Just like humans, it’s a sad fact of life that as pets grow older, they can develop more health conditions. And unfortunately health issues bring vet bills. As the pet health industry grows and medical advances take place, there are more and more options available for owners for treating their loved ones! Here’s exactly what you need to know about pet insurance for older pets, thanks to Richard Laycock, insurance expert.
Firstly, do you need it?
Although pet insurance can offer the crucial financial support that you may need for unexpected illness or injuries, it’s important for you to assess whether it’s actually worth having. The reality is that as your pet ages, your expenses will probably go up, and many policies have maximums of $20,000 for expenses (sometimes with sub-limits for certain treatments). Interestingly, limits are typically higher for dogs than they are for cats.
What additional cover can you receive?
There is a wide range of benefits you’re potentially able to add to your cover, including emergency boarding and paralysis tick reimbursement. You can also add the cost of routine care, overseas travel insurance (if your pet needs to travel internationally), and – although bleak – essential euthanasia.
Is your pet eligible?
Unfortunately, most pet insurance companies won’t provide cover for pets over 8 or 9 years of age. However, if you purchase cover before this age, you should be able to renew your policy for the rest of your pet’s lifespan. So if your dog or cat is heading towards this milestone, it’s a good idea to start thinking about policies and the level of cover you’d like now.
You should also know it may be difficult for you to receive cover for your pet if it has pre-existing conditions. That means that any conditions which were previously diagnosed, showed symptoms (such as arthritis), were previously treated or are in remission won’t be eligible for compensation.
What else is excluded?
Other conditions and treatments are also excluded from most policies. For example, you probably won’t be able to receive benefits from your policy for any of the following: behavioural problems, genetic testing, grooming, elective treatments (sometimes including desexing), or treatment for preventable diseases. Also, you might not be able to receive a benefit for routine vet checks, so it’s a good idea to check with your insurer before trying to claim for this.
What benefits will you actually receive?
Most pet insurance policies provide cover under three tiers:
- Illness (which helps pay veterinary and pharmaceutical costs)
- Accidental injury (covers veterinary expenses related to accidental injuries, such as broken bones)
- Routine care (provides compensation for the cost of routine expenses, such as teeth cleaning, dog training courses, worming treatments, and prescription diets).
At the end of the day, your decision to take out comprehensive pet insurance is wholly up to you, but it’s something you should think about more seriously as your pet ages. Simply for the peace of mind, the benefits are definitely something to consider.
About the author
Richard Laycock is an Insurance Expert at finder.com.au,
Australia’s most visited comparison site.