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Pet insurance for pre-existing conditions

Get cover for pets with existing conditions

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Can I get pet insurance for pre-existing conditions?

If you have a pet with a pre-existing condition you can still find cover through specialist pet insurers.

Policies may be more expensive because of the expectation of ongoing treatments. There may also be certain restrictions which will vary between insurers, which is why it’s important to check all policy documents and compare.

You might also be able to enjoy a better level of cover if your pet has been treatment-free for an extended period.

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What is a pre-existing condition?

The definition of a pre-existing condition might vary slightly between insurers, but most categorise a pre-existing condition as one that:

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    Is showing symptoms

    Your pet had symptoms before the insurance policy was taken out

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    Has already been diagnosed

    Results in the same diagnosis that your pet had before the policy was bought

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    Relates to a previous injury

    Stems from an illness or injury your pet had before you took the policy out

How does pre-existing pet insurance work?

If your pet has a pre-existing condition, you may not be able to get cover for it with a standard pet insurance policy. Providers will usually restrict your cover to exclude any medical problems your pet may have already been treated for, which means any chronic conditions they’ve been diagnosed with will be excluded as well.

If you want your pet insurance to cover pre-existing conditions, you will often need a specialist provider.

These providers will cover your pet for pre-existing conditions that might normally be excluded although these can be a higher cost than standard pet insurance.

There may be some conditions applied to these policies, such as not covering certain conditions for a limited period at the start of the policy or only offering lifetime policies, but ultimately they will offer more comprehensive cover for your pet.

Is it worth getting pre-existing pet insurance?

Before deciding whether to take out pet insurance for a pre-existing condition, it’s worth considering the pros and cons.

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    • Peace of mind your beloved pet will be cared for if problems arise

    • Other medical costs resulting from an accident, will also be covered

    • Vet’s costs are likely to be considerably more than your annual premiums

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    • You may not be able to get adequate cover for the pre-existing conditions

    • Premiums are likely to be much higher compared to standard pet insurance

    • Ongoing chronic or hereditary conditions may also be rejected for cover

Saarrah Mussa

Our expert says


Don’t write off the chance of getting insurance if your pet has a pre-existing condition because there are specialist providers and policies that could help. Either way, you lose nothing by comparing quotes to try to find a competitively priced policy. Just remember to be honest and upfront about your pet’s condition or you risk invalidating the cover.

- Saarrah Mussa, Author

How to choose the best pet insurance for pre-existing conditions

It’s worth making sure the policy is right for your pet before committing to pet insurance. Consider these steps to help you choose the best deals for you:

  • Shop around

    Comparing premiums from a range of providers can help you avoid paying over the odds for insurance but still ensuring the right level of cover

  • Decide your level of cover

    Insurers offer a broad range of cover from accident only to more comprehensive lifetime cover. Make sure you select a level of cover that meets you and your pets needs

  • Check the policy features

    Make sure your pet is covered for everything that you’re concerned about from vet’s bills to boarding fees if you’re taken sick, to third party liability cover and advertising for missing pets

  • Know exactly what's covered

    If you’re worried your pet might not be covered for a pre-existing condition, contact the insurance provider first to find out

  • Check claim limits

    Even if all the conditions you’re concerned about are covered, how long this last and the maximum amount you can claim per condition can vary between insurers

  • Increase your excess

    This is the amount you agree to pay before the insurer covers the rest of the claim. The higher it is, typically the lower your premiums

Get pet insurance for pre-existing conditions with MoneySuperMarket

We offer policies from a range of providers for pets with pre-existing conditions. You can pick the cover that’s right for you in just a few steps

  • Compare providers

    See our list of specialist pet insurance providers who cater for pets with pre-existing conditions

  • View policy features

    Each policy has its key features summarised to help you make the right decision for you and your pet

  • Click through and apply

    Once happy with your choice, click through to the pet insurance provider and apply.

How pet insurers define pre-existing conditions – including the length of time a condition is classified this way – differs from insurer to insurer. Some will allow you to take out cover if your pet has not had treatment for the condition within the past three months, while others extend it to two years or more. Similarly, if your policy includes cover for a pre-existing condition, but your pet is symptom free for a given period, i.e. 12 months, you may find the limit for any treatment related to that condition increases or it is no longer considered a pre-existing condition.

Allergies for which your pet receives ongoing medication prescribed by your vet are generally considered chronic conditions. In these circumstances, it can be difficult to find a pet insurer that will give you new cover for the allergy.

Insurers try and draw a distinction between ongoing health conditions in pets, but the general rule is cover is harder or more expensive to get once a condition has manifested. Pre-existing conditions are health conditions that have arisen before you take out an insurance policy. Hereditary conditions are genetic conditions that particularly affect pedigree and pure-breed animals – common examples include hip dysplasia in certain dog breeds. Many pet insurance policies will cover hereditary issues, but they’re more likely to do so if you take cover out before your pet develops the condition. Chronic conditions are illnesses which require ongoing, lifetime treatment such as diabetes, obesity, arthritis and allergies, where it may be harder to find.

You may be able to change pet insurance if your pet has a pre-existing condition, but it’s worth comparing any new policy with what your existing provider can offer.

For example, once you have claimed on a pet insurance policy, you may find it more difficult to switch to a new insurer because it’s unlikely they’ll offer the same cover for the same condition. However, depending on the terms of your policy, there could be a limit to how much your existing insurer will pay out too, and it could be more cost-effective to switch.

Aside from cover for pre-existing conditions, there are many other benefits pet insurance can provide including third-party liability cover, advertising for lost animals, pet boarding fee if you’re taken ill and cover for death by accident or illness.

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