When you first enroll in a pet insurance policy, you will have to disclose any illness or condition that your pet might have whether it is something as simple as chronic allergies or something more serious like cancer or diabetes.
All pet insurance companies will not cover your cat or dog for any pre-existing condition that your pet has developed when you sign up.
In fact, there is a waiting period before you are accepted into a pet insurance plan that is specifically for that reason.
To make sure your pet does not have any condition that you haven’t yet disclosed.
How each pet insurance company defines a pre-existing condition varies from one to another.
One policy might define any illnesses that occurred 18 months before enrollment as pre-existing.
Another provider might define pre-existing conditions as injuries, illnesses, and irregularities noted by the vet before the waiting period expires.
Conditions Or Illness That Are Pre-Existing
If your dog or cat has a long-term illness such as:
Any breathing condition or respiratory condition such as canine distemper, kennel cough, or any similar respiratory infection that affects the lungs or surrounding areas.
Some breeds like the boxer are prone to brachycephalic disease which affects their breathing and is and is an example of a pre-existing condition that is breed specific.
There are many hereditary conditions that affect cats and dogs and could be classified as pre-existing if they appear when signing up for pet insurance.
In fact, with some providers, if your dog has hip dysplasia which is considered a bilateral condition, the other hip will generally not be covered.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections or any disease that affects the surrounding areas which include the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra are considered pre-existing.
Urinary tract infections can also lead to Cushing’s disease in dogs and FIV in cats, as well as many other long-term diseases.
Vomiting and Diarrhea
Vomiting and diarrhea tend to be short term illnesses in your dogs or cats and clear up on their own.
However, if they are long term, this can be indicative of an illness that needs consistent medication and/or treatment.
Pre-existing Curable Conditions
These are generally defined as an existing condition that can be completely cured or reserved.
If your dog or cat is symptom-free for the specific condition, they can receive coverage for that condition.
The time frame is usually 12 months.
Vomiting, diarrhea and some urinary infections can be curable and then eventually covered.
Exceptions To Pre-Existing Conditions
Pet insurance providers can adjust their policies as necessary to fit your needs.
It’s possible to get your pet’s pre-existing health issues included in their policy, but it is up to the pet insurance company.
The best way to do this would be to call the pet insurance provider directly to negotiate.
Now you can see the importance of getting your pet insured before any pre-existing condition occurs and while they are young.
Always take a good look at your policy and understand it thoroughly to see what is and is not covered.
Our primer on how pet insurance works can also give you an overall picture of what to look out for.
Most pet insurance companies require you to see the vet at least a few months within signing up.
It’s always a good idea to do so prior, so your vet can assess if there are any conditions or illnesses for you to be aware of or consider when signing up which might be deemed pre-existing.
Take a look at our company comparison chart where you can compare other important limits and exclusions between top pet insurance companies.