Compare pet insurance for older dogs

Has your furry companion been part of the family for years? Discover how to find the perfect pet insurance for your older dog here.

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As the owner of a dog, you’ll no doubt have had years of fun with your furry friend. But what do you do now that your pet is beginning to show signs of old age and of slowing down? Discover what your pet insurance options are for older dogs and how you might be able to pay less.

When is my dog considered an older dog?

Dogs can live to be 11 to 13 years old depending on whether they are purebred or crossbred. Most will start showing the first signs of age when they’re around seven, but this can also vary between dogs. Each insurer typically has its own classifications, but most insurance providers will categorise cats and dogs more than eight years old as older pets.

What types of pet insurance are available for senior dogs?

Pet insurance is generally available in four different types:

  • Lifetime pet insurance. This policy offers the most comprehensive cover for your pet throughout its lifetime but usually comes at a high price. You usually need to renew these policies each year.
  • Time-limited pet insurance. This policy offers basic cover for eligible short-term health conditions or accidents within a certain period of time. After the period has ended, you will need to renew the policy. But if you made a claim for a particular condition during the previous policy period, the insurer would typically exclude that same condition from the new policy.
  • Maximum-benefit pet insurance. This policy offers cover for conditions and accidents up to a certain amount. Once that limit has been reached, the insurer won’t pay out any more and it’s the pet owner’s responsibility to cover any bills.
  • Accident-only pet insurance. This policy offers a basic level of cover and will usually come with payout or time limits. It may also include cover if your dog is responsible for injuring someone else, but this can vary with insurers.

What if my dog has an existing or previous medical condition?

If you dog has an existing condition or has previously been injured, you’ll still be able to get pet insurance, but you may find that the existing condition or injury is now excluded from the policy. That means that you would need to foot any bills relating to your pet’s existing condition or injury.

Why is pet insurance for older dogs more expensive?

As animals age, their health can typically begin to deteriorate. This can mean that pet insurance premiums generally increase as an animal gets older.

Each pet insurer will have its own set of qualifying guidelines, but getting cover for your older dog is likely to come with increased restrictions and conditions as the risk of health and dental issues also increases. This increased risk unfortunately pushes premiums up.

How can I get cheaper insurance quotes for older dogs?

  • Choose a cover level that suits you. Don’t assume that the most expensive pet insurance cover is the best for your pet. Consider your options carefully against your older pet’s requirements to find the best pet insurance.
  • Increase the excess. Deciding to pay a higher excess could make your overall premium cheaper. But remember that your insurer won’t pay out for a pet claim that costs less than your excess. So be careful about making it too high, as it could leave you out of pocket if you need to claim.
  • Limit optional extras if you don’t need them. Think carefully about which, if any, optional extras you really want since adding extra protection to your pet policy will generally push the price up too.
  • Consider neutering or spaying your pet. Having your pet spayed or neutered could lower the risk of your pet having certain conditions, which could in turn lower premiums.
  • Maintain your pet’s health. Look after your pet by ensuring they are properly vaccinated and regularly dewormed. Make sure your pet enjoys a good diet and gets plenty of exercise.
  • Can your pet have free treatment? If you receive means-tested benefits, your pet may be entitled to free emergency treatments, so it’s always worth checking if this applies to you.
  • Multi-pet discounts. If your home is full of pets, consider insuring your pets under one policy since you may benefit from discounts.
  • Shop around. Don’t simply choose to renew your pet insurance when it’s up for renewal as you could end up paying more than you need. Shop around and compare your options to find the best deal. Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best policy, so check the cover details carefully.

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