How to choose the most beneficial & cheap pet insurance?
It might surprise you to learn that the most expensive pet insurance on the market isn’t always going to be the right type of insurance for your furry friends. At the other end of the spectrum, the cheapest pet insurance plan isn’t always going to be the least beneficial. Lots of different things affect and alter not just the price but also the level of coverage.
Here are the best ways to find the most beneficial and cheap pet insurance:
1: Know what you need
How old is your pet? Senior dogs are much more difficult to get insurance for than adult dogs and puppies. Most providers have a cut-off age, and they won’t provide coverage for any above the maximum age. Senior dogs are more compatible with alternatives to conventional pet insurance, such as the Petcube Pet Emergency Fund.
Pets with pre-existing conditions are often exempt from insurance reimbursements, and some providers won’t insure pets with ongoing or existing problems at all. It pays to take a long, hard look at the small print!
Alongside age and current health status, the following factors can affect the price and/or level of coverage from pet insurance:
- Reproductive status (spayed/neutered).
2: Consider breed-specific providers or policies
Breed and pedigree-specific insurers have a policy that covers a wide range of illnesses that those breeds are prone to. They have higher prices than non-breed-specific ones, but they also often cover conditions that other providers won’t.
Bulldogs, specifically, often suffer from hereditary and congenital issues and conditions, which makes them tricky to insure. Hip dysplasia, breathing difficulties, dental complaints, stiff joints and other joint-related issues, and skin issues are all common in bulldogs.
3: Compare coverage options
There are three main types of coverage when it comes to pet insurance, although many insurance companies now offer a build-your-own policy in a sense. These are similar to car insurance policies:
- Accident coverage;
- Illness coverage;
- Comprehensive coverage (accident plus illness).
According to Business Insider, the average premium per month for a dog is $19.93 for accident coverage only and $48.66 for both accident and illness cover.
Pet owners do not receive reimbursement for illness treatments if they only have accidental coverage for pets. Accident and illness coverage is cheaper than comprehensive coverage.
Many providers offer add-ons or extras, including coverage for euthanasia and cremation, preventative care (known as wellness coverage), congenital and hereditary illnesses, and alternative or holistic therapies (such as chiropractor or acupuncture). These will, of course, increase the cost of insurance, but will take the cost of such treatments down.
4: Sign up young pets
It is cheaper overall to insure pets from an early age. Over the years, the insurance will rise, but the cost of insuring an older pet is higher than what the increase over the years would’ve been.
Waiting until your pet is an adult before insuring them gives conditions the time and chance to show up. Your pet then has a pre-existing condition that insurance won’t reimburse you for. Young cats, dogs, and other pets are usually still in the pre-condition stage. If they develop a condition after you’ve gotten insurance, it’s not pre-existing.
5: Read the reviews
Always read the reviews when purchasing pet insurance. If a bunch of people are saying that the company is bad, has terrible customer service, or is any other way unsatisfactory, you run the risk of falling prey to the same problems by signing up.
It’s important to remember that the provider isn’t going to put bad feedback or reviews on their own company website.
6: Shop around & compare plans
The last time I looked for pet insurance for my 7-year-old cat, I received quotes between $30 and $150, which just goes to show how wide the scope of pet insurance prices is.
With different providers offering slightly different plans and packages, it’s hard to compare them by price alone. Other things to consider include deductibles, reimbursement percentages, waiting times, covered/not-covered conditions, and payment options (direct vet pay/reimbursement to you).
7: Pet insurance vs alternatives
Although confusing, the current pet health coverage situation is good for pet owners because there are plenty of options to pick from. This means you are more likely than not to find something that works well for you.
There are several alternatives to conventional pet insurance, including emergency-only protection, long-term savings plans, credit cards solely for pet emergencies, or even loans from the bank or family members.
8: Opt for a higher deductible
Different providers offer different options when it comes to deductibles. It can be on an annual basis, or every time you claim/have a medical episode. Either way, a higher deductible usually means a lower monthly (or annual) premium cost.
Final top tips to make pet insurance cheaper
You can save money in a whole bunch of different ways, some of which you might not have thought of. Try these final top tips:
- Pay annually to cut monthly transaction fees;
- Look/ask for annual payment discount;
- Look/ask for multi-pet discounts;
- Don’t get a pedigree or purebred;
- Adopt a cat – they’re cheaper to insure. (It’s a joke but also true.)