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What Are Pet Insurance Preexisting Conditions?

Lisa Belluck  — January 11, 2019

Preexisting conditions are problems that pets have before they become insured. Pet insurance companies often restrict coverage to those with underlying health conditions. They don’t like clients who are too risky and likely to file expensive claims. As the owner of an ill or disabled pet, you should read on to learn more about if you’re dealing with a pet insurance preexisting condition.

What is a Pet Insurance Preexisting Condition?

A pet insurance preexisting condition counts as any type of illness or injury your pet had before being signed up for coverage. It’s usually a chronic disease, such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. An insurance company prefers not to cover a condition that lasts for years, costs thousands of dollars to treat, and can’t be cured. Insurers are more likely to cover conditions that are acute and resolvable, such as fevers or bacterial infections.

Don’t forget that there also pet insurance waiting periods to think about. Some insurers require that sick clients be free of symptoms for weeks or even months before receiving coverage. During this time, they review the severity of the illness or injury and determine your policy limits.

How to Determine Preexisting Conditions

Some pet insurers require that your pet receive a vet checkup before they can be considered for coverage. This step must be completed no more than 12 months before obtaining the pet insurance policy. A negative report means your pet has a preexisting condition that cannot be covered. To keep your policy, the insurer may require you to continue seeing the vet once a year for regular checkups.

Coming Improvements in Pet Insurance

The pet healthcare industry makes changes for the better every year. The definition of a pet insurance preexisting condition is not the same as it was several years ago. Clients with hereditary and congenital conditions that are often considered incurable are now seeing more coverage options.

Don’t forget that pet insurance companies are competing with each other for your business and offering more to find more customers. Certain clauses and waiting periods may be less restrictive or eliminated in the future. And there’s bound to be a pet insurance company that covers preexisting conditions that’s right for you and your pet.

How to Find the Right Pet Insurance

The best solution for you as a pet owner and a consumer is to do your best to sign up your dog or cat for health insurance when they’re young. You’ll get the best options and have few concerns about losing coverage. The owners of pets with preexisting conditions can still find coverage, even though it’s difficult to do. Start by visiting review sites like FindReviews.com to find high-rated pet insurance services.