10 Best Pet Insurance Companies for Older Dogs
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UPDATED: May 20, 2021
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If your dog is 9 years old or more, you’ve probably been together for a long time. Maybe it’s getting a little gray around the muzzle and isn’t as quick at a game of fetch, but you love and need each other as much as ever.
When your buddy isn’t feeling well, you probably take it to the vet to receive the necessary care. Unfortunately, as your dog gets older, it’s likelier to need more expensive veterinary care that can drain your bank account.
Pet insurance for older dogs is one way you can get the care your aging pet needs in an emergency.
This article examines the 10 best pet insurance companies and focuses on the standout features pertaining to older dogs. We hope this helps you make an informed decision regarding insurance coverage for your pet that fits your budget.
Table of Contents:
Top 10 Best Pet Insurance Companies for Senior Dogs
1. Petplan Pet Insurance
Petplan offers comprehensive insurance plans for dogs starting at six weeks of age and has no upper age limit for new policies, which may make it a great fit for pet owners with older dogs who don’t currently have insurance.
Petplan has comprehensive coverage that includes exam fees and lets you customize the deductible, reimbursement percentage, and limit combinations.
Petplan advertises a 30-day turnaround on eligible claims and offers 24-hour support to policyholders.
Basic rates for dogs begin at $29.16, but rates are much higher as your pet ages.
2. Figo Pet Insurance
The breadth of Figo’s medical coverage allows it to provide a comprehensive plan, although without a wellness-only option, for dogs eight weeks and older and no age limit.
Along with its generous coverage, Figo offers a mobile app and claims calculator on its website. It includes items that most competitors don’t provide even with full coverage, and it may be the only company that offers a 100 percent reimbursement option, though it’s at the highest premium.
Figo is relatively new in the industry, but it already has an A rating (the second highest) from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with just a few complaints on file. Figo pays via direct billing based on the vet bill, an option that is superior to most of its competitors.
The advertised time for claims approval is 10 days due to the company’s efficient, cloud-based claims process.
The starting price for coverage is $52.85 for younger, healthy dogs, with prices going up for older dogs.
3. Petfirst Pet Insurance
Petfirst provides medical and optional wellness insurance with no age cap for new policies. However, you can expect to pay higher rates for pet insurance as the dog ages.
The company has a simplified enrollment process and boasts an A+ rating with the BBB. Accident coverage starts 24 hours after enrolling.
Additionally, there are no waiting periods on some conditions that are not even covered by other pet insurers.
The starting price for their most basic policy is $16.95 for dogs.
4. Pets Best Pet Insurance
Pets Best provides medical and wellness plans for dogs beginning at seven weeks of age, with no upper age limits. Larger and older dogs prompt higher rates due to the increased likelihood they will become sick or injured.
The company boasts wellness, accident-only, and other combinations of customizable plans. Pets Best is known for proactively looking out for the well-being of animals and ranks above other competitors in this area.
Its standard coverage pays for exam fees, prescriptions, and alternative therapies. Additionally, the company has a robust wellness package with two tiers, with the top-tier plan offering unlimited coverage, albeit at a much higher premium.
Basic coverage starts at $30.06 for healthy, younger dogs.
5. Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace has an A+ rating with the BBB and an outstanding record of customer satisfaction.
Among other conditions not covered by major competitors, Embrace reimburses prosthetics and alternative treatments as well as exam fees. There is a wide range of options to customize your plan.
Coverage starts at $13.04 for dogs, which tends to be on the inexpensive side of pet insurance for older dogs.
6. Nationwide Pet Insurance
Nationwide has a Whole Pet with Wellness Plan that’s one of the most comprehensive in the industry, but it’s also more expensive than standard plans from competitors.
Its comprehensive plan has low deductibles ranging between $100 and $250 for eligible services and a 90 percent reimbursement rate. However, it only writes new policies for pets six weeks to 10 years old. So, pet owners of an 11-year-old lab, for example, couldn’t obtain a policy.
Nationwide offers medical and wellness plans starting at $34.25 for dogs, which is more affordable than the national average.
7. Banfield Hospital Pet Insurance
Because it’s administered and sold for a specific group of hospitals, Banfield does not follow the industry standard of open vet selection. Instead, Banfield’s policy restricts coverage to hundreds of locations in the United States and Puerto Rico.
Its preventative program covers your dog’s vaccinations, nutrition consultations, early diagnostics, and dental care at any Banfield location. Coverage begins immediately upon enrollment. However, the plan is limited in its scope compared to other insurers.
Many of its locations have an A+ rating with the BBB, but you should still look up the Banfield hospital near you to check its attributes and features.
Banfield covers dogs from six weeks old to end of life and starts at $33.95 for younger dogs, with prices increasing due to age, breed, and other factors.
8 Trupanion Pet Insurance
Trupanion has medical plans for dogs from eight weeks to 14 years on new policies.
Trupanion’s comprehensive coverage, great reputation, and A+ grade with the BBB are all reasons to include the company on the shortlist of top pet insurers.
Although it offers new policies for dogs late in life, its age limitation is a real detraction for families with older dogs.
Trupanion has a single plan, one benefit limit, and doesn’t give consumers the opportunity to customize the cost of their monthly premium. Trupanion has an add-on package for trip cancellation as well as advertising and reward expenses for missing pets.
At $59.21 for dogs, the basic plans are way above the average for the industry, but the cost of insuring older dogs is exorbitant.
9. Wells Fargo Health Advantage Care Card
The Wells Fargo Health Advantage Care Card is an alternative to pet insurance. This specialty credit card provides veterinarian financing, and you can request it by filling out an application at the vet’s office. The application process is fast and designed for use on same-day services.
Since it’s a credit card, there’s no premium to pay but there’s also no reimbursement. However, the flexible payment options give you a way to afford pet care without the monthly costs associated with premiums.
Nonetheless, Wells Fargo lost its rating with the BBB based on fraud allegations for other, unrelated financial products.
If you aren’t comfortable with Wells Fargo’s less than stellar BBB rating, you can try to find another care card that would help you better manage pet care expenses. It’s a great option for older dogs that aren’t eligible for pet insurance coverage due to age or illness.
10. Healthy Paws Pet Insurance
Healthy Paws has a single comprehensive insurance plan for dogs between eight weeks and 14 years of age.
Healthy Paws covers the same conditions and illnesses as its competitors but also pays for congenital or hereditary conditions, a standout feature. Its minimum costs are lower than the national average, with even more features than the premium plans of other companies.
The company is rated A+ by the BBB.
Basic rates for dogs begin at $32.83, but that rate is much higher as your dog ages.
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Does My Senior Dog Need Pet Insurance?
The pet insurance market has expanded dramatically over the years due to the rising cost of pet care. Without insurance, you could end up spending $3,480 (national average) for common conditions that impact older canines, such as cruciate ligament injuries and deteriorating joints.
Pet insurance companies offer an average reimbursement of 80 percent on eligible services, which means that, over the life of your pet, you could save a substantial amount of money.
We’ve taken the time to review coverage options for more than 30 pet insurance companies to assist in your decision of choosing a provider that works best for your pet. This allows you to focus on the more important task of protecting and enjoying your long-time friend.
If you decide that pet insurance isn’t for you, there’s also an alternative financing method to consider.
The basic rates below are supplied for comparison purposes. You’re likely to pay a higher rate for pet insurance for older dogs across the board.
You should take advantage of online quotes from the companies you like the best to get a more accurate picture of the cost based on variables such as your dog’s age and health, as well as a variety of other scenarios such as the coverage, deductible, and reimbursement combination you select.
Keep in mind that many of these plans allow policyholders to customize their deductible between $100 and $1,000, depending on the company and plan type. Similarly, many providers offer a range of reimbursement levels, typically 70, 80, or 90 percent, to keep premiums down if needed.
Letting pet owners choose their own vet instead of relying on an approved network is also standard in the industry.
How Your Dog’s Age Impacts Your Eligibility and Premium
If you see an insurer with an age cap for dogs, be aware that some companies, such as Embrace, allow you to insure your pet until the end of its life if you enroll within the eligible age range. For Embrace, that’s any dog younger than 14 years.
In this case, you could buy a policy for an 11-year-old large dog that costs $62 compared to the base rate of $13 for a younger, smaller dog but, you could not obtain a new policy for a 15-year-old dog.
These are additional examples for comparison’s sake using the companies’ online quote systems:
The examples below provide better than average options for older pets, but every dog has its own distinct needs. We recommend conducting your own research on at least three companies prior to enrolling.
Final Thoughts on Pet Insurance Companies for Older Dogs
While you narrow down your choices, research the pros and cons of pet care for mature pets.
You can also examine this buyer’s guide for help finding the right pet coverage for your older dog.
Keep in mind that the Wells Fargo Care Card is another option when it comes to veterinarian financing if you decide pet insurance doesn’t meet your needs.