Should you take Older Pet Insurance?

As your pet gets older, as with all of us, its tendency to fall sick increases. While there are so many pet insurance companies happily willing to insure a young pet, there are only a few who insure a old one, for obvious reasons. From a pet owners perspective older pet insurance is as important or even more important than an insurance of a young pet. Contrary to what insurers think, pet owners strongly believe, with proper care, their pets can easily live for a few more years. This is where old pet insurance comes into picture.

The premiums of older pet insurance are significantly higher than of young ones, but in most case, it's worth it if it can help improve and increase life of your pet. This also in many cases ensures that owner does not have to hesitate in case of expensive treatments which otherwise would not have been possible for him to avail because of financial constraints.

Benefits of Older Pet Insurance

Older pets have increased tendency to fall ill due to their age and they need routine care as well as urgent treatment. At the same time, medical treatments have become very expensive. In many cases owners cannot pay for frequent medical treatment and sometimes, people cannot pay at all due to stringent financial condition. At this time, older pet insurance can really prove useful by taking care of the bills from the veterinarian.

The only problem which can come across people is that they may need to pay the full amount before asking for the reimbursement from the insurance company. If people can manage to handle it, then insurance companies can provide 70-90% of the total bill amount to the pet owners. This effort can actually help in saving many pets from sudden demise due to lack of treatment.   
Normally, older pet insurance policies consist of following benefits and allowances:-

  • Infections
  • Parvo
  • Stings
  • Cancer
  • Pneumonia
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Sprains
  • Foreign body ingestion
  • Lacerations and so on

Apart from these coverage aspects, older pet insurance schemes do not provide coverage for already existing medical conditions and other preventive care maintenance aspects like yearly physical examinations and vaccinations.  If one has to follow the numbers, it would be clear that typical reimbursement percentage would be around 80%. Moreover, the deductible would be $100 for every incident with maximum incident amount and maximum annual amount of $2,000 separately.

Types of Older Pet Insurance

Older pet insurance can be segmented on the basis of period into three types namely lifetime cover, individual cover and annual cover.

Lifetime Cover

It follows auto-renewal policy and there would not be any exclusion after the placement of annual insurance cover. Lifetime cover can be for a particular condition or for all the conditions together. There can be further increase in the premium rate as per the age of the pet. It covers long-term as well as short-term treatments and it is expensive than other two types of older pet insurance.

Individual Cover

It is also based upon auto-renewal policy. Maximum amount is paid for all the conditions with no time limit for the claim. After claiming for a particular condition, it would be excluded from the policy. There are comparatively cheaper premium amounts and it covers most of the short-term as well as medium-term illnesses. Most of the times, there is no coverage for long-term vet treatment due to higher cost.

Annual Cover

This cover is based upon annual renewal and defines two policy guidelines. as per one guideline, a single policy is covered for twelve months after setting the condition while other guideline states that condition can be covered only till the renewal date. There is cheaper cover against short-term illness and accidents and there is no coverage for medium as well as long-term health conditions.

Major Companies Providing Older Pet Insurance

There are various major players providing older pet insurance, two of them have been discussed here – Shelter Care Pet Insurance and Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.

Shelter Care Pet Insurance   older pet insurance

Shelter Care Pet Insurance provides covers for congenial and hereditary illnesses which do not fall under the category of pre-existing conditions. They offer three plans i.e. Basic, Forever and Preferred. All the plans fall under unlimited lifetime category and there is similar deductible amount of $100 for all the plans. They do not offer routine care but there is coverage for hereditary conditions, hip dysplasia, death, euthanasia, cremation, boarding (for hospitalized owner), prescription medicines, alternative treatment and theft. There is no increase in premium payment for older pets.

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance 
This company offers two dog plans and one cat plan. However, they provide lifetime coverage for all the plans but for dogs over 6 years in age, they ask for a complete clinical examination. They do not provide coverage for cats over 6 years. For older dog plan, they have set up a dog price per month ranging from $50.31 to $90.25. Moreover, they provide coverage against:-

  • Accident and illness
  • Hereditary conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Prescription medicines
  • Accidental dental injury
  • Alternative treatment for some pets

There is no coverage for death, cremation, boarding, pregnancy, breeding, fertility, accidental damage and grooming.