While it is important to buy a pet insurance policy that could work well for both you and your pet, it is also equally important to consider the restrictions involved in different kinds of pet insurance policies.
A considerable limitation of all these policies is in terms of providing pet insurance for pre-existing conditions. What exactly does this mean? What aspects and considerations are involved in such cases? Are there any solutions for this?
Through this article, we will try to answer some of these questions for you so that you can get a better idea about pre-existing conditions and how to financially deal with them.
What Are Pre-Existing Conditions?
Pre-existing conditions usually refer to those illnesses or injuries that occur before your insurance policy officially kicks in. This could also include any symptoms that may turn up before you buy the policy.
Let’s take a look at the different kinds of pre-existing conditions that insurance policies elaborate on.
Curable conditions refer to those that your pet can generally recover from. When it comes to these curable conditions, it is highly possible that your insurance policy might cover these after a significant amount of time has passed since their occurrence.
How long you might have to wait for the condition to no longer be defined as ‘pre-existing’ will depend on the insurance providers and their policies. Make sure you look into this while picking a policy for your pet.
Some common curable conditions that insurance providers cover or define include:
- Injuries from accidents such as fractures and sprains
- Infections in the bladder or urinary tract
- Diarrhea, vomiting
- Infections in the ear
- Respiratory infections
Usually, whenever such curable conditions get cured, they can become eligible once again under the pet insurance policy if they recur after a defined time period.
Incurable conditions are those that are unlikely to go away or be cured. In this case, if such conditions were diagnosed before the policy started, then they will not be covered by the insurance. This also includes cases in which symptoms arise before the policy kicks in.
Incurable conditions tend to include:
- Heart conditions or diseases
- Major respiratory problems
- Chronic orthopedic issues
- Thyroid problems
- Skin diseases or conditions
- Kidney problems
- Hip dysplasia
- Bilateral exclusions (an issue occurring on the other side of the body even after one side has already occurred and been cured)
- Genetic issues
Since these are all chronic and incurable issues, you will need to keep seeking treatment, tests, medications and frequent check-ups for your pet. However, none of these will be covered by your insurance policy or provider.
Of course, if any of these conditions are not pre-existing, that is, they come up after your policy officially kicks in, then you will be reimbursed for related expenses.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?
Pet insurance for pre-existing conditions is generally non-existent. As we have discussed above, curable conditions generally become included once again after some time has passed since their occurrence and cure.
However, the same cannot be said for incurable conditions as they are chronic in their nature.
Why is there no pet insurance for pre-existing conditions? Since these took place before the policy period, they are considered to be risky to cover by pet insurance providers since there are likely to be numerous treatment plans, visits to the vet, medicines, tests and more that need to take place.
Insurance policies are meant to protect you from major expenses of issues that may take place in the future, which is why they are not responsible for what has already occurred in the past.
Does My Pet Need a Diagnosis?
Whether or not your pet needs a diagnosis depends on the insurance policy and providers. Some of them are likely to ask you for documentation, past receipts and diagnosis-related details about your pet to determine what they can or cannot cover in their policy.
If you do have a diagnosis of a pre-existing condition, you will need to hand that over to your insurance provider to prevent clashes later on.
However, even if you don’t have a diagnosis, an insurance provider might still refuse to include a certain condition in their policy if some symptoms already started showing up before buying the policy.
What Are My Options?
While it is true that the pet insurance policy will not be able to cover these pre-existing conditions, there are still a few options that you can explore and carry out in order to protect yourself and your pet. Let’s briefly take a look at some of these.
- It is still a good idea to go ahead and buy an insurance policy for your pet regardless of this non-coverage. This is so that you can ensure that you still get reimbursed for potential future conditions that may arise at any point. Further, the curable conditions will most likely become eligible under the policy again.
- One way to not deal with this issue is to buy the insurance policy when your pet is newly born or just a few months old. This can help you avoid having to pay for pre-existing conditions on your own. There may still be some exceptions, but largely, you will be able to benefit.
- There are several alternatives that you can look into that help you cover expenses related to your pet, even if they have a pre-existing condition.
- You should get your pet vaccinated appropriately from the very beginning to try to prevent such conditions later on. It might not always be possible, but it’s a good idea regardless.
- You can prevent curable conditions like injuries by taking the necessary measures early on such as pet proofing, keeping your pet safe from vehicles and more.
- Research all kinds of pet insurance policies beforehand. This can give you a better idea about the details and how they deal with such pre-existing conditions. You can then also compare prices, features and quotes and make your decision.
You now know all about pre-existing conditions in pets and how these might be dealt with by pet insurance policies and providers. Usually, they won’t be covered unless they can be cured without recurrence for a defined period of time.
Make sure you confirm all of these details when you are looking for an insurance policy in order to ensure maximum transparency.
Even though these pre-existing conditions are not covered by the policy, it is still worth buying the policy to help you out with future conditions. You can look at some other cost-saving options as well.
No matter what you pick, do consider both your pet and your own financial conditions before making a pet insurance policy purchase.