Pet Insurance That Covers Pre-Existing Conditions

A pet insurance pre-existing condition is an injury or illness that your pet had before your coverage began. Generally, pet insurance insurers do not cover pre-existing conditions. For instance, if your dog had cancer before the coverage started, the policy wouldn’t cover any cancer-related veterinary expenses.

Pet Insurance That CoverS Pre-Existing Conditions

Insurers see pets with these medical issues as high-risk and expensive investments. However, some insurance companies will distinguish between incurable and curable conditions. And opt to cover the curable health condition with certain stipulations. But many of them come with restrictions. For instance, if your pet has not gone through treatments and has been symptom-free for a good period of time.

Pet Insurance Pre-Existing Conditions

Just like I have mentioned above, some insurers put pre-existing conditions into two parts: curable and incurable.

Curable pre-existing conditions

If your pet gets sick with something they’ve had before, Embrace pet insurance will cover it if it hasn’t happened again for a year. With ASPCA’s plan, if your pet has a treatable condition and shows no signs of it for six months (except for knee and ligament issues), it won’t be considered ‘pre-existing’. If it comes back after 180 days, it’s treated like a new issue and can be covered.

Some examples of curable preexisting conditions include

  • Vomiting
  • Ear infections
  • Diarrhea
  • Bladder infections
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Respiratory infections

Incurable preexisting conditions

Meanwhile, there are preexisting conditions that insurers consider incurable. They include:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Bladder crystals
  • Epilepsy
  • Heart disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Kidney disease
  • Orthopedic conditions
  • Urinary blockages
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes

Many of these issues require ongoing medications, vet visits, and even surgery sometimes. Always keep in mind that incurable pre-existing conditions won’t be covered by your pet policy.

Bilateral Exclusions

A bilateral injury or illness is a condition that affects the right and left sides of the body, such as cruciate ligament tears or hip dysplasia. Since there is a huge chance of pets having the same issue on the opposite side of their body, many insurers exclude bilateral coverage from their policies.

In other words, if your pet was treated on one side of its body before the coverage began, then the other side won’t be covered in the future. However, if the pet experiences a bilateral condition before the policy starts, it will be covered.

Pet Insurance Companies That Cover Pre-existing Conditions

Take a look at coverage from these top insurers for curable pre-existing conditions.

• Embrace

We chose Embrace as our number one on the list for covering pre-existing pet conditions because of how they handle treatable issues. If your pet stays symptom-free and doesn’t need treatment for a year after a problem, this insurer will cover it. Some examples of these curable issues are respiratory and urinary infections, as well as stomach troubles like vomiting and diarrhea.

However, keep in mind that Embrace doesn’t cover existing issues affecting both sides of the body, like knees, hips, or eyes. For instance, if one knee already has a problem before you sign up, the other knee won’t be covered. However, if a problem on both sides pops up after the coverage begins, it’s fair game. To get started with this insurance company, your pet just needs to have seen the vet sometime in the past year.”


ASPCA Pet Health Insurance is a good choice for older pets, and their rules on existing conditions are pretty much like Embrace. If your pet gets better and stays healthy for 180 days, ASPCA says that problem isn’t ‘pre-existing’ anymore, except for knee and ligament problems. If one knee had trouble before you enrolled the pet, the other one wouldn’t be covered.

Let’s say your cat had a bladder infection before the coverage started. ASPCA won’t cover bladder infections for six months after the policy begins. But if your vet can prove the infections are gone and there’s been no more issue for about 180 days, future issues will be covered.”

• Spot

We put Spot on our list of the top pet insurance companies that offer coverage for pre-existing conditions because they’re quick to reset coverage for treatable issues. Just like the ones listed above, if your pet’s been okay for 180 days, Spot says their old problems aren’t a big deal anymore.

However, here is the thing: Spot won’t cover knee or ligament troubles if they showed up before you signed up. And you don’t need a vet visit to start, but you have to send in your pet’s medical records before they’ll process any claims.”

• Pumpkin

Pumpkin Pet Insurance gives a big 90% discount on vet bills, which is incredible.

If your pet had a problem before you signed up, Pumpkin makes you wait 180 days before they cover it. But if the pet gets better and stays that way for 180 days, Pumpkin might cover it later on. Just remember, knee and leg issues aren’t included.

• Fetch

Fetch is the last on our list for covering treatable pet issues, but their wait time is longer than others. If your pet’s problem comes back within the first year, it might be tough to get coverage again with Fetch.

They’ll cover old issues if your pet stays healthy for a year after you sign up. But you need to get your vet to check them out within six months before or 30 days after the coverage starts.

Is Pet Insurance Worth It If My Pet has Pre-Existing Conditions?

Yes, the policy can be worth purchasing if your pet has this health issue. However, you should consider the plan parameters and monthly cost carefully. For instance, if your pet has multiple health problems when you sigh up.

To save money, you may go for an accident and illness plan with higher deductibles and annual limits. This will lower your premium. Or you may pick an insurer that offers an accident-only plan to cover your pet in case of an accident or injury.

If your pet is pretty young and has just one or two preexisting conditions, you can choose to buy a full-coverage policy. As the pet gets older, the probability of other conditions such as orthopedic disease and cancer will go up. And this can make paying for this policy worthwhile. 

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