Pet insurance for pre-existing conditions

Find specialist pet insurance for pre-existing medical conditions

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If your pet has a pre-existing medical condition, you may need to find specialist pet insurance

Couple and their dog
Bought By Many

Cover from Bought By Many

  • Cover for your pets pre-existing condition if they are treatment and advice free for 3 continuous months before the policy starts
  • Cover of £500 for all pre-existing conditions in the first year of your policy
  • If you don’t claim for any pre-existing conditions in the first year, your pre-existing cover limit increases in the second year of the policy to £1,000
  • Newly diagnosed conditions are covered up to £7,000 
  • Once your pet has been treatment, medication and advice free for 2 years then they are no longer classed as pre-existing medical conditions
  • Ongoing chronic conditions currently being treated are excluded from the policy
  • This policy includes unlimited free video vet appointments with UK-registered vets using the FirstVet app, available 24/7
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VetsMediCover

Lifetime from VetsMediCover

  • Cover for your pets pre-existing condition if they are symptom and treatment free for 24 continuous months
  • No cover is given during the first 2 years for the pre-existing conditions
  • A minimum of £4,000 cover for pre-exiting conditions after the first 2 years (please check policy wording for cover amount)
  • Pre-existing conditions are only covered under the Lifetime policy and not under other VetsMediCover products.
  • Ongoing chronic conditions currently being treated are excluded from the policy
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What is pet insurance for pre-existing medical conditions?

Pet insurance for pre-existing medical conditions is a type of pet insurance designed specifically for people whose pets already have a medical condition before they take out an insurance policy.

What is a pre-existing condition?

Specific definitions might vary between insurers, but most categorise a pre-existing condition as:

  • A condition that occurred or showed symptoms before the insurance policy was taken out
  • A condition that results in the same diagnosis that your pet had before the policy was bought
  • A condition resulting from an illness or injury your pet had before you took the policy out

Do I need pre-existing condition pet insurance?

If your pet has a pre-existing illness or injury you’ll still be able to take out pet insurance, buy it’s very unlikely that your insurer will cover veterinary treatment for that particular condition, as there is too much risk that the condition might flare up again.

Because pre-existing conditions are excluded from most pet insurance policies, you’ll need to look for specialised cover if you want to be covered for those conditions. However you should bear in mind that if you do find a policy that covers pre-existing conditions, you might not be able to claim immediately, or receive full cover.

It’s also worth noting that cover for pre-existing conditions is likely to be more expensive and more restrictive than a standard pet insurance policy.

What pre-existing conditions are covered?

The exact list of conditions covered by a pre-existing pet insurance policy will vary between insurers, which is why it’s important to check all policy documents and compare providers. This way you’ll be sure of what’s covered and what’s not, to ensure it meets your needs.

What’s the difference between pre-existing, hereditary and chronic conditions?

Insurers try and draw a distinction between several categories of ongoing health conditions in pets.

  • Pre-existing conditions are health conditions which have manifested before you take out an insurance policy
  • Hereditary conditions are genetic conditions that particularly affect pedigree and pure-breed animals, which are passed down from a parent to an infant often as a result of inbreeding. Common examples include hip dysplasia in certain dog breeds. Many – but not all – 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 can’t be cured and which require ongoing, lifetime treatment. No pet insurance policy will cover chronic conditions

Examples of chronic conditions that cats and dogs can suffer from include:

  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis (more common in dogs)
  • Glaucoma (more common in dogs)
  • Asthma (more common in cats)
  • Lower urinary tract disease (more common in cats)

If your pet has a chronic condition you may struggle to find affordable cover if any at all. You might be restricted to the following:

Lifetime pet cover: A lifetime pet insurance policy will cover your pet until they die, and conditions you’ve previously claimed for should still be covered each time you renew. However these policies generally have to be renewed every year, and the premiums will probably increase as your pet ages

Maximum benefit cover: Maximum benefit policies offer indefinite cover for chronic conditions up to a certain limit, but once you reach that limit you won’t be able to claim if your pet is still ill

Cover from Bought By Many

  • Cover for your pet’s pre-existing condition, if they haven’t needed treatment or advice for three continuous months before the policy starts
  • £500 cover for all pre-existing conditions in the first year of your policy
  • If you don’t claim for any pre-existing conditions in the first year, your pre-existing cover limit increases in the second year of the policy to £1,000
  • Newly diagnosed conditions are covered up to £7,000
  • Once your pet has been treatment, medication and advice free for two years, they are no longer classed as having a pre-existing medical condition
  • Ongoing chronic conditions currently being treated are excluded from the policy
  • This policy includes unlimited free video vet appointments with UK-registered vets using the FirstVet app, available 24/7

Lifetime from VetsMediCover

  • Cover for your pet’s pre-existing condition if they have had no symptoms or treatment for 24 continuous months
  • No cover is given during the first two years for the pre-existing conditions
  • A minimum of £4,000 cover for pre-exiting conditions after the first two years (please check policy wording for cover amount)
  • Pre-existing conditions are only covered under the Lifetime policy and not under other VetsMediCover products.
  • Ongoing chronic conditions currently being treated are excluded from the policy

Renewing my pet insurance policy

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.

This cover can often be very expensive however if you do go to a new provider, you’ll lose your cover for the pre-existing condition but this could be a way to bring the policy price down.

However aside from cover for pre-existing conditions, you’ll still be able to take advantage of other policies pet insurance can provide – including:

  • Third-party liability cover
  • Vet fees for other (future) illnesses
  • Legal advice
  • Death by accident or illness
  • Advertising for lost animals
  • Pet boarding fees, if you can’t take care of them because you’ve fallen ill

What is self-funding pet insurance?

Pet insurance can often be quite expensive, but there are some ways to mitigate the cost. One of these is to offer to self-fund certain common conditions which are inexpensive to treat. Your insurer will reward you with cheaper premiums because they know they’re not going to be liable for the cost of ongoing treatment should your pet fall ill.

Thyroid pills are a good example of this. If your dog develops a thyroid problem, it will probably work out cheaper in the long run to buy the treatment yourself and leave it out of your policy.

Are there any alternatives to pet insurance for pre-existing conditions?

If you’re struggling to find an insurance policy that will cover your pet’s condition and vet fees are looking high, you might be able to apply for funding help from veterinary charities. Many will have certain criteria you need to meet relating to income or location, but it’s always worth enquiring to see if you’ll qualify.

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