How Do Pet Insurance Companies Determine Pre-Existing Conditions?


Any health issue that is present or known before your pet health insurance kicks in is considered a pre-existing condition. It is important to sign up for coverage as soon as possible.

Is pet insurance available for pre-existing conditions? Pre-existing conditions will not be covered by pet insurance. They will not be covered by subscription-based community options. Even if your pet is suffering from a pre-existing condition, they still have the option of receiving coverage for unrelated injuries and illnesses. Some providers also cover “curable” conditions.

Pre-existing conditions in pets also deserve affordable treatment

A dramatic shift has occurred in how pet owners view their pets. Pet parents are increasingly treating their pets like family members.

People are increasingly purchasing health insurance for their pets to help reduce vet bills and ensure that they receive the best possible veterinary care. In fact, more than two million pets had health insurance coverage in the United States and Canada by the end of 2017… and that number has grown in the past few years.

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This has brought to light a familiar issue, however: the difficulty of getting insurance for a pre-existing condition.

What is considered to be a pre-existing condition for pets?

Pre-existing conditions are medical conditions that were diagnosed prior to the pet’s insurance taking effect. The pet insurer will not cover a pet with a condition that is pre-existing. They will likely be required to pay more for medical benefits to the pet’s family than they would to other policyholders.

Pre-existing conditions are not covered by pet insurance policies. You can get your pet insured and reduce the cost of treating pre-existing conditions. This is great news for pet parents of young cats with pre-existing autoimmune diseases.

Curable pre-existing conditions

Pre-existing conditions are covered by some pet insurance companies if they can be treated (after a waiting period). Pre-existing conditions that can be treated are those that exist before the insurance policy kicks in. However, it is possible for the pet’s to recover from them within a reasonable time.

Pre-existing conditions that can be treated in pets include:

  • Urinary tract infections
  • Infections of the ear
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal issues
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You should be eligible for full coverage if your pet has been diagnosed as having any of the listed conditions.

Pre-existing chronic conditions

A chronic condition is one that can’t be treated and will continue to affect the pet for their entire life. These chronic pre-existing conditions do not fall under pet insurance, but there are payment assistance options.

You will have fewer “pre-existing” conditions if you are able to get insurance as soon as possible. You can drastically reduce your vet bills if you sign up for insurance prior to your pet developing a chronic condition.

Genetic and breed-specific conditions

Most pet insurance policies will cover genetic and breed-specific conditions. However, they won’t cover them if these conditions are discovered before you sign up for insurance.

This is why it is important to get pet insurance as soon as your pet is healthy and young. Your pet’s insurance policy will cover them if they become ill or are injured in an accident.

Nonetheless, non-coverage of pre-existing conditions presents a significant challenge to those noble pet parents who wish to adopt older pets as well as those who wish to rescue animals from euthanasia.

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Don’t despair if you are struggling to make ends meet. There are options, even if your pet is suffering from a pre-existing condition.

Pre-existing conditions: Pet insurance

Pre-existing conditions don’t automatically mean your pet isn’t eligible for pet insurance. It doesn’t also mean that you shouldn’t get insurance. Even if your pet is suffering from a pre-existing condition, you should still get pet insurance. You may have to pay a lot more if your cat or dog gets hurt in an accident or develops another illness.