Pets are lifelong members of the family. They need love, food and shelter, as well as care if they’re hurt or sick. Unfortunately, the cost of your pet’s health care can be sky high, which is why so many people choose to buy pet insurance. The problem is that good pet insurance does have monthly costs, and you might wonder if it’s going to save you money in the long run.
It is possible to keep pet insurance affordable, especially in comparison to emergency care or illness treatment, and you can do it without compromising on the quality of coverage. Here are some tips for keeping the insurance costs as low as possible.
Get Them While They’re Still Young
Insuring a kitten or puppy is typically much cheaper than insuring an adult pet. As a rule of thumb, the older a pet is, the more expensive it will be to insure. In fact, some insurers even have age limits beyond which they will not insure your pet, though that age is often high. The older your pet, the likelier it is to get seriously ill and require expensive treatment. It’s usually much cheaper to insure a young kitten or puppy, simply because they’re healthier--but the coverage will be there for you as that same pet ages.
The younger your pet, the less likely they are to have suffered an accident or illness that could qualify as a pre-existing condition. This means that insuring your pets when they’re still young will also minimize exclusions and many insurers, like Embrace, will cover your pets from when they are newborns.
Adopt, Don’t Shop
There are many compelling reasons why you should adopt a mixed-breed pet from a shelter instead of buying a pedigree pet. Pedigree pets are often expensive and very high maintenance. Mixed-breed shelter pets, on the other hand, are much cheaper to adopt and give you the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve saved a life.
What you might not know is that a shelter pet could also save you money on your pet insurance. Most pedigree animals draw on a smaller gene pool than mixed breed animals, so they’re more susceptible to illness and generally have a shorter lifespan. Consequently, they’re more expensive to insure and to treat for their hereditary health problems. Trupanion, among other providers, does offer coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions, though not all companies will and it can be pricey.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
The best way to keep pet insurance costs down is to make sure your pal is in tip top shape. You should feed your pets a high-quality diet, give them regular exercise and take them to the vet for annual checkups. Some companies, like PetsBest, offer routine care options. This might cost a bit more in the short term, but it could save you a ton of money in increased insurance premiums and out-of-pocket fees in the long run.
Spay or Neuter Your Pet
Spaying or neutering your pet isn’t just the responsible thing to do, it also keeps insurance costs down. Spaying or neutering your pet significantly reduces or eliminates the risk of certain conditions and diseases, including cancers of the reproductive system. This makes your pet a lesser risk for the insurance company, which in turn leads to a cheaper premium.
Choose a Higher Deductible
The deductible is a fixed amount you have to pay out of your own pocket before cover kicks in.
Many insurers have a choice of deductible. Choosing a higher deductible will decrease your insurance provider’s exposure, and consequently the cost of your insurance premium.
Of course, a higher deductible will increase your out-of-pocket expenses. However, this will mostly be the case for small claims. You’ll still be more than adequately covered in the event of a large claim, especially if the deductible is only payable once a year. Given that the reduction in premium could be significant, it might be worth the trade-off in the long run.
If you’re interested in pet ownership but wary of the cost, know that there are more affordable options and ways to cut costs. Adopt a mixed breed animal and read reviews for the best health insurance choices to trim down the cost of preventative and emergency medical care for your pet.