Do Pet Insurance Companies Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

For people shopping for insurance coverage for their pets, it can get confusing trying to find out exactly what is covered in pet insurance. You need to understand the coverage as well as the limitations of the policy, especially in relation to the treatment for pre-existing conditions.

Similar to any other insurance like car insurance, which doesn’t cover accidents that occurred before coverage begins, pet insurance doesn’t cover expenses caused by injuries or physical ailments already present in your pet. You, therefore, need to know what is considered as a “pre-existing condition”. Let’s take a look at pet insurance covers and more on the coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Pet insurance and pre-existing conditions

Most pet insurance companies consider a pre-existing condition to be an ailment or injury that your pet suffered prior to coverage. Even if your pet wasn’t diagnosed with an injury an insurer may still deny coverage if your pet showed any signs or symptoms of sickness prior to coverage starting. In case your pet had an injury and was limping or has any visible wound before your waiting period, treatment wouldn’t be covered by the plan.

Different pet insurance providers define and handle pre-existing conditions differently. It’s important to read the insurer’s policy so you know what to expect. For example, you can get a plan that states that a condition once cured will no longer be considered as a pre-existing condition but this depends on the plan coverage.

Pre-existing conditions can either be curable or incurable conditions. Some pet insurance companies cover curable pre-existing conditions as long as any recurrence occurs at least 12 months from the last time your pet experienced it. Curable conditions may include vomiting, diarrhoea, ear infections, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections and bladder infections.  

Incurable pre-existing conditions include bladder crystals, diabetes, cancer, allergies, heart disease, kidney disease, orthopaedic diseases, arthritis, epilepsy and urinary blockages. They are considered incurable since many of them require repeat veterinarian visits, surgical procedures every once in a while and ongoing medication. Incurable pre-existing conditions aren’t covered by pet insurance.

Why pre-existing conditions aren’t covered

The main aim of having insurance coverage is to protect you from accidents, sickness or any inevitable that might happen in the future. It doesn’t cover the past and this is why pre-existing conditions aren’t covered.

Can a pet with a pre-existing condition be covered?

Pets with a pre-existing condition can still be covered by pet insurance but under limitations. You might not be fully reimbursed for treatments related to a particular condition that your pet suffers from. But, in some cases, you can receive payouts that can be used to cover future injuries or illnesses.

Simply ask your pet insurance provider what may be covered and if there are any pre-existing conditions that can be covered in the future. It all depends on your plan. Here’s a good resource which gives more details on the best insurance companies for cats and dogs. Find an insurer that can give your pet the best policy and care giving you peace of mind.

Is it possible to avoid a pre-existing condition?

The occurrence and development of a pre-existing condition often aren’t expected. Similar to any other medical condition, pre-existing conditions just develop. You cannot guarantee that your pet won’t develop and suffer from a pre-existing condition. It’s therefore best to enrol your pet in a pet insurance plan sooner before any condition develops in future.

Most pets are generally energetic and playful. Due to this, they can easily get injured when you least expect it. Like humans, they can get sick at any time and if not enrolled in a pet insurance plan, you risk their health in case something happens to your pet. Whether it’s an injury or illness that happens before you enrol your pet, it would be considered a pre-existing condition and won’t be eligible for coverage.

How to know which pre-existing conditions are insured

It’s not easy for a pet owner to identify what qualifies to be covered in a pet insurance plan. Since you might know which pre-existing conditions are offered by your pet insurance plan, ask and conduct due diligence. Some pet insurance companies like Embrace run medical history reviews on a pet.

It’s very important to consider your pet’s veterinary care. Read medical history reviews to help you pinpoint any conditions that your policy won’t cover. Also, ask your insurer questions concerning the different policies available, what is covered in each and the cost. This will help you narrow down your bills and overall expenses enabling you to set a budget.