Dog Insurance Pre-existing Conditions – Explained

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Pet insurance is a great investment, but do you know what pre-existing conditions are? Or why does it matter? Read on and discover how you can still get pre-existing conditions covered.

Keeping your dog safe and healthy requires a lot of work.

Providing the best food possible and keeping the veterinarian’s schedule on time can be overwhelming and time-consuming.

Add to that unplanned situations and unwanted expenses that are hard to swallow, and you are in for several stressful moments. Luckily, there are ways to make this more manageable.

Have you ever thought about pet insurance, and more specifically dog insurance on pre-existing conditions?

Now, you probably know already what pet insurance is and how it works, but you may not be familiar with dog insurance for pre-existing conditions.

Do you know what pre-existing conditions are? If you are not sure, continue reading, and learn how you and your dog can benefit from this insurance.

Pre-existing Condition Introduction

Are you familiar with pre-existing conditions? Or how the insurance may support it?

A pre-existing condition is an injury, health condition, or illness that your dog shows symptoms of before the insurance begins.

To get the most out of insurance, you should be familiar with some insurance basics and know that it’s common for pre-existing conditions not to be covered by any pet insurance providers. However, this isn’t a general rule – luckily.

This is why you should do your best to learn about the best pet insurance coverage, plans, pricing, and overall about the right steps that will help you find the best pet insurance for you and your Fido.

Pet Insurance Cover And Pre-Existing Conditions

Did you know that famous TV star Lassie was the first dog ever to be covered by a pet insurance policy?

It’s common for pet insurance to not provide coverage for pre-existing conditions.

Since the number of pet insurance is on the rise, some pet insurance companies do offer coverage for pre-existing conditions.

This doesn’t come as a big surprise considering that only in 2020, around 3.1 million pets were insured.

In fact, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) reported that among those 3.1 million of insured pets, up to 83% were dogs.

Interest In Pet Insurance Explained

Indeed, pet insurance a few decades ago wasn’t relevant, nor it was even possible.

However, since the culture of owning a pet, especially dogs evolved and the mindset on animal care in general extended, the need for pet insurance grew as well. Why?

The most realistic reason is that veterinarians’ costs went up thanks to technology.

Several processes became faster and dog examination has become technologically advanced as well.

Just think about total hip replacement, cataract surgery, and so on… These procedures and many others demand certain tech investments to provide success, which means that they are expensive.

No matter how great care you might provide, dogs still get sick. This means that at least once, your dog will need some sort of veterinarian assistance, next to regular check-ups, of course.

As a general rule, unplanned situations come with large expenses, which is why people mostly decide to get pet insurance.

Even if insurance never gets to be used, dog owners tend to sleep better, knowing that their Fido is covered.

Now, let’s see what pre-existing conditions are and if they are curable or not.

What Are Pet Pre-Existing Conditions?

Once you start exploring the world of pet insurance and pre-existing conditions, you will realize that there are two big groups.

Precisely, pre-existing conditions are separated into:

  • Curable
  • Incurable conditions

Now, you may ask what does this means in practice?

In practice, this means that curable pre-existing conditions are usually covered 12 months from the date of the last recognized problem.

Some examples of curable pre-existing conditions are:

  • Respiratory infections
  • Ear infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Bladder infections
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Be careful with these symptoms, as they may refer to several different health issues.

If you notice any of these symptoms make sure that you monitor your dog closely, and take him to your veterinarian for a check-up. This is why regular grooming is important.

If you clean your dog’s ears regularly, you will notice any ear-related issues immediately, and so on.

In most cases, prevention is the best medicine. Plus, prevention will keep veterinarian’s bills to a minimum.

Certain symptoms that your Fido may display will be permanently excluded from your pet insurance policy.

Some of the incurable conditions are as follows:

  • Allergies
  • Various orthopedic condition
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Urinary or bladder blockages
  • Epilepsy
  • Arthritis
  • Hip dysplasia

These conditions are specific as they demand frequent veterinarian visits, and ongoing medication, next to full-time care.

In some cases, these conditions may demand surgery. The majority of incurable pre-existing conditions won’t be covered by pet insurance.

To get the most out of veterinarian care and even insurance policy, you should have adequate medical history reports.

In fact, medical history reviews are something that every insurance company will demand to review. These reports are commonly veterinarian exams and overall reports on a dog’s overall health.

Determining Insurable Conditions In Dogs

Dog ownership is a big decision and something that requires certain time, energy investment, and even money management.

Still, dog ownership requires continued research, investment, and development.

You need to know how to provide the right nutrition, how to deal with parasite control, and how to keep your dog healthy.

Knowing your dog’s health conditions should help you recognize faster when something is wrong. This is why it’s important to know how to recognize pre-existing conditions (as mentioned above), and what your insurance shall cover.

This is why dog medical history is so important. Medical history reviews are what can help to pinpoint any conditions. These reviews are especially important when policy won’t cover certain conditions.

Thanks to these records, you will know exactly what expenses you will be responsible for.

To know what pet conditions are insurable you will have to apply for a policy first.

Once you apply, the next step will be a medical review. Once the medical review is complete, you will know your next step.

The insurers will provide you with a report, and give you space to cancel the insurance if you feel the insurance doesn’t meet your dog’s needs.

Have You Heard About Bilateral Exclusions?

When it comes to pet insurance you need to know about bilateral exclusions.

A bilateral illness or injury is a condition that directly affects the left and right sides of the body.

In other words, a bilateral illness or injury leads to hip dysplasia or even a cruciate ligament tear.

It’s common for pets to experience the same condition on the opposite side of their body, which is why pet insurance companies have bilateral exclusions included in their policies.

What does this mean actually? It means that if your pet had treatment on one side of its body before the policy started, then the other side won’t be covered later.

This is something to discuss with your insurance policy representative. Also, bear in mind that if your Fido experiences a bilateral condition after coverage starts, it’ll be covered just fine.

Can You Avoid Running Into Issues With Pre-existing Conditions?

As mentioned earlier nothing beats great prevention.

Prevention is the key when it comes to keeping your Fido healthy and happy. This is why regular veterinarian check-ups are important, and why thinking ahead matters.

No one can expect to have everything figured out and it’s normal to have unplanned situations. Yet, being prepared is what matters.

Before you get your dog home, do your research. Know what getting a dog means, what kind of expenses you can expect, and what can you do to minimize dog-related expenses.

This is where pet insurance steps in and can actually help you make dog ownership easier.

Pet insurance is here to help you avoid running into certain non-desirable situations and moments.

Now, how can you avoid running into issues with pre-existing conditions? Simply said, the best way to avoid any pre-existing conditions is to get a pet policy while your dog or dogs are young and healthy.

The sooner you get pet insurance, the more likely is that various injuries and illnesses will be covered by the policy.

Should I Still Enroll If My Pet Has Pre-existing Conditions?

Simply said, yes. If your Fido has pre-existing conditions, your dog may still be eligible for coverage of any new illnesses and injuries.

Is your dog a senior citizen?

If so, you should know that senior dogs with symptoms of a pre-existing condition will not be covered.

Bear in mind that as dogs get older they are more prone to various health issues. These issues may fall under coverage.

Every dog is unique and may develop different health situations which is why pet insurance can tremendously help you along the way.

How To Find The Right Insurance For A Pet With Pre-existing Issues

If you know that your dog has a pre-existing condition, you can still get pet insurance. However, you will have to invest some time and energy into finding the right insurance.

Here is what you should be mindful of.

  • Do your research. Make sure that you know what being a dog owner really means. Know your responsibilities and duties on how to keep your Fido healthy and happy.
  • Be responsible. Always do your best to keep your dog safe. Give 100% to keep your dog injuries-free. This way you will not only prevent accidents but also keep accidents at their minimum.
  • Stick to the vaccination schedule. Always, always, always stay up-to-date with dog shots. Insurance companies will always double-check if you have done everything in your power to keep Fido protected.
  • Compare pet policies. Do in-depth research on pet insurance. Find coverage that covers the majority of medical expenses. Compare monthly price, waiting periods, and if there are any changes as your dog gets older.
  • Buy pet insurance early on. Have you heard about that saying ‘Better safe, than sorry?’ This is something to keep in mind when getting a dog. Investing in pet insurance early on to provide long-term insurance is a smart move. This way you will minimize expenses.

Should You Consider Pet Insurance Alternatives?

Finding the best pet insurance takes time.

Make sure that you know what you need. This way you will get what you want faster.

Always double-check if the pet insurance company offers some kind of alternative.

You will be surprised to learn that different pet companies offer different packages that come with many hidden benefits.

All in all, pet insurance is here to make your life easier. Do your best to find the best insurance option possible.