Best pet insurance for older dogs
Compare plans on coverage, costs and age restrictions
When it comes to caring for your senior dog, as a pet parent, you’re undoubtedly in it for the long haul. Unfortunately, many pet insurance companies are not. Rather than providing coverage through the end of your pet’s life, the majority tap out at around age nine, which can leave you scrambling for a solution.
If you take some time to shop around, though, you can find a handful of pet insurance providers without an age cap. To make this process as easy as possible for you, here’s a look at the top five companies offering the best pet insurance for older dogs.
Our pet insurance picks for older dogs
Below, we compare some of the top-rated dog insurance options on age limits, annual deductibles and availability.
As with all types of insurance policies, plan coverage differs from company to company. You’ll need to compare coverage types, levels and pricing to determine which one will work best for your senior pet's needs.
- Upper age limit: None
- Annual deductible: $100 to $1,000
- Availability: Nationwide
When you sign up for Spot dog insurance, you don’t have to worry about upper age limits. The basic coverage offers reimbursement for vet care needed to diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses — even on an emergency basis. You can also add preventive care coverage to your pet insurance policy to help pay for routine care. The only caveat is that it doesn’t cover preexisting illnesses or injuries, so it helps to sign up as soon as you can.
“I'm very happy with Spot Pet insurance. I've used many others and the coverage was lacking to say the least. Not only do they provide the necessary coverage at a reasonable price, but the customer service is outstanding,” a reviewer in Tennessee told us.
For a 10-year-old Lab in Dallas, we were quoted between $64.13 and $156.34 per month. The most popular quoted plan costs $104.80 per month — it has 80% reimbursement, a $250 deductible and a $4,000 annual limit.
- Preventive care add-on
- Comes with a 10% discount for additional pets
- No lifetime caps or per-incident limits
- Must submit itemized receipt when filing a claim
- No coverage for prescription pet food
- Requires automatic premium payments
- Upper age limit: None
- Annual deductible: $100 to $1,500
- Availability: Nationwide
Figo provides comprehensive illness and injury coverage for dogs of all ages. For accidents and illnesses, coverage kicks in within a week or two (varies by state). All policies cover diagnostic testing and cancer treatments. However, Figo reimburses emergency visit and chronic and hereditary condition costs at the rate you select. The company also has an app for 24/7 live chats with a vet.
“I absolutely love Figo. I have been with Figo for two years now, and I am very thankful for the quick way they process my reimbursements. I have an older Golden Retriever and they have always taken care of his medical bills,” a reviewer in Missouri told us.
For a 10-year-old Lab in Dallas, we were quoted $60.22 per month for a plan with 70% reimbursement, a $750 deductible and a $10,000 annual benefit. It costs $154.83 for a plan with a $500 deductible, 90% reimbursement and no annual limit.
- Visit any licensed vet, specialist or emergency hospital
- Three plan options to suit varying budgets
- Access to Pet Cloud app for instant vet advice
- 100% reimbursement option
- Higher deductibles
- Extra charge for veterinary exam fee coverage
- Relatively new in the industry
- Upper age limit: None
- Annual deductible: $100 to $250
- Availability: Nationwide
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or ASPCA, provides insurance coverage for dogs and cats of any age. Although the company doesn’t have age limits for new customers, the price increases with your dog’s age, so it’s wise to sign up as early as possible.
The plan covers accidental injuries, illnesses, hereditary conditions, behavioral health issues and dental diseases. If you’d like to get reimbursed for routine veterinary care, you’ll have to add the preventive care coverage to your pet insurance policy.
“ASPCA is straight up the best animal pet insurance company that I have had for my dog. I took out the more pricey insurance because our dog is older, but claims are processed in a timely manner and overall has given me the peace of mind that my dog will get the best care with this insurance,” a reviewer in Illinois told us.
For a 10-year-old Lab in Dallas, we were quoted $104.80 per month for the Complete Coverage plan. It has a $4,000 annual limit, $250 deductible and 80% reimbursement. You can also get a plan with a $100 deductible, 90% reimbursement and a $10,000 annual limit for $221.59 per month.
- Bring your dog to any vet you’d like
- Easy online quote and claims process
- Direct deposit available for reimbursements
- Maximum annual benefits vary by service
- Prices increase considerably as your dog ages
- Relatively low annual limits compared to other providers
- Upper age limit: 14 years
- Annual deductible: Up to $1,000
- Availability: Most states
Embrace offers full accident and illness insurance for senior dogs as long as you sign up for a plan before they turn 15. Otherwise, you can only get accident-only coverage.
With accident and illness coverage, you can get reimbursed for the cost of diagnostic tests and treatments needed to keep your dog in great health throughout the years. The coverage applies to chronic conditions, congenital ailments and dental trauma.
“I've been with Embrace for over 5 years. Communication is wonderful, Web Portal is simple and easy to use and understand. They are professional and quick to respond to their email. Claims are completed in a timely manner,” a reviewer in California told us.
For a 10-year-old Lab in Dallas, Embrace quoted us $55.19 per month. This plan has a $5,000 annual limit, a $750 annual deductible and a 70% reimbursement rate. You can get a plan with a $200 deductible, 90% reimbursement and a $30,000 annual limit for $172.51.
There’s also a 10% discount for enrolling multiple pets, a 5% military discount and a $50 discount on your deductible for each year you don’t get a claim reimbursement.
- Base plan includes care for dental trauma
- Lets you see any general vet or specialist
- Healthy Pet Deductible incentive
- Coverage could be canceled if policy lapses after age 15
- No 100% reimbursement option
- No unlimited annual limit available
What to consider when insuring an older dog
As you look at all the different dog insurance plans, you’ll need to keep the following factors in mind:
- Age: The older your dog, the more their pet insurance premiums will cost — you can pretty much count on this.
- Preexisting conditions: No pet health insurance plan we’ve found offers immediate coverage for preexisting conditions, but some will reimburse for future care 180 days after your dog recovers.
- Plan coverage: All plans differ in what their policies cover, so read the fine print to get the right level of coverage for you and your dog.
Cost of pet insurance for older dogs
Generally, pet insurance costs start anywhere from $10 to $50 per month. Insuring an older dog starts at the high end of this range, though, and goes up from there. At up to $546 per month, it’s simply more expensive to insure a senior dog due to their elevated risk of illnesses and injuries.
As dogs age, they’re more likely to need vet care, physical therapy and prescription medication, after all. To offset this risk, insurance providers charge a higher monthly premium, effectively splitting the increased costs with you.
Compare pet insurance costs
With pet insurance companies, what you pay each month in premiums depends mostly on your plan’s deductible, reimbursement rate and annual limit. As you can see below, the cheapest premiums also have the highest deductibles and lower reimbursements.
|Starting monthly cost||Deductible||Annual limit||Reimbursement|
Quotes were collected to insure a 10-year-old male Labrador retriever in Dallas, Texas, on July 16, 2021.
How to care for older dogs
When a pet owner provides an aging dog with excellent care, the animal’s quality of life improves while the occurrence of common illnesses and injuries grows less likely. Just follow these dog care tips to help avoid preventable issues in your dog’s later years:
- Minimize the risk of falls by putting down throw rugs or using dog booties.
- Take leisurely walks around the neighborhood every day to preserve joint health.
- Brush your dog’s teeth daily to keep them cavity-free and feeling great.
- Keep them to a healthy diet and eliminate table scraps if necessary.
- Look your dog over on a daily basis and report all changes to your vet for prompt care.
Frequently asked questions
What are the signs of an aging dog?
As your dog ages, you’ll eventually notice them slowing down — both physically and mentally. They may not be as quick to hop up and play, or they might just sleep more often, especially if they have achy joints. It’s also common for senior dogs to exhibit increased anxiety, repetitive behaviors and training regression.
What is the age limit for pet insurance?
Most pet insurance companies let new customers sign up for full coverage only if their pet is 14 or younger. Several providers do offer coverage for older pets, though this means an increasing premium over the years.
Can I insure my dog with a preexisting condition?
Yes, you can insure your dog if they have a preexisting condition. However, the coverage will not apply to the condition in question. Once the condition is cured, certain insurance providers will allow future coverage after a 180-day waiting period.
Do I need vet records to get insurance for an older dog?
When signing up for a pet health insurance policy, you either need to submit your dog’s vet records or take them in for an exam. The underwriter then reviews the vet report to confirm your dog is eligible for coverage and identify any preexisting conditions.
Is pet insurance worth it for older dogs?
Even if your senior dog is in good health, pet insurance can be a worthwhile investment. With reimbursement for up to 90% of your vet bill, you could save thousands of dollars in their last years. Although it takes a bit more legwork to find the right pet insurance policy for old dogs, it might be worth the effort.
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