Pet Insurance For Senior Animals

Our beloved pets become more susceptible to health issues as they age. Learn the benefits of pet insurance to ensure your animals receive the care they require.
By Jessica Moore
Updated Apr 5, 2022
Senior Dog
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Your pets are more than just animals; they're furry, four-legged members of your family. During their lives, your pets provide you with love, companionship, and memories that will last a lifetime. You only want the best for them. As they get older, you want to make sure they are as healthy and comfortable as possible. 

The truth is our pets become more susceptible to health issues as they age. These issues can significantly impact their quality of life and can also be incredibly expensive to treat. 

Pet insurance can help to alleviate the financial burden of treating health issues as your pet gets older. Not every pet owner invests in a policy when their pet is young, though. Just because your pet is aging, that doesn't mean you can't insure them. Here's what you need to know about insurance for your senior pet.

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Why Get Pet Insurance for Your Senior Pet

Ideally, you should purchase pet insurance when your pet is young. A policy makes sense for several reasons:

  • As your pet ages, they are more susceptible to health issues 

  • Your pet may require more medications or treatments to maintain their quality of life

  • Healthcare for senior pets can be expensive, and costs can quickly accumulate

  • You love your pet and only want the best for them

  • Once conditions become pre-existing, most plans cannot cover expenses related to that condition..

If your pet is a bit older and you haven't purchased an insurance policy, that doesn't mean that it's too late to do so. There are plenty of insurance companies that will insure older pets.

How Old is "Old?"

Your pet's age does factor into the monthly premiums of your insurance policy. It's important to know not all pets age at the same rate. Even different breeds of dogs age at different rates. 

The common belief is that dogs age seven years for every human year, but this isn't entirely accurate. Dogs mature rapidly in their first two years of life and then slow down. Different breeds age differently, with smaller breeds aging more slowly than larger ones. You can look up the expected lifespan of your pet to determine whether or not they are "old."

When you apply for pet insurance, the company will ask for your pet's breed in addition to their age. Generally speaking, the closer your pet is to the end of their expected lifespan, the more you'll pay each month. 

Is There Such a Thing as Too Old?

Some companies won't accept new applicants over a certain age, but other companies don't have age restrictions. Be sure to look into age restrictions before filling out an application.

Pre-Existing Conditions and Pet Insurance

In addition to their age and breed, insurance companies also look at your pet's overall health. As your pet ages, the risk of developing certain diseases and severe health conditions increases. These conditions can be expensive to treat, which is what makes pet insurance so valuable.

Few policies provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, though. You won't usually be able to file claims for any care your pet receives for a condition diagnosed with before taking out the policy. Even if the condition were not diagnosed or treated before enrollment, it still would not be covered.

Read more: Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

While your pet might be older, that doesn't necessarily mean that they automatically have chronic conditions. However, many conditions can develop without any apparent signs or symptoms. Many insurance companies will require a copy of your pet's most recent medical evaluation in addition to a copy of their health history to determine any pre-existing conditions. 

Keep in mind that just because your pet received treatment for a specific injury or illness in the past, that doesn't automatically mean that the issue won't be covered later. For instance, if your dog swallowed a children's toy when they were younger, you may still be able to claim a similar issue if your pet healed at least 180 days prior. You will need to read the insurance company's specific policy for more details. 

Just because your pet is older, that doesn't mean it's too late to insure them. Finding the right policy for you (and for your pet) is vital. If you're searching for an insurance policy for your senior pet, PolicyScout can help. Contact PolicyScout today to get started!

Find the right plan for you!Compare insurance carriers in your area. It's 100% free.Get Quotes