If your furry friend has a pre-existing medical condition, finding a pet insurance policy to cover it can be a challenge. Standard pet insurance often excludes pre-existing conditions, leaving your cat or dog unprotected when it comes to that specific illness. Fortunately, there are specialist insurers who offer pet insurance specifically designed for pre-existing conditions. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about pre-existing conditions pet insurance.
What is pet insurance for pre-existing conditions?
Pet insurance for pre-existing conditions is a type of coverage that aims to protect your pet against any medical issues they had before you obtained the policy. Regular pet insurance policies typically have automatic exclusions for pre-existing conditions, meaning you won’t be able to make a claim if your pet’s illness falls under that category. Some standard policies might cover pre-existing conditions if you haven’t made a claim for that specific condition in the past two years. However, if you’re looking for more comprehensive coverage, opting for pre-existing conditions pet insurance is usually the better choice.
What qualifies as a pre-existing medical condition?
The definition of a pre-existing medical condition depends on the insurance provider, so it’s vital to carefully read your policy documents. Generally, a pre-existing condition refers to any illness or condition that occurred before you purchased the insurance policy. It can also include conditions that are a result of or closely related to a previous condition your pet had before obtaining coverage.
What pre-existing medical conditions can be covered?
Each insurer has a list of pre-existing medical conditions that they cover, so it’s crucial to check before purchasing a policy. If you can’t find a specific condition listed in the policy documents, it’s best to contact the insurer directly to confirm whether it’s covered. Pre-existing conditions pet insurance policies can cover your pet for:
- Chronic conditions: These are ongoing illnesses that can’t be cured and require continuous treatment, such as diabetes, cancer, allergies, and arthritis.
- Historic conditions: These are illnesses or injuries that your pet had in the past but no longer suffers from, like recurring joint pain.
- Bi-lateral conditions: Conditions that affect both sides of your pet’s body, such as hip dysplasia.
- Hereditary or congenital conditions: These are illnesses or conditions that are passed down from your pet’s family, often due to breeding, like heart disease.
How can I find pet insurance for pre-existing conditions?
To find pet insurance that covers pre-existing conditions, it’s essential to shop around and compare quotes from different insurers. Make sure to check which conditions are covered in each policy. If you’re struggling to find suitable coverage, consider asking your veterinarian if they can recommend an insurer who specializes in pet insurance for pre-existing conditions.
Additionally, remember to review the excess amount mentioned in the policy. This is the sum you’ll need to contribute towards any claims you make, and it often increases as your pet gets older. Some policies allow you to increase your excess to lower your premiums, but be careful not to set it too high that you can’t afford to pay it in case of a claim. Note that for each new condition you make a claim for, you might have to pay the excess separately. However, if you’re claiming for the same continued condition within the same policy period, the excess may only apply once.
Do I need to declare my pet’s pre-existing conditions?
Absolutely! It’s crucial to be honest about any pre-existing conditions your pet has when applying for insurance. Failing to declare a pre-existing condition may result in rejected claims and even cancellation of your coverage. Transparency is key when it comes to obtaining pet insurance for pre-existing conditions.
Will my pet insurance policy cover new conditions?
Yes, your existing pet insurance policy will typically cover any new conditions that your pet develops. However, the duration of this coverage depends on the type of policy you have. The three common policy types are:
- Maximum benefit policy: With this policy, your pet will be covered for a specific amount per condition. Once you exceed this limit, you won’t be able to make any further claims for that particular condition.
- Time-limited policy: Under this policy, each condition will be covered for a maximum of 12 months from the date of the first treatment, assuming you renew the policy. There’s also usually a maximum claim limit.
- Lifetime policy: This policy sets a limit on how much you can claim for each illness or injury. The limit either resets annually or lasts for your pet’s lifetime.
What happens if I want to change insurers?
If your pet has a pre-existing condition, switching insurers might be challenging since your new insurer may not provide coverage for that specific medical issue. Furthermore, if you’ve made claims on your existing policy, you might encounter difficulties in obtaining a new pet insurance policy at a competitive price. In such cases, it’s often more favorable to stick with your current insurer.
Are there alternatives to pre-existing conditions pet insurance?
If you prefer not to take out pet insurance for pre-existing conditions, there are alternative options available. One option is self-insurance, which involves setting aside a sum of money in a savings account each month to cover potential veterinary costs. However, it’s important to note that self-insurance requires building up a substantial savings fund to cover the bills adequately.
Another alternative is to explore veterinary charities like the PDSA or RSPCA, which may assist in covering your pet’s condition. Keep in mind that these charities are often oversubscribed, and there might be specific eligibility criteria related to your income or location to qualify for their assistance.
For more information about pet insurance and to find a suitable policy for your furry friend, visit Petstheworld.com. Remember, it’s essential to protect your pets with the right coverage that takes into account any pre-existing conditions they may have.