Advice blog

The Heartbreak of Exclusions: Navigating Pet Insurance for Senior Pets


Our beloved pets hold a special place in our hearts, offering companionship and joy for what we hope are many years. For pet owners, ensuring the well-being of our furry companions is our main priority. That is why I have always been an advocate of pet insurance and why in today’s economy it becomes an essential investment, providing peace of mind in times of unexpected health challenges. However, a recent experience with our 15-year-old cat has highlighted the importance of scrutinising the terms and conditions of pet insurance policies.

The Shock of Exclusions

For almost 15 years, our senior cat has been insured with Animal Friends, which we had hoped would offer a much-needed safety net for potential veterinary expenses. However, life took an unexpected turn when she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism two years ago. While our insurance covered part of the treatment, a recent revelation has left us reeling since dental work, a crucial aspect of senior cat care, is not covered.

The Financial Strain

Our vet recently informed us that our aging feline companion urgently needs dental work. Unfortunately, the insurance company has deemed this particular procedure an exclusion, leaving us with a staggering £700 veterinary bill. This revelation is not only a financial strain but a heartbreaking dilemma that many pet owners have to face.

The Importance of Scrutinising Terms and Conditions

Our experience serves as a stark reminder for pet owners everywhere to meticulously review the terms and conditions of their pet insurance policies. While it is easy to assume that comprehensive coverage extends to all aspects of our pets’ health, exclusions often lurk in the fine print. Unfortunately, some policies may have exclusions for specific treatments or conditions, especially as our pets age.

Advocating for Change

I find it extremely concerning that insurance companies levy such extreme penalties on us pet owners as our pets age.  Unlike our car insurance we are not rewarded for so many years without submitting a claim and very often what we pay in monthly premiums are very rarely recoupled, therefore lining company pockets and leaving owners heartbroken when they discover these exclusions.  I really do feel that we need a collective call to action within the pet insurance industry. Exclusions based on a pet’s age, especially during their senior years when health concerns are more likely to arise, seem counterintuitive to the purpose of insurance. Pet owners should not be left in a position where they must choose between their pet’s well-being and financial stability.


As devoted pet owners, we understand the emotional and financial toll that unexpected veterinary expenses can take. Our hope is that sharing our experience will encourage others to scrutinise their pet insurance policies, advocate for more comprehensive coverage, and prompt positive change within the industry. Our senior pets deserve the best care possible, and insurance should be a reliable partner in ensuring their well-being, especially during their golden years.

Have you experienced this with your insurance, and did you have to chose between euthanasia or treatment? Please let us know in the comments below.

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