As dogs get older, vet treatment becomes increasingly likely. As a result, many pet insurance companies won’t insure dogs aged over 7 or 8 years.
But the good news is that there are 8 pet insurance companies who do:
- Lifetime Pet Cover
- MORE TH>N
- John Lewis Insurance
- Animal Friends
- Protect Your Bubble
- Debenhams Pet Insurance
- Argos Pet Insurance
Read on to learn more about the benefits for older dogs of the policies these insurance companies offer, and to compare prices.
Lifetime Pet Cover for older dogs
As their name suggests, Lifetime Pet Cover only offer lifetime pet insurance policies (the type of pet insurance policy which continues to pay out for ongoing medical conditions). Dental cover is included.
Lifetime offers five levels of vet fees cover: £1,000, £2,000, £4,000, £6,000 and £10,000.
Prices for £4,000 of vet bills cover for a 10-year old dog  start from £24.46 per month.
As with all pet insurance policies for elderly dogs, owners need to contribute to the costs of any claim. For dogs between 7 and 12 years old, owners will have to pay 20% of the claims settlement and for dogs over 12, they will pay 25% of the claims settlement, after the excess.
Top Tip: Get a 10% discount with Lifetime Pet Cover when you join our Older Dogs Group. With this discount, it’s the cheapest lifetime pet insurance option we’re aware of for older dogs.
Older dogs with More Than pet insurance
One of the UK’s best-known pet insurance companies, More Than, insures dogs up to any age, and offers a range of pet insurance policies to choose from. Prices from More Than start at £11.69 a month. This is on their “Basic” policy, with £1,500 of vet bills cover.
You can get a quote at the More Than website.
At the other end of the spectrum, their comprehensive lifetime pet insurance policy, “Premier”, offering £12,000 of vet bills cover, costs £31.49 a month for a dog aged ten. More Than Premier is one of the best dog insurance policies in the UK according to independent research by Which? and Defaqto. However, owners of dogs aged over 9 do need to contribute 20% of the cost of any claim (in addition to the £70 policy excess).
Top tip: Get 20% off More Than pet insurance when you join our Pet Insurance group.
John Lewis Pet Insurance for elderly dogs
Another highly-rated pet insurance company which is an option if your dog is aged over 7 is John Lewis Insurance.
Like More Than, John Lewis pet insurance is underwritten by RSA, one of the world's largest insurance companies. However, as John Lewis only offers lifetime pet insurance policies (the type which continue to provide cover for medical conditions year after year), their prices for older dogs are more expensive than More Than's.
Insuring a 10-year-old dog with John Lewis on their Essential cover costs £26.28 per month; while 5-star rated Premier cover would cost £40.20 per month. John Lewis is currently offering an 20% online discount on the first year's pet insurance premium - bear in mind these prices include this discount.
Top tip: the excess on John Lewis pet insurance increases for dogs aged over 9, and owners have to pay the first 20% of any claim.
A Senior Dog’s Best Friend?
Animal Friends is a specialist pet insurance company which supports animal welfare charities. They offer insurance for older dogs through a “co-payment” system. What this means is that when you make a pet insurance claim for your dog, you pay both the policy excess (usually £90) and 35% of however much is left over.
Prices start from £8.98 a month for a 10-year-old dog on Animal Friends’ basic “Prime” policy, while a lifetime policy for an older dog costs £31.63.
Top tip: Animal Friends co-payment does make the cost of pet insurance for older dogs cheaper, but you need to bear in mind you’ll need to pay 35% of the costs of vet treatment, plus the policy excess, when you make a claim for your dog.
E&L has a new trick for old dog insurance
Niche insurance specialists E&L (short for "The Equine & Livestock Insurance Company") also cover dogs aged over 8, on a specific senior dog insurance policy. Prices start from £18.36 per lunar month and include a year's free membership of The National Pet Register.
You can get a quote at the E&L website.
Top tip: With E&L, owners are required to pay the first 35% of any claim they make for a senior dog.
Protect an older dog with Protect Your Bubble
Better known for insuring mobile phones and gadgets, Protect Your Bubble has recently started offering pet insurance, and do cover older dogs.
Their “Economy” policy will give a 10 year old dog £1,000 of vet bills cover for £18.59 a month.
Top tip: Protect Your Bubble Economy is a very basic policy that offers a bare minimum of cover. Always check you understand what is and isn’t covered when buying pet insurance for your dog.
The best of the rest
Other things to bear in mind when insuring older dogs
Pet insurance policies don't pay out for older dogs if they die due to illness or injury.
Only a handful companies provide comprehensive dental cover with their pet insurance policies, which can become more of a consideration as dogs enter their senior years.
Why does dog insurance become more expensive as dogs get older?
It's a cause of frustration for many senior dog owners that the cost of insurance seems to increase at every renewal. Many people feel that pet insurance companies are trying to take advantage of them - especially if they have already claimed on their insurance, and will therefore find it difficult to switch to another pet insurer. However, in fairness to the pet insurance companies, the increase in costs for senior dogs really does boil down to the statistics, which show that the probability of making a claim for vet treatment increases exponentially with each year of a dog's life from age 2 onwards.
Your views about getting insurance for older dogs
Have you found cheap pet insurance quotes for an older dog from other companies? Do you have a strong opinion on which company offers the best pet insurance for older dogs? Are there other aspects of insurance for older dogs which we should research in more detail? If so we would love to hear from you - why not use the Pet Insurance for Older Dogs Forum to get in touch and let us know?
All prices are based on buying pet insurance for a 10 year old Border Terrier, in an MK postcode.