Older Dog Insurance
Pet insurance for older dogs
It can be difficult for owners of older dogs to find pet insurance at reasonable prices. This is because as dogs age they become susceptible to accidents and illness and are more likely to need expensive vet treatment; insurers increase prices for all older dogs to cover the cost of claims they will have to pay out.
Some policies or companies will not cover new customers with older dogs because of the likelihood they will have to pay more frequent expensive claims.
It’s worth noting that the term ‘older dog’ is relative because some breeds live longer than others and insurers will price according to breed.
For example, Border Terriers live longer than Bulldogs so a Bulldog owner may face steeper premium increases than a Border Terrier owner each year at renewal or a sudden large increase when their dog turns 7 or 8.
There are companies that have no age limit on their policies. Bought By Many pet insurance can cover dogs and cats of any age on its lifetime policies – Regular, Complete and MoneyBack.
Its Complete policy is the most comprehensive on the market, with up to £15,000 of vet fee cover and cover for dental treatment included as standard.
Bought By Many’s MoneyBack policy is unique and will pay owners 20% of their premium back if they don’t need to make a claim in a policy year.
Lifetime insurance covers vet fees up to the policy’s limit every year. If you renew a lifetime policy each year the level of vet fees will reset to the limits you started with. Your price may increase at renewal.
Most insurance for older dogs comes with a higher compulsory excess or a percentage of the claim the owner has to pay. Again, this is to balance the risk insurers face of paying frequent claims.
Bought By Many’s lifetime cover for dogs aged 9 and over comes with a £69 excess and a 20% co-payment. But if you’re insuring more than one pet on the same policy it offers a 15% multi-pet discount.
Other companies may ask for a co-payment at a younger age or charge a higher excess.
When buying pet insurance for an older dog it’s important to read a company’s policy documents to understand if there are exclusions for pets over a certain age.
For example, most pet insurance policies will end cover for death due to illness or injury when a dog reaches a certain age (the age may vary from company to company). This cover will end even if you bought the policy when your dog was younger and renewed each year.
Another issue that affects older pets is pre-existing conditions. Many owners consider switching providers as their pets get older and their premium increases but be aware a new company is unlikely to cover a condition a pet has already suffered from. Bought By Many can cover some pre-existing conditions when an owner switches.
Owners of older cats may face similar issues although insurance for cats tends to be cheaper because cats live longer and vet treatment often doesn’t cost as much as it does for dogs.