Can a pet insurer deny coverage due to a pre-existing condition?

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A pre-existing condition could cause a lot of problems when trying to cover a pet.


Key points

  • Pet insurance pays for the medical care our animal companions need.
  • Some animals develop pre-existing conditions before their owners purchase pet insurance.
  • Pet insurers can deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, unlike human insurers.

Pet insurance provides protection against injury or illness that affects animal companions. Owners of dogs, cats, and even some exotic pets can purchase a policy that pays vet bills when their furry friend needs veterinary care.

But, it’s usually important for owners to purchase insurance early in their pet’s life before the pet develops any medical issues.

Owners need to know pet insurance rules and pre-existing conditions so they understand why it’s so important to be covered early – and what happens if they don’t and a medical issue develops before the insurance is in place.

Here are the pet insurance rules and pre-existing conditions

Pet insurance has different rules for pre-existing conditions than human insurance. The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) prohibited human health insurers from denying coverage for a pre-existing medical condition. This means that a person can buy insurance after being sick and the insurer will pay their bills, even for the illness that existed before it was covered.

There is no such rule for pet insurers, however. As a result, no pet insurance company will provide protection for pre-existing conditions. Insurers will ask about a pet’s medical history and usually require veterinary records or that the animal undergo a medical exam before purchasing a policy. If the animal has a pre-existing medical condition, the insurer will know about it and will not cover it.

This does not necessarily mean that the animal will be denied insurance entirely. In many cases, the pet insurer will provide coverage for other issues of the pet, but will not pay for anything related to the medical issue the pet had before the coverage was purchased. .

For example, if a pet had been diagnosed with a heart murmur before the insurance was purchased, the insurance would not cover any medical condition related to the animal’s heart. But if the owner purchased coverage after heart disease was diagnosed and the animal later developed cancer, the insurance would pay the bills related to that unrelated medical condition.

Some insurers also distinguish between curable and incurable conditions. So, if a pet had a condition like a urinary tract infection that can be cured, the insurer could refuse to cover expenses related to the infection for 12 months, but after a year, it would provide protection against future urinary tract infections. But an incurable disease like diabetes, on the other hand, would never be covered for the life of the animal.

How to make sure pets are covered

If a pet owner wants to ensure that any medical issues their pet develops are covered, the owner should ensure that they purchase insurance as soon as possible while the pet is still young and healthy. health.

Purchasing insurance before a pre-existing condition develops ensures that there should be no major policy exclusions. Whenever the pet becomes ill, the insurance will be there to pay the bills, so there’s no question that a beloved pet will receive the best medical care, no matter the cost.