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We love our pets! An impressive 70% of households in the United States own a pet. As people spend more money on their pets, more of them have also been purchasing pet insurance policies. It is important to understand that not all pets can be covered by every policy, especially if they have pre-existing conditions. In this expert review, we'll rate the best pet insurance for pre-existing conditions.
Embrace covers curable pre-existing conditions, but they may be excluded from coverage for a period of 12 months. Many other pet insurance companies review the past 24 months or your pet's entire life, depending on their age. This means that if your cat or dog has experienced certain conditions before enrolling with Embrace, any related recurrence will not be covered for a year following the last episode. Embrace is also one of the few pet insurers that distinguishes between curable and incurable pre-existing conditions, allowing for the greatest long-term coverage.
With Embrace, pet owners can choose reimbursement options ranging from 70% to 90% of covered vet costs. Its plans have an annual deductible and an optional add-on for preventative care. Embrace also offers a 10% multiple pet discount for each additional pet and a 5% military discount. Embrace has been providing pet health insurance since 2003. Embrace also has a feature called the "Healthy Pet Deductible." For every year a pet owner doesn't receive a claim reimbursement, the deductible is reduced the next year by $50. If you have a $200 deductible and have no claims for four years, then your deductible will be $0. Once you submit a claim, the Healthy Pet Deductible resets.
Figo covers pre-existing conditions considered curable if your pet shows no signs or symptoms within 12 months of last treatment. To find out what conditions may be deemed curable, you will need to contact Figo's customer support. While most pet insurers do not cover bilateral or chronic conditions, Figo covers conditions such as hip dysplasia, knee and chronic conditions, as well as cancer treatments.
Figo has no lifetime maximum for care. There is also no per-incident cap, meaning there is no maximum for claim payments by condition type. Figo also offers the Figo Pet Cloud app. Pet owners can use the app to connect with other pet owners, and find pet parks, pet day care centers, and more. Through the app, Figo offers free 24/7 access to a licensed veterinarian to help during emergencies. Figo has a 14-day illness and one-day accident waiting period. Pet owners can choose reimbursement from 70% to 100% of covered vet costs. Most plans cap coverage at 90%. Its plans have an annual deductible and Figo offers a 10% multiple pet discount for each additional pet. Figo has been providing pet health insurance since 2015.
ASPCA defines a pre-existing condition as a health problem that occurs before coverage is effective or during a waiting period. However, ASPCA no longer considers a condition to be pre-existing if your pet has been cured of it and without treatment for it or symptoms of it for six months, shorter than the typical one- to two-year term that other pet insurance companies use. This does not include knee and ligament conditions. If a knee or ligament condition occurs before the coverage effective date or during a waiting period, any future problems won't be covered.
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plans have coverage for hereditary and congenital conditions. ASPCA has no age limits for illness coverage enrollment (this is the age for a pet when illness coverage is no longer available for new enrollments). It also does not require an exam before pet owners get reimbursed for claims. ASPCA has a 14-day illness and accident waiting period. Pet owners can choose reimbursement from 70% to 90% of covered vet costs. Its plans have an annual deductible and an optional add-on for preventative care with no waiting period. ASPCA also offers a 10% multiple pet discount for each additional pet. ASPCA has been providing pet health insurance since 1997.
ManyPets will cover treatment for pre-existing conditions under certain circumstances. They cover curable pre-existing conditions once your pet has been free of symptoms and treatment for 18 months -- unless it's a cruciate ligament (CL, CCL, ACL) injury or hip dysplasia. In that case, they will cover any future claims. According to their website, Many Pets states that it covers more conditions than other pet insurance companies and offers comprehensive coverage with no limits.
It covers hereditary conditions, dental illnesses, exam fees, and more. In general, the insurer does include coverage of bilateral conditions. If a bilateral condition is diagnosed in both sides of your pet's body simultaneously, ManyPets will treat this as a single illness. ManyPets has no limits on claims or reimbursements. You can customize your copays and deductibles and get up to 100% of your vet bill reimbursed when your pet has an accident or illness. ManyPets also has 24/7 access to virtual pet consultations. It has a 15-day waiting period and a wellness plan add-on. Founded in 2012, it is an international company based out of Atlanta, Georgia, Stockholm, Sweden, and London, U.K.
Pet Assure is not a traditional pet insurance company. It is a veterinary discount plan that offers enrollees discounts on vet care for their pets, so all pre-existing conditions are covered by Pet Assure. After you enroll your pet, you take your Pet Assure ID to a local network veterinarian. The vet gives you a discount for medical services. Every single pet, procedure, and medical service is covered under Pet Assure. There are no exclusions.
Participating Pet Assure veterinary practices will give you a discount on all medical care. There is no waiting period with PetAssure. There are also no forms to fill out, claims process, or reimbursement. There are also no deductibles. The cost of Pet Assure starts at under $10 per month. A typical pet insurance company, however, may cover up to 100% of the medical bill minus the deductible. So Pet Assure can be a good way to fill in gaps where a pet insurance policy does not cover certain procedures or pre-existing conditions.
Most pet insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions. Since pets are considered property, there are more restrictions and exclusions than apply to health insurance for humans. So the earlier you cover your pet, the greater chance you have of covering chronic illnesses that may develop later in life.
The costs of covering pre-existing conditions are high and since the average life expectancy is 10-12 years for dogs and 10-14 years for cats, pet insurance companies may not cover them. Some may cover pre-existing conditions if they are curable and your pet has not experienced the condition for a certain amount of time.
A pre-existing condition is any injury or illness your pet experiences before your policy's waiting period is over. In other words, any medical condition that your pet has before the policy starts is not covered. This prevents pet owners from getting pet insurance right after a major injury or illness diagnosis. Pet insurance is used to cover a pet's future illness or injuries, not those in the past.
So for example, if your dog breaks a leg before you enrolled in a pet insurance plan, then any expenses related to the injury will not be covered. Any future related treatments and expenses are also not covered. A condition is considered pre-existing even if your pet never visited a vet before it was officially diagnosed or treated. All that matters to the insurers is when your pet began to exhibit the first symptoms. There are typically two types of pre-existing conditions: curable and incurable.
Curable pre-existing conditions are illnesses or injuries that your pet was treated for and is no longer suffering from. Some pet insurance companies have a limit of 12 months to 24 months where your pet shows no symptoms for a condition to be considered cured. Some examples are:
Incurable pre-existing conditions are illnesses or injuries that cannot be cured. They are ongoing conditions and must be managed. Just a few of the examples are:
Bilateral conditions affect both sides of your pet's body. Examples include hip dysplasia or a cruciate ligament tear. If a pet has a condition that impacts one side of their body, the chances are high that it will also impact their other side. So if your pet has a pre-existing bilateral condition on one side of their body, pet insurance companies typically will not cover the other side if symptoms arise.
Some pet insurance companies review the past 12 to 24 months of your pet's life to establish pre-existing conditions. They typically will request a full medical exam and ask for past veterinary records.
Some plans do not cover certain breeds due to the fact they are predisposed to certain medical conditions. Different pet insurance providers may define and handle pre-existing conditions differently, so it is important to get quotes from several pet insurers and compare costs and coverages before choosing a plan.
No pet insurance company covers chronic pre-existing conditions. Some, however, will cover curable pre-existing conditions subject to certain limitations. The cost of pet insurance depends on many variables, including the type of pet, breed, sex, age, where you live, the different types of coverages offered, and your deductible. Here are the average costs for both accident-only and accident and illness (comprehensive) coverage.
Not all pet insurance companies cover even curable pre-existing conditions. The first step is to find an insurer that does. It is important to understand what pre-existing conditions a pet insurance company classifies as curable or incurable. Once you have narrowed down your list of insurers to those that will cover a certain condition, the next step will be to compare the different types of coverage offered and get price quotes for policies. If you have a pet with pre-existing conditions, it is important to take good care of them to ensure they stay healthy. Keep up to date with vet check-ups and vaccinations, and offer good nutrition and exercise.
Getting pet insurance early on can minimize the potential that your pet develops a pre-existing condition that will not be covered. The earlier you cover your pet, the more peace of mind you will have. Enrolling your pet in a policy while they're still healthy will improve their chances of being fully covered if something happens down the road. Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition, your pet is still eligible for pet insurance and any pre-existing condition should not stop you from considering coverage for other potential medical conditions that may happen later.
Pet insurance is structured similarly to health insurance for humans. They both include annual premiums, deductibles, annual limits, and copays. Pet insurance companies also have different riders that you can add, as well as additional coverage options. When considering pet insurance companies, be sure to compare the reputation, stability, customer service, and the claims process for each insurer.
|Offer||Best For||Next Steps|
|Great For: Best for diminishing deductibles and short waiting period|
|Great For: Best for unlimited annual benefits and access to 24/7 live vet|
|Great For: Best for pets with hereditary and health conditions|
|Great For: Comprehensive coverage and customizable policies|
|Great For: Discount on all in-house medical services and procedures|
Yes, your pet is eligible for pet insurance regardless of whether they have a pre-existing condition. However, medical treatment relating to the pre-existing conditions are generally not covered by pet insurance policies. Pre-existing conditions are typically determined through a vet's diagnosis.
Any illness or injury that your pet shows symptoms of or is diagnosed with before the pet insurance plan goes into effect is considered a pre-existing condition and is therefore not covered. Some pet insurance companies may cover curable conditions. Incurable or chronic pre-existing conditions are not covered by pet insurance companies.
A pet insurance waiting period is a set amount of time after you purchase a policy before you can begin to make any claims. Waiting periods can be 10 to 30 days. The purpose of a waiting period is to prevent pet owners from getting paid out on a pre-existing condition.
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