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Our experts answer readers’ insurance questions and write unbiased product reviews (here’s how we assess insurance products). In some cases, we receive a commission from our partners; however, our opinions are our own.
As your pet gets older, medical bills can add up quickly. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that when your dog or other pet needs emergency care, you’ll be covered financially. This is especially important if you own a senior pet, which are more prone to illnesses. And yet, they’re also the most difficult to insure.
The Best Pet Insurance for Senior Dogs
Many pet insurance companies have high premiums for older pets and exclude animals that have pre-existing conditions. That can make pet insurance difficult to find right when you need it most. The best pet insurance for senior dogs offers affordable rates, short waiting periods before coverage starts, and some coverage for preexisting conditions.
When you’re shopping for the best pet insurance for seniors, first check if a provider has an age limit for the pet they’ll insure. Then, see how long you have to wait before coverage starts, and whether the insurer will cover any pre-existing conditions your pet has. Choosing a provider can be overwhelming, but this breakdown can help.
Compare the Best Pet Insurance for Senior Dogs
Pet Insurance for Senior Pets Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, it’s possible to get coverage for senior pets, but you’ll have fewer options and pay more than you would for a younger animal. Many companies will not offer coverage to dogs who are older than 10 or cats older than 15, but the companies on this list will.
When it comes to pet insurance, the sooner, the better. Most policies charge more as your pet ages. They also don’t cover pre-existing conditions, so it’s best to get covered before disaster strikes. If you adopt a senior pet, consider pet insurance as soon as you bring them home.
Most policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, like allergies or cancer. Some will provide coverage after a certain waiting period, like one year.
Pet Insurance for Seniors Company Reviews
Spot Pet Insurance
The first thing to love about Spot Pet Insurance: There’s no upper age limit. That means you can get coverage for your cat or dog, no matter how old they are. You can expect your premiums to increase as your pet ages, but that’s the case with any pet insurance. Spot doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, but there’s a caveat. If your pet has a condition and recovers fully (for at least 180 days), Spot will cover future occurrences of that condition.
A sad but nice touch with Spot Pet Insurance is that if your animal dies from a covered condition, their end-of-life expenses including euthanasia, burial, or cremation are also covered. While no one wants to think about their beloved pet crossing the rainbow bridge, it’s good to know that you won’t need to worry about finances when the time comes.
Spot is a reimbursement system, the most common type of pet insurance. You can select a plan that reimburses up to 90% of expenses, with annual deductibles between $100 and $1,000. We love that Spot makes it easy to see a sample policy, so you can really dig into the details.
Read our Spot pet insurance review.
Trupanion Pet Insurance
Too often, even people with pet insurance are unable to afford emergency veterinary care. That’s because most pet insurance companies reimburse you, but you must pay the vet before care is administered. If you don’t have cash or credit on hand, your animal might not get care. Trupanion offers a solution, as one of the only pet insurance companies that pays vets directly.
Trupanion has a pre-approval process that vets use, says emergency vet Vanessa Selger, so you’ll know that any provided care is covered. Of course, you’ll need to make sure the clinic or hospital that you go to takes Trupanion, so before purchasing be sure there’s a vet in your area that accepts this plan.
Trupanion covers cats and dogs up to the age of 14. Like most plans, it doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, but Trupanion does cover breed-specific concerns, like hip dysplasia, as long as your pet has no existing symptoms. Another perk for owners of older pets: Trupanion has no payout limit, meaning that your plan will cover bills that can add up quickly with a senior pet.
All Trupanion plans cover 90% of the cost of care. Its deductible system is unique. While most insurers have an annual deductible, Trupanion has a deductible per condition. So, if you pay a deductible for treatments this year, you’ll only pay it again next year if your pet has a new health condition.
Read our Trupanion pet insurance review.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
If your pet insurance can’t pay you directly, you’ll want to know that reimbursement is prompt. At Healthy Paws, approved claims are reimbursed within 24 hours. It can still take up to 10 days for the check or direct deposit to reach you, but it’s reassuring to know you’ll have an answer quickly.
The maximum enrollment age for Healthy Paws is 14 years old for cats and dogs. Healthy Paws requires all pets to have had a vet exam in the year before applying for coverage; if your pet is six or older, you’ll need to show an exam within the past 30 days. This is to identify any pre-existing conditions, which aren’t covered. But, if your pet is healthy overall, it’s a great way to demonstrate that to your insurer and possibly lower your premiums. Healthy Paws has a short waiting period of 15 days. That means that you can sign your senior pet up and have coverage start later that month.
Healthy Paws reimburses up to 90% of the cost of emergency care and offers an annual deductible.
Read our Healthy Paws pet insurance review.
Pumpkin Pet Insurance
Pumpkin sounds more like a pet treat than an insurance company. That fits, because its coverage is pretty sweet. Pumpkin covers care that many pet insurance companies don’t, including behavioral interventions, acupuncture, and specialty foods. Your pet can even get dental care and physical therapy with a Pumpkin plan.
Pumpkin has no upper age limit, and a short waiting period of just 14 days. That means you can get your senior pet covered quickly. Like most insurers, Pumpkin doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, but it will cover most ailments that are cured for at least 180 days before reoccurring.
Pumpkin plans reimburse 90% of the cost of care for covered procedures. Pumpkin plans have an annual deductible that can range from $100-$1,000.
Read our Pumpkin pet insurance review.
AKC Pet Insurance
The American Kennel Club is known for looking after dogs and dog enthusiasts, but don’t worry: Its pet insurance plan covers cats too. It’s a standout for senior pets because this is the only pet insurance we could find that covers pre-existing conditions.
Before you celebrate, there are some details to consider. AKC Insurance will cover pre-existing conditions after 365 days, so you won’t get immediate coverage. Still, if your pet is living with a chronic condition like allergies, gastrointestinal issues, or ear infections that require ongoing care, AKC is a great option. Unfortunately, this coverage for pre-existing conditions isn’t available in all states.
AKC has no age limit for accident coverage. But, your pet must be younger than nine in order to enroll in illness coverage. If they are already enrolled continuously, they will be covered for illnesses even when they’re older than nine.
AKC plans cover between 70-90% of the cost of care, and deductibles range from $100-$1,000.
Read our AKC pet insurance review.
Figo Pet Insurance
Sometimes, you just want coverage quickly. With Figo, your pet’s coverage starts the day after you enroll. That means you can sign your senior pet up today and have them covered tomorrow. Claims are processed really quickly too, in less than three days on average.
Figo doesn’t have any upper age limits. Its policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, with some exceptions for conditions that have been cured for more than a year. Like other insurers, Figo will raise your premium rates as your pet gets older, but never in response to you filing a claim.
Figo makes it easy to add a wellness plan to your insurance. This can help cover the cost of preventive health care, which is important for all pets, but especially seniors. As a Figo member you also have access to call or chat with a vet 24/7, a great resource for times when you’re on the fence about whether your pet needs to be seen.
Figo stands out because it offers the option to cover 100% of qualified expenses, something most other insurers don’t have. You can also choose less coverage (and therefore a lower deductible), with plans starting at 70% coverage. Deductibles range from $100-750.
Read our Figo pet insurance review.
ASPCA Pet Insurance
If you live with a senior pet, you may have rescued them from the ASPCA, a nation-wide charity dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals. And now, the ASPCA can be helpful again, with affordable pet insurance plans and no upper age limits for coverage.
ASPCA offers a few different options to help keep costs down. For starters, its annual coverage limit is lower than many competitors, capping at $10,000 a year. If your pet requires more care than that, you’ll be on the hook for the bills, but if they don’t, having a lower coverage cap helps keep insurance affordable. ASPCA also offers accident-only plans, which don’t cover illness, but are much cheaper.
ASPCA has lower deductibles than many other plans. You can choose a deductible of between $100-500, and reimbursement amount of 70-90%.
Read our ASPCA pet insurance review.
Is pet insurance for seniors worth it?
When you’re living with an aging cat or dog, you might find yourself wondering whether pet insurance is worth it. The answer is often yes, especially if your dog or cat is still pretty healthy and doesn’t have preexisting health concerns, says Pawlicy Advisor insurance agent Kari Steere.
“Purchasing a pet insurance policy for a healthy, senior pet is a great decision that can help to provide peace of mind in the case of an unexpected accident, injury, or illness,” she says. “Having a pet insurance policy in place before the unexpected happens can make it easier to manage large vet bills while also making sure your pet has access to the best healthcare possible.”
If your cat or dog has a pre-existing condition, consider AKC insurance, which covers pre-existing conditions after one year, or another policy that will cover occurrences of cured conditions. Compare premium costs with the cost of paying out-of-pocket for your pet’s care for the rest of their life. In some cases, the benefit will make sense, but in other situations it may not.
Why You Should Trust Us: Our Expert Panel for the Best Pet Insurance for Senior Dogs
To put together this list of the best pet insurance for seniors, we interviewed the following experts:
- Vanessa Selger, an emergency veterinarian in Virginia Beach.
- Kari Steere, a licensed insurance agent and producer at Pawlicy Advisor, which allows people to compare different pet insurance prices.
You can read excerpts of our conversation with Selger and Steere later in this guide.
Methodology: How We Chose the Best Pet Insurance for Senior Dogs
To choose the best pet insurance for seniors, we compared more than 14 pet insurance companies and followed our insurance rating methodology. We looked at whether the companies would cover senior pets, and how that affected premiums. We examined whether the companies would cover pets with pre-existing conditions, and how long the waiting period was until coverage began. Those aspects are particularly important for senior pets.
Then, we looked at criteria that anyone should consider when choosing pet insurance, including coverage options, whether the plan reimburses you or pays pets directly, and customer service. All of these criteria contributed to our rankings.
The Experts’ Advice on Choosing The Best Pet Insurance for Seniors
When you’re choosing pet insurance for senior animals, there are three main factors: the cost, your pet’s age, and their health.
“Some key qualities to look for in an insurance policy for senior pets are price, the lack of an upper age limit, and coverages for chronic conditions as well as hereditary and congenital condition coverages,” Steere says.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Does your pet quality for the age limits of this provider?
- Are common conditions for their breed covered?
- Is there any coverage for pre-existing conditions?
- How long is the waiting period before coverage begins?
- Do the premiums fit your budget?
- What deductible will you be able to afford?
- How long do reimbursements typically take? Or, is the company able to pay the vet directly?
Remember that in almost all cases, you’ll need to pay upfront for your pet’s care, veterinarian Vanessa Selger says. Because of that, it’s important for pet owners to have access to savings or credit that they can utilize in emergencies, before pet insurance reimburses them.