Will You Regret Not Getting Pet Insurance?

A young woman feeds her sharpei dog dinner in a bowl in her kitchen

Image source: Getty Images

Pets are a part of the family, so pet owners may want to consider getting insurance for them as soon as they bring a companion animal home. While pet insurance is an added expense since monthly premiums are required, not purchasing this coverage could end up leaving owners with lots of regrets.

Here are a few key reasons why pet owners may wish they had purchased pet insurance coverage upon adding a dog, cat, or exotic animal to their household.

Waiting could mean a pet develops pre-existing conditions

One of the biggest reasons why pet owners could end up regretting not purchasing coverage on their animals ASAP is that their pets could develop pre-existing conditions.

Unlike with human health insurance, there is no requirement that pet insurers provide coverage for a medical problem that an animal has when coverage is purchased. And there are no pet insurers that will cover an issue that develops prior to a policy being in place.

This means if an animal develops a medical issue, it will be too late to get insurance to pay for any of the bills related to it. Say, for example, a dog or cat gets diagnosed with a heart murmur before pet insurance is put in place. Any future issues related to the pet’s heart would not be covered at all by insurance — which could leave an owner paying thousands out of pocket if the condition leads to congestive heart failure.

To avoid being left with regrets, owners should aim to put protection in place right away so if any issue does arise, there will be coverage for the vet bills related to it.

Waiting could force pet owners to choose between providing care and protecting their finances

Pet owners also need to have coverage in place before any illness or accident occurs. And, most insurance companies have a waiting period and some require a medical exam before extending coverage. This means an owner can’t wait until their animal gets hurt or sick and then just go buy an insurance policy.

If an animal gets sick or hurt and insurance hasn’t already been purchased, the pet owner could find themselves looking at the prospect of large vet bills to nurse their companion back to health. Since these bills would have to be paid entirely out of pocket, the pet owner may need to either borrow to cover them, tap into savings, or deny their animal care that is necessary.

This is a terrible position to be in, especially because no one wants to choose between jeopardizing the life of their animal and their own future financial security. Avoiding this is crucial and buying pet insurance coverage can help owners avoid regret.

The bottom line is, the sooner a pet owner buys coverage, the more certain they can be that their animal will have comprehensive protection and be able to get the very best care if something goes wrong — without any questions about whether that care fits within the owner’s budget.

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