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3 ways to optimize your pet insurance

Pet insurance has multiple advantages for both owners and the pets they love. Getty Images/iStockphoto

For most financial products and services, it pays to do your research. This is particularly true when it comes to insurance. By familiarizing yourself with a specific insurance type, you can improve your chances of securing a lower rate. You can also build a more comprehensive policy.

While many adults are familiar with health insurance and the ways it works, the knowledge surrounding other insurance types may not be as robust. This is particularly true for pet insurance, which traditionally covers medical care for cats and dogs. Although not as well-known as other insurances, pet insurance has multiple advantages for both owners and the pets they love. Accordingly, it helps to understand the nuances of this unique protection in order to fully benefit. 

If you're considering pet insurance then start by getting a free quote so you know exactly what to expect. 

3 ways to optimize your pet insurance

Whether you're thinking of buying or adopting a pet (or you already have one), here are three ways to optimize a pet insurance plan. 

Start early

Insurance companies favor the young. When the policyholder is healthy, the claim submissions tend to be lower. Pet insurance is no different. Getting pet insurance when your pet is young is arguably the very best way to optimize your policy.

By starting at an early age, owners can secure a low rate. If they wait until the pet ages and becomes riskier to insure they can expect that risk to be reflected in their premiums. But a young cat or dog is typically a healthy cat or dog. Accordingly, you won't have to break the bank for pet insurance (generally $30 to $70 monthly for dogs and $15 to $40 each month for cats). 

Another benefit to starting when your pet is young and healthy? You can avoid pre-existing condition exclusions. Pet insurance providers can discriminate against pets with pre-existing conditions and exclude those issues from coverage. But if you act soon, before any nagging health issues arise, you can put your pet in the running for more comprehensive care (and at a lower cost).

So start shopping for a pet insurance plan now, before prices rise. You can get a free price quote from pet insurer Lemonade now

Speak to your vet

Your veterinarian isn't just someone you should speak to when you need care or a prescription refill. Due to their experience and expertise in the field, your vet can also help you build a specialized pet insurance plan for your furry friend. 

Your veterinarian knows your pet and their medical history. They're also probably familiar with the breed, the medical history of the breed and any ailments or health issues they may be predisposed to. By asking your vet for pet insurance guidance, you can better tailor your policy to exactly what your pet needs and nothing it doesn't. This way you don't end up paying for coverage you won't use.

For example, a German Shepherd is more likely to need a medical procedure for hip dysplasia than most other breeds. English bulldogs and similar dog types are prone to suffer from Brachycephalic Airway Obstruction Syndrome (BAOS).

Your veterinarian already knows this. So consult with them when getting pet insurance.

Shop around for providers

Have you ever bought a product online only to find it cheaper on another website days later? Don't make the same mistake when buying pet insurance.

Don't just accept the first policy and provider you get a quote from. Do your research, compare providers and see where you can find the best and most comprehensive care for the lowest price. You may be surprised at what you ultimately find.

When shopping policies make sure to do an apples-to-apples comparison. For example, if you want an accident-only policy for a 55-pound, 2-year-old dog, make sure you get quotes from other providers for the same policy type for the same size and age dog. Otherwise, you won't be able to complete an accurate side-by-side comparison of offers. 

You can start with a quote from Spot pet insurance here or use the table below to review some top providers.

The bottom line

Pet insurance is a unique and financially savvy way of protecting both your pet and your bank account. By purchasing a plan early, using your vet for guidance and shopping around for providers, you can improve your chances of securing an inexpensive and comprehensive policy. 

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