If you are looking for pet insurance, you should be aware of any pre-existing conditions that your pet may have. A pre-existing condition is any medical problem that existed before enrollment in the insurance plan. This might include an injury, illness, or congenital problem. Most pet insurance companies will check with your veterinarian to get health records on your pets as well as asking for a health history. A previous illness or injury will generally count as a pre-existing condition even if the pet was not yet treated by a vet. For example, if you were to take the pet to the veterinarian after enrolling, the condition would not be covered if it began prior to enrolling. A related condition may also be considered pre-existing. For example, if your pet had cancer prior to being covered, an unrelated type of cancer later may be determined to be a pre-existing condition. Congenital or breed-specific conditions, such as hip dysplasia, are also considered pre-existing by many plans.
If your pet has a pre-existing condition, you may find that some pet insurance companies will not provide coverage for your pet. Others may provide limited coverage, such as injury only, or not approve claims related to the pre-existing injury. In some cases, there may be a waiting period before a condition will be covered. If the pre-existing condition is not disclosed when the policy is purchased, it may be discovered when a claim is made for that condition and the insurance company gathers information from the treating vet.
Some pet insurance companies will consider pre-existing conditions during renewals as well as during the initial approval plan. If you pet was being treated and covered for an illness during your insurance term, when the time comes to renew, the company may find that the condition is now pre-existing and will not be covered or may be grounds for not renewing the policy at all.
For a pet with a pre-existing condition, pet insurance may still be worth it if a plan is located which provides coverage for other conditions. Costs related to the pre-existing condition will not be covered. Another option may be to consider a discount plan through a veterinarian office or discount card. That would not be considered an insurance plan, but may result in savings. In some areas, charity services or no-interest credit programs may also be available for major veterinary expenses. Purchasing insurance for a young pet reduces the possibility that pre-existing conditions exist.