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Home > General > When Is the Best Time to Get Pet Insurance? Facts & FAQ

When Is the Best Time to Get Pet Insurance? Facts & FAQ

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A pet owner’s worst nightmare is not being able to pay for their pet’s medical care, which is why many owners choose to purchase pet insurance. The best time to get pet insurance is as soon as you adopt (or buy) your pet. While you might think that your healthy puppy or kitten is too young for insurance, it’s actually the perfect time to get them insured and avoid getting caught by pre-existing condition and age clauses.


The Best Time Is Now

When you purchase pet insurance, the more coverage and protection it offers the younger your pet is. While different insurance companies offer different types of plans, deductibles, and coverage, no insurance company covers pre-existing conditions. If you wait until your pet is older, you risk it not being able to gain coverage for certain conditions. You also end up paying more if you purchase the policy later in your pet’s life.

Younger Pets Are Cheaper to Insure

Pet insurance policies for kittens and puppies cost significantly less than those for senior pets. You can still purchase insurance for a senior pet, but you’ll have higher co-pay amounts. Pet insurance policies work similarly to life insurance policies. The younger your pet is, the less money it costs.

That said, if you have adopted an adult or a senior animal, the best time to purchase pet insurance is as soon as the adoption is completed. Assuming that you have a healthy animal, you can still obtain coverage for any diagnoses or injuries that happen after the policy is purchased.

Whenever you decide to purchase pet insurance, we recommend looking at a few different companies to compare policies and find the one that best fits your needs.

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Image Credit: Diego Thomazini, Shutterstock

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Pre-existing Conditions

Pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, so we recommend purchasing a policy while your pet is young. Arthritis, for example, is an illness that most pets are likely to suffer in their elder years. It can cost thousands of dollars to manage. To get coverage, you’ll have to have a policy in place before the diagnosis.

couple with a dog getting a pet insurance
Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

Here are other common pre-existing conditions not covered by pet insurance:

  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Cancer
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Heart disease
  • Obesity
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Kidney failure

Many dogs and cat breeds also have genetic predispositions to developing certain health problems. Read the fine print on your policy to make sure you purchase one that provides the coverage that you need.

When Can You Insure Your Pet?

Most insurance companies have a minimum age for enrollment, usually between 6 and 10 weeks of age.

How Long Does It Take to Get Pet Insurance?

Pet insurance plans have a waiting period from the time that you apply until they take effect. The length of this waiting period depends on the insurance company that you choose, but the average time is 14 days. Some plans have shorter waiting periods for accident coverage than illness coverage.

Pet Insurance Care Guarantee Concept
Image Credit:, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Insuring your pet while they are young provides more value for your money when purchasing pet insurance. Your payments are cheaper, and you won’t have to worry about not getting coverage for pre-existing health conditions. Accidents can happen at any time in your pet’s life, and you want peace of mind knowing that you won’t be faced with being unable to pay for your pet’s care.

Featured Image Credit:, Shutterstock

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