What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

If your pet has a pre-existing condition—which traditional pet insurance policies do not cover—you may wonder if you can qualify for an insurance plan. The answer is “Yes.” Your pet may have a pre-existing condition, but they can still be covered for non-related injuries and future illnesses. 

What is a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is any health-related disorder that has been diagnosed before the pet’s health insurance coverage takes effect. This includes conditions that develop before or during the policy’s waiting period. 

Before your pet’s coverage begins, most pet insurance companies use your pet’s veterinary records, provided by your veterinarian, to determine whether your pet has any pre-existing conditions. Remember, health conditions that arise during the policy waiting period are considered pre-existing conditions and will not be covered. 

Types of pre-existing conditions

The following three condition categories are considered pre-existing: 

Curable chronic conditions

While chronic pre-existing conditions are not generally covered, some curable chronic conditions may be covered after the pet has been symptom-free for a specific time period. For example, a dog with a previous bout of diarrhea may receive coverage for future gastrointestinal conditions after a year from the date of the last episode, provided they have remained symptom-free. 

Before signing up, you need to understand which pre-existing conditions your pet insurance company classifies as curable or incurable.

Curable pre-existing conditions 

In some cases, the following conditions are some that may be covered after a year from the date of the last episode, so long as your pet has no recurrences during that time.  

Incurable pre-existing conditions

The following are some pre-existing conditions that most pet insurance policies will not cover:

The younger your pet when you enroll them in an insurance plan, the better, because you’ll be faced with fewer pre-existing health condition signs. Most pet insurance companies will cover pets as young as 8 weeks old.

While you should consider pre-existing conditions when looking for pet insurance, don’t let them be the only deciding factor. Your pet deserves the safety net that health insurance provides, regardless of the conditions they already have.