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When Should You Get Pet Insurance?

Posted: 03/12/2023 | BY: Jenna Bruce | Categories: Pet care , Top Tips

When should you get pet insurance? It’s a question most pet parents wonder about. And that’s because we all know that an unexpected accident or illness can impact our fur babies at any time. And that  means out of the blue we can be hit with a veterinary bill that is in the thousands of dollars!

As one example, let’s say your dog, who has a penchant for getting into things he shouldn’t, swallows one of your kid’s toys, causing a life-threatening intestinal blockage. It could cost anywhere between $3,000  for a simple surgery to $7,000 for a more complex surgery to save your dog’s life. 

Pet insurance helps pet parents by offsetting much of the costs associated with diagnosing, treating and managing your pet’s illness or injury. For instance, some plans will reimburse you for up to 90% of the total vet bill. You’re now looking at only paying $700 toward that $7,000 bill.

The bottom line is, pet insurance is what saves many people from having to make that heartbreaking decision of letting their fur babies go because they can’t afford emergency care.

when should you get pet insurance?

When to Get Pet Insurance – Is There Really a Best Time?

Yes! The absolute best time to enroll your pet into an insurance plan is right after you bring your fur baby home from the shelter or breeder. The sooner you have coverage, the better prepared you’ll be should your fur baby become suddenly ill or injured.

Have you seen the prices of vet care these days?


And of course, these prices go up the more serious the accident or illness:



Why Insuring a Younger Pet Makes Sense (Cents!)

Some people scratch their heads, wondering what the point is of getting pet insurance for a young pet instead of a senior pet. We’re here to tell you from personal experience, there are a few very good reasons to get pet insurance as early as possible for your fur baby.

Lower Monthly Premiums

Pet insurance premiums can vary significantly based on a variety of factors such as age and location. The younger a pet, the less health conditions they will have and the less your insurance provider will charge you each month for coverage.

Pet Insurance Does Not Cover Pre-existing Conditions

Waiting until your senior dog or cat begins developing health issues is a bad idea. Once they have been diagnosed with something, it is considered a pre-existing condition and your insurance provider won’t cover it. You can still get coverage for accidents or illness, but not for any expenses that are incurred as a result of a previously-diagnosed condition. We’ll talk more about pre-existing conditions in just a bit. 

When to get pet insurance?

Help with Routine Care

At this point you may be thinking, “Okay, I’ll get a lower monthly premium but I’m still paying monthly and not really using the coverage.” Well, that’s not necessarily the case. Some plans provide coverage for early expenses such as core vaccinations, wellness exams, preventative care and routine care for your fur baby’s life. So you are absolutely getting your money’s worth.

Young Pets Get Into Trouble

The truth is, while older pets may be more likely to develop chronic diseases related to age and wear and tear, puppies and kittens are more likely to get into some kind of trouble while exploring their new surroundings! Many of the pets an emergency clinic sees on a yearly basis are very young ones who have either broken a bone or sprained a ligament from a high jump, ingested a foreign object, or gotten into some kind of toxic chemical. 

Without question, pet insurance gives pet parents peace of mind.

Here is one recent review from a pet parent about their experience with pet insurance for their puppy:

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What Is a Pre-existing Condition in Pet Insurance?

Any health issue that develops before enrollment into a pet insurance plan, or before that plan goes into effect (there is always a waiting period), may be considered “pre-existing” by the provider. And sadly, there are no exceptions and no insurance company offers coverage for pre-existing conditions. And that’s why getting insurance as soon as possible is so important. In this scenario, costs associated with treatment for pre-existing conditions would be paid for out of pocket. 

Should I Still Get Pet Insurance If My Pet Has a Pre-Existing Condition?

Yes! Even though your pet’s pre-existing condition would not be covered, you would still have coverage for new illnesses and injuries. And there is always the option of enrolling in wellness coverage to help offset the costs for preventative care. This will help ensure your fur baby stays as healthy for as long as possible.

When to Get Pet Insurance for a Puppy

When to get pet insurance puppy

As we mentioned earlier, puppies can get into all sorts of trouble thanks to their boundless energy and curiosity. This makes them highly susceptible to accidents and injuries. 

Many new pup parents wonder when is the earliest they can enroll their puppy into an insurance plan. The age at which you can enroll your puppy will vary from company to company. Generally speaking, most will begin ensuring puppies at six weeks of age. 

Common Health Risks for Puppies

While most puppies are very active and healthy, it’s important to recognize that there are still some health risks for them, regardless of size or breed. For instance, genetic abnormalities affect dogs at any age, but some can cause significant issues early on. For example, heart abnormalities or orthopedic issues can negatively impact puppies as young as just a few months old.

In addition, young pups, before becoming vaccinated, can fall ill to common diseases such as parvovirus, distemper, and adenovirus. Vaccination definitely reduces this risk, but there is a window of time where they can be quite vulnerable any time they leave the house. 

Puppies are also commonly diagnosed with parasites such as fleas, ticks and intestinal worms. And many can develop seasonal allergies or easily become ill with dehydration or hypothermia. 

Here’s another pup parent who was happy she enrolled her puppy into an insurance plan. It saved her family a LOT of money!

When Should You Get Pet Insurance?

The sooner the better! By enrolling early you will save yourself on monthly premiums, receive coverage before any pre-existing conditions develop, and enjoy peace of mind for the life of your pet. 

Pet Insurance Review makes it easy to select the right insurance plan for your family. We have collected over 150,000 real reviews from pet parents just like you so you can get unbiased information on the top insurance providers. You can also easily compare pet insurance providers to determine which offers you the coverage you’re looking for.

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The information contained on this blog is intended for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always consult with your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet's health care or treatment plan.

The authors of this blog are not veterinarians and do not claim to be experts in pet health. The information provided here is based on our own experiences and research, as well as information from reputable sources. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of this information.

We encourage you to do your own research and consult with your veterinarian before making any decisions about your pet's health.

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