For many people, their pets are more than just companion animals; they are also considered as part of the family who they cherish and love as their human counterparts. This is especially true if your older pets have gone through many life turning points, challenges, and milestones with you. However, you may be wondering if purchasing a pet insurance policy for your dog or cat is a good option or whether they can even get coverage at all.
It is difficult to know at what age insurance companies consider animals a “senior pet.” While it is best to purchase a pet insurance policy for your animal while they are young, you can still get it for them as they get older. This will save you a considerable amount of money if they later develop a health problem or get into an accident. If you are considering whether it is worth it to get pet insurance for your older pets, here are the things you need to know to make an informed decision.
Why Do Older Pets Need Insurance?
Animals are just like humans, as they age, their body undergoes changes that make them function less effectively than when they are younger. So, older pets tend to gain weight and get weaker, a risk that is commonly found in cats and dogs that are more sedentary. Their immune system undergoing changes can make it challenging for them to tackle diseases. Also, if your pet was not castrated, he or she is at a higher risk of diseases such as mammary or testicular cancers.
At What Age is a Pet Considered “Senior”?
Depending on the breed and size of the pet, on average, a dog is considered a “senior” at age eight, a cat at age ten, and a rabbit at five. Just like humans, animals, especially dogs, frequently struggle with eyesight and hearing problems as they get older. They are also at a higher risk for injuries and illness, which is why you are encouraged to take your pet to see the veterinarian and get pet insurance as quickly as possible.
Note that no pet insurance company covers pre-existing conditions, no matter the age of the pet. If your pet has had a condition before enrollment, the pre-existing condition will not be covered. Also, if you didn’t enroll your pet in an insurance plan when he or she is still younger, you need to be aware of age restrictions. Some carriers have a maximum age limit that states when you can enroll your pet, which is often around ten to twelve years old.
Cost of Pet Insurance for Older Pets
Age doesn’t only influence your eligibility for purchasing insurance for your pet; it also determines the cost of insurance. In fact, age also increases the premium you will pay even if you already have pet insurance. An increase in the cost of insurance for older pets occurs because they pose a greater risk for injury, disease, or sickness. Don’t forget that some dog breeds tend to have certain conditions that may affect the cost of an insurance policy for your older pet. However, you can still find plenty of affordable pet insurance plans.
Is Pet Insurance for Older Pets Worth It?
Older pets are more likely to get sick and be too weak to fight off infection and disease. Pet insurance can help provide coverage for all or certain costs related to these problems. This policy can also help cover the costs of euthanasia and cremation services when it eventually comes to that. Also, you may want to get insurance for your older pet if he or she is not too old.
Some breeds are more apt to get sick or injured than others. If your pet falls into this category, again, pet insurance is a good idea. However, if your pet has a lot of pre-existing conditions that the pet insurance company won’t cover (you will likely have high vet bills, whether your pet is insured or not), you may not need to spend more on insurance. Moreover, if you have enough emergency funds, then getting pet insurance may not be as important.
Our pets spent their entire lives loving and accompanying us. And when they become more vulnerable to diseases or illness in their old age, it is smart to prepare for any eventuality by purchasing pet insurance so that you won’t have to worry too much whenever anything comes up. While you will probably end up paying more since you have an older pet, having the coverage means you won’t have to make an extremely difficult choice between your finance and your loved pet.