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The Best Pet Insurance that Covers Pre-Existing Conditions

Trying to get pet insurance for an animal with a pre-existing condition can be something of a Catch-22. While health insurance for humans has made strides in covering pre-existing conditions, pet insurance still does not, making it difficult to find the best pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. That puts pet owners in a difficult position: the whole reason you need pet insurance is to cover care on a sick animal, but insurance won’t cover your pet if they had that illness previously.       

However, this situation doesn’t mean you absolutely can’t find the best pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. Some companies designate between curable and non-curable pre-existing conditions, meaning if your pet has an illness that’s deemed curable, you may be able to find coverage. Also, there are alternatives to pet insurance that you may find useful.    

The Difference Between Curable and Non-Curable Pre-Existing Conditions

For starters, a pre-existing condition is an illness, irregularity or injury that your pet has before the end of your waiting period, as defined by Embrace Pet Insurance. Basically, it’s any health problem that existed before you signed up for the pet insurance plan, even if the pet hadn’t seen a vet. However, if the pet develops new problems after the insurance plan takes effect, those are typically covered. This is why you should find pet insurance while your pet is still young and healthy.      

The good news for finding the best pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions is that some pet insurance companies will cover conditions that are deemed curable. These are issues that can be completely cleared up. If your pet goes a specific amount of time without showing symptoms, they may be eligible for coverage, according to PetFirst Pet Insurance. However, if the pet has health problems that require ongoing treatment, those won’t be covered. 

>>MORE: Is There Pet Insurance with No Waiting Period?

PetFirst outlines examples of curable and incurable conditions. For instance, an ear infection is curable because it requires limited treatment and can be healed completely. However, problems like allergies, cancer, arthritis or diabetes, as a few examples, require ongoing care. Therefore, they are considered incurable and won’t receive coverage.         

Unlike life insurance, pet insurance tends to not deny pets coverage plans if they have certain health risks. Your pet can still get insurance, just certain conditions will not be covered.

So while pet insurance companies won’t cover pre-existing conditions, some may look at certain issues on a case-by-case basis. Below we’ll cover some companies that tend to be more lenient on pre-existing conditions.   

>>MORE: What does Pet Insurance Cover?

Best Pet Insurance that Covers Pre-Existing Conditions: Hope for Coverage 

When it comes to pre-existing conditions, that fact is that pet insurance is under no legal responsibility to cover them. However, some may review specific cases, and it’s common to see pre-existing conditions covered if they’re curable. Below we’ll cover some of the best pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions.

Nationwide: Nationwide’s website states that if you show medical records from your vet that your pet’s condition was cured for at least six months, you could receive coverage. 

Petplan: In Petplan’s terms and conditions, it states that Petplan distinguishes between curable and incurable conditions. You could receive coverage for a condition Petplan deems curable.  

ASPCA: According to the ASPCA, a condition may receive coverage if it’s free of symptoms and treatments for 180 days. 

Embrace Pet Insurance: Embrace is another company that will determine whether a condition is curable or incurable, leading to greater coverage.

PetFirst Healthcare: PetFirst also designates between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions. Conditions can be deemed curable and receive coverage if they have been healed and are without symptoms for a set time period.  

>>MORE: How do Pet Insurance Companies Know About Pre-Existing Conditions?

>>MORE: Finding The Best Pet Dental Insurance

Alternatives to Pet Insurance

Even if your pet suffers from a pre-existing medical condition, that doesn’t mean you’re left high and dry for saving money at the vet’s office. Read on to find some money-saving alternatives to the best pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions.

Veterinary discount programs: There are now veterinary discount cards and programs that can help you save on bills. One such well-known example is Pet Assure.  

Financial Assistance Programs: You may also be able to find programs that are funded by grants and donations to help people in need pay for veterinary bills. Some examples include Face Foundation, Brown Dog Foundation, and the International Association of Assistance Dog Partners.

Savings plan: You may also want to look into starting a specific savings account for routine vet bills or possible pet health emergencies. Setting aside some money monthly can take the strain off of vet bills.  

Credit: You can also make vet bills more manageable by financing them through credit programs. For instance, Care Credit allows you to pay no interest if you pay off your promotional purchase in the set promotional period.

Look into low-cost care options: Another option is to source low-cost care for your animal. One example is your county’s domestic animal control commission, which may offer spay and neuter services, vaccines and even end of life services for a low cost. Some local shelters may have onsite low-cost vet services. You can also check into local veterinary schools, which may have low-cost clinics.         

Work with your vet: You may be able to set up a payment plan with your vet, if you explain your situation and are in previous good standing with the vet.   

Whether you decide to pursue some of the best pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions or go an alternative route, you have many options for covering a pet who has a pre-existing condition.  

>>MORE: Pet Insurance that Covers Preventative Care

Final Thoughts: 

  • While pet insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions, some differentiate between curable and incurable conditions. A company may cover a condition it deems to be curable. It’s important to review any policies or ask if the company will cover curable conditions. 
  • Many of the largest pet insurance companies in the nation cover curable pre-existing conditions, so it’s feasible to find the best pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. 
  • If it turns out your pet has a condition that a pet insurance company deems incurable, you have other options for saving on your vet bills. You can look at options like veterinary discount programs, financial assistance programs, savings plans, credit, low-cost care options and working a payment plan out with your vet. 
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