What new pawrents need to know about pet insurance

  • Life events
  • Planning ahead
  • Pet insurance
A young woman is laying on a bed with a phone in her hand while a kitten comes up to sniff her.

Congratulations on your new furry friend! Your home will be full of laughter, cuddles and more fur on your fabrics than you’ll know what to do with. Enjoy the love, but don’t forget the very real responsibilities that come along with pet ownership.

No one wants to think of their cuddly companion falling ill or getting injured, but it’s important to have a plan in place before something happens so you don’t have to make difficult decisions in the moment while stressed. We all know someone who had to put off a vacation so the money could be used to treat Baby’s broken leg. Or who was unable to save a beloved pet because the price of care was just too high – 53% of dog owners consider a vet expense of up to $1,000 to be too expensive. The simple truth is that, while worth it, veterinary care can be expensive and it’s impossible to predict when little Murphy will need it. That’s where pet insurance comes in. For a set monthly price, your pet’s medical care will be covered without your finances taking a surprise hit.

Why new pet owners should consider pet insurance

As a new puppy parent or feline family, you want the best for your fluffy friend. That means preparing for the unexpected while hoping it never comes. With pet insurance, you’re ready for surprise illnesses, unexpected injuries and even your cat faking a limp for attention. Knowing that you have those sad possibilities accounted for, you can focus on the truly important tasks of new pet ownership: finding what will become Autumn’s favorite toy or Pisquito’s napping spot.

Many people believe that young animals are naturally healthy and spry and don’t require insurance. Unfortunately, just like humans, animals can face illness and injury regardless of their age. Young animals may even be more prone to injury due to their curious nature. In fact, there are several common health concerns for young pets. Their energy and curiosity can get them into trouble leading to broken bones and swallowed objects. As animals age, developmental and genetic issues become evident as well.

Budgeting for pet insurance

The cost of veterinary care is rising. Our love is priceless, but their care can have a steep price tag. It’s important to keep that in mind and budget for pet expenses. New pet owners should budget a set amount each month for their pet. This money can go to routine expenses like annual vet visits and vaccines, monthly food and Pablo’s weekly pup cup. It should also include money for future medical expenses – whether that money is set aside in a bank account or reserved for via pet insurance.

A pet budget that includes regular wellness and preventative care – including vaccines, flea and tick prevention and a yearly check up – will go a long way toward preventing these unexpected illnesses. As with humans, catching illnesses early improves the outlook and reduces the treatment costs. Adding insurance to the budget from the start is also smart. Premiums are lower for younger pets and having insurance from the start of your time with Bitters means that he won’t have any pre-existing conditions and will be covered for everything.

Factors impacting pet insurance

When considering pet insurance, think about your pet's unique needs and potential health issues. Your pet insurance company can help you with this. Factors such as breed, size and genetic predispositions can all play a role in determining your pet's risk factors. Assessing these early on in your pet’s life will enable you to watch them as your pet grows and identify possible problems early on. It’ll also mean your pet insurance can be tailored to your pet's specific needs now and as they grow.

Your pet's lifestyle should also be considered when choosing insurance coverage. Are they an outdoor explorer whose inner tiger is showing? Or an indoor cuddler who surely can’t have actually descended from wolves? Outdoor activities bring risks of accidents and injuries that indoor pets simply don’t have to worry about. By understanding your pet's lifestyle and assessing potential risks, you can select a plan that provides the right coverage for their unique needs.

The best time to get pet insurance

When is the best time to get pet insurance? The day you bring the little guy home. The second-best time? Today. Enrolling your pet when they are young has many advantages:

  • Lower premiums – the younger the pet, the lower the premium.
  • No pre-existing conditions – whatever illnesses Maya may develop may be covered.

Note that most pet insurance plans have a waiting period for accident and illness coverage.

cat with sunglasses holding a phone and taking a selfie with a smiling dog

Coverage at any vet in the U.S. and Canada

We’ve partnered with Fetch by The Dodo to get you the most comprehensive pet insurance on the market. And VIU by HUB customers get 10% off every month for a whole year!

What to consider before buying pet insurance

When you’re ready to buy coverage for little Oko, keep these things in mind to be sure that you’re getting the best coverage for your furry friend and your budget.

Do your research

Understand the different types of insurance available and which best fit your needs. Common types include:

  • Accident only – These cover only accidents and injuries; they do not reimburse for treatment for sick pets. This can be a good budget option for animals that spend a lot of time outdoors or playing with other animals.
  • Accident and illness – These cover most anything that can happen to an animal. Note that there are usually exclusions for pre-existing conditions and things that are considered routine, such as vaccines and teeth cleaning.
  • Wellness plans – These are often offered by both vet clinics and pet insurance companies. They can be an add-on to a pet insurance policy or separate. They tend to cover a set number of visits and activities each year.

Consider your pet’s health and lifestyle when choosing the type of coverage you want. Once you know what policy type suits you, get quotes and compare coverage options to find the right policy for you.

Understand premiums

Pet insurance premiums are impacted by several factors. Insurance companies consider breed, age and location when calculating premiums, but there are other factors that you have full control over. These include the type of policy you select. An accident and illness policy with a wellness add-on is going to cost more than an accident-only policy. You’ll also have control over your deductible and reimbursement percentage, both of which can have a big impact on the final premium price.

Read the fine print

As with any insurance policy, the fine print matters. Pay close attention to exclusions and limitations, waiting periods and pre-existing conditions policies. Reviewing these terms upfront will reduce the possibility of surprises when it’s time to file a claim.

Making the decision: Is pet insurance right for you?

If you’re still unsure about pet insurance, use this checklist to help you decide what’s right for you and your furry family member.

Consider your financial situation

Your finances play a big role here. Can you afford an unexpected vet bill out of pocket? Are you more comfortable saving for that possibility or budgeting a set amount monthly? What level of deductible are you comfortable with? Do you prefer a larger premium and higher reimbursement percentage? Or would you rather keep more money in your pocket now but get less back in the event of a claim? These are important questions to ask yourself before doing anything with pet insurance.

Think about your pet’s breed

Is your pet’s breed susceptible to any specific health conditions? Knowing what illnesses you might be facing can help you to anticipate future expenses and decide if it’s better for you to prepare for these with insurance or by setting aside money. In these cases, it might make even more sense to get pet insurance while your pet is young – before they get a diagnosis and these possible illnesses become pre-existing conditions. However, note that some insurance companies exclude certain breed conditions regardless of when the diagnosis comes. If Santa’s Little Helper is susceptible to anything, check if it will be covered before deciding which policy to get.

Evaluate your lifestyle

Adventurous pets are more likely to have accidents than relaxed ones. Knowing their accident risk can help you evaluate the level of accident coverage that is necessary to keep them up and running – though hopefully not with the 4:00 a.m. zoomies.

Pet insurance can provide peace of mind for pet parents. If you’ve decided that it’s the right choice for you and your little buddy, you can get pet insurance quotes from VIU by HUB. Our advisory team is also available if you have any lingering questions about policies or coverages before you make your decision. Remember that while it's tempting to put off purchasing insurance, especially when your pet is young and healthy, waiting too long could leave you vulnerable to unexpected expenses. By securing coverage early on, you can lock in lower premiums and secure continuous protection for your pet's future.