Pet insurance is a lot like health insurance for your pet. It covers physical injuries and medical illnesses that may occur during the policy period. It gives the pet owner peace of mind that future vet bills aren’t going to be prohibitively expensive. Nobody wants to be put in that situation where they have to put a price tag on their pet’s life. Unfortunately, it happens everyday. The best way to avoid this impossible choice is to include in the cost of pet ownership from the beginning with a strong policy from a reputable pet insurance company.

Ready to shop for a policy? We recommend starting here for pet insurance quotes.


When to Buy Pet Insurance

It’s best to buy this policy while the pet is still young. Yes, you’ll likely have to pay into the policy for longer before you ever need it, but exclusions for pre-existing conditions are another similarity to regular health insurance. Wait for an illness to appear, and it may become impossible to get any coverage at all. Plus, cute little puppies aren’t exactly impervious to serious injury and illness. You want to be covered for pet injuries and illnesses as soon as you get your pet.


Two Types of Pet Policies

Here’s another way pet insurance is a lot like other types of insurance: There are good but expensive policies and there are crappy but cheap policies. In the industry, there are most commonly known as simple vs comprehensive plans. With simple insurance, coverage is defined by the illness or injury and typically includes a defined list of what’s covered by the policy. Unless the diagnosis is on the list, more than likely, you’re still going to be on the hook for any vet bills you accrue.

With a comprehensive plan, coverage is defined by the animal itself and its various biological systems. If your pet is sick, chances are the vet bills will be covered according to the terms of the policy. There is still usually some co-pay amount. But unless the cause of the injury or illness is specifically listed as an exclusion—abuse and mistreatment by the owner, for example—you shouldn’t have any trouble making and receiving a claim on your insurance policy.


Pet Insurance Costs

Pet insurance costs can range anywhere from $10/month to more than $100/month. Most consumers who are generally interested in a middle-of-the-road policy can probably expect monthly premiums between $25-$60/month. Along with the level of coverage you choose, there are typically 4 things that will determine how much you pay: age, breed, gender, and location. Owners with older, high-risk breeds and/or pregnant females living in an area of the country with higher than average vet costs can expect to pay at the top end of the range for an insurance policy.

Whether you’re going on a trip with your dog or cat, or you’re adding a pet as the newest member of your family, it’s never a bad time to get the financial protection of a comprehensive pet insurance policy.

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