Is it Too Late To Get Pet Insurance?


  • Older pets can easily get insured, but you may pay slightly more depending on their pre-existing conditions, age, and the type of pet you’re insuring.
  • If your pet has already been diagnosed with a condition, it’s unlikely pet insurance will cover the costs for treatment
  • Premiums will be slightly higher for older animals, especially large dogs.
  • If you’ve adopted a senior animal, you can still get pet insurance for them.
  • There is no age limit on pets getting insurance. Many companies do have a limit on the ages they insure though, meaning you’ll need to shop around to find an appropriate plan.

Pet insurance can take some of the stress and worry out of taking care of a pet. Unfortunately, the older our dogs get, the more prone they are to health issues which can sometimes make getting them insured a little trickier. We’ve taken a closer look at this issue.

Can Older Pets Still get Pet Insurance?

A lot of pet owners worry whether their pet is too old to get pet insurance, and this is one of the leading reasons for many senior animals going to vets uninsured. Yet, the reality is that even the most senior animals can be insured, often with very little difference to their coverage.

Pet insurance providers throughout the US will have specific packages tailored toward senior animals. Whilst others simply offer basic packages, perhaps locking you out of more comprehensive coverage that younger pets can access.

You may pay a higher premium for senior pet insurance, roughly 10% higher than pet insurance for younger animals.

If you’re wondering what classifies as a “senior” pet, in dogs and cats this is usually when they reach 8 years old. However, each insurance company will differ. For other pets, simply refer to your insurance company’s guidelines or ask them directly.

It’s true that senior pets tend to be more expensive to insure. However, there is also a logical explanation for this! Senior pets are more prone to illness and long term medical conditions, and are more likely to incur medical expenses at the vets. So, unless you have enough savings to cover any illness or ongoing medical conditions that may arise, then paying for insurance could still be financially beneficial. Just remember that a new insurance policy is unlikely to cover any pre-existing conditions

Dr. Sarah-Jane Molier, Veterinary Surgeon

Can A Pet Get Insurance if They Have a Pre-Existing Condition?

In the US, there is no industry rule, nor a federal mandate, that ensures that pets with pre-existing conditions can get insurance. This means many major pet insurance companies will not offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, even if they offer an insurance package for your pup.

If your pet has already been diagnosed with a condition and they’re not insured, you can look at alternatives to pet insurance to help pay for their medical costs relating to that condition. It’s still a good idea to consider pet insurance for any other illnesses or accidents that may occur.

Is There an Age Limit for Pets Getting Insurance?

The answer to this question depends on the insurance company you’re dealing with. Several large pet insurance companies have age cap policies, typically around ten years old for both cats and dogs. This means they will not sign new insurance plans for pets over that age.

Thankfully, there are plenty of insurance companies willing to offer coverage for older animals. Including senior pets with pre-existing conditions. Although the pre-existing conditions probably won’t be covered, any new conditions would be.

Can I still get pet insurance for an older pet I adopt?


Many US shelters will have fantastic resources to help point you in the right direction, but overall, the same rules apply as we’ve discussed above. The one tricky detail that can be a problem is if the adopted animal has a detailed medical history. 

If they do, many insurance companies will have no problem reviewing those records and offering a suitable plan. If not, you may need to have a comprehensive veterinary check-up to get those records before insurance companies will deal with you.

Will Premiums Be Higher for Pet Insurance on Senior Animals?

Overall, you’ll find that premiums are higher for senior animal pet insurance plans. Depending on the medical history of your pet, as well as what type of pet they are, this hike in cost may be significant.

Older large dogs usually have the highest pet insurance premiums, as they have the highest rate of injury, and shortest lifespan, of most dog breeds.

Market estimates are a bit foggy in this area, due to the heavy saturation of insurance providers. However, you can expect between a 5%-15% higher premium and overall monthly cost on your plan for a senior pet.

Is It Worth Getting Insurance If My Pet is Already Old?

If your pet is already far into its senior years, it’s easy to think it might not be worth getting pet insurance. Paying in full for any complications can, on the surface, appear to be the cheaper route. Especially with higher premiums and monthly costs associated with senior pet insurance plans.

Truth is, it’s impossible to predict what medical challenges your pet may face. It is almost always a good idea to get pet insurance, even if it costs you a little extra per month. All it takes is a little shopping around, and regardless of your pet’s medical history, there is a plan out there for you.