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Best Pet Insurance for Older Dogs in July 2024

Best Pet Insurance for Older Dogs
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updated: July 4, 2024
edited by Daniel Liberto

Pet insurance might seem like just one more monthly expense, but it can save you a lot of money if your pet is injured or taken ill. That is true whether you have a puppy, kitten, senior dog, or senior cat. Pet insurance for senior dogs can offer coverage for some of the most common ailments, including arthritis, cancer, vision impairment, and kidney disease.

Learn more about pet insurance for senior dogs so you can choose the best coverage for your four-legged friend.

Best pet insurance companies for senior dogs

Best forSample monthly rate*DeductiblesAnnual coverage limitsReimbursement rates
Discounts
$98.05
$100, $250, $500, $750, or $1,000
$5,000, $8,000, $10,000, $15,000, or unlimited
70%, 80%, or 90%
Affordability
$53.40
$100, $250, or $500
$2,500, $5,000, $7,000, or $10,000
70%, 80%, or 90%
Coverage limit choices
$60.30
$100, $250, $500, $750, or $1,000
$2,500, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, or unlimited
70%, 80%, or 90%
Owners of multiple pets
$92.15
$50, $100, $250, or$500
$2,000, $5,000, or $10,000
70%, 80%, or 90%
Deductible choices
$57.87
$50, $100, $200, $250, $500, or $1,000
$5,000 or unlimited
70%, 80%, or 90%
Alternative treatment
$109.13
$300, $500, or $700
$5,000, $10,000, or $15,000
70%, 80%, or 90%

* Quotes are for a 10-year-old male, medium mixed-breed dog

Best for discounts: Embrace

Embrace is notable for the discounts it offers. If you insure more than one pet, you can get a 10% multi-pet discount. There is also a 5% discount if you or someone in your household is an active or former member of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy, or Coast Guard.

Moreover, the Healthy Pet Discount program offers monthly savings of 5% in the first year and 10% in the second year if your pet has claims reimbursements of $300 or less per year. This range of discounts can help decrease the cost of coverage from Embrace.

Embrace has several deductible options, ranging from $100 to $1,000, and offers various annual coverage limits, including unlimited annual coverage. Reimbursement rates can be 70%, 80%, or 90%. Embrace also offers coverage for exam fees and prescription drugs at an additional cost.

Why we picked it: With several available discounts, coverage for older dogs from Embrace doesn’t have to break the bank.

Pros:

  • 10% multi-pet discount and a 5% military discount
  • Healthy Pet Discount program can save you up to 10%
  • Unlimited annual coverage is available
  • Access to a 24/7 pet helpline

Cons:

  • Coverage for exam fees and prescription drugs costs extra
  • Dogs 15 and older are eligible for accident plan only
  • A one-time $25 entry fee plus a $1 monthly transaction charge if you make monthly payments.

Best for affordability: ASPCA

The ASPCA stands out for its relatively low premiums. When we requested a quote for a 10-year-old mixed-breed male dog, the ASPCA quoted us $53.40 for a plan with a $5,000 annual coverage limit, an 80% reimbursement rate, and a $500 annual deductible. Other companies quoted $58 to $109 per month.

This low price makes ASPCA a good choice for pet owners on a limited budget. The insurer also covers hereditary and congenital issues and behavioral issues, which may make it a better fit if you’re concerned about any of these issues with your dog.

When you take out a pet insurance plan from ASPCA, you can choose from three deductibles ($100, $250, and $500), annual coverage limits ranging from $2,500 to $10,000, and reimbursement rates of 70%, 80%, or 90%. ASPCA has a 14-day waiting period for accident and illness coverage. Having to wait is common, although some insurers are quicker or, in some cases, won’t make you wait at all for coverage to take effect. Another potential downside is that you’ll need to pay a monthly transaction fee of $2 if you don’t opt for annual billing.

Why we picked it: ASPCAs low rate quote makes it a solid choice for pet owners with limited budgets or fixed incomes.

Pros:

  • The cost of coverage is relatively low
  • Hereditary and congenital issues are covered
  • Behavioral issues are covered

Cons:

  • 14-day waiting period for accident and illness coverage
  • Deductible options are relatively limited
  • If you pay monthly, you’ll pay extra

Best for coverage limit choices: Spot

Pet insurance from Spot is easy to customize thanks to seven available annual maximum coverage limits: $2,500, $3,000, $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $10,000, and unlimited. This wide range of options gives you more freedom to choose the best coverage for your pet’s needs and budget.

Choose a plan with a $2,500 annual limit, a 70% reimbursement rate, and a $1,000 annual deductible and you can pay as little as $26.60 a month for coverage. Other perks of choosing Spot include exam fees for insured conditions, 24/7 access to a pet helpline, and a 10% discount if you insure more than one pet.

Spot has several deductible options, ranging from $100 to $1,000, and, like others on this list, its reimbursement rates are 70%, 80%, or 90%. There are also some downsides, though. Spot doesn’t offer coverage for general maintenance prescription diets. And it will charge you a $2 monthly transaction fee if you don’t opt to pay premiums annually.

Why we picked it: Spot has seven options for annual maximum coverage limits, so it’s easy to customize your dog’s insurance coverage to your budget.

Pros:

  • Seven options for annual coverage limits
  • Unlimited annual coverage is available
  • Exam fees are covered
  • Access to a 24/7 pet helpline

Cons:

  • You have to pay a transaction fee if you pay premiums monthly
  • No coverage option for general maintenance prescription diets

Best for owners of multiple pets: MetLife

MetLife has a plan for you whether you have one older dog or three. While other insurance companies may require you to take out three individual pet insurance policies for three pets, MetLife lets you cover up to three pets under one policy.

What’s even better is that the policy has a shared deductible. That means once you reach the plan’s deductible, MetLife will cover all claims at your chosen reimbursement rate. If one of your pets is taken ill and you hit your deductible quickly, you won’t have to worry about paying hefty vet bills if a different pet is involved in an accident.

MetLife’s deductible options range from $50 to $500 and its annual coverage limits options are $2,000, $5,000, or $10,000. Reimbursement rates are either 70%, 80%, or 90%.

Why we picked it: A single plan with a shared deductible can cover up to three pets.

Pros:

  • Cover up to three pets under one policy with a shared deductible
  • The standard plan covers holistic care and alternative therapies

Cons:

  • Dogs 12 or older are limited to $2,000 annual coverage and a 70% or 80% reimbursement rate
  • A $12 entry fee plus a $3 monthly charge if you opt to pay monthly

Best for deductible choices: Pets Best

Regarding deductibles, Pets Best has six choices: $50, $100, $200, $250, $500, and $1,000. This gives you more options when customizing coverage to fit your needs and budget. With a $1,000 deductible, coverage could be as low as $32.32 per month.

Pets Bestt covers prosthetics and wheelchairs when prescribed by a vet for accident or illness recovery. Most of its accident and illness policies also cover exam fees, physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care, although it is sometimes possible to remove this level of coverage in exchange for a lower premium.

Pets Best only has two options for maximum annual coverage limits ($5,000 or unlimited), which could be limiting if you want something in between. Like others on this list, reimbursement rate options are 70%, 80%, or 90% and there is a $2 fee on each transaction if you choose to pay monthly.

Why we picked it: Pets Best lets you choose between six deductible options, so you can find one you can afford while staying within a preset budget.

Pros:

  • Six annual deductible options
  • Unlimited annual coverage is available
  • Prosthetics and wheelchairs covered for accident or illness recovery
  • Additional coverage options for rehabilitation, acupuncture, and chiropractic care
  • 24/7 pet helpline

Cons:

  • Only two options for annual coverage limits
  • Some customers complain of a slow claims process
  • There is a $2 fee on each transaction if you choose to pay monthly
  • Other alternative treatments are not covered

Best for alternative treatment: Fetch

Fetch’s standard plan covers alternative treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and hydrotherapy. This type of treatment is often only included for an additional cost, so having the coverage as standard makes Fetch stand out.

Sick visit exam fees are also covered, which isn’t always true with pet insurance providers. However, coverage from Fetch was the most expensive of the quotes we requested, with a monthly plan costing $109.13.

If you opt for a Fetch plan for your older dog, you can choose an annual maximum coverage limit of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000, and a deductible of $300, $500, or $700. You can also choose between 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement rates.

Why we picked it: Fetch covers several alternative therapies that other insurers may only offer as an add-on, making it ideal for those who want the option of alternative treatment for their older dog.

Pros:

  • Standard plan covers alternative treatments
  • Extensive dental coverage included
  • Sick visit exam fees are covered

Cons:

  • Coverage is relatively expensive
  • Longer waiting periods for when coverage kicks in than other insurers

Methodology

We analyzed some of the top pet insurance providers to determine which of them offer the best insurance for older dogs. We reviewed their policy offerings to see which could be contenders. We requested quotes for a 10-year-old dog and eliminated providers that wouldn’t insure a dog of that age. We then compared the remaining companies to see which stood out from the competition and gave them awards based on their greatest strengths.

More on pet insurance for senior dogs

There’s a lot to consider when shopping for a pet insurance plan for senior dogs. Here is more information to help you decide which plan to choose for your dog.

Is pet insurance for senior dogs different from pet insurance for younger dogs?

Pet insurance for dogs is the same regardless of your pet’s age. But as your pet grows older, you’ll likely pay higher premiums for the same amount of coverage. You might even choose to add wellness coverage to help your older dog stay healthy.

When your pet is older, checking what a pet insurance plan covers becomes more important. If your dog’s breed is susceptible to a particular health condition, you’ll want to ensure it’s covered before taking out a policy.

How much does pet insurance for senior dogs cost?

The cost of pet insurance for senior dogs will vary based on several factors. Your physical location will affect how much you pay since veterinary costs are higher in some geographic areas than others.

Your pet’s age will also affect how much you pay—the older your dog gets, the more you’ll likely pay for coverage. Your dog’s breed can also be a factor since certain dog breeds are more susceptible to health issues than others.

The best way to determine the cost of pet insurance for a senior dog is to request quotes from several insurance providers and compare them.

For our research, we requested quotes from each provider for a dog with the following attributes:

  • Male.
  • Medium mixed-breed.
  • 10 years old.
  • ZIP code 45458.
  • $5,000 annual limit.
  • 80% reimbursement rate.
  • $500 annual deductible.

We received quotes from $53.40 on the low end to $109.13 on the high end.

Common health issues in senior dogs

Older dogs are more prone to health issues, and some conditions are more common than others. Here is a list of some of the most common health issues in senior dogs:

  • Arthritis.
  • Kidney disease.
  • Vision loss.
  • Obesity.
  • Cognitive decline.
  • Cancer.

Types of pet insurance coverage for older dogs

There are three main types of pet insurance coverage available for older dogs.

Accident-only

This type of policy covers vet bills related to accidents, such as a broken bone, swallowed foreign object, laceration, or animal bite. This is the cheapest type of coverage.

Accident and illness

This type of policy covers the types of accidents mentioned above as well as illnesses. The types of illnesses covered vary by plan but usually include cancer, digestive illnesses, infectious diseases, skin infections, eye or ear infections, and dental illnesses. Accident and illness coverage costs more than an accident-only policy because it covers more issues.

Wellness

A pet wellness plan covers preventative vet care and routine screenings, including annual checkups, vaccinations, dental cleaning, spaying or neutering, and heartworm and fecal tests. Wellness coverage is usually offered as an add-on to a pet insurance policy for an additional cost.

Why is pet insurance important for senior dogs?

As dogs age, they are more likely to develop health issues that can lead to high vet bills. Pet insurance helps decrease out-of-pocket costs for your senior dog’s vet care. Looking for a provider without an upper age limit is essential, as many insurers will not cover dogs above a certain age.

How to obtain pet insurance for older dogs

To get coverage for your senior dog, the first step is to obtain pet insurance quotes from several providers to compare side by side. In addition to cost, look at coverage amount, deductible options, and reimbursement rates to ensure you’re making an apples-to-apples comparison.

Once you’ve chosen the best plan for you and your dog, you can likely sign up online from the quote form. The insurer may have a waiting period before coverage kicks in, so check and see when the plan will become effective. From there, you must renew your policy yearly to ensure your dog is fully covered.

Factors to consider when choosing pet insurance for older dogs

When looking for pet insurance for an older dog, consider the following factors:

  • Is coverage offered in your ZIP code?
  • Does the insurance provider have an age limit for coverage?
  • What types of accidents and illnesses are covered?
  • Is there an option to add coverage, such as a wellness plan or dental coverage?
  • How much will coverage cost?
  • Is there a discount for insuring multiple pets?

How to save money on pet insurance for senior dogs

You can save money on pet insurance for senior dogs in several ways. The following are just a few potential options:

  • Ask your vet for a recommendation. Your vet knows your pet’s health best and may be able to recommend an insurance provider based on coverage.
  • Look into discounts. Many insurance providers offer discounts to help make coverage more affordable. The exact discounts vary by provider, but some common ones include a multi-pet discount, a bundling discount, and additional discounts for pet care providers, veterans, first responders, and more.
  • Choose a higher deductible. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower your monthly premium will be. However, it’s important to remember that a higher deductible means paying more out of pocket when making a claim, so make sure you choose a realistic deductible for your wallet.
  • Opt for a lower annual coverage limit. The higher your annual coverage limit, the more you’ll pay for coverage. Consider how much coverage is enough for your dog, and avoid opting for unlimited coverage unless your budget can handle it.
  • Go with a lower reimbursement rate. A reimbursement rate determines how much the insurer will pay for a claim. Opting for a lower rate, such as 70%, will result in a lower premium than opting for a higher rate, such as 90%.
  • Shop around. Always shop around and get quotes from multiple insurance providers. Comparing quotes can help you find the ideal amount of coverage for the right price.

TIME Stamp: Pet insurance for older dogs can help you save money on vet bills

Insuring an older dog helps protect you from excessively high out-of-pocket costs if your dog is involved in an accident or becomes ill. The older your dog gets, the more likely it will run into health issues. And those issues can cost you a fortune in vet bills—unless you have pet insurance.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can I get insurance for my older dog with pre-existing conditions?

Pet insurance companies generally don’t offer coverage for pre-existing conditions. Most will ask about your pet’s health when generating a quote, and some may require your dog to undertake regular wellness checkups to ensure it doesn’t have any pre-existing conditions. If you’re concerned about this, it’s best to be upfront when taking out a policy. Should you fail to declare a condition that ends up requiring treatment, the insurer probably won’t cover its cost.

What is the best age to get pet insurance for my senior dog?

The best age to get pet insurance is the age of your pet, whether it's a three-month-old puppy or a 12-year-old senior. The sooner you apply for pet insurance for a senior dog, the less likely you’ll be hit with a hefty vet bill you have to pay all by yourself.

Is pet insurance worth it for older dogs?

Pet insurance is often worth it for older dogs. If your dog is involved in an accident or becomes ill, the vet bills can quickly spiral out of control. If you have a pet insurance policy, your provider will pay a percentage of the vet bill once you meet your deductible, which means your out-of-pocket costs are much lower. Although pet insurance adds an extra monthly expense to your budget, it can save you money in the long run if you need to make a claim.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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