In life, timing is everything. So is the case with personal financial decisions. If you make a move too late, you could risk out on a great return on your investment. But if you act too early you could wind up losing out on all of the benefits you would have received if you waited a bit. It’s difficult to always get the timing right but, when you do, the results are worth it.
This is especially true for insurance policies and protections. Policyholders don’t want to get stuck with a big bill and more coverage than they need, but they also don’t want to be underinsured and wind up paying for protections they otherwise would have had taken care of. The timing needs to be just right.
For pet owners in general, and dog owners in particular, it’s crucial to get pet insurance for your furry friend at the right time. If you don’t, the issues you were hoping to avoid will only likely increase. But if you time your application correctly, you and your dog will be protected for years to come.
Why you shouldn’t wait to get pet insurance for your dog
Here are three reasons why owners shouldn’t delay getting pet insurance for their dogs.
Costs will only rise
Pet insurance is almost always cheaper for younger dogs and cats than it is for older ones. So you’ll pay more for a 2-year-old dog than you would have when they were a puppy, and even more for a 5-year-old dog. With every passing birthday, your pet (at least in the eyes of the insurance company) will become less healthy and riskier to insure.
That risk will be passed on to owners in the form of higher monthly and annual premiums. So the best time to get pet insurance for your dog is when they’re young — or now before they age further. If you wait, you’ll almost certainly pay more for the same coverage you would have gotten at a discounted rate a few years prior.
Coverage will become more limited
Not only will the cost of pet insurance rise as your dog gets older, but the coverage providers offer will also diminish. Pet insurance providers, unlike health insurance companies for humans, can and will discriminate against dogs and cats with pre-existing medical conditions. They simply won’t cover those items until they’re fully healed (assuming those conditions can even heal to begin with).
As your dog ages, they’re likely to develop additional medical issues, not less. This means that you’ll have more limited coverage options than if you had simply insured your dog after you first bought or adopted them. While pet insurance can still be helpful for older pets (it’s still better than having to pay out of pocket), it won’t be nearly as valuable or comprehensive as it could have been if you applied at an earlier stage in your dog’s life.
You’ll pay more out of pocket in the interim
While it may seem counterintuitive, by paying for pet insurance, you can actually save money now. Without it, you’ll be saddled with all of the usual veterinary bills for shots, wellness visits, medications and more. But by purchasing a plan now, you’ll be positioned to submit all of those bills for reimbursement — and some providers will reimburse you up to 90% of the out of pocket cost.
That’s a big difference compared to what you’re used to paying now, with no financial assistance. Compared to the hundreds (or thousands) of dollars you’re paying annually now, a monthly fee of less than $70 could be well worth it.
The bottom line
Don’t wait for the perfect time to get pet insurance. It doesn’t exist. And if you wait, it could become problematic. Delaying pet insurance for your dog likely means higher coverage costs and fewer protections. And you’ll get stuck paying for all of your dog’s bills on your own in the interim. Instead, research pet insurance providers and policies and shop around for the best one for you and your dog. Today’s a good day to get started.