Dog Insurance: Getting a good deal

The idea of purchasing pet insurance has probably passed through your mind a few times, but choosing an insurance company is often daunting. We’ve come up with five tips to help you choose the best dog insurance for your pet.

# 1 – Start at the beginning
Buying pet insurance is a lot like insuring a car. The older the car, the higher your premiums and likewise the older your pet the more your dog insurance will cost. Buy early, if possible, the day you bring your dog home. Many dog insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, health problems your pet had before you insured him, or animals older than 6 years.

#2 – Do your homework
Know what you want your pet insurance to cover before you make any calls. Google your dog’s breed to learn what serious illnesses are common and how often they tend to get sick? Do you need your insurance to cover yearly vet visits, vaccinations or even tooth cleaning? Talk to friends and family, or even join a few web forums, to find out what kinds of plans other pet owners are happy with.

#3 – Shop around
You first call for pet insurance should be to the same company that holds your car and home insurance policies. Many companies offer a discount on packages. If your policy holder doesn’t offer pet insurance try your bank or credit card company. If you still have no luck finding dog insurance ask your vet for the names of insurers their office deals with regularly. Make a list of prices and policies to compare before you decide on one.

#4 – Weight up the costs
Just because one pet insurance plan is more affordable, doesn’t make it better. A more expensive plan may seem sky high when you are looking at an invoice, but so might the vet’s bill for an unforeseen illness. Look back to your homework and call your vet to get a picture of the costs you might incur as your pet ages. The answers might change your mind on dog insurance.

#5 – Read the fine print, twice
We’ve all had bad experiences caused by not reading the small print. If your dog insurance doesn’t cover a procedure that you can’t afford you may have to say good bye to your friend earlier than you’d hoped. Likewise, your dog insurance policy may have rules about yearly vet visits or using only approved kennels when you board your dog. Knowledge is power, arm yourself well.

Image supplied by samsamcardiff, used under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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Proud owner of two Miniature Schnauzers (Archie and Lola), and a Giant Schnauzer (Milo). Favourite Dog Trick: Turn. Enjoys Southern Comfort.
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