You may have always known that the best time to get pet insurance is when the pet is still young or in its prime, but does that mean you cannot insure your senior pet as an owner? We cover everything you need to know about pet insurance for senior dogs and cats, how much they cost, what insurance companies provide them, and if they are really worth it.
- The best time to obtain pet insurance is when the pet is still young or middle-aged. However, this does not mean you cannot insure senior pets. There are companies that provide such options with friendly prices too.
- Because senior pets are more vulnerable to sicknesses and injuries, insurance companies charge more for pet insurance to be able to offset these risks.
- Most insurance companies that provide insurance for senior pets have separate insurance rates for this category of pets.
- Just like the typical pet insurance, the amount you pay as premium for your old pet would vary based on the amount deductible and reimbursement rate.
- Even though your pet is aging, purchasing pet insurance for it might still be a worthwhile investment.
Can You Get Pet Insurance for Senior Dogs and Cats?
Absolutely yes! You can get pet insurance for senior pets. Ideally, obtaining pet insurance is a way for you to offset significant veterinary care costs as a pet owner.
However, as pets grow older, they become more vulnerable and prone to injury, chronic illnesses, and terminal diseases. This explains why pet insurance for seniors is less popular, and most insurance couples typically put age restrictions on their pet insurance.
Nevertheless, it is not totally impossible to obtain pet insurance for your old companion. In fact, insurance companies with special options for seniors are increasing by the day.
This article guides you on such companies and what you should look out for when purchasing pet insurance for senior cats and dogs.
There are several reasons why you may be considering pet insurance when your cat or dog is now quite of age. Perhaps, you’ve never really understood the benefits of pet insurance until recently, or you’ve always purchased insurance for your pet, but it is now getting old, and your favorite pet company can no longer provide insurance for it.
List of Insurances that Offer Specific Plans for Senior Dogs and Cats
More than you ever know, there are several pet insurance companies that provide insurance options for senior cats and dogs. In this article, we have focused on the popular and well-trusted insurance companies with favorable options for senior pets. For the prices we’ve compared, our selections are based on factors like excellent customer reviews, coverage plans, popularity, and price range.
Here is a list of popular companies that provide pet insurance for senior cats and dogs:
Comparing Senior Pet Insurance Rates Across Companies
|Company||Upper Age Limit (Max. Enrollment Age)||Dog Quote||Cat Quote||Annual Deductible||Availability|
|Embrace||14 years||$236.93||$86.89||$100-$1000||Most US states|
|Fetch Pet||No limit||$324.36||$143.4||$100-$1000||Most US states|
Note that quotes for pet insurance would also vary based on reimbursement rate and amount of deductible. The prices provided here were determined based on a 90% reimbursement rate and a $500 deductible. Quotes were given for an 11-year-old female Labrador Retriever dog and a 12-year-old male Domestic Longhair cat.
What Should You Consider Before Insuring an Older Pet?
While you are on the lookout for the best plans available for your senior pet, there are certain factors you should also keep in mind. Putting these factors in mind will guide you on the kinds of plans you should look out for, how much you would expect to spend, and will generally inform you if insuring your pet is indeed a worthwhile step to take.
- Age: The older your pet, the costlier insurance rates would be. This is a ratio you must always stay aware of when comparing prices on the internet. Even when prices are given, you should look out for the age of the dog or cat the quote is provided for. Also, some providers set an age limit for their insurance options for seniors, and you want to look out for this, especially if your pet is already passed their age or will cross that benchmark soon.
- Coverage: While there are some occurrences expected to be covered in the typical pet insurance, there would still be variation in coverage specifics across companies. While you compare prices, you should also do well to compare what each plan covers while keeping what will work best for your pet in mind. Companies may also present you with more than one plan, which several bonuses and add-on packages available to choose from. You should always choose from the perspective of what will offer the best for your pet, and not just the price tag.
- Pre-existing Conditions: Considering that your pet is a senior, it may be dealing with pre-existing conditions at the time you are considering insurance for it. However, you should note that most pet insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, irrespective of the pet’s age. In rare cases, though, you may find a company willing to offer reimbursement for the future care of your pet from about 120 to 180 days after it recovers from that pre-existing condition.
How are the Prices for Dog and Cat Insurance Determined?
The way pet insurance premiums are determined is quite different from how life insurance costs for humans are calculated. Generally, prices are determined based on factors like the age and breed of the pet, type of coverage or plan, location, deductible amount, and reimbursement level.
Among all of these factors, the deductible amount and reimbursement level are what will chiefly determine how much you invest in insuring your pet. The deductible is the fixed amount you must provide or pay to your pet care provider before you can lay claim on your insurance.
The reimbursement rate is the amount that will be returned to you out of the total costs incurred for pet care.
If, for example, you purchase a pet insurance plan with a $500 deductible and a reimbursement rate of 90%, you should expect the following whenever you take your pet for vet care:
- You will always forgo $500 every time your pet visits the vet clinic
- The insurance company will either directly pay 90% of the total cost, or they will reimburse it into your account after you lay claim on the insurance.
- That said, the total amount you will spend on vet care per time would be $500 plus 10% of the total vet care cost.
For any of the companies we’ve listed above, except for ASPCA, you can decide your deductible to be anything from $100 to $1000. Most pet insurance companies allow for reimbursement rates between 70% and 90%. You should note that premium prices will vary depending on the amount deductible as well as the reimbursement rate. The higher the deductible amount you opt for, the lower you pay as premium. Whereas, the higher your reimbursement rate, the higher you pay as insurance premium.
Why is Insurance for Senior Cats and Dogs More Expensive?
Pet insurance costs anything from $30 to $100 per month. However, insuring older pets costs higher and can start from as high as $70 to $250 per month.
Insuring senior pets with some insurance companies may even cost as high as $500 per month. But why exactly is insuring senior pets more expensive?
As pets age, their risks of getting sick and injured also increase. They are therefore more likely to require more vet visits, random checkups, physical therapy, admission, prescription medication, and all of those occurrences that typical pet insurance cover.
Besides, the chances and speed of recovery are lower for older pets, which means they could be spending longer time at the pet clinic, requiring more medications, and having to get frequent checkups to ascertain their health state.
Insurance companies consider all of this and therefore charge higher for senior dogs and cats to offset these risks. The premium they charge ensures pet care cost is split evenly between you and them.
If pet insurance companies charged the same amount for senior pets as they do for other pets, they will run on a loss, since the burden of care costs will be too heavy for them to bear when compared to the premium rates their clients pay.
Are there any Restrictions on Cat and Dog Insurance?
While you can always decide to insure your pet at any age and under any health condition, there may be certain restrictions. For example, the age of the pet has a large role to play. Some insurance companies would only insure pets that are 14 years or younger.
If you do find a company willing to insure your pet at any age, the premium would significantly increase as the pet’s age increases.
Another restriction to pet insurance could be the presence of a pre-existing condition. While pre-existing conditions would not outrightly stop you from insuring your old pet, the insurance place would most likely not cover that condition. That would mean you would need to cover that condition out of your pocket while you still continue to pay your monthly premiums.
Does Pet Insurance for Senior Cats and Dogs Worth it?
Considering how you have to spend more on your pet as it grows older, purchasing insurance for it as a senior pet could actually be a worthwhile investment.
Instead of having to cater to all of those healthcare costs yourself, the insurance company lifts a significant amount of the cost for you, and you’d only have to pay your monthly premium. However, without pet insurance, you’d continue to pay for healthcare costs out of your pocket for as often as you make a visit to the health clinic, which you’d agree will be much more frequent as your pet ages.
When Can You Skip Getting Insurance for Your Pet?
Pet owners decide to insure their pets based on how much value they place on the pet. Therefore, the ultimate choice to insure your pet or not would be up to you.
However, there are special conditions where you must really consider if the pet insurance is truly worth it. For example, if your pet is already about the 14-year and 12-year benchmarks for dogs and cats respectively, and if the pet is already being treated for a pre-existing condition, which the new insurance will definitely not cover, you may want to reconsider your choices.
Another reason you might want to consider is the life expectancy of the pet. Insuring a 12-year-old dog will still be considered a worthwhile option than insuring a 14-year-old dog that could die anytime soon, not just because it got sick but because the dog has truly expended its lifetime.