August 24, 2008

Consider getting pet insurance for an older pet.

Previously I decided that pet insurance wasn't a good buy financially. The policies out their paid out too little for how much they cost. I couldn't see spending $100-300 a year over the life of a pet for a policy that would only pay out $1000 or so if you ever needed it.

But I think it makes sense to get a vet policy if your pet is older. Life expectancy of indoor cats is around 15-20 years now.

But you have to shop around for a good policy for an older pet. The insurance plans may either not cover older pets and/or they may increase the premiums significantly.

I did a little shopping around for insurance for older cats for comparison purposes and this is what I found:

  • VPI pet insurance charges $128 annually for a 6 year old cat and $166 for a 9 year old cat. But they won't offer quotes for pets over 10 years old.
  • Pet Care Insurance has a policy specifically for older cats called QuickCare Senior. They also have a policy for indoor cats called QuickCare indoor. I was able to get quotes on both of these plans for cats of any age. I even tried a cat thats 22 years old. Also the monthly premiums don't increase with the age of the cat. Their indoor cat plan is fairly reasonable at about $12 a month. They pay up to $2500 per incident for several illnesses with a $200 deductible.
  • Pets Best Insurance will also cover older cats. I got a quick quote for a 20 year old cat and their basic coverage was $24.62 a month. That plan has a $100 deductible and $2500 per incident limit. They have higher limit plan that covers up to $7000 per incident but it runs $40.20 a month.
The QuickCare Indoor policy from Pet Care Insurance looks like the best deal to me. For $144 a year you get coverage up to $2500, however the plan has some restrictions on its coverage. The specifics for your pet would vary so I'd make sure to shop around and read the full insurance policy.

When a pet gets older it gets more likely to have a severe illness. For a cat or dog in their later teens the chances of a $1000 or $2000 vet bill get pretty high. Considering the high likelihood that you'll be facing a large vet bill for a teenage pet it makes sense to pay $100 or $200 a year for an older pet if you can get a $2000 or more in coverage.

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