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Want the best pet insurance for your dog? Avoid these 3 mistakes

Before purchasing pet insurance for your dog, first ask your veterinarian for their advice and opinion. Getty Images

Pet insurance can be a worthwhile financial protection to secure, whether you have a cat, dog or even an exotic animal. Pet insurance can help owners of young and old pets alike, although usually for different reasons and at different price points. In exchange for a minimal fee to a provider (often discounted if paid annually), owners can obtain coverage for a wide variety of veterinarian visits, treatments and even some medications.

Pet insurance can be particularly beneficial for dogs, who tend to need more medical care more often than some other domestic pets. That said, to get the most out of a pet insurance plan for your dog, you'll want to carefully avoid making some common mistakes. These errors could be the difference between getting the most out of your plan and paying for coverage you don't need and can't use.

Start by getting a free price quote now to learn more.

Pet insurance for dogs: 3 mistakes to avoid

If you want to secure the highest-quality pet insurance for your dog, avoid making these three simple mistakes.

Waiting too long to purchase it

Pet insurance won't get cheaper if you wait. In fact, it will become more expensive.

As your dog ages, their health will inevitably deteriorate, making them pricier to insure than if you got a policy when they were a puppy. The financial risk the insurer takes on is reflected in higher premiums for you. So if you want a cost-effective policy, it makes sense to get it as soon as possible.

But there's another reason you shouldn't wait to insure your dog: pre-existing medical conditions. Pet insurance providers won't cover these conditions if your dog has them, making the policy less valuable than if you applied when they were condition-free. If you wait until your pet ages - or until they get sick - you'll be approved for less coverage, often at a higher cost than if you pursued a policy earlier.

So, if you want cheaper but more comprehensive coverage, apply for a pet insurance policy for your dog when they're young and healthy. Get a free quote in 30 seconds here to see what it would cost.

Not speaking with your veterinarian

Your veterinarian is well-versed in your dog's medical history. They're also likely experienced with the medical history of your dog's breed and can speak to any medical conditions your dog may have now or is likely to encounter in the future. Because of these reasons, it makes sense to speak to your veterinarian before purchasing a pet insurance plan.

Your vet can tell you what to look for in a policy so you don't wind up paying for coverage you don't need. They can help you fine-tune your coverage so it's appropriate for your dog and can offset costs as best as possible. Remember, some dog breeds need more care than others, so make sure to consult your veterinarian to get the very best insurance policy available for your particular breed.

Not shopping around for a policy

This is a mistake consumers make across the board and one you should be careful to avoid when purchasing pet insurance. Just because pet insurance isn't as well known as some other insurance types, it doesn't mean your options are limited. Shop around first.

Don't sign up with the first provider you get a quote from. Instead, compare policies and prices from multiple companies. Aim to get quotes from at least three different providers before choosing one.

Just make sure to get equal quotes from each. So, if you get a quote for an accident-only policy for a 2-year-old female Labrador, make sure you get quotes from a second and third provider for the same policy type, age, sex and breed. This will give you an accurate apples-to-apples comparison to measure against.

The bottom line

Pet insurance can offer dog owners peace and financial security. To get the most out of a policy, however, it helps to both know what to look for and what mistakes to avoid. These mistakes include waiting too long to secure a policy, not consulting your veterinarian and not shopping around for the best policy and lowest price.

If owners can avoid these mistakes, they will greatly boost their chances of securing effective and long-lasting pet insurance for their dog.

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