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Most people are aware of how important insurance is.

For example, car insurance covers you and your vehicle in case of an unfortunate mishap on the road.

If you need an expensive surgery, your health insurance plan will hopefully cover the cost.

Life insurance is also valuable for making sure loved ones are provided for if your job gets transferred to the other side.

The one type of insurance most people forget

While car, health, and life insurance are all popular institutions, many people don’t think of protecting one of their most prized personal assets or family members.

Pets.

Whether you’re a dog, cat, or turtle person, pets provide companionship and comfort for all types of people.

Pets can also get sick and injured. While you may think that you’ll just pay for vet bills as they come up, many pet owners will be faced with an unpleasant decision. One that could have been avoided with pet insurance.

If your pet needs some treatment or surgery that’s out of your price range, you might have to opt instead to have them put to sleep, or let the illness run its course.

Either one of these options is emotionally draining. It doesn’t have to be this way.

For anywhere between $30 to $60 monthly, you can protect your pet with pet insurance. But there are a few things you should know first.

Things to know about pet insurance

Health insurance kicks in when you visit the doctor. They handle all that billing stuff behind the desk, so you don’t have to. But with pet insurance, you’ll need to pay up front and then file for reimbursement.

Pet insurance policy issuers might also have a waiting period to prevent customers from getting a policy, paying for an expensive operation, and then closing it out after they’re reimbursed.

Some pet insurance policies will also have annual maximums, so just like with your own health insurance, it might pay to get the best policy.

There could also be restrictions on age, pet type, and breed.

Your best bet, just like any other insurance policy, is to shop around and see what’s available.