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Insuring an old dog, no age limit, how to do it?

Many pet insurance companies impose an age limit after which it is no longer possible to insure your dog. This limit varies according to the breed of dog. For the pet owner, it is necessary to start early enough if he wants his little companion to be well covered. This allows him to be partially or totally reimbursed for expenses incurred for veterinary procedures.

Insuring your old dog: an age limit according to its breed

The life expectancy of a dog is partly related to the breed of the animal and animal insurers are well aware of this. Many insurers impose an age limit at which they refuse to grant a new membership. While it is generally stated that this age limit is between 6 and 8 years of age for a dog, in practice it is somewhat different. This age is assessed according to the category to which the dog to be insured belongs.

If the distinction between dog breeds is so important for insurers, it is because some are more at risk than others. It is accepted that the bigger the dogs are, the more likely they are to develop certain pathologies that can lead to significant health costs. By imposing an age limit, insurers simply want to avoid paying too much money.

Thus, a dog is considered old or senior from :
  • 5 years in giant breeds with a life expectancy of 8 years. Few of these dogs are the following: Borzoi, Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Kangal or Anatolian Shepherd Dog, Landseer, Leonberger or Leonberger Dog, Neapolitan Mastiff, Mastiff or Tibetan Mastiff, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Saint Bernard.
  • 7 years for large breeds with an estimated life expectancy of 9 years. This is for example the case of the German Shepherd, Labrador, Dalmatian, etc...
  • 9 years for medium-sized breeds with an approximate life expectancy of 13 years such as the Pug, Beagle and many others.
  • 10 years for small breeds with an average life expectancy of 16 years. Among these dogs are the Yorkshire, the Pekingese or the Bichon.
Of course, whatever the breed to which it belongs, a dog can live much longer than the statistics indicate! And this is all the more true if he is insured early enough because he can benefit from preventive measures, medical supervision and better follow-up in case of illness or accident. This is the case for dogs covered by health insurance since the expenses incurred by their owner are covered, either partially or 100% within the limits of the ceilings freely set by each insurer.

Choosing a mutual animal health insurance company that covers elderly dogs

Before his dog becomes senior, the owner must absolutely make sure to take out a health insurance policy from a pet insurance company if they impose an age limit. But sometimes, we take in a stray dog who is already senior. In this case, one should turn to an insurance company that does not apply any age limit. Fortunately, this is becoming more and more common, due to competition.

Be careful however, these professionals impose conditions such as for example :
  • A certain restriction on the level of guarantees (excluded diseases...),
  • A lower reimbursement rate for senior dogs,
  • The production, by the owner of the dog at the time of subscription, of a declaration of health, a kind of certificate issued by a veterinarian. In very exceptional cases, this declaration may be drawn up by the owner of the animal.
To avoid being refused reimbursement of veterinary expenses, it is in the best interest of the dog owner to take out a contract as soon as possible. When choosing the formula that best suits his companion and his budget, he should take the time to find out about the age limit, if any, but also about the levels of coverage, exclusions, and general conditions in general, as each company is free to impose its own rules.