Pet cover for pre-existing conditions
Learn more about insuring a pet with a pre-existing condition
Most pet insurance policies will not cover pre-existing conditions, but there are some specialist insurers who will. The pet insurance companies we work with don't currently offer cover for pre-existing conditions but with a little research you may be able to find one.
If you’ve claimed on your dog or cat insurance in the past, you’ll know that most illnesses or injuries can only be claimed for once. You’ll usually be given a set financial limit for each condition, or a time limit in which treatment for it is available. After that, they’re classed as pre-existing conditions, and you’ll usually have to pay for further treatment for them yourself.
The same goes for new policies. If your pet has been diagnosed with a condition before you take out pet insurance, you usually won’t get any cover for that condition.
We know how frustrating this can be, especially if you’re concerned that your pet’s condition may come back.
Most insurers define a pre-existing condition as an illness or injury that was diagnosed before you took out a pet insurance policy – regardless of whether your pet received treatment for it.
If the condition was diagnosed during the course of your policy, it too will be seen as a pre-existing condition. You’ll be able to claim for it while your current policy is active. But once you renew, it might be excluded, and you may not be able to claim for it again.
A pre-existing condition could be anything from hip dysplasia, which is common in pedigrees, to gastrointestinal issues, eye infections, ear infections and more.
If you’re still unsure what counts as a pre-existing condition, check with your current insurance provider. They’ll be able to tell you whether your pet’s condition can be covered again in future.
Jac Morris, our pet insurance expert, says:
“If you have lifetime pet insurance, you may already be covered.
“As long as your pet was insured before it developed the condition, a lifetime policy should continue covering it for as long as you keep the policy active.”
Find out more about lifetime pet insurance.
For other types of pet insurance, Jac warns, this isn’t usually the case, and once you’ve claimed for that condition, it might not be covered again. You could then be faced with covering the costs yourself.
So, what’s the best option?
Jac says: “Standard pet policies may actually offer a limited level of pre-existing conditions cover, so it’s worth getting a quote if your current provider doesn’t offer this.
“Another option is to stick with them and cover the cost of treatment yourself.
“This may be handy if your current policy gives you a good level of cover in other areas at a good price.
“But,” he adds, “covering the costs of a condition yourself can be pricey.
“That’s where pet-insurance that covers pre-existing conditions can be useful.”
With the right policy you could get cover for conditions you’ve already claimed for, helping with the costs if your pet suffers with the same condition in future.
So, there are other options available.