Can you get pet insurance for older pets? Does pet insurance increase with age? Most pets are likely to stay active and healthy in their golden years. However, the fact remains that older pets may demand different care and consideration than the younger ones when it comes veterinary treatment.
The ideal time to get pet insurance for your beloved furry friends is at a young age before health complications manifest. Once illnesses occur, it will be considered as a pre-existing condition, which will not be covered in most pet insurance plans. Is it worth insuring an old dog or cat?
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What’s covered in pet insurance?
It is undeniable that there are over millions of cats and dogs kept as pets in the UK. However, it is still surprising how new figures reveal that there is a significant number of pet owners who fail to recognise the importance of pet insurance. In fact, statistics show that only 30 per cent of dogs and 16 per cent of cats are insured.
Generally, pet insurance is not that different from humans’ health insurance. Here are the common instances of pet insurance coverage:
- Accidents and injuries
- Ongoing treatments
- Necessary therapies and medications
- Public liability
- Benefits that vary according to policy plans
Age concern pet insurance
Some pet insurance companies do not sign up pets that are older than 7–8 years old. Others accept insurance but exclude pre-existing health conditions. For these reasons, pet owners opt to insure their pets at a younger age. There are some companies that insure older pets, especially those that have continual coverage since their younger years.
Further, some companies that provide senior pet insurance are expected to be more expensive due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, older animals have greater chances of having dental or health problems. In addition to that, they are more prone to injuries, which can be self-inflicted due to short-sightedness or clumsiness.
When is my pet classified as a ‘senior’?
Classifying a pet as a ‘senior’ largely depends on the type of animal as well as the insurer. Most insurance companies considered pets as senior upon reaching the age of eight and above.
It is best to check exclusions deals based on the age of pets when getting a side-by-side comparison on pet insurance companies. There are some companies that do not accept insurance plans based on the breed’s susceptibility on certain hereditary health conditions. That being said, at times owners will have a harder time finding an insurance plan for a pedigree breed than a mongrel.
Types of insurance for senior pets
If you are currently keeping a mature pet or a senior one, it is not impossible to get insurance for them. There are many companies that offer special insurance policies for seniors. However, the rate may be somewhat higher than the regular one.
There are three common types of pet insurance:
- Accident-only pet insurance
Accident-only pet insurance is considered the cheapest. This coverage may or may not include illnesses acquired from the said accident.
- Lifetime or premium pet insurance
As the name implies, lifetime pet insurance covers your pet throughout his lifetime. Make sure to carefully read the coverage as policies differ by company provider and plan. Some offer insurance with limitation per condition on a yearly basis or on a certain amount limited for a year in any condition.
- Time-limited pet insurance
This is the cheapest type of pet insurance with limited coverage. It covers treatment and medical attention for a twelve-month period, and after that, treatments will be considered excluded. It is an ideal choice for accidents as well as any short-term health problems. However, this is not ideal for older pets with medium- or long-term condition.
Getting the best senior pet insurance
Get the best insurance by comparing the benefits and types of coverage for senior pets. Choose one that provides coverage on alternative treatments for certain diseases as well as specialists and veterinarians for the pet.
Why do I need to insure my older pet? Whilst insurance for senior pets are more costly than the basic ones, know that the chances of him seeking veterinary treatment over the years are very high. Some treatments are likely to be more complicated, which leads to a higher bill. Dismal situations such as euthanasia can be avoided with the appropriate pet insurance.
The list below are some of the companies that provide insurance for senior pets in the UK:
- Animal Friends
- Argos Pet Insurance
- Debenhams Pet Insurance
- John Lewis Pet Insurance
- Lifetime Pet Cover