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Pet insurance tips all owners should know

Pet insurance is typically less expensive for younger pets than it is for older ones.  Getty Images

Pet ownership can be a fulfilling and fun experience for many years. Whether you have a dog, cat or exotic animal, pets often become members of the family. Those relatives, however, come with a cost - a cost that's increasing. In addition to causing a jump in grocery shopping and food prices, inflation has also led to a bump in veterinary care expenses. In this environment, pet owners may be looking for any edge they can get.

Enter pet insurance. In exchange for a monthly premium to a provider, owners can secure coverage for a wide variety of ailments, medical issues and treatments. This can help protect pets and the owners who love them. To get the most out of this unique insurance type, however, owners should first know a few important tips.

If you're in the market for pet insurance, start by getting a free price quote now.

Pet insurance tips all owners should know

Here are three important pet insurance tips all owners should know now. 

Apply early to get the best rates and terms

Like most insurance types, the best pet insurance rates and terms are generally reserved for younger, healthier applicants. If you want to pay as little as possible for as much coverage as possible, you should apply when your pet is still young.

Every birthday that passes will make a pet insurance plan more expensive. It will also reduce your chances of securing comprehensive coverage. Pet insurance won't cover pre-existing medical conditions, so if you wait until your pet develops these issues, pet insurance companies will limit your coverage (or reject your application in full).

So apply while your pet is young and healthy (although older pets may still be eligible for valuable coverage, depending on their health at the time of application).

You can check pet insurance prices here now to learn more.

Don't wait until your pet is sick 

Because pet insurance won't cover pre-existing conditions, it doesn't make sense to wait your pet is sick. If you do, you won't get the coverage you need anyway, so it's better to act before it becomes urgent.

But there's also a more practical reason to avoid delaying coverage: Pet insurance has a waiting period before coverage kicks in.

"The 15-day waiting period, which begins the day after you enroll, is a set period of time before your coverage kicks in and you can be paid back for claims," pet insurer Fetch by The Dodo says. "There's also a 6-month waiting period before injuries of the hips and knees can be covered. You can waive the waiting period for knee injuries by having your pet examined by a vet in the first 30 days of your policy to determine that they don't have any relevant pre-existing conditions."

Consult your veterinarian

If you already use your veterinarian to discuss your pet's health and well-being, why not consult them about an insurance policy that can help improve those items? Your veterinarian isn't only well-versed in your pet's medical history - they also have experience with your pet's overall breed and any medical issues they may be predisposed to.

Don't be shy to ask your vet for their advice or suggestions. They may be able to help you tailor your policy so you only pay for coverage you need now or will need in the near future. 

Get a free pet insurance quote here now to learn more.

The bottom line

The above list of tips is not exhaustive. There are multiple ways to get cheap and discounted pet insurance without sacrificing value. It's important to apply early, however, when rates are low and coverage options are robust. Don't wait until your pet is sick as their condition may disqualify them from coverage. And consider speaking with your veterinarian, who can give you an unvarnished view of pet insurance and the potential coverages your pet may need.

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