PetFirst vs Trupanion

PetFirst vs Trupanion

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Much like many other animals as well as humans, pets are prone to various illnesses, ailments, and injuries, for which they’ll need suitable treatment. And sometimes, even without a health issue in question, pets will still require neutering, spaying, vaccinations, etc.

Petfirst logo

PetFirst reaching more than 40,000 pets all over the USA.

trupanion logo

Trupanion has a straightforward plan


For all these purposes, paying for suitable pet insurance is a far more affordable option than paying double the cost out of your own pocket.  

Across the USA, there is a range of pet insurance plan providers which offer designated disservices, different prices, and different options to pet parents in need. Out of the bunch of options, some of the most popular pet insurance providers include PetFirst and Trupanion.

From price, claims, and benefits to differences in reimbursements and their pet plans’ specifics, here is a full comparison of PetFirst vs Trupanion. 

Comparing PetFirst vs Trupanion Pet Insurance

Even though there are certain aspects covered by the majority of pet insurance companies, they all differ from each other in one way or another. In terms of the particular pet insurance plans, let’s make a detailed comparison of two of the best-known names in the pet insurance industry – PetFirst and Trupanion.

PetFirst Pet Insurance was founded in 2004 and has kept up its reputation as one of the most trustworthy pet insurance companies in the USA ever since. In 2020, the provider was acquired by the MetLife Insurance Group. PetFirst regularly collaborates with regional charities and animal shelters in order to help with pet adoption. It also has an A+ rating from the BBB (Better Business Bureau), which further testifies to its credibility. 

What actually makes PetFirst stand out is its affordability, stability, and detailed pet insurance plans. Most of their services are in the middle to lower price range, simple to understand and clearly elaborate on what their insurance covers and doesn’t. 

PetFirst’s competitor, Trupanion Pet Insurance, was established way back in 1999 in Canada, only to extend to the US in 2005 and completely revolutionize the market.

A true frontrunner and gamechanger, Trupanion was the first pet insurance provider to increase the scope of what can be covered in terms of pet insurance services, providing a wholesome offering to pet parents of all walks of life.  

To better understand the specifics of each plan they offer, let’s look at their separate pricing options, claim procedures, reimbursements, and more.  

PetFirst Coverage Details

PetFirst offers three different coverage options, although it’s worth noting that these don’t differ in what they cover but in the maximum financial limit that they have. 

You can consider the following pet insurance plans:

  • The Cost Conscious Plan – covering up to $2,000 per year
  • The Recommended or Most Popular Plan – covering up to $5,000 per year
  • The Advanced Plan – covering up to $10,000 per year

An extra routine care and pet wellness coverage pack by PetFirst can also be added to any of these plans. 

As for what PetFirst actually covers, these are as follows: accident-sustained injuries, bone fractures, illnesses of different sorts (heart disease, diabetes, cancer treatments), chronic and congenital diseases, hereditary illnesses, hip dysplasia, arthritis treatments, X-rays, ultrasounds, bloodwork, emergency hospitalizations and surgeries, medications, exam fees, as well as holistic care treatments, like hydrotherapy or acupuncture.

With a six-month-long waiting period after the enrollment process, you also get coverage for cruciate ligament disorders – anterior, posterior, anfd cranial, as well as IVDD.

What isn’t covered by any of PetFirst’s plans are pre-existing conditions the pet had, breeding and pregnancy-related expenses (including spaying and neutering), elective and experimental treatments, some pet dental care services, organ transplants, and grooming.

Trupanion Coverage Details

Unlike PetFirst, Trupanion Pet Insurance only offers a single pet insurance plan option, but it’s both comprehensive and flexible enough to suit the needs of most pets and pet parents.

This plan covers nearly everything that your pet may need, including accident-sustained injuries, broken bones, dental trauma and procedures, diarrhea and vomiting, coughing and infections, other types of illnesses like heart disease and blood pressure problems, cancer, chronic and congenital diseases, hereditary issues, hip and elbow dysplasia, diabetes, liver issues, and respiratory diseases, allergies, thyroid and nervous diseases, and cataracts.

Moreover, this plan also includes coverage for other expenses, such as hospitalizations, surgeries, diagnostics, X-rays, dental care fees, prosthetic devices, prescribed medications, and prescription food. 

What’s more, Trupanion also has two extra add-on packages available, as follows: 

  • The Recovery and Complementary Care Pack includes alternative and holistic therapy, like hydrotherapy, acupuncture, behavioral therapy, chiropractic care, etc.
  • The Pet Owner Assistance Pack covers cremation or burial expenses, advertisements, and rewards for lost pets, vacation cancellations, boarding fees, as well as property damage done by your pet.

Aside from this, Trupanion doesn’t offer coverage for the following expenses: pre-existing conditions, exam fees, vaccinations, breeding, pregnancy, spaying/neutering-related fees, elective, pet cosmetic treatment, or experimental treatments, wellness exams, and preventative care.

Trupanion vs PetFirst Benefit Limits

Aside from what they offer in terms of pet insurance plans, both Trupanion and PetFirst also have established terms and limitations. On that note, one of the most important aspects to consider is the benefit limit or annual cap offered by these companies. That is essentially the overall amount of money that you can count on them returning to you per year. 

With most companies, this amount varies according to which plan you have picked – but there are some exceptions. The basic rule is that the higher the available limit, the better the overall deal.

In that sense, Trupanion may have made the best decision to only offer unlimited annual benefits. Regardless of whether you go for the bare-boned version of their single plan, or decide to get some additional packs, Trupanion has an unlimited benefit annual cap. 

PetFirst, on the other hand, offers three different plans, all centered around the increasing (or decreasing) yearly limit. The Cost Conscious Plan – the most affordable one – comes with a $2,000 annual cap. The Most Popular or Recommended Plan has a $5,000 annual cap, while the Advanced Plan features a $10,000 benefit limit.

Judging from this, it’s easy to see that Trupanion is a definite winner when it comes to annual caps.

PetFirst vs Trupanion Deductibles Compared

Another factor worthy of comparison includes each of the provider’s deductibles. In a pet insurance plan, the annual deductible is the amount that you are expected to pay before the coverage kicks in, and it tends to be counter-proportional to your monthly premium.

PetFirst has several deductible options at hand. The first is a default or automatic deductible of $250 and is usually advertised with all three of their plans. Still, if you wish, you can go for any of their $50, $100, $250, or $500 deductible options.

The $50 is truly one of the lowest ones offered out there, which puts PetFirst as a top choice. 

Trupanion has taken a completely different approach to this matter, both from PetFirst and from most other pet health insurance providers.

Instead of offering an annual deductible, Trupanion offers lifetime deductibles for each of the different types of fees covered, separately. Thus, you can choose your lifetime deductible amount in a range between $0 and $1,000, which provides you with maximum flexibility.

Whether this is a good thing or not really depends on your particular needs. For some owners, the fact that Trupanion offers an atypical deductible option, which can go to as low as $0 is great, but we believe that PetFirst’s more classical choice will probably be best suited for most pet parents.

Reimbursement Compared: Trupanion vs PetFirst

As with deductibles, a rather similar situation is seen in the reimbursement rates both providers offer. 

Trupanion only offers a single reimbursement rate – albeit quite a convenient one – at 90%. PetFirst advertises the 80% reimbursement percentage as the default option for all three of their plans, but it allows you to choose between a 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement rate, according to your budget and preferences.

However, while Trupanion’s “premium” alternative is great, the fact that PetFirst insurance presents itself as the more flexible candidate makes it a clear favorite in this round. 

In many scenarios, when it comes to choosing your ideal insurance cover plan, flexibility and versatility are better suited to customers than luxury is.

Pricing: PetFirst vs Trupanion

While the issue of the price should, on paper, be the most objective and matter-of-fact issue in this comparison, in practice, it tends to be the most difficult one to pinpoint.

The main reason for this is that the price can vary depending on a variety of external factors. Such include the pet’s species, age, breed, gender, as well as your state of residence, available pet plans, and the budgetary allowances of the pet owner.

That being said, some averages can be stated. For example, the PetFirst insurance tends to have a monthly average of $23 for dog coverage, and about $13 for cats. 

Moreover, PetFirst makes it its mission to offer available discounts on these standardized prices. They offer a military discount, a multi-pet discount, a $50 healthy pet discount, an online registration discount of $20, and an upfront bill payment discount ranging between 5% and 10%.

Trupanion Insurance, on the other hand, has different monthly averages, depending on your choice of deductible. For instance, the monthly average for dogs with a $0 deductible is around $155, while the one with a $1,000 deductible is around $39. Similarly, the monthly average for cats with a $0 deductible is around $60, but if you opt for the $1,000 deductible option, the price will come at around $19. Unlike PetFirst, Trupanion doesn’t offer any discounts at all.

All things considered, the affordability both in terms of average prices, and in terms of discounts, makes PetFirst the obvious choice here.

Enrollment and Waiting Periods: Trupanion vs. PetFirst

The enrollment process is fairly simple with both pet insurance companies, even though the waiting periods are quite different between the two.

For instance, with Trupanion, the waiting period for accident coverage is 5 days, while that for illnesses – including cruciate ligament issues – is 30 days. 

In comparison, PetFirst offers a waiting period of 0 days for accident-related injuries, which is the standard as far as pet insurance is concerned. They also offer a 14-day waiting period for illnesses. However, the waiting period for cruciate ligament disorders at PetFirst is 6 months.

Trupanion vs. PetFirst: Claims

Submitting claims is also quite comprehensive and simple for both companies. Trupanion does have an edge over both PetFirst and most of the other providers, given its special claim processing system.

If your veterinarian has a direct communication or relationship with Trupanion, you can feel free to skip the claim filing process altogether – the vet will automatically settle it with Trupanion, without you acting as an intermediary.

If this isn’t available, you can go the regular claim filing route, which is the only one available at PetFirst. Just submit your invoice and treatment details online, and wait for the claim to be processed. It usually lasts no more than 2 weeks.


If you are still on the fence, then don’t worry. We have compared PetFirst with some other brands as well like ASPCA, DODO and Embrace. Do check out those articles as well, it will give you more clarity.

Which One Is Better? Trupanion or PetFirst?

All things considered, it’s a tough choice to decide on a clear winner. Trupanion and PetFirst cater to different kinds of customers, so it’s safe to say that Trupanion is a more luxurious, premium alternative, while PetFirst is a more flexible and affordable one. If you prefer your pet to be pampered and have access to exclusive treatments and options, Trupanion is your obvious choice. And if you are on a tight budget but are still after quality service, PetFirst is bound to meet your needs.

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