What is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is any health condition that was diagnosed before your pet’s health insurance took effect. All health conditions that develop prior to or during your pet insurance policy’s waiting period will be labeled as pre-existing health conditions and will not qualify for coverage. While this may be a scary thought for pet owners whose companion has a pre-existing condition, there are still many benefits to insuring your pet, such as coverage for accidents and other illnesses.
How Do Pre-Existing Conditions Work?
Some pre-existing conditions are considered “curable,” such as ear infections, diarrhea, and urinary tract infections (UTIs). In these instances, an insurance provider may extend future coverage under a pet insurance plan once the condition is cured. The cost of treatment for chronic pre-existing conditions, such as arthritis and diabetes, will not be covered under any pet insurance policy, but other payment assistance options are available.
Keep in mind that even if your pet has a pre-existing condition, insurance can still provide access to care due to unrelated accidents and illnesses they could develop later in life. Pet insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that you have a financial buffer should your pet need expensive treatment in an emergency.
How are Pre-Existing Conditions Diagnosed?
Pet insurance companies rely on the veterinarian's notes to determine when an accident or injury first occurred. Some insurers will have you do a nose-to-tail exam before your coverage can begin to set your benchmark for any conditions.
- Pre-existing conditions are health conditions that have been diagnosed before you enrolled your pet in a health insurance plan, or before the required waiting period has passed.
- It’s best to enroll your pet in an insurance plan at a young age while they’re still in good health, so that any health complication that arises in the future will be covered by your provider’s insurance plan. Most companies will not cover the cost of treatment, management, or ongoing supportive care often required for chronic conditions
- Some curable pre-existing conditions, like ear infections, may be treated and then fall under eligible coverage if it were to happen again later on.