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Published: Feb 12, 2024 9 min read

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If you’re shopping for pet insurance, knowing what is and isn’t covered is important. One thing in particular to keep in mind is coverage for pre-existing conditions, which are medical conditions your pet had prior to getting pet insurance coverage.

Most pet insurance companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions. However, some of the best pet insurance companies cover future occurrences of curable pre-existing conditions once your pet has been cured for a certain period of time.

Here’s our list of the best pet insurance companies that offer some type of pre-existing condition coverage.

Why Trust Us?

To determine our list of the best pet insurance companies for pre-existing conditions, we analyzed policy options from a variety of pet insurers. We inspected the following factors to uncover valuable pre-existing condition coverage and help pet owners with the insurance shopping process:

  • If the company covers incurable pre-existing conditions
  • If the company covers curable pre-existing conditions
  • How long a pet must be symptom-free before the company will cover future occurrences of the condition
  • If the company excludes certain conditions from coverage

Learn more by reading our full methodology.

Our Top Picks for the Best Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

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Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions


Pros
  • Covers curable and incurable pre-existing conditions
  • Offers a coverage add-on for breeding complications
  • Covers exam fees
Cons
  • Pre-existing condition coverage isn’t available in every state
  • Must wait one year for pre-existing condition coverage

Money market account

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Add or withdraw money to your balance while account is open    

Account holds a fixed amount

Earns interest on balance while the account is open

Earns interest on fixed amount CD for fixed period of time, e.g., three months, one year, five years

Interest rate is subject to change

Fixed interest rate

No penalty for withdrawing funds (within monthly or statement cycle limitations) 

May incur fee for early withdrawal

FDIC or NCUA insured up to $250,000

FDIC insured up to $250,000

Open account through bank or credit union

Purchase through bank, brokerage firm or independent salesperson

Minimum deposit may be required

Minimum purchase may be required to open account

The American Kennel Club (AKC) is the only pet insurance company that covers both curable and incurable pre-existing conditions. That means you can get coverage for future treatment of any conditions your pet had before you got pet insurance once you’ve had your AKC policy for one year without any lapses in coverage.


Pros
  • Covers curable pre-existing conditions after 180 days of no symptoms
  • No upper age limit for policies
  • Offers a preventative care package with full reimbursement
Cons
  • Doesn’t cover incurable pre-existing conditions
  • Doesn’t cover pre-existing knee and ligament conditions

Pre-existing condition coverage

Covers future incidents of curable pre-existing conditions once they are cured and your pet is symptom and treatment-free for 180 days (except knee and ligament conditions)

Pumpkin pet insurance is another good option offering transparent coverage. While incurable pre-existing conditions aren’t covered, curable ones are. In addition to that, all Pumpkin plans include accident and illness coverage with a 90% reimbursement rate.


Pros
  • Covers curable pre-existing conditions after one year of no symptoms
  • Offers a wellness rewards program
  • Offers multiple premium discounts
Cons
  • Doesn’t cover incurable pre-existing conditions
  • Upper age limit of 15 for accident and illness plans

Pre-existing condition coverage

Covers future incidents of curable pre-existing conditions if your pet is free of symptoms and treatment for one year

Embrace pet insurance is a great option for pet owners to consider. The company’s numerous discounts — including multiple pets, military and more — can help you save on a policy. And for pre-existing conditions, curable ones are covered after a year of your pet showing no symptoms and not needing treatment.


Pros
  • Covers curable pre-existing conditions after 180 days of no symptoms
  • No upper age limit for policies
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
Cons
  • Doesn’t cover incurable pre-existing conditions
  • Doesn’t cover pre-existing knee and ligament conditions

Pre-existing condition coverage

Covers future incidents of curable pre-existing conditions once they are cured and your pet is free of treatment and symptoms for 180 days (except knee and ligament conditions)

Spot pet insurance offers customizable plans with coverage for certain curable pre-existing conditions. You can choose a deductible from $100 to $1,000 and a reimbursement rate up to 90%. One of the benefits of Spot is that it offers an unlimited annual coverage limit if you want to make the most of your policy.


Pros
  • Covers curable pre-existing conditions after 180 days of no symptoms
  • Short waiting period for hereditary and congenital conditions (14 days)
Cons
  • Doesn’t cover incurable pre-existing conditions
  • Doesn’t cover pre-existing knee and ligament conditions

Pre-existing condition coverage

Covers future incidents of curable pre-existing conditions once they are cured and your pet is free of treatment and symptoms for 180 days (except knee and ligament conditions)

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) pet health insurance offers customizable accident-only or accident and illness plans with an optional wellness rider. While many companies impose longer waiting periods on hereditary conditions, ASPCA has a waiting period of 14 days. And you can get coverage for curable pre-existing conditions after they have been cured for 180 days.


Pros
  • Covers curable pre-existing conditions after 180 days of no symptoms
  • No upper age limit for policies
Cons
  • Doesn’t cover incurable pre-existing conditions
  • Doesn’t offer an unlimited coverage option

Pre-existing condition coverage

Covers future incidents of curable conditions if the pet goes without symptoms or treatment for 180 days

24Petprotect is the pet insurance product of 24Petwatch, a microchip registration service. The company offers accident-only and accident and illness pet insurance policies with the option to add a wellness plan. If your pet had a curable medical condition before you purchased a policy, the company may no longer consider it pre-existing after 180 days of no treatment or symptoms.

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Other Companies We Considered

Here are some other company options that may cover curable pre-existing conditions:

  • Lemonade: Lemonade may cover certain curable pre-existing conditions in some states. The condition must be resolved, and your pet must not have symptoms for one year.
  • Fetch: Fetch covers certain pre-existing conditions that have been completely resolved and haven’t shown symptoms for one year.
  • Prudent Pet: Prudent Pet covers curable pre-existing conditions that a licensed veterinarian considers cured or resolved. Additionally, your pet must have one year with no related treatment in order for future incidents to be covered.
  • Figo: Figo covers curable pre-existing conditions if your pet is symptom-free for one year.
  • Nationwide: Nationwide may cover future incidents of certain curable pre-existing conditions that have been cured for at least six months.

Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions Guide

It’s important to know exactly what pet insurance covers. Here’s more information about a common exclusion: pre-existing conditions.

What are pre-existing conditions for pet insurance?

Pet insurance companies consider pre-existing conditions to be any injury or illness your pet had before your coverage started. The condition could start either before you buy a pet insurance policy or during your waiting period — the time you must wait from buying a policy until your coverage begins.

The medical issue doesn’t necessarily need to be officially diagnosed before your policy is in effect for it to be considered pre-existing. Showing symptoms beforehand may be enough.

Some pet insurance providers categorize pre-existing conditions as curable vs. incurable.

Curable pre-existing conditions

Curable conditions are temporary medical issues that can be cured with proper treatment. It’s a pre-existing condition if your pet was diagnosed or had symptoms before your pet insurance went into effect.

Some examples of curable conditions include:

  • Ear infection
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Bladder infection
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Vomiting and diarrhea

Incurable pre-existing conditions

An incurable condition is a chronic condition that your pet may live with for an extended period. It could also be a condition that recurs. If your pet had this health condition prior to getting pet insurance or during the waiting period, it would be considered an incurable pre-existing condition.

Some examples of conditions often considered incurable include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Allergies
  • Cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney disease
  • Diabetes

Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Typically, pet insurance won’t cover chronic pre-existing conditions. Your pet may have an illness or injury that began before getting pet insurance and requires ongoing treatment. That treatment likely won’t be covered since the condition started before you got a pet insurance plan.

Pet insurance helps cover the cost of any future medical treatment your pet needs. This means if your pet is diagnosed with something, you can’t buy a policy after the diagnosis just to get coverage for that treatment. Your pet may still be eligible for a policy, but you won’t be able to use it for that condition.

However, many companies cover future incidents of curable pre-existing conditions with restrictions. Suppose your pet has been fully cured of the incident and hasn’t had symptoms or treatment for a certain period (usually between five to 18 months). In that case, you may be able to use your pet insurance on any future occurrences of this issue so long as your company covers curable pre-existing conditions.

For example, suppose your dog develops an ear infection during your waiting period. This ear infection wouldn’t be covered. But if your pet develops another one a year later, your company may cover it since it’s a curable condition.

All pet insurance companies define pre-existing conditions differently, so be sure to check your policy details.

Does pet insurance cover bilateral conditions?

A bilateral condition typically affects both sides of the body. Some examples include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cruciate ligament issues
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Patellar luxation

Pet insurance coverage for bilateral conditions can be complicated. These conditions generally aren’t covered if they existed before enrolling or before the waiting period was over.

Suppose your dog is diagnosed with hip dysplasia on the left side and shows no sign of the condition on the right side before you get pet insurance. If your pet later develops hip dysplasia on the right side after you’ve purchased pet insurance, the condition may not be covered since it’s a bilateral condition your pet had before you got a policy.

You are most likely to be covered for a bilateral condition that was totally new after your policy’s coverage began, but it depends on the company.

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Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions FAQs

How do pet insurers know about pre-existing conditions?

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Pet insurers may know your pet’s pre-existing conditions through their medical history. When you submit a pet insurance claim for reimbursement, your company may look at the medical records to see if your pet visited the vet for this issue before your coverage was active.

Can you get pet insurance after diagnosis?

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It’s best to get pet insurance early on to get coverage for any accidents or illnesses your pet experiences. However, suppose your pet was diagnosed with a medical condition, and you decide you want pet insurance. In this case, you may still be eligible for a policy, but the diagnosed condition would be considered a pre-existing condition and likely won’t be covered.

Which pet insurance covers pre-existing conditions?

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Pet insurance generally won’t cover pre-existing conditions. However, the following companies may cover curable pre-existing conditions under certain circumstances: AKC (covers both curable and incurable pre-existing conditions), Pumpkin, 24PetProtect, Embrace, Spot, ASPCA, Lemonade, Fetch, Prudent Pet, Figo, Pets Best, ManyPets, Nationwide and MetLife.

How We Chose the Best Pet Insurance Companies for Pre-Existing Conditions

To determine our list of the best pet insurance companies for pre-existing conditions, we analyzed coverage from 19 companies. We examined each company based on the following criteria.

  • Pre-existing condition coverage: While most pet insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage, many cover curable ones. A company rarely covers incurable pre-existing conditions, but this coverage does exist.
  • How long the condition must be symptom-free: One of the most significant considerations when looking for pet insurance with curable pre-existing condition coverage is how long a condition is considered pre-existing. In other words, if the condition can be cured, companies usually require your pet to be free from symptoms or treatment for several months or even a year or more. After that period, they may cover future incidents of that condition.
  • Exclusions: Some companies have exclusions. Common conditions not covered are knee and ligament conditions.

Summary of Money’s Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions