Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions? Have you ever wondered if pet insurance covers pre-existing conditions? If yes, then this article is for you. This article aims to provide detailed information to your question.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

Meanwhile, when considering pet insurance, it’s crucial to grasp the policy’s limitations, notably regarding pre-existing conditions and treatment costs, which may accumulate. While most companies offer specific pre-existing coverage, the majority of companies do not offer this coverage and thus it is important you carefully go through your policy limitations. If you aren’t sure what pre-existing conditions are, check out the next outline.

What are Pre-Existing Conditions?

Pre-existing conditions encompass health conditions that manifest or show symptoms before the initiation of coverage or during a waiting period. Enrolling your pet and obtaining coverage for other accidents and illnesses is still possible. However, the plan excludes expenses related to pre-existing conditions or symptoms present in your pet’s medical history before coverage or during a waiting period.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

The coverage of pre-existing conditions varies among pet insurance companies and policies. Generally, most pet insurance plans do not cover pre-existing conditions, which include any illness or injury that your pet had before the insurance policy was purchased.

Certain companies may offer coverage for specific pre-existing conditions if the pet remains symptom-free for a designated period, often 6 to 12 months. It is crucial to carefully read the details of any pet insurance policy before purchasing it to understand its specific terms and conditions.

Pets with pre-existing conditions remain eligible to enroll in pet insurance and receive coverage for other accidents and illnesses. Having a specific pre-existing condition shouldn’t deter you from considering coverage, as it can still provide valuable protection for various unforeseen situations.

Types of Pet Pre-Existing Conditions

Certain pet insurance providers categorize pre-existing conditions into two groups: those considered curable and those deemed incurable.

Curable Pre-Existing Conditions

Companies like Embrace may cover curable pre-existing conditions if there is no recurrence within 12 months from the last occurrence. Moreover, if the condition reoccurs after this period, it can be treated as a new issue and may be covered. Examples of curable conditions encompass bladder infections, diarrhea, ear infections, respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and vomiting.

Incurable Pre-Existing Conditions

Conversely, there are pre-existing conditions classified as incurable by pet insurance companies. These include allergies, arthritis, bladder crystals, cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, heart disease, hip dysplasia, kidney disease, orthopedic conditions, and urinary blockages. However, some other types of pre-existing conditions are related to these types of pre-existing conditions. These types can only consider pre-existing conditions, whether they are covered or not.

Hereditary and congenital conditions

Certain companies cover congenital and hereditary conditions if your pet hasn’t shown symptoms or received a diagnosis before the insurance coverage begins. However, some companies even offer distinct policies specifically designed for “hereditary and congenital coverage. Hereditary, or genetic, conditions are prevalent, particularly in purebred animals, and are passed down from a pet’s parents. Here are a few instances:

  1. Hip dysplasia
  2. Elbow dysplasia
  3. Cherry eye (entropion)
  4. Patellar luxation
  5. Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)
  6. Allergies
  7. Cancers
  8. Thyroid disease
  9. Diabetes

However, congenital conditions are inherent at birth, even if your pet doesn’t manifest immediate symptoms. Instances encompass:

  1. Hernia
  2. Congenital heart disease
  3. Certain liver diseases, like portosystemic shunts and copper-associated hepatopathy,
  4. Nervous system issues
  5. Brachycephalic airway syndrome

Bilateral Conditions                       

A bilateral condition refers to a health issue that can affect both sides of a pet. Hip dysplasia serves as an example, as it may occur in the left, right, or both hips. Usually, insurance policies exclude coverage for bilateral health conditions identified before the policy’s effective date, similar to standard pre-existing conditions.

For example, if your pet was diagnosed with left-side hip dysplasia before enrollment and later develops right-side hip dysplasia, the policy won’t cover either case. Additional examples of bilateral conditions encompass torn cruciate ligaments, glaucoma, uveitis, patellar luxation, and cataracts.

Numerous conditions in the incurable category necessitate recurrent veterinary visits, continuous medication, and occasionally surgical interventions. However, pet insurance does not provide coverage for these incurable pre-existing conditions.

How To Determine What Pet Conditions Are Insurable

As a pet owner, discerning what constitutes a pre-existing condition and understanding your pet insurance coverage can be challenging. In addition, pet insurance companies such as Embrace and Pets Best conduct medical history reviews on pets.

These reviews are crafted to identify any conditions that fall outside the scope of your policy coverage. Typically, this process ensures clarity about the expenses for which you will be accountable. The medical review typically occurs post-application, and upon its completion, insurers often offer the option to cancel the policy if you find the coverage inadequate for your pet’s requirements.

How To Choose the Best Pet Insurance Cover For Pre-existing Conditions

Despite having a pre-existing condition, obtaining pet insurance is still possible, and it can cover conditions unrelated to the pre-existing issue. Here are important considerations to be aware of:

Adopt a Proactive Approach as a pet owner

Taking care of the injury or illness promptly is crucial to prevent it from worsening and leading to substantial vet bills. However, implementing proper precautions can also mitigate the risk of additional accidents or illnesses arising from the existing condition.

Stay Current with Your Pet’s Vaccinations

It’s essential to ensure your pet remains healthy, and neglecting vaccinations can have repercussions. Numerous insurers may reject a claim if your pet falls ill due to not being vaccinated as per your veterinarian’s recommendations.

Compare Various Pet Insurance Policies

When evaluating pet insurance, consider not only monthly premiums and deductibles but also factors like waiting periods and potential coverage reductions as your pet ages. This comprehensive evaluation ensures you choose a policy that aligns with your pet’s needs and your financial considerations.

Acquire Pet Insurance Early

Pet owners, especially those with pets with pre-existing conditions, should be aware of the financial strain vet bills can impose. Moreover, purchasing a pet insurance policy in the early stages can effectively mitigate the costs associated with potential recurring issues in the future.

Explore Alternative Options to Traditional Pet Insurance

Companies such as Eusoh and Pawp present alternatives that assist in covering a pet’s medical expenses. For instance, Pawp provides a membership benefits service offering up to $3,000 for emergency veterinary bills, including pre-existing conditions, for $19 per month.

Choosing a pet insurance provider means entrusting them to be your pet’s lifelong partner. The significance of this partnership becomes evident when filing claims.

Additionally, switching to another pet insurance provider during your pet’s lifetime can result in any claims with the previous insurer being considered pre-existing by the new provider. The continuity of insurance with the same provider is crucial for seamless coverage throughout your pet’s life.


Pet insurance does not include coverage for pre-existing chronic illnesses and diseases that your pet may have before enrollment. Nevertheless, it may provide coverage for minor, manageable issues your pet has experienced, given that they have been fully treated and have remained free of treatment for a specific period.