Pet insurance plans typically don’t cover pre-existing conditions. These are injuries or illnesses that come up before your plan goes into effect or during a waiting period. For instance, if your dog is diagnosed with diabetes before you enroll in pet insurance, treatment for diabetes won’t be covered.

Here are some important things to know about pet insurance and pre-existing conditions:

  • A condition may be considered pre-existing even if it hasn’t been diagnosed or treated yet. So let’s say your pet starts showing signs of arthritis like trouble going down the stairs in April. If you enroll in pet insurance in May, arthritis wouldn’t be covered.
  • Pet insurance providers may define and handle pre-existing conditions differently. Please read the policy carefully so you know what to expect.
  • For example, an ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan states that a condition will no longer be considered pre-existing if it's cured and free of symptoms and treatments for 180 days, with the exception of knee and ligament conditions. If a knee or ligament condition occurs before the coverage effective date or during a waiting period, any future ones won’t be covered.

When you think about the purpose of most insurance, it makes sense that pre-existing conditions usually aren’t covered by pet insurance. Insurance is generally intended to protect you for things that might happen in the future, not the past. For example, if you purchased home insurance today, it most likely wouldn’t reimburse you for repairs you made to your roof last month.

How can I help avoid a pre-existing condition?

While there’s no guarantee you’ll avoid a pre-existing condition, it can help to enroll in pet insurance sooner rather than later. Our curious, energetic, and playful pets can get injured when you least expect it or fall sick out of the blue. If you put off enrolling, something could happen to your pet that would then be considered a pre-existing condition and not eligible for coverage.

What if my pet has a pre-existing condition?

You should still consider pet insurance even if your pet has a pre-existing condition. You may not be covered for that condition, but you can may still get reimbursed for other injuries or illnesses that could affect your pet. Your plan may also cover the pre-existing condition in the future.

Get a free quote to learn about coverage for your pet.