does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?
Posted by fetch! blog editors on Oct 01 2019

Pre-existing conditions in pets can be confusing to understand. Many people believe that if a pet has a pre-existing condition they cannot get any health coverage whatsoever. While no pet insurance covers incurable pre-existing conditions, your pet can still enroll in a pet insurance plan that protects against future unrelated injuries or illnesses or provides future coverage for curable conditions after an exclusionary period.

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is a medical condition which first occurred or showed clinical signs before the effective date of your pet’s insurance policy or during the policy waiting periods. 

Waiting periods vary depending on your pet insurance provider, but at Petplan, they are defined as 15 days for injuries and illnesses; 6 months for hip dysplasia and any treatment associated with damage or rupture of cruciate ligaments, luxation of the patellas or other soft tissue disorders of the knee.

Examples of pre-existing conditions can include, but are not limited to:

What is a curable medical condition?

A curable medical condition is any pre-existing condition or injury that can be completely cured or fixed. Unlike incurable pre-existing conditions, curable medical conditions may be eligible for future pet insurance coverage.

There is a three hundred sixty-five (365) day exclusionary period for any curable medical condition that is observed, recorded, or identified up to three hundred sixty-five (365) days prior to the original inception date of the policy or during the waiting period. Learn more about curable pet medical conditions.

Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

No pet insurance covers pre-existing conditions. The purpose of any pet insurance plan is to protect you from things that might happen in the future. If you were to sign up for car insurance after an accident, expenses from the collision would not be covered. Pet insurance acts in the same way.  Paying an affordable monthly premium ensures that your pet insurance provider will be able to cover your vet bills in the event of a new injury or illness. Find out more information about what pet insurance covers.

Can you get pet insurance with a pre-existing condition?

Yes, you can still get pet insurance if your pet has a pre-existing condition. Regardless of your pet’s age or medical history, it is never too late to enroll in pet insurance.** While pre-existing conditions will not be covered, future accidents and illnesses will. Signing up for coverage as early as possible (even for older and wiser pets) will keep them protected. Use our condition checker to see what medical conditions and health issues are often experienced by your pet's breed before they become a pre-existing condition.

See our terms and conditions for more information about getting pet insurance with pre-existing conditions and other information about our policy.

How can I avoid my pet having a pre-existing condition?

While many conditions can’t be avoided, follow your veterinarian’s recommendations about proper nutrition, exercise and regular trips to the vet’s office to ensure they stay in top shape. Life is unpredictable and the longer you wait to enroll your pet, the more likely they are to develop a condition that requires life-long treatment. 

Should I get pet insurance if my pet has a pre-existing condition?

While pre-existing conditions aren’t eligible for coverage, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider insuring your pet, even if they have a pre-existing condition.

As pets age, the likelihood of certain injuries and illnesses increases and it’s important to be prepared. If a dog is diagnosed with diabetes prior to enrollment, that condition will not be covered, but if he breaks his leg after enrollment, his owner could save thousands of dollars. Comprehensive coverage protects you from any new injury or illness after your coverage begins and policy waiting periods are over.

Here are just a few of the health issues that pet insurance covers to help protect your pet:

  • unexpected accidents and injuries
  • new illnesses
  • diagnostic testing
  • surgery & rehabilitation
  • dental disease and injuries
  • prescription medications
  • specialist treatment
Discover more about the impact of pre-existing conditions and the pros and cons of having pet insurance.

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