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When is pet insurance worth it?

English bulldogs are predisposed to certain medical conditions, making them an ideal candidate for pet insurance. Getty Images/iStockphoto

During a time of economic uncertainty and persistent inflation, many Americans find themselves taking a closer look at their personal finances. What may have been affordable 12 to 18 months ago may not be so anymore. Interest rates are higher, grocery shopping is more expensive and even veterinary costs have increased. 

In this environment, it helps to truly understand the worth of a product or service before signing on the dotted line. For dog and cat owners, pet insurance can provide much-needed relief from growing medical costs. Policies can reimburse owners for a wide variety of items including treatments, medicines and even some surgical procedures. 

But is it worth buying now, or should pet owners wait and take the risk of paying out of pocket the next time they have to head to the vet? That's what we will explore below. 

If you're considering insuring your pet then start by getting a free price quote so you know what to expect.

When is pet insurance worth it?

While pet insurance can be beneficial for both young and old pets, there are times when it's more valuable than others. Here are three times pet insurance is worth it.

When your pet is young

You'll never have a better mix of cost and coverage than you will when your pet is young. Young pets are typically healthy pets and because of this insurance companies will typically charge you less than they would for an older, riskier pet. They'll also offer robust coverage options to choose from. So don't wait until your pet ages to start applying. In many cases, you can secure a pet insurance policy within the first few months of your pet's life.

"We advise all paw-rents to insure their pet at a young age," Spot pet insurance notes on its website. "You can enroll your pet in (a) plan from Spot as soon as they're 8 weeks old. Don't let your pet develop a pre-existing condition' before they're insured."

Get a price quote from Spot pet insurance here now.

When you have a breed predisposed to certain medical conditions

Unfortunately, not all dogs and cats will have the same quality of life. Some breeds are predisposed to medical conditions that will need continuous care and treatment throughout their life. In these instances, it's worth it to get pet insurance to help offset the inevitable expenses you'll run into when your pet needs care.

What kind of breeds are we talking about? For dogs, think of Newfoundlands (known for hip dysplasia) and Jack Russell Terriers (known for deafness and patellar luxation, which may require surgical intervention). For cats, Persian breeds may run into breathing issues while Ragdolls may have to cope with kidney disease and heart murmurs.

This is not an exhaustive list, however. If you have one of these breeds or ones likely to encounter similar medical issues in the future, it's worth it to get insured now before costs rise and coverage opportunities are limited. And don't forget that pre-existing conditions won't be eligible. 

When you have a dog

Dogs are more likely to need continuous medical care than cats. The reasons for this are multiple. They're outside of the home every day (where more injuries and accidents are likely to occur). They're also significantly bigger and heavier, leading to health issues smaller cats won't have to deal with. Dogs are also thought to be less resistant to some diseases than cats. Because of these reasons, if you have a dog or puppy it's generally worth it to get a pet insurance policy now so you'll be protected when you head to the vet for treatment or surgery.

Get a customized pet insurance quote online now!

The bottom line

Pet insurance can be both valuable and cost-effective, even in today's uneven economic climate. That said, to get the most out of a potential policy pet owners will want to apply when it's most valuable. This includes when your pet is young and healthy and/or when your specific pet's breed is predisposed to certain medical conditions. For dog owners, it's especially helpful to have a pet insurance policy in place to help offset the costs of routine veterinary care. 

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