Has your pet been treated by a vet for anything other than routine vaccinations and/or neutering? Or has your vet ever recorded any adverse details about your pet’s health at anytime? In which case you need to be careful when taking out a new pet insurance policy as your pet may have pre-existing conditions that you don’t even know about!
So what is a Pre-Existing Condition?
A pre-existing condition is one which existed prior to you taking out your current pet insurance policy. It may be an ongoing condition (eg hip dysplasia, epilepsy, heart condition etc) or a historic condition (healed soft tissue injuries, infections etc). Or it may just be an observation that your vet recorded about your pet.
Precise definitions vary from policy to policy, but “existed” normally means that you and/or your vet are aware of the condition or the symptoms of a condition.
You do not have to have consulted a vet about the condition but if you have it is most certainly “pre-existing”.
It is also important to realise that anything written in your pet’s vet records may be taken as evidence of a pre-existing condition even if at that the time no treatment was required or it appeared to be a one-off minor illness.
You will almost certainly be unable to get any pet insurance which will cover any ongoing conditions that your pet has.
So if these conditions have developed since you took out your current policy you need to be aware that the cover for these conditions will end after either 12 months (if it is time-limited policy), once the condition limit has been reached (if it is 12-month policy or condition limited policy) or when the policy is terminated either by you or your pet insurance company.
You will then have to pay for the treatment of this condition (and any subsequent condition that your pet insurance can link to it!) for the rest of your pet’s life as they will be excluded from your policy as pre-existing conditions.
If your pet has had conditions (or symptoms) in the past but these have not been treated recently you may be able to get cover for them.
For example Vets Medicover and Medic Animal will both cover conditions your pet has had in the past providing they have been “symptom and treatment free” for the last 2 years.
We are also aware that some other insurers (such as Petplan) may be prepared to cover historic conditions after a specified time period as elapsed. But in order to arrange this you will need to speak to them.
You are unlikely to find any pet insurance company that covers pre-existing conditions which are ongoing.
If your pet has any historic conditions you should speak to your proposed pet insurance before taking out cover to check whether or not they are happy to provide cover for them (either now or in the future).