You'll often hear that pet insurance is a rip-off. Between costly premiums and the number of things these policies won't cover, you might assume there's no sense in purchasing insurance for your pet.

But actually, pet insurance could end up being a financial lifeline if your animal is injured or gets seriously ill, to the point where they need thousands of dollars in medical treatment.

And so it's a good idea to put insurance in place to prevent a situation  where you're suddenly on the hook for alarmingly expensive bills.

Now if you've never owned a pet before, or have never purchased insurance for one, putting a policy in place can seem daunting.

1. Just as some employers offer perks like discounted cell phone plans and  gym memberships, so too do some companies offer discounted pet insurance  as a workplace benefit.

2. Just as each auto insurance company and homeowners insurance company charges its own premium rate, so too do pet insurers determine their costs individually.

3. Often, you can pay more money each month for a more comprehensive plan with better benefits, or less money for a plan that won't pick up the tab for the same number of services.

That said, if you're going to purchase a lower-tier plan, one thing you may want to do is take the money you're not spending on a higher-cost plan and put it into your savings account.

Putting pet insurance in place early on is an essential move anyone who  brings home an animal should make. Use these tips to narrow down your  choices and find the plan that's right for you.