Looking for pet insurance for older cats can be difficult because an older cat is at higher risk of incurring vet fees. As such pet insurance for older cats tends to cost a higher premium and come with a higher excess. Some insurance provider may even refuse to cover older cats and will not let you get a quote.
But not us.
At EmeraldPet we have no upper age limit to start cover, although bear in mind that premiums do rise as a pet gets older and may be reviewed every 12 months.
Also our cat insurance comes with a range of complementary treatments that may be of benefit to older cats such as hydrotherapy, chiropractic treatments and herbal medicines.
Get a quote online now or call us today to find out what we can offer you.
If you get a quote and choose to insure your cat with EmeraldPet we also offer 10% off your first year of cat insurance with the discount code EMERALD.
When you get a quote you will be able to see that EmeraldPet offers four levels of flexible pet insurance cover from £1000 to £7,500 of vet fees. Then we also have a range of add-ons you can include with your pet insurance policy such as missing pet advertising and reward costs as well as travel cover.
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Why Is Pet Insurance For Older Cats More Difficult?
Older cats are more likely to develop long term medical conditions resulting in a claim. Therefore some insurance providers may not insure cats over a certain age while many will provide cover but at a higher premium, even when they may need more protection.
You will also face the choice of what type of pet insurance to go for.
A time limited policy for insurance will offer a certain amount of vet fees cover for a set timeframe (hence time limited), usually 12 months or only cover one condition per year. That means a short illness or injury can be treated and claimed for, but not long term. However, after that insured timeframe has passed any pre-existing conditions are excluded, meaning any ongoing treatment for the same illness or injury won’t be covered.
A lifetime policy on the other hand, such as EmeraldPet, will cover treatment for ongoing conditions providing they first occured while you held the policy, outside the first 14 days, and renew each year. That means you can insure your pet when they are healthy and have cover if they develop a medical condition. Lifetime pet insurance cover is more expensive but you can see how it is more comprehensive. We all know cats get the urge to roam, but every year as they age that urge reduces, and an older cat may think home is best.
There are also accident only cat insurance policies but for an older cat you are probably more concerned about illness than injury and so an accident only policy may not be right for you, even if the quote is competitive in terms of money.
It is very difficult to predict which insurer will have the best price for older cats and this is likely to change regularly. That’s because insurers are always watching the spread of risks they are insuring. If one insurer has lots of young cats insured then it can afford to take the risk of insuring more older cats and older dogs.
That could be a great business opportunity to get new customers if other brands aren’t covering them. But if another insurer has too many older cats they will need more younger cats to balance out the risk. This is all controlled through the acquisition of new customers by altering prices to deter the customers they don’t want for a while and find those they currently do.
As such you may find when you get a quote that one brand has hiked up their prices for an older cat while another has dropped theirs.
The solution is to compare cat insurance quotes from a wide variety of pet insurance providers. That might seem tedious but often choosing pet insurance is a one-off task because if you change your pet insurance in future to another provider is is likely that pre existing conditions won’t be covered. We also provide a multi-pet discount of 10% if you have multiple pets to insure on the same pet insurance policy.
That means if your older cat has developed conditions needing medical treatment, it is usually best to stick with the same pet insurance provider to enable you to keep claiming for that condition. It may also help when looking to make a claim that you have been a loyal customer.
Pet Insurance Excesses
Your excess is the financial contrbution you make to any claims. With pet insurance this tends to be a fixed amount and sometimes an additional percentage of the overall claim. Most pet insurance policies will feature a higher excess for an older cat than a younger cat because of the higher vet fees older cats tend to incur.
With EmeraldPet our cat insurance excess is quite simple and changes when your cat turns eight years old.
Cats under 8 years old at the date of treatment
You pay the first £85 for each condition per period of insurance.
Cats over 8 years old at the date of treatment
You pay the first £95 plus 15% of the remaining cost of treatment per condition per period of insurance.
A good pet insurance policy can also include travel options. For instance, EmeraldPet provides an additional add-on of up to £5000 of travel cancellation cover if your cat goes missing or requires lifesaving surgery.
And for when you’re away with your pet within Europe we have cover for quarantine costs, emergency expenses and the loss of your pet’s passport. [Note that this may be subject to change post-Brexit so please check in with us after the end of the year.]
Missing Pet Advertising and Reward Costs
We also offer missing pet advertising and reward costs of up to £1500 pereachyear. That means if your pet goes missing you can claim for a substantial advertising budget and up to £200 to offer as a reward to whoever returns your cat.
Is It Worth Insuring A Senior Cat?
Whether or not to insure an old cat largely comes down to your personal risk tolerance and financial situation, what you need or can pay, and the circumstances you find yourself in. While you will pay a higher premium and excess on your policy, you should be covered for future medical conditions.
If your cat does not have any significant pre existing conditions that can make for very few disadvantages to insuring an older cat besides the premium and excess of a pet insurance policy for older cats.
The cost of looking after older pets has increased significantly in recent years with the average pet claim in 2018 reaching £793 in 2018. However, that’s ultimately a good thing because the rise has been driven largely by improvements in vet care – hence higher vet fees – which means more conditions are able to be treated and more pet owners get to spend longer with their pets.
What Are The Exclusions?
The exclusions are one of the most important parts of pet insurance to consider when shopping around as they define what you cannot claim for. In general pet insurance for older cats will have the same exclusions as any other age group but you should always check this is the case when comparing cover as you will need to understand whether cover is good or not.
Most policies will exclude pre existing conditions as well as any medical conditions that arise within the first 14 days of starting the policy.
You should also check the types of vet fees that are excluded, which are normally more elective like vaccinations, pregnancy and neutering, but that is standard across most insurances
If you have an accident only cat policy then illnesses will not be covered as they are not accidental injuries. Lifetime pet insurance should provide both accidental injuries cover and medical illness cover.
While a lot of exclusions are inevitable, you should check that the money you are paying produces a policy that is actually useful and offers cover for lots of other logical situations.