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How to easily buy pet insurance

There are simple ways to expedite the pet insurance process. Getty Images/iStockphoto

Around 70% of U.S. households (roughly 90.5 million families) own a pet, according to a recent survey by the American Pet Products Association (APPA). Additionally, most pet parents consider their furry companions as part of their family and are willing to spend give their pets the best life. APPA reports spending on our pets soared to $123.6 billion in 2021, up from $90.5 billion in 2018.

Despite the best of intentions, many pet owners find pet care too costly for their budget, especially when it comes to veterinary care. Increasingly, these pet owners are turning to pet insurance for help. 

Pet insurance is a unique form of protection that works like health insurance for humans. You pay your monthly insurance premium, and in return, you'll receive pet insurance covering a wide array of medical treatments and other services that can help lower your veterinary costs.

Since you never know when you'll need medical care for your pet, it's always a good idea to have extra protection. As with any type of insurance policy, it's a wise practice to shop and compare multiple quotes to ensure you're getting the best value. 

If you're in the market for pet insurance start by getting a free online price quote now so you know exactly what to expect.

How to buy pet insurance easily

Here's how you can save time - and stress - when buying pet insurance.

Know your budget and what you can afford

Before you shop for pet insurance, you should have a general idea of how much you can afford for a monthly pet insurance premium. Most pet insurance companies offer varying plans, but you'll generally pay between $15 to $40 per month for a cat and $30 to $70 per month for a dog. That's a fairly affordable price for the peace of mind of knowing your financial outlay for your next trip to the vet will be significantly less with your policy in force.

If you're concerned about affordability, you may be eligible for discounts that can lower your costs. Many pet insurance providers offer discounts ranging from bundling and multi-pet discounts to lower premiums for military and senior citizens. For example, Fetch by The Dodo pet insurance offers a lifetime 10% discount if you're an AARP member, while Spot Pet Insurance gives you 10% off each additional pet you add to a policy.

Get a free price quote now so you can better determine your budget.

Know the coverage you want

To receive a pet insurance quote, you'll typically answer a few simple questions about your pet and the type of coverage you would like. Taking a moment to consider the types of coverage you may want can help when it comes time to get insurance quotes. Fortunately, most pet insurers provide a broad range of coverage options, from accident-only to more comprehensive plans. 

Here's a quick breakdown of the types of policy options to consider:

  • Accident-only coverage: Should an unfortunate and unforeseen accident occur, accident-only coverage can help pay for veterinary treatment if your pet suffers sudden trauma or injury. This type of pet insurance is usually your least expensive option. For example, an accident-only policy for dogs averages just $17 per month with Spot Pet Insurance.
  • Accident and illness plans: If you'd like a little more protection, accident and illness plans provide coverage for accidents and when your pet is ill. These plans may cover issues like allergies, digestive issues, and cancer, in addition to accident-related problems. Accident and illness plans may be especially beneficial if your pet is young. Not only is pet insurance more affordable for younger pets, but you can lock in coverage now, so they're protected if they develop illnesses in the future.
  • Comprehensive plans: Comprehensive plans offer more robust coverage, such as reimbursements for injuries, illnesses, prescriptions, X-rays, and diagnostic tests. Coverage among pet insurance providers varies, but many insurers cover issues you might not have considered. For example, Fetch by The Dodo covers boarding fees up to $1,000 at licensed facilities.

Know your pet

The more you know about your pet, the better equipped you'll be to get the proper coverage plan with the correct annual benefit limit. For example, if you have a Jack Russell Terrier, you may know this breed is known to have specific health issues, including deafness and patellar luxation. As such, enrolling in a policy that covers surgeries for these conditions is a viable option.

Because some pets risk inheriting health issues associated with their breed, some breeds are more expensive than others to insure. For example, a LendEDU analysis of Spot Pet Insurance data reveals that Newfoundlands are the most expensive dog breed to insure at $100.79 per month for accident and illness coverage. By contrast, the English Springer Spaniel has the most affordable policy premiums at $33.56 per month.

Know how to customize your coverage

Most pet insurance policies come with a few essential features you can adjust to meet your pet's needs and your budget.

  • Deductible: Like other types of insurance, the deductible is the amount you must pay before your insurance coverage kicks in. With pet insurance, most providers offer deductibles ranging from $100 to $1,000. You may lower your monthly premium by opting for a higher deductible. 
  • Reimbursement rate: The reimbursement rate is the percentage of covered costs you'll receive, minus your deductible. With Spot Pet Insurance, the percentage options range from 70% to 90%. If you anticipate a pricey procedure or treatment, you might consider choosing a higher percentage rate to lower your costs.
  • Annual coverage amount: Your coverage limit is the maximum amount your pet insurance provider will pay toward your pet's covered costs. Coverage amounts vary widely, but limits can range from $2,500 to $100,000, with some insurers even offering unlimited coverage. If the quote you receive is too high, consider adjusting your coverage amount, deductible or reimbursement rate to dial in a rate that meets your needs.

Your vet can also help you tailor your policy so that you don't wind up paying for coverage you don't need - and only for what you need now, or may need in the future for your specific breed.

The bottom line

You can quickly buy pet insurance by understanding what kind of coverage your dog needs and how much you're willing to spend on your monthly premiums. 

Remember, however, you will likely have to go through a waiting period before your pet's coverage activates, typically 14 days for policies covering illnesses. If you plan on getting pet insurance, you may want to enroll soon, so your pet is covered in case something goes wrong.

Start with a free online price quote today.

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