Pet Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

Written by k.a. francis
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Pet Health Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions
Four-legged family members can benefit from health insurance, too. (pets love (greetings card) image by araraadt from Fotolia.com)

Owning a pet can be expensive. Vaccinations, spay and neutering and annual checkups can be costly. And if something happens to your pet, such as an illness or injury, the costs to treat him could run into the thousands, which can be cost-prohibitive for many people. But in the past few years, the availability of pet insurance has enabled pet owners to cover the costs of medical care for pets without maxing out a credit card or emptying the savings account.

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What Is Pet Insurance

Pet insurance is medical health coverage for pets. Pet insurance has existed for years, but it has only recently become popular in the United States. Pet insurance operates in the same way as human health insurance, pet owners choose a plan, pay a premium and, depending on the coverage, pay a co-pay for each veterinarian visit. For pet owners with multiple pets, insurance can be a financial lifesaver.

What Pet Insurance Covers

Pet insurance covers annual checkups, shots, spay and neutering, medical procedures, screenings, tests, surgeries, hospitalisation and emergency visits. Some insurance plans also cover the costs of euthanization and cremation of pets. Most pet policies can be started when the pet is between 6 and 8 weeks of age and have no actual age limit.

Definition of A Pre-Existing Condition

A pre-existing condition is a medical condition that a pet has when the pet owner wants to start a policy. For example, if a pet has allergies, and the pet owner wants to medically insure the pet, allergies would be considered a pre-existing condition. If a pet was injured previously and still has medical issues stemming from the injury, those medical issues would be considered pre-existing conditions.

Are Pre-Existing Conditions Covered?

Five years ago, pre-existing conditions might not have been covered under any pet insurance policy. But recent changes have allowed for these conditions to be covered under certain circumstances with certain plans. For example, some policies will cover pre-existing conditions after a waiting period of three to 12 months. Other policies will cover the condition once it is determined that the animal is stable.

Costs

Pet insurance premiums vary depending on the company, chosen policy, the number of pets covered and how comprehensive the coverage is. The average annual deductible is £65. The amount of the monthly premiums will vary--the more the policy covers, the higher the premium will be. Many companies offer a discount if more than one pet is covered.

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