Pet insurance for senior dogs and cats

Average customer rating: 4.3/5

A guide to pet insurance for senior dogs and cats

Updated 11 March 2024
Written by Eliza Buglar
Reviewed by Adrian Taylor

Note: ‘Senior pet insurance’ is not a standalone product but an umbrella term for pet insurance covering senior cats and dogs.

Why take out pet insurance for senior cats and dogs?

Cats and dogs often require more veterinary care as they grow older; pet insurance can help by covering a portion of your eligible vet bills. Other benefits of pet insurance for senior pets may include:

  • Cover for accidental injuries, including car accidents, poisoning, snake/insect bites and wounds
  • Policies for older animals with limited benefits for specified illnesses (age limits apply)
  • Being able to choose your own vet or clinic for treatment
  • A financial safety net and peace of mind if your senior pet needs emergency care

Choosing pet insurance for senior pets

If you’re looking to buy or switch to a new pet insurance policy for your older furry companion, please consider the following:

  • Basic policies for older pets often have a lower benefit percentage (i.e. reimbursement rate), so you’ll have to pay a larger portion of eligible vet bills. For example, you may only be able to claim up to 60% back for eligible treatments, meaning you’d have to foot the remaining 40% of the bill.
  • Comprehensive pet insurance is usually available for pets up until they turn nine. If you take out a suitable policy before that, your pooch or feline can be protected for life – if you maintain continuous cover past this age.
  • Optional routine care is also available for older pets up to nine years of age as an add-on for new policyholders.
  • Some insurers offer accident-only cover for senior pets before or up to 16 years of age. A basic level of cover for injuries will be cheaper than more comprehensive accident and illness cover.

Expert tips for choosing the right insurance for senior pets

Our resident pet insurance expert, Adrian Taylor, has helpful tips for pet owners looking to insure their older companions.

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

Increase your excess to reduce your premiums

You can reduce your pet insurance costs even if your beloved pet is older or has known health issues that increase your risk of claiming. Some insurers will allow you to pay a higher excess (the amount you contribute towards claims) to reduce your premiums.

Consider benefits limits and sub-limits

Most pet insurance plans have annual benefit limits on vet consultations – how much you can claim on your policy each year − and sub-limits on treatments for conditions. For instance, there might be an annual benefit limit of $10,000 but a $500 sub-limit for tick paralysis treatment.

Be aware of pre-existing conditions

Keep in mind that pre-existing conditions are typically not covered by pet insurance, no matter your level of coverage. A pre-existing condition is often referred to as an illness (or symptoms) that existed or occurred before taking out a policy or during your policy’s mandated waiting period. Insurers may define and approach pre-existing conditions differently, so checking your policy details is important.

About insurance for senior pets

Can I purchase insurance for mature pets?

Will insurance premiums for mature pets be more expensive?

Does pet insurance for older cats and dogs cover pre-existing medical conditions?

Will pet insurance premiums increase every year?

Can my pet insurance carry over to a new owner?

Important to know

Waiting periods

Pet insurance exclusions

Age limits

Cover for older and younger pets

Always read your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)

Meet our pet insurance expert, Adrian Taylor

Adrian Taylor
Executive General Manager – General Insurance

As Executive General Manager of General Insurance, Adrian Taylor knows that dogs and cats get themselves into all sorts of mischief. One part of Adrian’s work is to help empower consumers to understand how pet insurance can help save them from exorbitant vet bills when their pet gets injured or falls ill.