Pet insurance for dogs that have been given up is a great way to bring care and stability to the life of a dog who might have had a troubled past. It has been increasingly popular to get a new pet during the pandemic as people spend more time at home.

No doubt your rescue dog brings joy to your life. But what if they fell ill or were injured? After all, rescue dogs do tend to be older and therefore at higher risk than a new puppy, or may have some behavioural or training issues.

“Research suggests that Emerald Pet Insurance offer excellent value for money and are very competitively priced for the high levels of cover provided. Even taking into account the optional extras. When these are removed, they are even more competitively priced.”


Thankfully pet insurance when adopting and rehoming rescue dogs shouldn’t be much more complicated than any other kind of dog insurance. Everyone thinks of Battersea Dogs and Cats Home or RSPCA but there are several dog rescue centres around the country to like where lovely dogs need a new home.

At EmeraldPet we provide comprehensive lifetime pet insurance with four levels of flexible cover spanning from £1000 to £7,500 of vet fees, for all dogs coming to a new home, whether rescue or not.

We also provide a 10% multi-pet discount so if you have more dogs and cats you can save money and admin by having them all insured on the same policy. That means less time looking for insurance and more freedom to enjoy the experience of rehoming and adopting a rescue dog as part of your family.

The biggest issue you may face is not knowing your rescue dog’s history. Pet insurance often won’t cover things you already knew about. For instance, pre-existing medical conditions are excluded. Similarly, if your dog has previously shown aggressive tendancies then we cannot provide it with third party liability cover. Also, the breed of dog might be important if it’s an illegal (or crossbreed illegal) breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

However, most dog rescue centres and shelters will conduct a detailed medical assessment of all rescue dogs and note any pre-existing medical conditions you need to be aware of. You should keep all this medical information from your animal shelter safe as it may affect your ability to make a claim long after the dog has left the shelter.

What Does Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs Cover?

Pet insurance is quite straightforward in that it aims to help with the costs of vet fees if your dog is ill or needs treatment. That’s the same whether you have a recently-born puppy or a rescue dog delighted with its new home and its new owners after months in a shelter or rescue centre.

Veterinary science has improved so much that now there are far more complex treatments available for more conditions. That’s the best news in that you can enjoy time with your rescue dog for longer as it lives its best life, but at the same time the level of vet fees have gone up significantly – something to consider when looking at the .

For that reason, pet insurance is now more important than ever with average claims costing hundreds of pounds, while single claims can easily mount up to thousands.

Because of that the premiums for pet insurance itself has also gone up.

However, the fact your dog is a rescue dog should not have any impact on your premium. What insurers are much more concerned about is your pet’s breed, location and age as an older dog.


When searching for rescue dog insurance make sure to check each policy wording to see if there are any specific conditions or exclusions for rescue dogs – you may need to know this before taking out insurance for your pet animal.

With EmeraldPet, we have no specifc conditions for rescue dogs. However there are a range of standard exclusions you should make sure you are aware of. Some of these include:

  • We cannot cover any medical conditions that showed symptoms before you bought the policy or within 14 days of purchase
  • Vaccinations, castration and pregnancy are among exclusions deemed as elective treatments
  • Third party dog liability excludes any breeds registered under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act or any dog that has previously shown aggressive tendencies

What Does Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs Cost?

Rescue dogs should not cost any more to insure than other dogs. In fact, most pet insurance companies won’t even ask. What they will be more concerned about is your rescue dog’s breed, age and location as these have a much greater impact on the potential costs of any claims.

Certain breeds are more likely to develop medical conditions and so are more expensive to insure.

Vet fees will be higher in some areas than others and so this is also reflected in your premium.

With a rescue dog the biggest impact on pricing is likely to be age as an older dog is clearly more at risk of developing medical conditions.

However, even if you had owned the rescue dog since birth, you would still pay the same amount for your dog’s age as your renewal premium would increase each year on account of the dog ageing.

What Types of Pet Insurance For Rescue Dogs Are There?

In general the key differences in pet insurance policy types are lifetime cover and time-limited cover. A time-limited policy will cover vet fees up to the specified sum insured within the insured timeframe, but then any long term conditions that continue will be excluded.

There are also accident-only pet insurance policies which, as the name implies, do not cover illness. These tend to be the cheapest policies but also the most restrictive and people often don’t like them for that reason.

With a lifetime dog insurance policy as provided by EmeraldPet, you can ensure that medical conditions your dog develops as it ages are covered as a lifetime policy provides ongoing cover as long as you keep renewing.

You might also consider good third party liability cover for your rescue dog which can help with up to £1 million towards legal costs if your dog injures someone and you are sued.

EmeraldPet also comes with a good range of optional extras to consider such as:

  • Up to £1,500 per year for a missing pet, including rewards and advertising
  • Daily pet-sitting or boarding fees up to £1,500 per year
  • Up to £1,500 per year towards accidental or illness-related theft, death, or straying
  • Holiday cancellation up to £5,000 per year
  • Quarantine costs up to £2,000 per year
  • Emergency expenses up to £1,000 per year
  • Loss of a pet passport up to £250 per year
  • Maximum cover up to £1,000,000 per event
  • Legal liability cover if your dog damages someone else’s property
  • Legal liability cover if your dog causes injury or death

How To Find The Best Rescue Dog Insurance

The premium you get quoted for new pet insurance can vary considerably from one provider to another. That’s because different insurers will have different views on pricing factors like breed and age. Because of that it pays to get a range of quotes from different insurers.

While it may be tempting to jump straight to a comparison site, no comparison site gives a complete view of the market. EmeraldPet is just one of many pet insurance products that cannot be found on comparison sites to pass on maximum savings to its customers.

Pet insurance comparison sites also tend to be very price-driven in a fight to reach the top spot which can mean insurers offer a poorer quality product in order to be cheapest. Make sure you read the policy wording and exclusions to work out the real value of each policy and not just the price.


The premium for your dog is also likely to be influenced by your excess. The excess is the financial contribution you make towards any claims and can vary between different providers.

With EmeraldPet you’ll find the excesses quite simple. Dogs under 8 years at the date of treatment will cost you the first £100 for each condition per year. Dogs over 8 years at the date of treatment will be the first £110 plus 15% of the remaining cost of treatment per condition per year.

Changing Provider

While you are always free to change your pet insurer, if your pet develops an illness then that will be excluded as a pre-existing condition if you switch.

For that reason it is a good idea to put focus into choosing the right insurance for you because you are likely to stay with that provider for a long period.

Adopting a rescue dog and giving it a loving home is a wonderful experience, but make sure you perform this less enjoyable task of choosing the right insurance for your rescue dog. You and your family will then be protected financially if rehoming a rescue dog then leads to unexpected vet bills.