When my family adopted our dog, Champ, over three years ago, our first priority was making him feel loved and comfortable in our home. So admittedly, pet insurance fell by the wayside. We’d gotten him over to the vet right away and he checked out fine. So we figured we had time to put insurance in place.
Only we didn’t.
Soon enough, Champ started limping and experiencing joint pain. Roughly $3,000 in diagnostic tests later, which we paid for out of pocket, we found out that his condition was a simple matter of arthritis, and that it was treatable with ongoing medication. But because we had to rule out joint malformations and possible surgery, he had to have a lot of testing. And since we didn’t have pet insurance at the time, we had to dip into our savings to cover it.
These days, we have pet insurance. While it won’t cover Champ’s pre-existing condition, it should cover diagnostics for other issues that might arise. But had we gotten pet insurance right away, we’d have about an extra $3,000 in the bank.
Thankfully, our rescue has since changed its practices with adoptions in a positive way. And because of that change, future adopters may be spared a whopping early expense like the one we had to cover.
When pet insurance is part of the package
Last year, the rescue we adopted Champ from announced that new adopters would be entitled to 30 days of free pet insurance from its partner provider.
This change, frankly, is huge.
Many pet owners don’t manage to secure insurance within 30 days because there’s work involved. It can take time to contact different pet insurance companies, compare coverage, and review rates. But unfortunately, a medical issue with a pet could easily arise within 30 days of bringing them home. So this change will hopefully spare new adopters from having to shell out lots of money early on.
You may want to adopt from a rescue that offers pet insurance
I really love the fact that our rescue now offers a limited period of free pet insurance. If you’re adopting a dog, you may want to seek out a rescue that provides the same benefit.
Remember, it’s hard to shop for pet insurance before you bring home a dog because the rates you’re quoted will hinge on their age (or assumed age), breed, and health. When we were seeking to adopt a dog, we tried researching pet insurance ahead of time but found that it was basically impossible to get a quote in the absence of being able to point to an actual dog we owned.
Since pet insurance is not the sort of thing you can really line up ahead of time, it’s a very good thing to get access to it immediately for a period upon bringing your pet home. So definitely try to work with a rescue that offers it.
Of course, our rescue strongly encourages adopters to maintain pet insurance beyond its 30 days of free coverage. In a Facebook post made last year, it said, “It is highly beneficial that owners have insurance for pets, and we hope that after your 30-day trial, you will continue with your monthly insurance for your pet.”
This doesn’t mean you have to use the same insurer your rescue partners with, if applicable. There’s nothing wrong with going out and shopping for rates. The takeaway, however, is that the sooner you’re able to get insurance for your new pet, the sooner you’re protected financially. And if you’re able to have insurance from day one, even better.