Take these steps to find the cheapest pet insurance that’s right for you.
Review your pet insurance plan with your veterinarian
Use your veterinarian as a resource to determine the best coverage. Discuss the potential health issues of your pet breed before purchasing a policy.
“It is important to note that some breeds of animals are more susceptible to certain hereditary conditions than others. Because of this, your vet can identify certain health concerns that are worth covering before your pet is affected,” says Dr. Randy Aronson, a veterinary consultant at betterpet, a pet welfare advice site.
Compare pet insurance plans
How much you’ll pay for pet insurance can vary drastically from one insurance company to another. The best way to find a good price is to compare pet insurance quotes from several different insurers to find affordable pet insurance.
Be sure to compare plans with similar policy details, such as coverage limits, reimbursement levels, and deductibles. This way you are comparing costs in an apples-to-apples way. But keep in mind that coverage features may still change. For example, not all insurers offer a 24/7 veterinary telehealth line or cover alternative therapies.
And while your goal may be to find low-cost pet insurance, it would be a mistake to focus solely on price. You will want to consider other factors such as waiting periods. Some pet insurers have extended waiting periods as long as six to 12 months for orthopedic conditions such as cruciate ligament tears. But you can find pet insurance with no waiting period for orthopedic conditions, such as ASPCA, ManyPets, Pumpkin, Spot, and Trupanion.
Buy an accident-only policy
Pet accident and illness insurance policies are usually the most expensive because they cover a variety of issues, such as broken bones, torn ligaments, hereditary conditions, cancer, emergency room visits, hospitalization, and prescription medication. .
But if you’re comfortable taking on more financial risk, you can save money by choosing a pet medical insurance policy that offers less coverage.
For example, some pet insurance companies will also offer accident-only policies that exclusively cover accident-related expenses, such as broken bones or situations where your pet ingests something it shouldn’t. As accident-only plans are not as comprehensive, they cost less than an accident and sickness plan, reducing your cost of cover.
Just keep in mind, if you buy an accident-only policy, you won’t be covered for medical bills related to the illness.
Adjust your deductible, reimbursement and coverage levels
The details and terms of your policy affect the cost you pay for coverage. When you buy a policy, you can usually choose:
- Deductible. The amount you must pay each year before your coverage pays for any of your pet’s vet bills, such as $200 or $500.
- Reimbursement Level. Your insurance company will reimburse you for a portion of your vet bills after your deductible has been paid. For example, you can choose a plan that reimburses 90% of your vet bills.
- Cover caps. Many pet insurance companies give you the option to choose your annual coverage limit. This means they will reimburse your vet bills up to a certain amount each year, such as $5,000. Some pet insurance companies, such as Spot and Pets Best, offer unlimited annual coverage.
Here are some ways to lower your pet insurance costs:
- Choose a lower refund percentage such as 70%.
- Select a higher deductible such as $500.
- Lower your annual coverage cap by choosing $10,000 instead of unlimited coverage.
While lowering your deductible, copay and coverage levels can save you money on your pet insurance costs, you’ll have to pay more out-of-pocket for veterinary expenses.
Ask for pet insurance discounts
Pet insurance discounts are a great way to save on your premiums. Here are some to look for:
- Multiple discount. You can usually get savings if you insure more than one pet.
- Spay/neuter discount. If your pet is spayed or neutered, you may qualify for savings.
- Deduction of annual wages. Some insurers offer discounts to customers who pay their annual premium in one lump sum.
- Discount for employees. Some employers offer pet insurance as a benefit, which can range from a 5% to 10% discount.
- Military discount. If you are a military member or veteran, you may qualify for a discount.
Don’t wait to buy coverage
The sooner you buy pet insurance, the better, says Aronson.
For example, if your pet develops a condition such as heart disease or arthritis before you purchase pet insurance, it will be considered a pre-existing condition and excluded from coverage. It means that you will have to pay out of pocket for any expenses related to this condition.