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A Guide To Insuring An Older Pet

Insuring An Older Pet

Saarrah Mussa
Written by  Saarrah Mussa
4 min read
Updated: 09 Apr 2024

When you have an older pet it is easier for them to get injured and is more likely for them to need veterinary care. This is when your pet insurance can come in handy.

When is my pet considered ‘older’?

When you pet is considered ‘senior’ depends on what type of pet you own.

When your dog is considered ‘senior’ will usually depend on what your insurance company will deem as senior for the breed of dog you have. Amongst dogs, it can range from 5-7 years and older. With cats, the age they are usually considered ‘senior’ is usually between 8-10 years old.

Old golden retriever dog sitting on park bench

Things to consider when insuring a senior pet:

Vet fees: Vet fees are often quite pricey, which is when pet insurance comes in handy to cover the expected costs that come with an injured or unwell pet. When your pet ages,

Third-party liability: This cover can protect you from the financial responsibility in the event that your pet injures someone or damages their property.

Loss or theft: Some insurance policies will provide you with cover for lost or solen pets.

Boarding costs: In the event that you have an emergency, your insurance policy can cover boarding costs for up to 48 hours.

Pre-existing conditions: It's important to be aware that if your pet has a pre-existing condition, it will be harder to get insured. It can end up being quite expensive for you.

What type of pet insurance can I get for my senior pet?

There are 4 different types of pet insurance policies for you to choose from when picking a policy for your pet including:

Accident only

  • Most affordable policy option and is very limited non extensive care option

  • Doesn’t cover illnesses, that are common in senior pets.

  • May not be a great option for unexpected health issues

Time limited

  • A cheaper option than lifetime coverage, it covers accidents and illnesses for a set period of time e.g., 12 months

  • Works well for senior pets with a recent diagnosis or temporary health concerns

Maximum benefit

  • Sets a maximum payout amount per illness or injury, once the limit is reached, the condition will not be covered again, but other unrelated issues will still be covered

  • May not provide enough coverage for chronic conditions that require ongoing treatments

Lifetime coverage

  • This is the most comprehensive type of pet insurance available. It is designed to cover your pet throughout its entire life while it develops any health conditions, through the course of the policy, those conditions would be covered. This is best to take out when your pet is quite young

Older pet insurance exclusions

There are some common exclusions in pet insurance you should be aware of, including:

Age restrictions: Some insurance policies have an age limit of how old your pet can be in order be insured by them

Pre-existing conditions: If your pet has a pre-existing condition, it is a lot harder and potentially a lot more expensive to get them insured

Breed: There are certain breeds that are known to be dangerous or are known to be susceptible to health conditions which would make them quite hard to insure

Elective procedures: Elective or cosmetic procedures are usually not covered by pet insurance

Routine care: Routine appointments and drop-in care are usually not included in what’s covered by your pet insurance policy

Preventative care: Preventative care including vaccinations, and treatments such as working and neutering are usually not included in a pet insurance policy. These treatments being administered can help you get reduced premiums on your insurance policy

Dental care: Dental care is not usually included however if an accident were to arise and dental issue was a complication of that, the treatment for that, would be covered

What if my senior pet has a pre-existing condition

If your senior pet has a pre-existing condition, it can be very hard to find adequate insurance for them. While an insurance policy may be hard to procure, it can also be very expensive, it is important to consider how much treatments for your pet would cost as opposed to your premium costs.

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