One – Don’t listen to your friends
It is great to talk to your friends about where to get the best quote on insurance but never ask your friends about which type of dog insurance you need.
The problem with listening to your friends is that a friend’s circumstances may be completely different to your own, without knowing it. A friend could easily tell you that you don’t need canine liability insurance but the reason might turn out to be because your friend’s dog is covered under their homeowners insurance instead.
You might not have homeowners insurance because you are renting or your homeowners insurance might be a different policy to your friends or your dog may not be covered under your homeowners insurance because it is declared a dangerous breed by the insurance company.
These are only a few examples and there are multiple different scenarios that could apply. The moral of the story is, don’t listen to your friends about dog insurance. Do your own research and speak directly to your insurance provider to make sure you obtain the dog insurance that is right for you and your specific circumstances.
Two – Legal requirements
Some states and some localities have very strict requirements for dog ownership.
Apart from registering your dog and meeting the dog identification requirements you may need dog insurance which meets a minimum standard to qualify as a dog owner.
Check the local dog laws in your state or locality before you acquire a dog. This way you know what type of dog insurance to get quotes on as soon as you contact insurance providers.
Three – Give priority to the most important
Dog liability insurance, in my opinion, is more important than pet health insurance. A lot of people think about pet insurance as the main priority of owning a dog.
Pet insurance usually covers costs like veterinarian bills. However, liability insurance protects you and your assets if your dog injures someone. Injury not only stems from bites but also tripping people over, running in front of cars causing accidents and plenty of other scenarios. Do your research on liability insurance first and then consider whether you want pet health cover as well. Some insurance companies will offer combined policies on both.
Four – Separate quotes
If you are getting quotes on different types of dog insurance always ask for a separate quote on each insurance product as well as a combined quote packaged together. This allows you to compare apples with apples.
If you need liability insurance but your still considering whether you want dog health insurance it is easier to think about which insurance company is giving you the best value once you are off the phone or internet discussing the issue with your partner or family. Obviously, a combined deal will save you money but sometimes that little bit extra for a second policy is just too much for the family budget.
Five – Dangerous dogs
When you’re getting a quote make sure the first question you ask is whether the insurance provider covers your breed of dog. You might have a hundred other questions to ask but if they don’t cover your dog at all because it is on their “dangerous dogs” list then you’re just wasting your time.
Six – Dog dental
If you are considering dog dental insurance try to get it packaged into a pet insurance deal. Otherwise dental can be very expensive but statistically you’re more likely to make a claim for your dog’s health than their teeth.
Seven – Renting with a dog
If you are renting you are not covered by landlords dog insurance. This only covers the landlord for liability. As a tenant check whether your tenants insurance covers liability for your dog. If not consider other ways to obtain adequate insurance such as an umbrella policy or a stand-alone canine liability policy.
Eight – Interrogate your dog groomer
Do you use a dog grooming service in your local area? Perhaps they come to you with their van or mobile trailer. It is imperative that you ask them whether they have insurance before you use their service.
If your dog is accidentally injured while being groomed and you don’t have pet health insurance you may be facing a large veterinarian bill for what should have been a routine wash and groom session. If your dog groomer is covered by insurance, their insurer should cover the cost of the accident. Of course every incident is different and there’s no guarantee that the policy will cover your specific scenario but at least if you know they have insurance there is a greater chance you won’t be out of pocket.
Nine – Travelling
If you plan to take your dog travelling with you, check whether your pet insurance covers accidents or illness when you’re interstate or out of your local area.
Also if you are travelling with your dog always check with a local about risks in the locality to your dog. For example, there are gators in Florida waterways near dog parks that need to be avoided at certain times of the year and there are snakes in certain parts of Texas that could easily bite your dog. Always find out what the local risks are for your dog before you go on a road trip or fly interstate.
Ten – Tardiness is the enemy
If an accident happens involving your dog always inform your insurer as soon as possible. Most companies have a form online you can complete. Otherwise phone them immediately. Some claims need to be lodged within a specific time such as 7 or 14 days.
If you have paid your premiums to be covered there is no point missing out on a claim when you finally need to make one. Check with your insurer for specific details on time limitations.