Pets With a Pre-Existing Condition Can Still Have Insurance

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  • When your pet has a pre-existing condition, you may not be able to get coverage that will cover that specific issue.
  • You can still get pet insurance that will cover other issues that aren't pre-existing.
  • In some cases, pre-existing conditions might be covered if they're considered curable.

Don't assume coverage is off the table.

Owning a pet can mean taking on a host of expenses, from food to medications to gear. So it's important to have a nice amount of money in a savings account before bringing a pet into your life.

It's also important to put a pet insurance policy in place once your adoption goes through. Without pet insurance, you could wind up on the hook for many costly bills that wreak havoc on your finances and drive you into debt.

But what if you're adopting a pet with a pre-existing condition? If you're bringing home an older animal, your chances of landing in that boat may be higher. But sometimes, even younger animals end up having pre-existing conditions. And if you know about these issues, you must disclose them when applying for pet insurance. Failure to do so could mean invalidating your policy. 

Now, much of the time, pet insurance companies will not pay for treatment related to pre-existing conditions. But that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't buy insurance for your pet.

You can still get coverage

If your pet has a condition like diabetes and you put pet insurance in place, your policy may not cover the cost of diabetes treatment, or issues relating to your pet's diabetes. But that doesn't mean your pet insurance policy won't cover treatments for other issues that arise. 

That's why it's a good idea to get pet insurance even if you know there's a specific condition your policy won't pick up the tab for. You never know what other ailments might pop up down the line, so you're better off having coverage for those issues than not. 

Your insurance policy might cover pre-existing conditions that are curable

There are certain pre-existing conditions that pet insurance companies generally won't pay for. According to Pet Assure, these typically include:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Urinary blockages

But that doesn't mean your pet insurance company won't cover a curable pre-existing condition. Let's say your pet has kidney stones, but that issue has been treated. If it's been a certain amount of time -- say, a year or more -- beyond your pet's last kidney stone episode, then your insurance company might pay for a future occurrence of kidney stones. (This is just an example, and to be clear, it's not meant to imply that kidney stones will automatically be covered if that issue has arisen in the past. It's merely an example of a condition that could be considered curable.)

Know the rules

Pet insurance companies have a lot of wiggle room to make their own rules when it comes to pre-existing conditions. If you know that your pet has one, be sure to shop around carefully for insurance and read the fine print before signing up for a policy. Even if you can't get coverage for something like diabetes treatment or surgery to treat arthritis, it could still pay to put a pet insurance policy in place in case your pet gets hurt or sick with another condition. 

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