Pet insurance for older dogs can seem like an ordeal when pet insurers have age limits – or start reducing the cover/maximum benefit on the pets they will insure as the pets age, or even don’t cover dogs that are older than 10 years.
Thankfully EmeraldPet – provided by Covea Insurance and authorised and regulated by the FCA – has no upper age limit to start dog insurance cover. Get a quote now and see how our pet insurance for older dogs compares.
It now also includes for free FirstVet – once you have registered as an EmeraldPet customer you get free access to an online tele-vet service whatever level of cover you have chosen.
Generally with pet insurance the sooner you buy the better. That’s because most pet insurance excludes pre existing conditions. That means if your pet develops a medical condition before you start cover, you probably won’t be able to claim for that condition. That is why many vets or breeders make sure that their dog’s new owners take out puppy insurance as soon as they can, as prices are often then fixed in at that rate
EmeraldPet comes with four levels of flexible dog insurance cover from £1,000 to £7,500 of veterinary fees so you can choose the amount of vet bills cover that’s most appropriate to you and your dog, or whichever level you think you need.
We also include complementary treatments such as hydrotherapy and osteopathy as well as behavioural therapy and training. You can also claim up to £200 for clinical diets prescribed by your vet, all included in your policy. In case your dog causes damage or injury, you can also select add-ons that include public liability – see more below. Our aim as to offer pet insurance as flexible as you need it to be.
Plus, we offer the extra convenience that you can pay monthly at no extra cost so you don’t need to worry about a big upfront payment.
Our dog insurance policy also includes a variety of optional add-ons including third party public liability for dogs. Get a quote online or call us today to add these to your policy. If you have multiple dogs we also offer a 10% multi pet discount.
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What To Look For For Your Older Dog
With older dogs the chances are that medical conditions are your top concern and so you may be more interested in lifetime cover rather than time-limited cover. You could also get an accident only policy but these are even more limited as they don’t cover illness, and as dogs age, illness may be a greater issue. When looking for insurance compare the various providers and see what limits they put on illness or injury.
Time-limited cover allows you to claim up to your vet fees limit within a given time frame, usually a year. That’s fine for instances like a broken bone with no ongoing treatment. But after that year of cover, any ongoing medical conditions are generally excluded.
With lifetime pet insurance however, medical conditions that develop while you keep renewing the dog insurance policy should be covered. That means the lifetime pet cover is more expensive but also much more comprehensive because you can “lock in” a policy when your dog is younger and healthy so that as it ages any elligible medical conditions it develops are covered.
It is because of a higher risk of medical conditions that many insurers do not cover older dogs, or offer a very high premium to cover them.
Because of that it makes sense to compare quotes from a range of dog insurance providers as they are likely to have different attitudes towards older dogs one insurance company may really want to provide pet cover for older dogs whereas another insurance business may actively discourage you from applying to them through increased pricing.
You could also look for pet insurance policy features that are more suited to an older dog. For instance, EmeraldPet offers complementary treatments such as osteopathy and chiropractic treatments up to 25% of your sum insured
What is The Best Pet Insurance For Older Dogs?
Pet insurance prices change all the time. Plus insurers often bring out new types of cover to appeal to different customers. Older dogs may be difficult to insure but some insurers may see that as a big business opportunity if the demand isn’t met elsewhere on the market.
Most of all, insurers tend to be concerned about book value. Their book is all the customers they are currently covering. As that represents the overall risk and number of claims they are likely to pay, they have to balance the money they take with the risk of paying out. Most will therefore opt for a diversified approach by aiming to keep their book balanced between a range of different pet ages and breeds.
For instance, flat-faced dogs like French Bulldogs and Pugs are at a higher risk of respiratory conditions. Because of that, an insurer wouldn’t want to be insuring a large number of older flat faced dogs and so would price them much higher than, say, young labradors who are much less likely to cause a claim.
Depending on the pets an insurer is currently covering and the number of claims they are paying, an insurer is likely to change their pricing to balance that risk and either attract desirable customers and deter customers who present a higher risk.
It is very difficult therefore to pinpoint a single handful of insurers who will always be best for older dogs. However, hopefully this demonstrates the importance of getting quotes from a number of providers to find out which are better-priced for older dogs.
Keep in mind though that you probably don’t want to change providers much as pre existing conditions will not be covered if you switch. Therefore remember that the price you pay now may not accurately represent what you might pay in future years for the same cover.
Older Dog Excesses
When comparing quotes you should keep an eye on excesses. This is the amount you contribute if you have to make a claim. With a lot of dog insurance policies this is typically a fixed amount – although there may be different amounts for different claims – and may include a percentage of the overall claim. This is known as co-insurance.
Typically pet insurance policies will have a higher excess for older dogs.
With EmeraldPet our dog excesses are:
Dogs under 8 years at the date of treatment
The first £100 for each condition per period of insurance.
Dogs over 8 years at the date of treatment
The first £110 plus 15% of the remaining cost of treatment per condition per period of insurance.
Is pet insurance worth it for an old dog?
This is largely a personal question that depends on your own financial situation. If an old dog has no pre existing medical conditions then getting pet insurance for that old dog could be worthwhile in case it does develop conditions.
However, if an old dog is already suffering a number of ailments you may already be paying a significant amount for treating those, which won’t change if you get insurance. However, getting insurance will mean that any new conditions it goes on to develop should be covered.
Remember that older dogs not only normally have higher premiums for pet insurance but also higher excesses. Therefore you won’t just be paying a higher price each year but also a higher contribution towards any claims.
That said, an older dog is at risk of more complex conditions. What’s more is that advancements in veterinary medicine mean there are more ways of treating these, but these do come at a significant cost. This is partly why the average pet insurance claim soared to £793 in 2018.
Can I get pet insurance if my dog is already sick?
In general it is a good idea to buy pet insurance when your pet is healthy. Most pet insurance providers exclude pre-existing conditions. They also exclude any conditions that show symptoms within the first 14 days of the start of the policy.
However, you can get pet insurance if your dog is already sick in order to get cover for future conditions, but the current sickness will be excluded.
There are some specialist insurers willing to offer pet insurance for pre-existing conditions which may be worth looking in to.
So remember EmeraldPet – it’s the pet insurance dog owners have been waiting for! When you contact us, you can be sure that