specialist treatment
Neither Fetch nor Trupanion cover routine and preventative care, as they believe these are the pet owners’ responsibilities. Routine and preventative care includes medical care for:
- Spaying and neutering
- Routine vaccines
- Teeth cleaning
- Flea and tick prevention/removal
Trupanion only covers 90% of the bill once your deductible has been met. The policyholder will be responsible for covering the remaining 10% of the bill. The advantage here is that Trupanion doesn’t impose a cap on how much the bill can be, which can be helpful for expensive surgeries and specialist care.
Trupanion also pays your vet immediately. With Fetch, you may have to pay upfront and then wait several days (or weeks) to get the amount reimbursed.
Fetch covers 100% of the bill after the deductible has been met. However, Fetch imposes annual caps on how much treatment can be covered. If, for some reason, you exceed this cap, then you’ll have to pay the overage out of pocket.
While the two companies cover the same injuries and illnesses, I’d say that Trupanion’s lack of a coverage cap and its instant bill payment make it the winner here.
Sadly, some dog and cat breeds are more susceptible to inherited diseases and congenital conditions (birth defects). Many pet insurance providers in Canada don’t cover treatment for these conditions, so it’s nice to know that you’re covered here.
Both Fetch and Trupanion offer full coverage for these conditions within the limits mentioned above, which makes this category a tie.
As your dog or cat begins to grow older, they may experience common dental issues, such as:
- Tooth loss
- Oral tumours
- Abscess or cysts
- Tooth decay or cavities
If untreated, these dental issues can lead to life-threatening infections, make it hard for your pet to eat, and result in them becoming malnourished.
While neither insurer covers routine dental cleaning, both Fetch and Trupanion offer dental disease coverage, making this category another tie.
Sometimes, your pet may need non-typical care to help treat an injury or disease. This is often a grey area, as many pet insurance providers in Canada don’t cover specialized treatments.
Trupanion allows customers to sign up for additional coverage, which will cover treatments such as:
- Behavioural modification
- Chiropractic care
- Rehabilitative therapy
Coverage for behavioural modification can be particularly helpful, especially if you have a dog breed that’s prone to aggression or anti-social behaviours. Specialized behaviour training can often cost thousands of dollars out of pocket.
Unfortunately, Fetch doesn’t offer coverage for any of these specialized treatment options, making Trupanion the more flexible of the two insurers.
To wrap up, let’s take a look at Fetch (formerly Petplan) and Trupanion’s customer service ratings and reputation.
Better Business Bureau (BBB):
Overall, it seems that Fetch has slightly higher ratings than Trupanion as far as its online presence goes. However, the difference in ratings between the two companies is so small that I wouldn’t let it determine your overall choice.
Fetch vs Trupanion: Scoreboard
To wrap up, here’s a quick table outlining which pet insurance company wins in each category:
|Fetch (formerly Petplan)||Trupanion||Winner|
|Premiums||Lower, more transparent premiums.||Premiums can be higher or lower, depending on your deductible.||Fetch|
|Coverage for illness and accidents||Covers most illnesses and accidents. Maximum of $1,000 of claims coverage per year.||Covers most illnesses and accidents. No limit on annual coverage.||Trupanion|
|Coverage for hereditary conditions||Covers hereditary and congenital conditions and care.||Covers hereditary and congenital conditions and care.||Tied|
|Dental coverage||Covers most dental diseases and treatments.||Covers most dental diseases and treatments.||Tied|
|Extra coverage options||No options for extra coverage.||Offers additional coverage for specialty treatments and behavioural modification.||Trupanion|
|Customer ratings||Trustpilot: 4.4 stars BBB: A+||Trustpilot: 4.2 stars BBB: A-||Fetch|
Although Fetch may offer more transparent (and often more affordable) premiums, the insurer’s annual coverage limit of $1,000 may not be enough to fully cover major accidents and injuries. Also, Fetch may require you to front the bill until they’re able to reimburse you.
Personally, I’d be more inclined to go with Trupanion. The company allows you to choose between a wider range of deductibles, request additional coverage, and doesn’t impose an annual coverage limit. Trupanion will also cover eligible vet bills immediately, so you don’t have to pay out of pocket.
Want to see how these companies stack up to other pet insurers? Keep reading to see my list of the best pet insurance plans in Canada!