What are pre-existing conditions and are they covered by pet insurance?

Written by Pamela Hardman  | Published on: 1/24/2019

Your dog or cat is more than just a pet – they’re a family member. If your pet gets sick or has an accident, you want to give them the best care possible, and pet insurance can help with expensive vet bills. But what if your pet has already been sick or injured before you buy a policy? It may be considered a pre-existing condition.

What’s a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is a symptom or set of symptoms, that your dog or cat is having before your coverage starts or before the waiting periods are over. Pre-existing conditions are called exclusions on your policy and treatment or medication for these conditions isn’t covered by pet insurance. This also means that if your pet has an accident before your coverage starts or during the applicable waiting period, the treatment for that accident won’t be covered. Just like home or auto insurance, pet insurance is meant to be there when you need it. Think of it this way: you wouldn’t only buy home insurance if your house was already on fire or buy car insurance right after you rear-end someone on the way home from work. You have insurance so you’re covered if something unexpected happens.

If my pet has a pre-existing condition, is it worth getting pet insurance?

·         Some exclusions are temporary. If your pet has visited the vet for things like vomiting or diarrhea, ear infections or urinary tract infections, you may have a reviewable or temporary exclusion listed on your policy. If this happens, we’ll give you instructions to contact us at a specified time (usually after about 6-12 months) and we’ll review and then often remove that exclusion if there haven’t been any symptoms or treatment since.

·         Exclusions often apply to isolated conditions. The reality is, there are many medical issues that your pet can face throughout his or her life, especially when he or she gets older. Pet insurance will still cover accidents or illnesses that are unrelated to the exclusion.

·         Pet insurance is there when you need it. Pet insurance gives pet owners peace of mind and financial well-being, knowing it’s there if something unexpected happens.

How can I get a policy without exclusions?

The sooner you get your pet insured, the better. Insuring as soon as possible, even if your pet is already an adult, means they’re less likely to have pre-existing conditions than if you wait until they’re older. If you’re curious about what exclusions your pet might have, or if you have more questions about pre-existing conditions, feel free to contact us. You can also read more about what’s covered by Petsecure plans.

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