Different companies have different age limits for coverage. For example, Nationwide will insure pets anytime before they turn 10, while Embrace says pets enrolled after their 15th birthday are eligible for the accident-only policy, which doesn’t cover illness.
See other benefits. Some companies offer veterinary helplines or teletriage calls that can answer simple questions or help you determine whether your pet can wait for a regular vet checkup or needs to go to the emergency room.
Ask questions such as whether the deductible decreases each year you do not have an accident or illness claim recovery; whether treatable pre-existing conditions are covered if the pet has been symptom-free or treatment-free for a year or more; and whether the plan offers significant drug discounts.
“Older pets are a bit more prone to health problems and have chronic diseases or cancer as they get older, so access to affordable medication is one thing to keep in mind,” says
Conditions you can expect to see in older pets are hyperthyroidism and heart disease in cats and kidney disease, diabetes, pancreatitis, osteoarthritis and cancer in dogs and cats. Some of these are chronic conditions that are manageable, but can be quite expensive over time, Tincher says.
Use pet health insurance review websites such as petinsurancereview.com and pawlicy.com to compare policies. Include your pet’s species, age, breed, and other requested information, and they’ll recommend several plans for you to consider.
Then dig deeper by visiting the company websites or calling to see exactly what’s covered. There may be discounts for covering multiple pets, for example. Companies like Nationwide, which also offer home and car insurance, may offer discounts if you’re already a policyholder. Your company may provide pet health insurance as a benefit. Compare deductible levels and benefit schedules. Your veterinarian may be able to advise you based on their knowledge of your pet’s health and lifestyle.
Have a question about a pet? Send it to [email protected] or visit Facebook.com/DrMartyBecker. Pet Connection is produced by veterinarian Dr.