When I started TCR, I promised to shine a light not only on deceptive and harmful businesses not serving the best interests of dogs and owners but also on those doing a good job. In Trupanion’s case, our reporting has found a company doing exceptionally good stuff. We are now in the process of updating our reporting on Trupanion and will have much more for you in the coming weeks.
From March 2020
Trupanion founder and CEO Darryl Rawlings spoke with TCR one week after the Seattle-based pet insurance brand announced that its employees would begin working remotely amid the COVID-19 pandemic, “reinforcing its commitment to provide 24/7/365 support for pet owners.” It’s a commitment the company takes seriously. Unlike the cumbersome claims process and detestable customer service experience with which Americans are most familiar in the human health insurance world, Trupanion is like stepping through the looking glass, with its helpful, eager, and readily available customer service associates, not to mention Trupanion’s one-of-a-kind, fast-tracked, quick and effortless claims process that almost feels like having your own, VIP airport security lane for vet visits. Especially when you realize that only your insurance can do real-time pre-authorizations.
- Trupanion Express is proprietary software that facilitates point-of-sale claims processing within seconds. NOTE: Trupanion is the only pet insurance provider in the U.S. market with the ability to process and pay claims at the point of sale before the client pays his or her portion of the invoice.
- The company’s founder and CEO is said to have a desk in the company’s call center, which would help explain why a phone call with Trupanion is about as unlike Aetna or United Healthcare as it gets.
- Although in the past, customers were free to increase or lower their deductibles, Trupanion recently removed the option to lower one’s deductible and pay a higher premium. The reason(s) were not provided to members, but Trupanion has its 4q earnings call in less than one week, which may offer some clarity.
- Trupanion Express, which integrates with veterinary practice management software and facilitates real-time and direct billing, is only available in about 5,000 veterinary practices, although the company has been able to grow this number substantially from one year to the next. The company has about 150 field representatives who visit veterinary practices throughout the country to sell Trupanion’s software (there are between 28,000 and 32,000 total veterinary practices in the United States, so there’s progress to be made).
- Partnerships: Aflac, State Farm
In 2019, Trupanion sued Embrace after Embrace attempted to develop its own version of Trupanion Express, Trupanion’s proprietary software that integrates with veterinary practice management software to facilitate direct pay to veterinarians and claims processing. The suit was settled and the terms are not disclosed, but Embrace presumably withdrew its bid. Or did they? In March 2021, TCR became aware that Embrace is on a list of users of VeNom Codes a U.K.-based veterinary diagnostic coding system. Embrace’s leaders have declined repeated requests to discuss the Venom listing.