Picking the right insurance for your pet can be stressful. There are seemingly endless plans and providers to look through, and it can be difficult to really tell the difference between one plan and another. Here are a few things to keep in mind to help you to narrow down your search and find the right plan to meet your needs.

Assess Your Pet’s Level of Health Risk

It is a good idea to look into what conditions your pet is likely to have over time (certain dog breeds, for example, are prone to hip dysplasia as they age). This will give you a sense of the kind of health coverage you are going to need in the future, and there is a ton of information available on the web to get you started. You’ll also want to consider any pre-existing conditions your pet has. If vet visits are not already a part of your yearly routine, pay a vet a visit to assess the overall health of your pet.

Decide What You Will Really Need

Based on the health risk of your pet, will you need a plan that will cover surgery? If so, you might want one that has a higher deductible, but also a higher dollar amount of coverage. If you think your pet’s risk is relatively low, then you may opt for a plan that has a lower deductible and monthly rate, with relatively limited coverage. If your pet is accident-prone, or has a history of eating tube socks, you might also look into accident coverage.  It is alright to be conservative with coverage as long as you have assessed your pet’s health risk with a professional, but accident coverage would be a lifesaver if you wound up needing it.

Do Your Homework

You are going to have to start looking into insurance providers as a whole to narrow your search. A quick way to get started is to find a pet insurance comparison chart on the web that lays insurance providers side-by-side and outlines what different providers generally cover—and what they don’t.

Once you decide to look into a specific provider (or two), know that there will be different polices available there too. But at least you will have eliminated a few providers in this preliminary search. Now, you’ll be able to match a plan to your needs.

Do It Quick, If You Can

Most plans will not cover pre-existing conditions your pet has prior to becoming insured. You’ll want to get him/her covered as soon as possible to get the full benefits of your coverage. Of course you will want to take the time to make an informed decision, but make this a priority.

More information available here.

Cindy Romero is an animal lover from North Carolina. She writes for PetPremium when she isn’t playing fetch with her two dogs or trying to keep her cat off of the kitchen counters. 

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