Most of us tend to suffer more frequent health problems as we age, and the same is true of our pets. Just as we might have to pay more for health cover the older we get, premiums for pet insurance can also increase substantially.
In most cases, you can expect to start paying significantly more for insurance once your pet reaches eight or nine years old. And in fact, many insurers simply don’t insure pets over this age unless they’re renewing an existing policy. Insurers that do cover older cats and dogs tend to quote much higher rates.
According to data from LV (Liverpool Victoria) General Insurance, the average cost of a visit to the Vet is around £300 each and, with a third of cats and dogs suffering from an injury or illness every year; this could mean a significant increase in costs for you as your pet get’s older.
Whilst insurance is designed to protect you and your pet from the financial burden of injury or illness, the difficulty in comparing policies on a like for like basis makes finding effective and affordable cover for an older pet easier said than done. A wide variety of exclusions and excesses that differ between insurers make it difficult enough, but policies can also vary according to how much you can claim for different health conditions.
New Insurance for Older Pets
Liverpool Victoria pet insurance has recently begun offering cover for older cats and dogs, with no upper age limit. Each policy includes a standard £60 excess for each claim, and there are two different plan types on offer:
- The Essential plan includes twelve months’ worth of cover for each condition (from the date of diagnosis or first treatment for a given condition)
- The Premier plan includes £5,000 worth of coverage for each condition. No time limit applies on this plan.
Premium costs are definitely affordable, particularly in comparison to previous premiums for older pets. As with other types of pet insurance, the cost depends partly on the breed of the animal you’re insuring.
On the Essential plan a ten year old moggy will cost £106 to insure each year, while on the Premium plan, the costs is £146. For a ten year old Burmese cat, the cost is £116 and £163 respectively for the Essential and Premier plans.
A ten year old Jack Russell will cost £172 a year on the Essential plan, and £255 on the Premium. For Labradors, which are prone to leg conditions as they age, the annual cost is £198 and £306 respectively.
Other insurers who have no upper age limit on new policies at the time of writing are:
Interestingly, higher Vet’s fees may actually be helping to decrease insurance costs for older pets. An increase in Vet’s fees has led to more people buying pet insurance, and as the demand for this type of cover grows, insurers are starting to accommodate customer’s needs with more competitive packages.
PLEASE NOTE: The guidance published in this article is for information only and does not constitute financial advice or a recommendation of any particular pet insurance product or provider. If you are in any doubt please consult an independent insurance adviser. A database of advisers in your area is available at www.unbiased.co.uk
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