Older Pet Insurance

Older pet insurance is a way of making sure that, should your pet become ill, you will not have to have him euthanized for lack of money to cover for the veterinary expenses. If you have just adopted a senior pet or you are thinking of insuring your already aging pet for the first time, you will first find out that many insurance companies do not insure dogs who are older than 8 or 9 years and cats older than 10 or 11. However, there are companies that have insurance plans for senior pets. Also, if you have acquired your pet from a foster home, he will probably be insured and you can continue the policy with the same company.

If your pet is reaching old age and you are afraid you will not be able to afford the costs of medical care, pet insurance could be a solution.

Before purchasing insurance for your older pet, there are several questions you should answer.

What Does the Older Pet Insurance Cover?

You will have to choose between different insurance plans: some that include even routine medical care (shots, spaying, neutering, preventative care) or emergency insurance plans, which usually have higher deductibles. Insurance companies will not cover all conditions for all breeds of pets, so you will need to carefully check what each company offers to cover for the pet you have.

Insurance companies will not cover health conditions that already exist when the policy is purchased. Therefore, if you do intend to have your older pet insured, it is best to do it while he is in good health.

Type of Older Pet Insurance Cover

You can purchase a lifetime policy or a non-lifetime, yearly renewable insurance. Lifetime policies usually cover ongoing health conditions, while yearly policies will only pay for treatment of a condition for the first time around.

However, lifetime policies will usually have their limits limiting the coverage to a certain amount of money per condition or to a certain sum per year. Discussing with your veterinarian about the benefits of each for your dog, could help you decide.

Veterinarian Services Covered by Older Pet Insurance

Before purchasing a policy, check whether you can use it to cover the expenses with any veterinarian or the company has its own network of veterinary practices.

How Does Older Pet Insurance Pay for Claims?

As most companies set their reimbursement policies on the national average cost of veterinarian services. Check what each company considers as average and compare it to what you are already spending.

As opposed to human health insurance, pet insurance will not pay in advance for the medical costs. You will have to pay for the treatment yourself, than be reimbursed based on the invoices. However, some veterinarians will accept to only be paid when you get your insurance money.

In order to avoid fraud, most pet insurance policies impose a waiting period before the insurance becomes valid. This waiting period can vary from a day or 2, to 2 weeks. Some insurance companies require a check up to be performed before the insurance plan becomes active.