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Pet insurance for older dogs in the UK

Time to read: 4 mins

Does the age of pet matter for getting insurance?

In short, yes, it does.

Old dog

Pet insurance for older dogs can be harder to find. It is the same case when looking to insure older cats too. This is because an older animal is more likely to require treatment and is more prone to diseases.

Some insurers will only let you take out a new policy if your dog is under eight or nine years of age – or younger for some special breeds.

You’ll have to check your individual policy to make sure that your pet comes into the required age limit. If you stay with the same insurance company, some will insure your dog throughout their life. We have no upper limit for insurance, however the excess due on claims will increase after they reach 8 years old.

It is normally best to start your search for dog insurance  while they are young. This way you won’t have to worry about getting an insurance policy for old dogs as they age. It becomes more difficult as they get older due to increased likelihood of them developing medical conditions.

Common conditions in older dogs

As dogs begin to age, particularly over the age of 8 you may start to notice a few changes physically and behaviourally. Physical changes can include the development of liver failure and cancers, while other common conditions associated with ageing include joint pain, lethargy and cognitive issues which cannot be treated. Other things to be aware of are dental health – infected gums and bad breath are regular symptoms of older dogs.

There may be specific conditions that are more common in certain breeds so make sure to read up on these and how to prevent and manage them as your dog ages.

If you are concerned about anything then contact your vet or consider our 24/7 pet Careline where you can speak to qualified veterinary nurses when you need to.

What’s the best pet insurance policy for an older dog?

With dog insurance you’ll usually find 4 types of pet insurance starting at the cheapest accident-only cover up to lifetime plans. As dogs age the more likely they are to suffer from illnesses and due to their age they will generally be more serious conditions. As a result you might find that the most suitable plan is lifetime dog insurance which can cover vet fee treatment for the remainder of the dog’s life (so long as you renew each year).  Lifetime pet insurance is typically the most expensive cover you can buy but in the case of older dogs it tends to be better value as with cheaper levels of cover you may find that you’ll need to cover some treatment cost or you may hit cover limits for treatment which result in you no longer being eligible to claim for the condition.

Are crossbreed dogs cheaper to insure?

Generally, crossbreeds are cheaper to insure. This is because they are not as susceptible to inherited diseases that are more common in pedigree dogs. They are less likely to get an inherited illness.

Old dog with glasses

What does insurance not cover?

Generally pet insurance does not cover existing medical conditions so policies taken out after the onset of illness won’t be valid. However, with our Champ cover we may be able to cover your dog’s pre-existing medical conditions.

Therefore, you might want to get insurance for your dog as soon as possible when they are young and healthy, especially if you have a breed that is more likely to suffer problems and diseases.

Many policies also won’t cover routine or preventative treatments, such as vaccinations, flea and worm prevention, neutering/spaying, grooming, and anything relating to pregnancy.

Always check

Cover will vary by insurer so always make sure you check thoroughly and understand what you are buying to ensure that the cover is right for you and your pet.

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