Should you wait to get pet insurance?

You should usually apply for pet insurance sooner rather than later. However, there is one major exception that should be noted.

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When it comes to financial products and services, time is of the essence. If you buy a policy or product too early, you may not get all the benefits you would have if you waited. Conversely, if you wait too long, you may pay significantly more than you would if you acted sooner. You can even jeopardize the coverage entirely.

For some financial services, e.g mortgage refinance loan, there are strict parameters on when you can even apply. For others, however, the timing around the application is up to you.

Pet insurance falls into the latter category. Regardless of whether you are new owner of a young a puppy or someone who has an elderly pet, you can apply for a pet insurance policy at any time you feel comfortable. But is there an advantage to waiting, or should you start quickly? The answer to this question is somewhere in the middle.

If you’re considering pet insurance, start by getting a free quote so you know exactly what to expect.

Should you wait to get pet insurance?

In general, you shouldn’t wait to get pet insurance. Here’s why: Pet insurance is like most other types of insurance in that it will get more expensive as the insured gets older and more likely to need routine medical care. The risk the insurance company takes on by approving a policy for an older pet will be reflected in higher premiums. But if you act early, when the pet is young and healthy, you’ll be in the running for cheaper insurance.

If you don’t wait and apply soon, you may also improve your chances of securing more comprehensive care. Pet insurance providers usually do not cover pre-existing medical conditions which has a cat or a dog. So coverage for these issues will be denied in the application you submit. However, if you apply before these conditions become known (even if your breed is generally prone to them) you’ll probably be able to secure more robust defenses.

Everyone’s personal financial circumstances are different and your current budget may dictate when you can apply for a pet insurance plan. But in general, if you can afford the moderate monthly fee (think $30-$70 for a dog and $15-$40 for a cat), then it’s advisable to apply now while prices are low and coverage options are wide.

Start customizing a pet insurance plan for your furry friend now.

When should you wait to get pet insurance?

While it is generally advisable not to wait to get pet insurance, there is one particular circumstance where you may want to hold off, even temporarily.

As mentioned above, pet insurance providers typically do not cover pre-existing conditions. But if your cat or dog has one of these conditions – and they can potentially clear up – then you may be able to secure wider coverage. In this particular case, it may be better to wait until your animal is clean.

“A pre-existing condition is any injury or illness that occurs or shows symptoms before coverage begins or during a waiting period,” pet insurer Spot explains on its website. “The condition is considered pre-existing, regardless of whether it has been formally diagnosed or treated; all that matters is when it occurred or the symptoms first appeared.

“However, with the plans provided by Spot, this does not mean that the condition cannot be covered in the future if the condition is treatable,” they explain. “An injury or disease that is treatable, cured and free of treatment and symptoms for 180 days will no longer be considered to exist, except for knee and ligament diseases.”

So if your pet currently has a disease that can be cured, it may make sense to wait it out and then administer as soon as its health improves.

“A curable condition is a temporary condition or injury that has been resolved for at least 12 months and may be considered for coverage in eligible states (check with customer service to find out if curable conditions are covered in your state)” , the pet insurer Lemonade notes.

Not sure what a pet insurance policy would cover if you applied today? Get a free quote now and find out!

The bottom row

As noted, the timing behind purchasing financial products and services can be difficult to navigate. You want to be precise, but you also don’t want to lose your best shot. For dog and cat owners, regardless of the age of their pets, it is usually beneficial to apply for a policy sooner rather than later. However, if you have a pet with a pre-existing condition and there is a reasonable expectation that it can be cured or resolved in the foreseeable future, then it may make sense to wait to apply.

You can check out Lemonade’s pet insurance plans and policies now to see what works best.

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