Does Your Pet Have a Pre-Existing Condition? Here’s How to Insure It
Are you a pet owner or do you just love pets? Either way, we can agree that pets are more than just some furry creatures that we welcome into our homes, right? Pets are both friends and members of our families, and we should treat them as such. In addition to providing food, shelter, security, and other necessities, it is important to take care of your pet’s healthcare needs because health really matters to pets as much as it does to human beings.
These days, the question of whether to get pet insurance or not is usually one that does not require debate. The cost of animal health care keeps increasing and no one wants to see his or her pet suffering because of an accident, an illness, or an injury.
Although pet insurance will go a long way in helping you take care of the above problems, do you know that most insurance providers do not cover pre-existing conditions?
What Is A Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is a disease, a problem that your pet may be suffering from, or showing symptoms of, before purchasing an insurance policy. A condition that may surface or be diagnosed during the waiting period, usually one year from the date of signing up, is also considered a pre-existing condition.
In addition, an insurer can classify a condition that you did not know about or one that your pet did not even show signs or symptoms of during the waiting period, as a pre-existing condition depending on what condition it is. For example, most insurers will consider cancer to be a pre-existing condition regardless of when it surfaces because it develops slowly over a period.
The best way of knowing how a company deals with pre-existing conditions is to go through its policy carefully with the help of a member of their team before making any decisions. Most insurance companies do not cover pre-existing conditions and those that do, will only do so under their most expensive covers. However, you can never go wrong with insuring your pet sooner, rather than later.
Why Do Insurance Companies Refuse To Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?
At first, it might seem as if insurance companies are being unfair to our pets, but let us think about the above situation for a moment. The idea behind insurance is protecting an individual from an unknown event that might happen in the future and result in some form of loss. For example, your car and your home are insured against future events, not on what has already happened, or even what is happening in the process.
Insuring a pet with a pre-existing condition would be unfair to the insurance company and result in some loss. Besides, if all insurance companies would cover pre-existing conditions then people would wait until their pets develop a problem before they bought any insurance.
Since pets do not speak our language, it is very hard for a pet to explain exactly what it is feeling, which is why you should take your pet to the vet for routine check-ups as often as possible. Having your pet’s medical history will often go a long way in proving that your pet did not have a pre-existing condition before the cover became effective.
Health Conditions That Will Likely Not Be Covered
The health conditions that disqualify pets from an insurance policy are usually those that have no cure. The most common ones include:
- Orthopedic conditions
- Heart disease
- Skin lumps
- Hypothyroidism or Hyperthyroidism
- Urinary blockages
Furthermore, your pet will not qualify for insurance if its injuries are because of inhumane treatment.
A practical example of where an injury will likely not be covered:
If your pet tore its right leg’s cruciate ligament, a few years before you got the insurance cover and then the pet tears the cruciate ligament on its left leg when you already have a cover, then the left tear will not be covered. The tear on the second leg is considered a pre-existing condition.
Is There Hope When It Comes To Pre-Existing Conditions?
Yes, there is hope, do not give up just yet.
Hoping that the insurance company you are looking to get a pet insurance cover from operates like most other insurance companies, there are situations that can qualify your pet for coverage regardless of whether it had a pre-existing condition or not. Here are the common exceptions to the ‘pre-existing conditions’ rule:
- If the disease or condition that your pet is or was suffering from, is curable. Most insurance companies will cover your pet’s condition if it was sick but is now well, and has not shown signs or symptoms of the disease or condition for at least six months to a year. It is important to note that the rule applies to conditions that are actually curable, not those that can remain dormant for a while but remain in the system.
- If the disease or condition that your pet is or was suffering from, is a hereditary disorder. A hereditary disorder is one that is passed down to your pet from its parents, regardless of whether the disorder is visible or not. Although the specific types of disorders attract different attention from the insurance companies, it is important to understand the company policy concerning these disorders properly.
Pre-Existing Conditions That You Might Get Coverage For (The Exceptions)
In light of the exceptions above, your pet might be suffering from some of the conditions listed below and you can still get a policy that adequately covers for them. However, in most cases the costs resulting from such conditions will usually not be covered within twelve months since their previous episode. The conditions include:
- Respiratory infections
- Ear infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Common GI upsets
- Vomiting, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal disorders
- Dermatitis and some types of skin rashes
Practical examples of cases a pre-existing condition can be covered:
- If you enrolled for an insurance policy a few months after your pet had gone through a bad episode of diarrhea caused by Giardia, then most insurance companies will cover your pet when it suffers from diarrhea again. However, for the company to cover the pet, your vet must be able to eliminate Giardia from the list of what caused diarrhea the second time round.
- Most insurance companies will cover pets that were diagnosed and treated for cancer prior to acquiring the cover. However, any conditions that result from the cancer treatment or the development of cancer on another part of the body will not be covered.
How To Find The Best Insurance Provider
When looking for a pet insurance service provider, make sure to settle for the one that meets most of your needs. Let your search for a pet insurance cover be guided by the health condition and age of your pet. Compile a list of your most preferred companies and then choose the best from the list. Here are very important factors to consider:
- Does your pet suffer from a hereditary condition? Depending on your pet’s breed and its medical history, you can decide whether a pet insurance provider offering a cover that insures against hereditary conditions is a priority for you.
- Does your pet have a pre-existing condition? If your pet has a prevailing illness or condition, then an insurance service provider with a number of exceptions is the ideal one for you. Share this information with your most preferred insurance service provider, being careful to mention whether the pet’s condition is recurrent or on going.
- Choose the insurance service provider with the best deal for your pet. After you eliminate all the insurance providers that do not meet your pet’s needs, compare the remaining insurance covers and prioritize them according to the package on offer and the cost implications.
Insurance Companies That Will Insure Your Pet Even If It Has A Pre-Existing Health Condition
- Pet Assure – This is one of the few companies you will find that out rightly states that it accepts all pre-existing conditions, it has no pet age limits, it covers every medical condition, and that no claim is ever rejected. It might sound too good to be true but it is worth checking out.
- Embrace Pet Insurance – This Company clearly states that it does not cover pre-existing conditions, although there are some pre-existing conditions it can cover at its discretion.
- Veterinary Pet Insurance Company – This Company clearly states that there are chances that your pet can receive health insurance even with a pre-existing condition. It is best to go through its policy on the above in order to understand it better.
- VetsMediCover Pet Insurance – This UK based insurance company covers pet that have a pre-existing medical condition, although your pet must not have shown any symptom of the disease up to two years before acquiring the cover.
- Lifetime Pet Cover Pet Insurance – This Company has an almost identical policy when you compare it to VetsMediCover Pet Insurance, except that their package is cheaper.
It is now possible to insure the furry member of the family without having to worry too much about pre-existing conditions and many other factors. You only have to follow the tips above and search hard.