I bought this for my dog when he was 8 years old and healthy. Now he's almost 14. Over the first years I saw it as a security blanket in case I needed it. Especially after he swallowed an entire corn on the cobb and had to have it surgically removed for approximately $2,000. But I didn't use it much. Now my boy has back problems and requires acupuncture, steriods, pain killers, anti-inflamitories, along with other meds. He takes 12 pills a day. I'm spending anywhere from $200-$500 a month now for his regimen. I end up maxing out the payouts on certain repeated procedures as there are limits on how much can be reimbursed. That's to be expected with insurance. My recommendation is not to wait until your pet is old. "Pre-existing conditions" do exist for pets under VPI. The older the pet, the more likely pre-existing issues can be flagged that will not be covered. Get your dog on coverage while he is healthy. You will be thankful in the later years when you use VPI regularly. It will pay for itself through reimbursements. I dont often find myself saying good things about insurance companies, but I'm happy that I depend on VPI's services. They are quick, thorough, and provide all the documentation you could want online to process claims, watch the status of a claim, ask questions about claims, and send reimbursement.