dog insurance that covers pre existing conditions

dog insurance that covers pre existing conditions

Dog insurance that covers pre existing conditions

Tell us your pet's breed, age, gender, medical and behavioural history, and we'll help you find the right insurance policy.

If you're looking for dog or cat insurance, follow the appropriate link at the top of this page to take you into our easy-to-use quotes service.

There you'll be asked basic personal information, plus details of your cat or dog, where it's kept, its purchase price, whether it's been microchipped or tagged and the date you'd like the policy to start.

You'll also be asked about your animal's health, if it has any pre-existing medical conditions, whether it's been neutered or spayed, and if its vaccinations are up to date - insurers may take all such factors into consideration when calculating quotes.

There's a declaration form to tick off with details of your pet's behaviour, if it's kept at a venue that serves alcohol, whether it's taken to work or is used as a guard dog, and if it's used for track racing, coursing or breeding.

  • 86% of owners consider pets to be part of the family [2]
  • Only 56% of owners take out insurance for their animals [2]

On our results page the options will present the name of the insurer, annual price, monthly premium, excess levels and whether these are supplemented by co-insurance (where you pay a part of the remaining vet fee after excesses).

You'll be able to see which of the four categories of pet insurance the policy falls under - accident

only, time-limited, maximum benefit or lifetime.

There'll also be information on the level of veterinary fee cover and whether boarding fees, death by accident, death by illness, lost cover and stolen cover are part of the deal.

When you see an option you like, you can click through for extra information and star ratings on the policy from independent financial researcher Defaqto, with the option to proceed to buy online and/or on the phone.

Should you require insurance for an animal other than a cat or dog, try the link above to ExoticDirect, [1] our preferred provider for other animals.

It has policies available for birds (including parrots and birds of prey), small and large mammals (including rabbits, chinchillas and ferrets) and reptiles (including turtles, tortoises, lizards and snakes).

Find out more about the different types of policies in our guides, where you'll also find the answers to frequently asked questions.

Our guides offer more information on key areas such as vet fees, cover for older pets, third party liability, co-insurance, dental cover, kennel and cattery fees, previous medical conditions, foreign and holiday cover, pedigree breeds, accidental damage, alternative therapies, cremation costs, excesses and missing pet cover.

You'll find dedicated pages for dogs, puppies, cats and kittens, plus pages on particular animals such as snakes, rabbits and tortoises.

There's also plenty to read on subjects like buying and owning cats and dogs, travelling with pets, microchipping, vaccinations, and great small animals for young kids, plus lots of money-saving tips.

How to Navigate Pet Insurance with a Pre-Existing Condition

Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Pet Insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions, but each company’s definition of said conditions may vary. If you and your veterinarian weren’t aware of a condition before obtaining the policy, chances are it will be insured, unless it manifests itself prior to the commencement of coverage. Your best bet is to obtain insurance as soon as possible.

Why don’t pet insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions?

A pre-existing condition is usually defined as an illness or injury that happened either before the insurance policy waiting period or before even getting coverage at all. Since insurance is designed to cover emergencies and the unexpected, most companies won’t cover anything that’s already affecting your pet. For example, a ruptured cruciate ligament on one side of your pet’s body might be considered a bilateral condition, and if it develops on the other side as well, it won’t be covered. Additionally, plans with a 12-month cover will reset pre-existing conditions upon policy renewal, in order to exclude any ongoing, recurring or chronic illness.

What pre-existing conditions can be covered, if any?

If the illness or condition your pet was suffering from is curable, most companies will cover it if your pet has since recovered, and hasn’t shown symptoms for at least six months to a year—companies will have different policies regarding this period. This only applies to diseases that are actually curable, not to ones that may lie dormant, only to flare up in the future.

Some conditions that might be covered by your policy after twelve months are: respiratory, ear or urinary tract infections, common gastrointestinal upsets, vomiting, diarrhea, dermatitis and some types of skin rashes. Most companies will also cover pets that were diagnosed and treated for cancer prior to purchasing the policy. Generally, though, if there are complications from the treatment, or cancer appears on another part of the body, this won’t be covered.

If my pet has a pre-existing condition, should I still get pet insurance?

Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition, this shouldn’t discourage you from obtaining insurance. Though the policy won’t cover your pet’s pre-existing condition, depending on the gravity of the illness or injury, this may not make much of a difference. For instance, say the issue is that it contracted a disease which may remain dormant, even if insurance won’t pay for treating a recurrence of the illness, it will still provide coverage for any different new problem that may arise, as well as emergency care. And there may not even be another flare-up of the disease. On the other hand, maybe your pet has been relatively healthy, barring a few minor problems, but is getting on in years. Insurance can help mitigate the costs of future illnesses or conditions. You can also get insurance just for emergencies, which tend to be the higher-cost treatments anyhow. Emergency-only policies are considerably more affordable than those with more complete coverage, and can help pay for surgeries, medication and rehabilitation for your pet.

Are there alternatives to pet insurance?

An alternative to pet insurance could be A credit card geared toward medical expenses. CareCredit, for example, offers financing options for 6,12,18, or 24 months, with zero interest on payments less than $200, provided you make the minimum monthly payments and clear the balance at the end of the promotional period.

A similar alternative is Pet Assure, a veterinary discount plan that gives you a 25% discount on all medical care provided by your vet, including wellness visits, dental care, spaying/neutering, and emergency care. Think of it like a membership to a big box mart -- The more you use the membership, the more it pays for itself. This can be a good option for owners of multiple pets who can’t necessarily afford the premiums on four cats and two dogs, for example. Pet Assure reviews are positive across the board when used for pre-existing conditions that insurance won’t cover. The only issue is that not all vets are participating members of the program, but that can be solved easily by checking if there’s an office near you before enrolling.

United PetCare works in much the same way as Pet Assure, but is a membership savings program rather than a credit card. Members receive reductions for regular visits, vaccinations, procedures, surgeries and medications. The bill is discounted at the time of service, and you can expect it reduced 20-50%, for a monthly cost of between $10.60 to $13.90. These last options all enter into effect immediately, and have zero waiting period. One issue is that United PetCare only works in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas and Colorado. United PetCare Reviews also present a recurring problem with customer service and difficulties in cancelling the program.

Should I just open a Pet Health Savings Account?

Some people recommend that you open a pet health savings account instead of paying monthly premiums, arguing that most policies aren’t worth the cost over a long period of time, especially when you have a generally healthy animal. Though it’s true that most pet owners won’t get back in benefits what they’ve paid in premiums, this is actually a good thing, since it means your pet was healthy. The idea behind pet insurance is to help defray the costs for emergency treatments that you’d have trouble paying for out-of-pocket, and a savings account may not actually be enough to do so.

Most pet owners adopt a three-pronged strategy for financing their pet’s needs, and opt for some insurance for emergencies and unexpected situations, a savings account for wellness care, and either a regular credit card or something like CareCredit for deductibles. This means they’ve covered all the bases, and can rest assured that life-and-death decisions for their pet won’t be determined by an immediate lack of funds.

Whatever decision you make, bear in mind that since most insurance policies don’t offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, it behooves you to insure your animal friend as soon as possible. That way, if any condition does develop, it will happen after it’s already covered. For more information on Pet Insurance policies, a good place to start is our best of the year list.

Are Preexisting Conditions Covered Under Pet Insurance Policies?

Will Your Pets Illness be Covered by a New Pet Insurance Policy?

When you buy pet insurance, you want to make sure that it protects all of your pet’s needs. A common question that pet owners ask when shopping for an insurance policy is whether pre-existing conditions are covered. The question most frequently comes up after a dog or cat becomes ill or is diagnosed with a condition that results in a large vet bill.

First, what is a pre-existing condition?

According to most pet insurance companies, a pre-existing condition is usually defined as a medical condition which first occurred or showed symptoms prior to the start of a pet insurance policy or during the waiting period. It includes things like a stubborn limp that has been present since birth or a cough that shows up a few days before you purchase a policy.

We researched some of the top pet insurance plans to determine how each handled the issue of pre-existing conditions. The information below comes directly from the individual pet insurance sites at the time of this writing. To ensure you have the most current information possible, please consult with the pet insurance company you are researching before you sign a policy.

How Pet Insurance Companies Handle Pre-existing Conditions

  • Petplan Pet Insurance: According to Petplan, “Like all pet insurance providers, pre-existing conditions are excluded from coverage under Petplan pet insurance policies. However, we recognize there are two types of pre-existing conditions: those which can be cured, and those which cannot be cured. Some examples of a curable condition include, but are not limited to: respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, vomiting, diarrhea and bladder infections. If your pet has experienced a curable condition prior to enrolling in a Petplan pet insurance policy, the condition, while pre-existing, may be eligible for coverage after a brief exclusionary period. For more information, please review our frequently asked questions.”
  • ASPCA Pet Insurance: Yes, a condition that was pre-existing can be covered in the future if 180 days have passed since it was cured and last treated. For example, if your pet has an ear infection at enrollment, it would be pre-existing and not covered. Later on, a second ear infection would be eligible for coverage if the first one had been cured and treatment-free for 180 days. Incurable pre-existing conditions like diabetes would not be eligible for coverage.
  • Embrace Pet Insurance: “Pre-existing conditions considered “curable” (including respiratory infections, urinary tract/bladder infections, vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal disorders, or other curable conditions) will render your pet ineligible for similar claim coverage for 12 months. If your pet's medical history shows no further episodes subsequent to this then, at our discretion, we will reinstate coverage for these conditions moving forward. If your pet has been diagnosed with a disease of an anatomical area where the underlying cause was undetermined any diagnosis of the same area within 12 months would not be covered. For example, gastritis and colitis are both general diagnoses of inflammation, but do not get at the cause of the disorder. However, certain pre-existing conditions are considered “incurable” and are permanently excluded from coverage. This includes conditions such as cancer, diabetes, urinary crystals, and other chronic conditions.”
  • Trupanion: Pre-existing conditions (accidents or illnesses that have shown signs to be present prior to the start of coverage or during the waiting periods) are excluded from coverage. A pre-existing condition is any illness or condition which first occurred or displayed signs prior to your pet’s coverage effective date. A pre-existing condition can also be an injury or recurrence of an injury that occurred prior to your pet’s coverage effective date. However, pre-existing conditions are eligible for review if no signs have been present within an 18-month period prior to enrolling.
  • VPI: Pre-existing conditions are not covered. A pre-existing condition is basically any illness or injury that your pet had before coverage started, even if you didn't know your pet had it. The good news is, not all pre-existing conditions are forever. If you have medical records from your vet showing that your pet's condition has been cured for at least six months, you may be able to get it covered.

Pets Best: Any illness or injury that begins before your policy is effective, or during your waiting period, will be considered “pre-existing”. Some conditions, like broken legs or kennel cough, heal or are curable and require no further treatment. Once healed or cured, these are not considered pre-existing conditions.

  • Pet First: A pre-existing condition is any illness, accident or injury that has contracted, manifested or incurred prior to the effective date of your policy. Pre-existing conditions are not covered by PetFirst Healthcare plans.
  • Healthy Paws: A pre-existing condition means that the condition first occurred or showed clinical signs or symptoms (there doesn't need to be a diagnosis) before your pet's coverage started (including waiting periods). Our pet insurance protects you against future conditions, and unfortunately no pet insurance company can cover pre-existing conditions. At Healthy Paws, identifying a pre-existing condition is simple! If it's an accident, illness or injury and the symptoms didn't occur before enrollment, you're covered.
  • ProtectYourBubble: Pre-existing conditions are not covered.
  • Petsecure: If your pet has any pre-existing conditions, they may be excluded either temporarily or permanently from your policy but there are still benefits to being insured no matter how old your pet is or if they have a medical condition.
  • Best Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

    Top 4 Best Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

    Pets are susceptible to accidents and illnesses from the moment they are born. Whether it is a hereditary or congenital condition that is immediately present, or an injury sustained as a newborn, there is always a chance that your puppy or kitten will have a problem that plagues them for the rest of their life.

    Unfortunately, all pet insurance companies state they specifically exclude conditions that were pre-existing prior to enrollment – however there is still some hope. In fact, despite our best efforts we were only able to find four companies that offered some relief for pet owners with pre-existing conditions. But even with these companies they state they don’t cover pre-existing conditions – however some will take a closer look on a case by case basis if the condition is considered curable, and if the pet hasn’t showed signs for some stated period of time. Even then these companies do not guarantee reimbursement or coverage, so make sure you always do your due diligence if your pet has any pre-existing conditions.

    We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

    Cover your pup with Petplan today and get a free Barkbox! Use code BARKBOX Offer valid on new policies only for a limited time only. Policy must be active for 30 days to be eligible to receive the .

    Petplan separates pre-exiting conditions into two categories: curable and non-curable conditions. Their coverage is conditional to cover only curable pre-existing conditions. Diabetes, asthma, and orthopedic illnesses are examples of non-curable conditions, while broken bones, respiratory and bladder infections, and UTI’s are examples of curable ones. Thus, if your pet happens to have a pre-existing condition that is deemed curable you may still be eligible for coverage after an exclusionary period. You can find more information about this in their Terms and Conditions.

    That is not all that PetPlan does however. They will also insure both hereditary and congenital conditions, even if your pet has shown signs prior to enrollment. These two great offers combine to help make PetPlan the number one pet insurance for pre-existing conditions. Overall, if your pet has already had prior treatments before even having insurance then PetPlan is your best bet to receive the most amount of coverage possible.

    A Few Details about this Insurer:

    PetPlan does not offer wellness add-ons so all of their coverage of congenital and pre-existing conditions is included with their main plan. On average insurance will cost $25/month for cats and $40/month for dogs.

    Have any concerns? PetPlan provides top of the line customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help answer any further concerns you may have.

    Figo will reimburse up to 100% of your actual vet bill with unlimited coverage and no limits on claim payouts. They will also wave all deductables and co-pays when life saving measures are needed.

    Although Figo states they do not cover pre-existing conditions, they also state that “On a case by case basis, we may waive a pre-existing condition if we deem the condition was curable and it has not shown signs or symptoms in the prior 12 months. Feel free to chat, email or call us with any further questions or to discuss your specific situation.”

    Although this does not provide much relief for pet owners with pets suffering from chronic, long-term conditions, it does provide some level of possible coverage for pets suffering from a curable condition that pops up again in the future.

    A Few Details about this Insurer:

    Figo does not offer wellness add-ons so all of their coverage of congenital and pre-existing conditions is included with their main plan.

    With Figo, an average quote for dogs would be: $21.04 - $25.07 and an average quote for cats would be: $11.34 - $12.18.

    Our sample quotes are based on: 2 year old female mixed breed (medium dog or domestic short-hair cat) from Minnesota with $200 deductable, 80% reimbursement and $10,000 annual limit.

    Your Pet Have an Emergency Life Threatening Injury? No need to worry about your insurance coverage, Figo will waive all deductibles and co-pays!

    ASPCA provides two coverage plans that cover either Illness and Accidents, or Accidents Only with customizable deductibles, reimbursements and annual limits - giving you complete control over your .

    Unlike PetPlan, ASPCA does not specifically say that they will provide insurance for pre-existing conditions. This means that if your pet has displayed signs of a disease prior to enrollment or during the waiting period then you will likely be ineligible for reimbursement for that condition. Instead, ASPCA has a 180 day period where your pet must show no signs or symptoms of the disease. If this length of time is reached, then in the future there is the possibility that your pet may be covered for this same condition.

    ASPCA also has a program called “Continuing Care” that comes with all of their plans. It is designed to cover chronic and ongoing conditions such as allergies or cancer. This benefit helps put ASPCA second on this list, even if they do not explicitly cover pre-existing conditions.

    A Few Details about this Insurer:

    ASPCA has four plans that vary in cost and coverage limits. A regular monthly cost averaged between the four plans is $21 for cats and $28 for dogs. “Continuing Care” is included free of charge, however it is subject to a second deductible of $100 before coverage can begin.

    Away from home? ASPCA has a hotline specifically designed for customers who are more than 100 miles away from home that can help with referrals, prescriptions, or general advice.

    An insurer that works hard to make taking care of your dog or cat as affordable as possible. Monthly costs are as low as $11 for cats and $20 for dogs.

    Nationwide’s approach to pre-existing conditions is very similar to ASPCA. While not specifically stating that they cover pre-existing conditions, they do allow the possibility if certain criteria is met. If your pets disease has be deemed to be non-chronic, and they have been symptom free for at least six months, then you may be eligible for coverage in the future. This is the case even if your pet showed symptoms prior to enrollment with Nationwide. However, since this is such ambiguous terminology and does not guarantee anything it would be best to contact Nationwide directly and let them know about the issues your pet already has.

    Nationwide fails to finish higher on this list because they do not ever provide coverage for any chronic or hereditary conditions, no matter the plan. This greatly limits their effectiveness in dealing with problems that might be considered pre-existing. Nevertheless, they are still very unique among pet insurance companies for even providing any coverage for pre-existing conditions.

    A Few Details about this Insurer:

    Coverage for pre-existing conditions is included with the main plans offered by Nationwide. They will cost an average of $24/month for dogs and $13/month for cat owners.

    Compare existing condition pet insurance

    These companies could insure your pet even if it has a pre-existing medical condition which stops other insurers offering cover. Compare insurance to cover your pets with existing health issues.

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    • Youngest pet age
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    • Hereditary conditions
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    Some policies from this insurer may not let you claim on the same condition again once your policy has been renewed.

    If you renew this policy any conditions you have already claimed for will not be covered.

    All underwritten by the insurance giants, Aviva, QIC and Covea Insurance plc.

    Some policies from this insurer may not let you claim on the same condition again once your policy has been renewed.

    Some policies from this insurer may not let you claim on the same condition again once your policy has been renewed.

    Pet ages covered: Dogs 6 weeks to 8 years old. Cats 6 weeks to 10 years old. Provided by Allianz Insurance plc. T&Cs apply.

    The listings above are affiliated with us

    Can you insure a pet with medical conditions?

    You can, but most insurers do not cover existing medical conditions.

    If your pet has had medical problems in the past, you may be able to find an insurance policy that covers them by using our comparison above.

    Historic conditions: These are conditions your pet had in the past but no longer suffers from.

    Chronic conditions: These are long term medical problems your pet has when you take out cover, and are usually conditions they will have for their whole life.

    You can find cover for historic conditions using the comparison above, but most insurers only cover them once your pet has been symptom and treatment free for at least two years.

    There are currently no pet insurance companies that cover chronic conditions.

    Can you get a policy if your pet is ill?

    Yes, you can cover them against illnesses or injuries they could develop in the future, as well as things like theft, loss, death and third party liability.

    However, they will not be covered for their existing conditions. For example, if your pet has a skin problem when you take out your policy, your insurer will not cover the cost of any treatment they need for it.

    You must declare any conditions your pet has when you apply for cover. Any chronic conditions will be excluded from your policy.

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