Can you get pet insurance with pre-existing conditions?
Most pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. Because pets are considered property, there are more restrictions and exclusions than those that apply to health insurance for humans. So the sooner you cover your pet, the more likely you are to cover chronic conditions that may develop later in life.
The costs of covering pre-existing conditions are high and since the average life expectancy is 10-12 years for dogs and 10-14 years for cats, pet insurance companies may not cover them. . Some may cover pre-existing conditions if they are curable and your pet hasn’t experienced the condition for a while.
What is considered a pre-existing condition?
A pre-existing condition is any injury or illness suffered by your pet before the end of your policy’s waiting period. In other words, any medical condition your pet suffered from before the policy started is not covered. This prevents pet owners from getting pet insurance right after a diagnosis of serious injury or illness. Pet insurance is used to cover a pet’s future illnesses or injuries, not those of the past.
So, for example, if your dog breaks a leg before you take out pet insurance, the expenses related to the injury will not be covered. Any related future salaries and expenses are also not covered. A condition is considered pre-existing even if your pet never visited a veterinarian before it was officially diagnosed or treated. All that matters to insurers is when your pet started showing the first symptoms. There are generally two types of pre-existing conditions: curable and incurable.
Curable pre-existing conditions are illnesses or injuries that your pet has been treated for and no longer suffers from. Some pet insurance companies generally have a limit of 12 months to 24 months where your pet shows no symptoms for an illness to be considered cured. Some examples are:
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract/bladder infections
- Vomiting, diarrhea and other gastrointestinal disorders
- Ear infections
- Other curable conditions
Incurable pre-existing conditions are illnesses or injuries that cannot be cured. These are permanent conditions and must be managed. Here are some examples :
- Urinary blockages
- Heart or kidney disease
- Hip dysplasia
- Other chronic diseases
Bilateral conditions affect both sides of your pet’s body. Examples include hip dysplasia or a torn cruciate ligament. If a pet has a condition that affects one side of their body, chances are it will affect their other side as well. So if your pet has a pre-existing bilateral condition on one side of their body, pet insurance companies generally won’t cover the other side if symptoms appear.
How does an insurer determine a pre-existing condition?
Some pet insurance companies look at the last 12-24 months of your pet’s life to establish pre-existing conditions. They usually ask for a full medical examination and ask for previous veterinary records.
Some plans do not cover certain breeds due to the fact that they are predisposed to certain medical conditions. Different pet insurance providers may define and handle pre-existing conditions differently, so it’s important to get quotes from multiple pet insurers and compare costs and coverages before choosing a plan.
Cost of pet insurance with pre-existing conditions
No pet insurance company covers chronic pre-existing conditions. Some, however, will cover curable pre-existing conditions subject to certain limitations. The cost of pet insurance depends on many variables, including the type of pet, breed, gender, age, where you live, the different types of coverage offered, and your deductible. Here are the average costs for accident-only coverage and accident and sickness (complex) coverage.
Accident only average premiums
- Annual: $218.13
- Monthly: $18.17
- Annual: $133.61
- Monthly: $11.13
Average accident and sickness premiums
- Annual: $594.15
- Monthly: $49.51
- Annual: $341.81
- Monthly: $28.48
How to choose the right pet insurance when it comes to pre-existing conditions
Not all pet insurance companies cover even curable pre-existing conditions. The first step is to find an insurer that does. It is important to understand which pre-existing conditions a pet insurance company classifies as curable or incurable. Once you have narrowed down your list of insurers to those that will cover a certain condition, the next step will be to compare the different types of cover offered and get quotes for the policies. If you have a pet with pre-existing conditions, it is important to take good care of it to ensure that it remains healthy. Keep up to date with veterinary exams and vaccinations, and provide good nutrition and exercise.
Getting pet insurance early on can minimize the risk of your pet developing a pre-existing condition that won’t be covered. The sooner you cover your pet, the more peace of mind you will have. Enrolling your pet in a policy while they are still healthy will increase their chances of being fully covered if something happens down the road. Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition, your pet is still eligible for pet insurance and any pre-existing conditions should not prevent you from considering coverage for other potential medical conditions that may arise. later.
Pet insurance is structured similarly to health insurance for humans. They both include annual premiums, deductibles, annual limits and co-payments. Pet insurance companies also have different endorsements you can add, as well as additional coverage options. When considering pet insurance companies, be sure to compare each insurer’s reputation, stability, customer service, and claims process.