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. Moreover, the cost of pet insurance for an 11-year-old dog, for instance, can be substantially more expensive than for a younger dog.
But the good news is that there are 9 pet insurance companies who do insure older dogs:
- Bought By Many
- Lifetime Pet Cover
- MORE TH>N
- John Lewis Finance Pet Insurance
- Animal Friends
- 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 (or ‘yearly limit’) insurance covers vet fees up to the stated limit every year. This can be a good option if you worry about your pet developing a long-term or recurring illness. So long as you renew a lifetime policy each year, the level of vet fees will reset to the full stated limits that you started with.
With a lifetime product, it is important to note that your premiums will increase each year at renewal. This is different to a “Per Condition” policy, where a particular condition can become excluded once the condition limit is reached.
Lifetime offers five levels of vet fees cover: £2,000, £3,000, £4,000, £6,000 and £10,000.
Prices for £4,000 of vet bills cover for a 10-year old dog  start from £21.36 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.
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 £14.48 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 £74.89 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, if you purchase the company's pet insurance for a 9-year-old dog, you'll have to contribute 20% of the cost of any claim (in addition to the £150 policy excess).
Top tip: Get 32.5% off More Than pet insurance when you join our Pet Insurance group.
John Lewis Finance 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 Finance Pet Insurance.
Like More Than, John Lewis Finance pet insurance is underwritten by RSA, one of the world's largest insurance companies. However, as John Lewis Finance only offers lifetime pet insurance policies (the type which continues 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 Finance on their Essential cover costs £27.25 per month; while 5-star rated Premier cover would cost £51.45 per month. John Lewis Finance is currently offering an up to 10% online discount on the first year's pet insurance premium. Bear in mind these prices include this discount, and are with the voluntary excess option of £500.
Top tip: the excess on John Lewis Finance pet insurance increases for dogs aged over 9, and owners have to pay the first 20% of any claim, or the £500 excess option, whichever is more expensive.
A Senior Dog’s Best Friend?
Animal Friends is a specialist pet insurance company which supports animal welfare charities. They offer insurance for dogs aged over 8 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 £99) and 35% of however much is left over.
Prices start from £14.73 a month for a 10-year-old dog on Animal Friends’ basic “Prime” policy, while a lifetime policy for an older dog costs £14.64.
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.
Older dogs with Bought By Many pet insurance
Most of our policies are open to dogs of any age and we're the only company that covers pre-existing conditions.
We've listened to more than 40,000 comments from pet owners and created products that aim to solve the problems they've had with pet insurance.
Many people told us they struggle to find affordable cover for older dogs so we've designed comprehensive policies where owners pay 20% of the claim on top of a £69 excess to keep monthly premiums down.
Our Complete cover offers £15,000 of vet fee cover a year and includes dental as standard. And we have a MoneyBack policy that will pay back 20% of your policy each year you do not need to claim.
And we have a cheap Liability Only policy that starts at around £10 a year.
Top tip: All our policies feature a 15% multi-pet discount. Get a quote here.
E&L has a new trick for old dog insurance
Niche insurance specialists E&L (short for "The Equine & Livestock Insurance Company") also offer pet insurance for dogs aged over 8 years old, 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.
The best of the rest
It’s also possible to get pet insurance for an older dog with Debenhams, and Argos Pet Insurance – but prices are all more than £30 a month. This means their pet insurance for an 11 or 12-year-old dog would be substantially more expensive than for a younger dog.
Debenhams won't offer new quotes to dogs aged 9 or over.
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. So if you have pet insurance for a dog aged 11 that passes away, you won't be able to claim for its death.
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 onward. This means if you have insurance for a 12 or 13-year-old dog, you're more likely to claim than if you have a younger dog.
Find out more about what dog insurance costs.
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.