Best Pet Insurance That Covers Pre-Existing Conditions (2023 Review)

by | 1/23/2023

Jump To: Pre-Existing Conditions Explained | Curable vs Non-Curable Pre-Existing Conditions | Medical History Review | Hope for Pre-Existing Conditions

 Pre-existing conditions is a big buzz term when it comes to any health policy – be it for your dog, cat or even a human. Read on to learn what pre-existing conditions mean in the pet insurance world.

In this review, you’ll find a breakdown of the best pet insurance that covers pre-existing below: 

What is a pre-existing condition?

According to Embrace, a pre-existing condition is any injury, illness or irregularity that your pet exhibits prior to the end of your waiting period. This is true even if your pet never went to the vet for this condition. Unfortunately, no affordable pet insurance companies cover pre-existing conditions.

Curable vs. non-curable pre-existing conditions

Some companies do cover what they call ‘curable’ pre-existing conditions. These are defined as conditions that can be completely resolved. Then, if your pet experiences a period of time (usually 12 months) symptom-free, they can then receive coverage for those ailments.

A non-curable condition is something chronic, such as diabetes, hip dysplasia, allergies or cancer. These conditions require a lifetime of treatment once diagnosed, and no insurer will cover these conditions once they are in the medical history. That’s why it is important to get pet insurance while your pet is young and healthy so there is not a time where you are faced with non-coverage.

If you do have a pet with a non-curable pre-existing condition, don’t despair. You can still get the coverage, just not for that issue. But, if you have a pet with diabetes that later develops cancer, they can still get coverage for cancer treatments.

Medical history review

Most pet insurance companies will go through a medical history review with you once you enroll. Since most companies have a waiting period for illness (and a shorter one for accidents), they will use that time to review medical records and determine the limits of your policy.

Here are some of the likely illnesses that will be considered preexisting:

  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism
  • Diabetes
  • Arthritis
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Skin lumps
  • Orthopedic conditions

If your pet has an ACL injury, some insurance companies won’t cover the other leg at all, while others make you wait six to twelve months. Make sure you read the policy documents carefully to determine what the case is for your situation.

Vet visit terms

Most pet insurance policies have a clause that requires you to have a documented vet visit within the last 12 months prior to getting your policy. If you haven’t taken your pet to see their vet recently, you will need to get them to the vet ASAP, usually within 30 days. If your vet finds anything wrong with your pet, this may be considered a pre-existing condition and not get covered.

If you have a current policy, you will most likely need to take your pet to the vet every 12 months, regardless of if they exhibit any health concerns, or you risk voiding your policy.

Hope for pre-existing conditions

While pre-existing conditions aren’t likely to be covered anytime soon, insurance policies are getting more competitive and more and more hereditary and congenital conditions are now covered (these used to be considered pre-existing conditions). It’s likely as the pet insurance industry evolves that these policies evolve too, and hopefully the preexisting condition clause, or at least the waiting periods, become a thing of the past.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

Do pet insurance policies have waiting periods?

Yes, pet insurance policies more than always have waiting periods. between your initial enrollment period and when coverage officially begins for the plan. Across most providers, the standard is around 14 days for accidents and illnesses, but some others, including Lemonade and Embrace, can shorten your waiting period to as low as two days for accidents.

What does Pet Insurance Typically Cover?

Depending on what type of plan you choose, your pet insurance plan will cover different things. Accident-only plans provide medical coverage for accidental injuries, such as broken bones, sprains, and prescription medications. Accident-and-illness plans try to extend that coverage to include cancer treatments, digestive illness, hip dysplasia, and similar issues.

How much does pet insurance cost? 

Pet insurance costs will vary based on your pet insurance provider, location, your pet’s breed, your pet’s age, and more. Other factors that will influence the cost of pet insurance include the type of plan you choose, especially if the plan has extensive coverage and if you opt for preventative care add-ons. The more coverage your plan has, the higher the cost is likely to be. 

To give you a general idea of pet insurance costs, we’ve researched the following numbers for you. Currently, most dog insurance plans cost $28 per month on average, and cat insurance plans can cost as little as $11 per month. Depending on the plan, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 per month to $90 per month in most cases.

Our Methodology

The 365 Pet Insurance research team looks at all pet insurance policies and comes up with our reviews based on coverage, plan options, cost, reputation, customer service, and species eligibility. We’ve also created a rating system to score pet insurance brands.

We’ve consulted with pet experts and dug into plans to develop what we think are the best overall plans, complete with ratings on coverage, how they handle claims, reimbursements, deductibles, limits, and more.

To make our list, pet insurance companies must have:

  • A variety of plan options
  • Affordable monthly rates

Our team revisits each company’s information at the end of every month to make updates and ensure the information is as accurate as possible.