Post-Diagnosis Pet Insurance: Exploring Options

Three Minutes
Jan 23, 2024

Pet insurance is meant to help get your furry companion the care they may need in the future. But what if your pet already needs medical care to deal with an issue? Can you get pet insurance after a diagnosis has already been given? It can be a tricky question to answer. The short version is yes! But for a more detailed explanation, we’ll need to take a closer look at pet insurance and pre-existing conditions.

Getting Pet Insurance After a Diagnosis

None of us can predict when our pets may need medical care. Unfortunately, that means some pet owners may not insure their fur babies until after getting a diagnosis. For many, the next question is the same: “Is it too late to get pet insurance?”

The good news is you can get an insurance plan for your cat or dog at any time. However, it’s likely that whatever recent diagnosis they received will become a pre-existing condition in the eyes of the insurance provider.

Pre-existing conditions are health issues your pet already had before the start of their insurance coverage. These can often include:1

  • Bilateral conditions that can affect both sides of the body, such as patella luxation or glaucoma
  • Incurable conditions — like hip dysplasia, cancer, and arthritis
  • Anything diagnosed during the waiting period for your new pet insurance plan, before the coverage kicked in

No pet insurer covers pre-existing conditions, but you could still get coverage for future illnesses and conditions.2  That means pet insurance could still be a worthwhile purchase even if it can’t cover an immediate issue.

Are Expensive Vet Bills Giving You a Bellyache?

Pet Insurance Can Help

How Does Pet Insurance Know About Pre-Existing Conditions?

Signing up for pet insurance involves a review of your pet’s full medical history. This is usually done by obtaining medical records directly from your cat or dog’s primary vet. Teams of veterinary experts may review these records to determine if your pet has any previous or existing conditions that will likely require medical attention in the future. That’s why many pet insurance providers require your pet to have visited the vet within the last 12 months — to get the most accurate picture of their health when drafting the policy details.

How Can I Still Benefit From Pet Insurance After a Diagnosis?

Even if your beloved pet has pre-existing conditions that aren’t covered, there are still many reasons to get them a pet insurance policy. Not only can it help protect them in the event of unforeseen future emergencies, but it could also help you save on the cost of more routine services.2

MetLife Pet Insurance offers a preventative care add-on2. It’s designed to help cover the type of care pets receive annually to maintain their health, including:

  • Dental cleanings
  • Wellness exams
  • Spaying/neutering
  • Vaccinations
  • Vitamins and supplements3

Prevention can be one of the best ways to keep your pet happy and healthy, especially if they’re already dealing with other ongoing conditions. For many pet owners, that may be enough to make it worth the monthly premium.

Still have questions? We’ve made it easy to learn more about how pet insurance works. You can also fetch a free quote in minutes for a clearer picture of just how much you could save with a policy.

Ready To Insure Your Pet? Start Your Free Quote

See What's Covered

**As with any insurance policy, coverage may vary. Review our coverage and exclusions.

1 “Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?,” PetMD, 2023

2 For IAIC policies, optional Preventive Care coverage is based on a Schedule of Benefits. For MetGen policies, optional Preventive Care coverage is included in the annual limit

3 Covered only in Optional Preventive care coverage if recommended by a vet for illness, injury, or prevention

Coverage issued by Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, and Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85454. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations and application is subject to underwriting. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC (“MetLife Pet”) for details. MetLife Pet is the policy administrator. It may operate under an alternate or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota) and MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

Disclosure for Maine Residents

L0124037692[exp0126][All States][DC,GU,MP,PR,VI]