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.