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What are your pet insurance options with a pre-existing condition?

Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition, pet insurance can still help you save money. Winnie Au/Getty Images

If you're a pet owner, one of the best things you can do for your wallet and your furry friend is sign up for a pet insurance plan

But insurance can be more complicated if your pet already has a medical condition they're dealing with — whether it's a disease, injury or other symptom. Unlike human health insurance, which protects pre-existing conditions from resulting in higher prices or denied coverage, pre-existing conditions are often not covered under pet insurance.

When it comes to your pet, a pre-existing condition typically won't be eligible for coverage under your insurance policy. However, there are still options that can help you save money on your pet's care.

Make sure your pet's vet treatments are covered in the future — start your pet insurance search with a free price quote now.

Pet insurance options with a pre-existing condition

Here are a few options to consider for insuring a pet with a pre-existing condition. While you may not typically get coverage for the current ailment, these caveats can help you still save money while keeping your pet healthy over time.

Wait for the condition to cure

Not all pre-existing conditions are lifelong. If your pet has an injury or sickness that is only temporary, many pet insurance providers will cover curable conditions after a certain period.

For example, ASPCA Pet Health Insurance specifies that under its plan, "a condition will no longer be considered pre-existing if it's curable, cured, and free of symptoms and treatments for 180 days." 

Using a different approach, Figo, another insurance provider, only considers pre-existing conditions that exist within 12 months of enrolling in a plan. Similarly, if your pet has a pre-existing curable condition, Figo will cover it after your pet is symptom-free for at least 12 months.

Make sure you read all the details of curable pre-existing conditions within your provider's policy though. There are some that may be excluded even after they're cured, such as certain knee and ligament conditions.  

Learn more about the pet insurance policies you can qualify for now with a free price quote.

Cover unrelated care with insurance

Just because your pet has a pre-existing condition doesn't mean they're ineligible for any pet insurance at all. You can still secure pet insurance for your pet, but coverage will not extend to vet trips and expenses associated with the specific condition they were dealing with before. 

New ailments or injuries that may affect your pet in the future — unrelated to the pre-existing condition — will still be covered under your plan. 

For example, say your pet has a broken leg when you sign up for pet insurance. Your insurance policy will likely cover none of the X-rays, medicine or vet visits associated with the broken bone. However, if your pet develops allergies a year later, that unrelated condition will be covered under your plan. 

Pet insurance can still be a worthwhile monthly cost even if your pet has a pre-existing condition since you never know what could happen or what coverage you may need in the future. 

Get insured early

If your pet is predisposed to certain genetic conditions, you may still be eligible for coverage as long as they haven't yet shown any symptoms or have the history in their medical records.

While certain breeds — often those more prone to genetic disease — could carry higher premiums and cost more overall to insure, the increased likelihood of a condition doesn't itself qualify as a pre-existing condition. 

That's why it's extremely important to insure your pet as early as possible. Especially if you have a breed that is likely to develop a health condition over its lifetime, securing pet insurance beforehand can help protect you against the costly treatments they may need.

The bottom line

Buying insurance for your pet is a great way to save money over their lifetime — annual wellness checkups, injuries and possible illnesses can be a lot to cover out of pocket. And while pre-existing conditions can complicate the specifics of your care a bit, they shouldn't prevent you from getting pet insurance altogether. Even if your pet already has a medical condition or injury, learning more about the specific options available to you can help you make the best financial choice. And if your pet is still healthy with no pre-existing condition, now is the best time to apply for full coverage to ensure any events in the future are covered. 

Find out which pet insurance options are best for you with a free price quote today.

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