Many dogs are living prolonged lives thanks to medical advances and healthier lifestyles. Recent studies have shown that our dogs are living longer than ever.The average life expectancy of dogs increased from 10.5 years to 11.8 years between 2002 and 2016.
Research has shown that Dogs go through similar phases of development as humans - 1 - 2 months Puppy-hood - Childhood in humans, 3 - 12 months adolescence, 1 - 3 years of age adult-hood, 4 - 5 year middle age, 6 - 10 years the senior years and 10 years plus, the geriatric phase.
Of course like humans the older your dog, the more likely they are to suffer from health issues and that means increased visits to the vets. In the UK, unlike humans where medical treatment is generally free of charge, dog owners have to pay.
The average cost of vets fees is now well over £800 in the UK, with some treatments costing over £8,000. As your dog gets older they are more likely to need some sort of treatment and dog insurance is the only way you can mitigate those costs.
Dog Insurance Premiums unfortunately follow a similar pattern. The older your dog, the more it costs to insure.
The Graph below demonstrates this point well. It illustrates the market average cost (per month) of lifetime pet insurance, for a medium size mongrel, with vet fees cover of at least £3,000 per year.
When your dog reaches the age of six, average premiums rise by over 20% and when your dog turns nine, there is an even bigger jump in costs (36.28%), before leveling off. By the time your dog turns fifteen, you can expect to pay over £100 per month for a good dog insurance policy.
Unfortunately as your dog gets older your premiums will inevitably increase. However Pet Insurers also increase premiums if there have been claims.
Premiums have been known to double after large pet insurance claims, so if your claim is only for a small amount, by the time you have taken off the excess and any co-payment, it may be cheaper in the long run to pay the whole claim yourself. Reserve your pet insurance for the really big claims, the ones that you can't afford to pay yourself.
As your pet gets older Veterinaries recommend those in their last quarter of estimated lifespan should be taken for a physical examination every six months. Whilst this has a cost attached to it, more frequent examinations can spot potential problems earlier, reducing the change of higher claims.