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5 ways to get cheap pet insurance

Mixed Race female veterinarian examining puppy
There are ways to find cost-effective policies without having to sacrifice care or quality. Getty Images

Pet insurance provides a variety of benefits to owners. It helps save money and provides peace of mind. It also comes in different shapes and sizes to better serve the needs of customers. 

In exchange for a relatively inexpensive monthly charge (approximately $15-$40 for cats and $30-$70 for dogs), you can rest easy knowing that your pet is protected. 

But before you make any final decisions on the type of insurance and provider, make sure you do your research.

5 ways to get cheap pet insurance

Just because the advantages of having your pet insured are clear it doesn't mean you should have to pay top dollar. There are ways to find cost-effective policies without having to sacrifice care or quality. 

If you're in the market for pet insurance or want to expand the protection your pet has, it helps to speak with a professional. They can answer your questions and provide a quote so you know what to expect.

Here are five ways to make sure you get affordable pet insurance.

Shop around

As is the case with many financial products, it pays to shop around. Compare rates and providers to see what each is offering and don't take the first deal you get. See what other pet insurance providers are also willing to provide. 

Just make sure you're doing an apples-to-apples comparison. For example, if you get a quote for a 2-year-old, 75-pound dog, then get a quote for the same age, weight, and breed type from a second and third provider, too. This will ensure that you have an accurate estimate to evaluate. Compare your options by using the table below.

Speak to your vet

Your veterinarian is well-versed in the health of your pet. They are also dialed in on any fitness issues your specific breed will encounter. Talk to them to determine what kind of protection they recommend. You may be paying for coverage that your cat or dog is unlikely to ever need. This could lead to extra costs each month.

If you speak to your vet and tell them what you're thinking, however, they can help tailor your pet insurance so that you only pay for what you need and not for anything you don't.

Get an accident-only policy

An accident-only policy will cover your pets for emergencies like broken bones or if they eat and swallow something they shouldn't have. It's not as comprehensive as regular pet insurance (it won't cover medication or hereditary conditions). But if you're looking to cut costs and stay insured, this option could be worth exploring. 

Do a careful analysis of your pet. If they're generally healthy and young then you can safely get away with this minimal protection. If they're older, need more routine care and have more frequent visits to the vet, then you may not want to cut corners here. Use your judgment to determine what's best.

Consider the breed and type

If you're early on in the process and have not yet purchased a cat or dog, consider the breed and type now before looking for insurance. Pet insurance, like life insurance for humans, generally favors the young and healthy. 

If you want a dog (instead of a cat) you'll likely pay more. The same goes for larger dogs (compared to small or medium-sized breeds). You'll also have more expensive insurance (and bills in general) with dogs known for their health issues. So, brachycephalic dogs known for their flat faces (think pugs, English bulldogs, etc.) will be pricier than ones that are considered to be healthier.

Be guided accordingly during your pet search. As mentioned, pet insurance is generally worth buying for a variety of reasons. But it pays to find the most cost-effective protection. Speak to an insurance expert now who can help find a plan that's right for you and your pet. 

Check for discounts

Pet insurance, like other traditional forms of insurance, will provide discounts for a whole range of circumstances. If you pay your premiums upfront, for example (versus monthly) you may be able to get a discount. If you're an active duty member of the military or a veteran you may be eligible for a reduced rate. And if you're older and are an AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) member, you can also get a cheaper rate. Explore all the ways you can get discounted pet insurance now and understand them before speaking to a pet insurance professional. This will help ensure you get the lowest rate you qualify for.

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