PET INSURANCE

Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions? What to Know

Four Minutes Jan 24, 2023

Common exclusions for pet insurance claims are pre-existing conditions. Naturally, many pet owners frequently ask how and if pet insurance can work with pre-existing conditions.

At MetLife Pet Insurance1, we understand that it can be confusing. We believe it’s important to educate all pet parents about the most common exclusions from insurance plans: pre-existing conditions. Here’s a breakdown on what pre-existing conditions are and how they may complicate pet insurance coverage.

What Is a Pre-Existing Condition for a Pet?

MetLife Pet Insurance, often defines a pre-existing condition as any injury or illness contracted, manifested, or incurred prior to the date the policy goes into effect. This means conditions that affect your pet prior to the policy effective date are excluded from coverage regardless of medical notation, diagnosis, or treatment.

Does Pet Insurance Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

Not usually. Typically, pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions.3

Like any insurance policy, pet insurance is typically intended to protect your pet from medical conditions that may happen in the future, not in the past.

How Do Pet Insurance and Pre-Existing Conditions Work?

Pre-existing conditions can make it complicated to understand how pet insurance works.

Pet insurance plans may not cover conditions or illnesses that occur before the policy begins, but that doesn’t mean pets with pre-existing conditions are always ineligible for pet insurance.

Typically, pet insurance could help cover veterinarian bills for accidents, illness, and hospitalizations, among other things. Pre-existing conditions may make the claims process for that condition less straightforward.

It can get even more confusing when policies mention curable and incurable pre-existing conditions. Pet insurance companies may account for these two kinds of pre-existing conditions differently.

Curable pre-existing conditions vs. incurable pre-existing conditions

A curable pre-existing condition is typically an illness or injury a pet experienced at one point but has been symptom-free for a period of time. Some pet insurance companies may cover curable pre-existing conditions.

An incurable pre-existing condition is typically an illness or injury your pet can have for the remainder of their life. Incurable pre-existing conditions may not covered by pet insurance companies. However, if your pet is diagnosed with an incurable condition after your policy has gone into effect, it could be covered depending on what type of pet insurance you’ve purchased. 4

Examples of different pre-existing can include conditions like the following:

Curable pre-existing conditions Incurable pre-existing conditions
  • Bladder infections
  • Ear infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Respiratory infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Bladder crystals
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Kidney disease
  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Urinary blockages

Does Pet Insurance Cover Bilateral Conditions?

A bilateral condition is typically an illness or injury that affects both sides of the body. A bilateral injury or illness could be classified as a pre-existing condition. Provided all terms of the policy are met, MetLife Pet Insurance may cover bilateral conditions that are diagnosed after policy coverage begins.

Are Pre-Existing Conditions Covered When Switching Pet Insurance Providers?

While MetLife Pet Insurance may not cover all pre-existing conditions, we do provide coverage for pre-existing conditions that were covered by a previous insurance provider. If you’re looking to switch providers in this situation, rest assured your pet will still be eligible for the care they need. Ultimately, pet insurance for a pet that has pre-existing conditions may still make sense for you.

Don’t Let Pre-Existing Conditions Dictate Your Decision

If your pet had an accident or is diagnosed with an illness before you get pet insurance, you may be subject to a pre-existing condition exclusion in your policy. But remember, even if your policy does not cover a pre-existing condition, pet insurance may still be worthwhile for you. Investing in pet insurance for your dog or cat, can help cover your pet’s future and the health of your furry family member for years to come.2

Get started today with a free quote from MetLife Pet Insurance, winner of the “Pet Insurance of the Year” Award in the 2022 Pet Independent Innovation Awards Program.5

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1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

According to a review of publicly available policy information from competitors

 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

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