Seniors Pet Insurance

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Need to insure the elderly furry child in your life? Discover how to find the perfect seniors pet insurance policy here.

Pets are an important part of many families. We sometimes form stronger bonds with our furry companions than we do with people. But being members of our family, pets can incur a lot of costs, including feeding, bathing, grooming and insurance.

And not everyone adopts a kitten or a puppy. There’s a growing trend of adopting older rescued animals and giving them a high quality of life in their twilight years. While getting insurance for elderly pets can be tricky, it’s not impossible.

This guide outlines the funds that cover senior pets, what to look for in a policy and how you can help Larry the Labrador feel comfortable in his older years.

Compare pet insurance policies for older pets

Details Features
Accidental Injury Cover
Accidental Injury Cover
Reimburses 80% of veterinary treatment related to Accidental Injury less your choice of excess per condition claimed.
  • $8,000 annual benefit limit
  • 80% of vet bill covered subject to terms and conditions
  • $500 emergency boarding fees per year
  • 5% discount for each additional pet insured up to 15%
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Basic Cover
Basic Cover
Price Beat guarantee on comparable pet insurance policies. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Accidental Injury Cover
  • $6,000 annual benefit limit
  • Up to 80% cover on eligible vet bills
  • $500 emergency boarding fees cover
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Basic Cover (Accident only)
Basic Cover (Accident only)
No upper-age limit means you can protect your pet for life. Get covered for up to 80% of eligible vet bills.
  • Claim up to $7,000 per year
  • Up to 80% of vet bill covered for eligible accidental injuries*
  • No excess
  • 10% multi pet discount
  • Premiums go towards supporting the RSPCA
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Accident Cover
Accident Cover
Get 10% of the premiums you’ve paid back after the first 12 months with The Real Reward. Cover up to 80% of eligible vet bills to a maximum of $8,000 per year.
  • $8,000 annual claim limit
  • Up to 80% of vet bill covered for eligible accidental injuries
  • Take your pet to any licensed vet practice in Australia
  • No waiting period
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Accident Plan
Accident Plan
FREE engraved ID tag for all new policy holders
  • $8,000 annual benefit limit
  • Up to 80% of vet bill covered
  • Excess of $0 or $100 per each unrelated condition
  • Consultations and visits cover
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 Basic Care
Basic Care
Helps support Guide Dogs Australia.
  • $15,000 annual benefit limit; covering accident and illness
  • Up to 75% of eligible vet bills covered
  • Excess options: $0 or $100
  • $1 million of Third Party Liability Cover – for Registered Guide Dogs only
  • For cats or dogs 9 years and over
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Royal Accident Cover
Royal Accident Cover
Get lifelong cover for your pet. 10% discount for additional pets.
  • Covers accidents only
  • Up to 80% of vet bill covered*
  • Claim up to $10,000 per year
  • No maximum age
  • No excess
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Silver Accident
Silver Accident
Up to 80% of eligible vet bills will be covered if your pet has an Accidental Injury. Cover your pet for life with no upper-age limit.
  • Cover up to 80% of eligible vet bills*
  • Maximum claim of $8,000 per year
  • Dogs and cats aged older than 8 weeks of age are eligible for cover.
  • Choice of any licenced vet in Australia
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Accident Cover
Accident Cover
Cover 75% - 85% of your veterinary treatment costs up to $8,000. Multi-pet discount up to 10%.
  • $8,000 annual benefit limit
  • $500 emergency boarding fees cover
  • Multi-pet discount up to 10%
  • $300 in consultations annual limit
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What types of insurance are available for older dogs and cats?

Pet insurance for younger dogs and cats is easy enough to find. And while it may initially seem impossible, finding a fund that covers your older pet isn’t as hard as it seems.

Due to the high likelihood of illness, you’ll find that most funds won’t cover older pets in their comprehensive plans. However, many funds cover senior pets under their more “basic” levels of cover.

Policies that cover accidents only are generally the cheapest and the most basic and often the annual claim limits are comparable to the more premium policies on offer.

What providers cover for senior pets?

Here’s a quick look at some of the some of the providers on finder.com.au that cover senior pets:

Australia Post Bronze Pet InsurancePet Insurance Australia Accident CoverPetSecure Accident CoverWoolworths Accidental Injury Cover
Age limits8 weeks and over8 weeks and over8 weeks and over8 weeks and over
Excess$0, $100 or $200 excess options$0, $100 or $200 excess optionsNo excess$0 - $200
Percentage of vet bills covered65% vet bill coverage80% vet bill coverage75-85% vet bill coverageUp to 80%, depending on type of cover
Annual limits$3,000 total annual claim limit$8,000 total annual claim limit$8,000 total annual claim limit$5,000 total annual claim limit

Why can’t my pet get covered for illnesses?

It’s highly unlikely that you can get comprehensive insurance for a pet over the age of nine. Pets at this age are far more likely to have pre-existing conditions and be more susceptible to illness, so insuring them for these things is unfortunately almost impossible.

If you have the luxury of being able to do so, get your pet insured before their 9th birthday. This will ensure that your pet is covered well into their senior years, provided their cover doesn’t lapse.

What additional extras are available?

Many pet owners want more than just basic cover for the furriest member of their family. Consider these additional extras for your insurance policy:

  • Illness. This covers issues such as infections, coughs and colds.
  • Cancer treatment. This covers surgery and treatment for your pet in association with cancer.
  • Tick paralysis. This covers treatment for pets that have been bitten and affected by a paralysis tick.
  • Pre-existing and hereditary conditions. This is not covered by the basic policies, but if you insure your pet later in life, it’s essential.

5 things to look out for when insuring your senior pet

What factors should you be considering when insuring your dog or cat?

1. Cost for benefit. How much can you afford to insure your pet and what does each level of insurance cover provide?
2. What common ailments does your pet suffer from? Worms, fleas and ticks are just some of the common ailments for dogs and cats.
3. Does your breed have any genetic conditions? For example, hip dysplasia in Golden Retrievers.
4. Could your pet be susceptible to certain conditions? For example, skin cancer in breeds that have light or white fur on their faces and ears.
5. What does each policy cover and not cover? Can you get doggy dental and grooming or a health and wellness package for your feline?

My pet can’t get covered. What other options do I have?

If you’ve searched everywhere and discovered that your older pet can’t get insured or the cost of the premium is far outside of your means, what can you do for the older furry gentleman or lady in your life?

Keep them active

Don’t let your pets lay about in front of the fire, get them up and active. Slow walks are better than no walks at all and swimming can be easy on the old joints as well. Take them along to the park and just get them moving.

Don’t let them get fat

Just like people, overweight pets can face some serious health issues, especially later in life. Strain on the heart, breathing difficulties and being too heavy to get up and exercise are just some of the conditions that can affect an overweight animal. Feed your pet good food in measured portions. Don’t be tempted by Missy’s big brown eyes, don’t give her another treat!

Diet

The diet of an older pet is different to a young or juvenile one. Being slower means that food will take longer to be digested, so it has a higher chance of being stored as fat. Plus, older animals need more nutrition from their diet. Ask your vet what the best food is for your aging furry friend.

Monitor their environment

In the human world we have ramps for those who have trouble walking up stairs. Older pets have similar issues and arthritis or lack of energy can impact an old dog’s quality of life. Install ramps or even change the social environment of your home to include your pet.

More vet visits

With age comes more visits to the vet and this is inevitable as age-related health issues arise. Use these visits as an opportunity to ask questions and get advice to make your pet’s twilight years just as fulfilling as their younger days.

Science has shown that owning a pet has some incredible health benefits and the unconditional love of a dog or a cat can make your life so much happier. Although it is easier to insure a younger animal, if you do happy to visit a shelter and there is an older cat or dog that pulls at your heart strings, understand that the love you provide may come at a higher-than-normal cost. But who can put a price tag on puppy love?

Other questions you might have about seniors pet insurance

Picture: Shutterstock


William Eve

Will is a personal finance writer for finder.com.au specialising in content on insurance. While he cannot give personal advice to clients, Will enjoys explaining the intricacies of different types of protective cover to help individuals and businesses find affordable cover that won't leave them underinsured.

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