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How do I figure out which pet insurance plan is best for my older dog?


Pet insurance is complicated enough, but it presents a special problem for owners of older dogs and cats. Issues you need to be aware of:

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Many insurers don't like to cover older pets because they require more frequent and expensive vet treatment than younger pets. Consequently, many insurers limit the age at which they will offer coverage for new pets. The age limit varies from around 8 - 12 years of age. However, if a dog or cat is enrolled at a young age, the insurer will continue coverage throughout the pet's life. The cost may go up over time, but your older pet can remained insured.

A few pet insurers do not have an age limit for new enrollees: Purina, Pets Best and 24PetWatch will issue new policies for older pets. In fact, 24PetWatch has a policy (QuickCare Senior) created specifically for older dogs and cats.

Pre-existing conditions are not covered

Many people hold off buying pet insurance when their pet is young and healthy, figuring they will get insurance when their pet is older and needs more expensive care. However, if your pet comes down with an illness or condition or even shows signs of a particular illness or condition, any pet insurance you subsequently buy will exclude this condition from coverage.

Owners of older pets should be aware that any insurance plan they purchase will specifically exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Coverage Types

As mentioned above, only 3 pet insurers currently offer full coverage for older pets. However, several other companies will insure older pets against accidents (hit by car, attacked by another dog, etc.) These policies specifically exclude coverage for illnesses or preventive care. This type of coverage is an affordable option for older pets, but make sure you understand what you are buying.




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