If you own a pet with pre existing conditions and are shopping for pet insurance, you may have concerns about coverage. When we buy or adopt a pet, we bring home not just a furry little friend but we make an addition to our family. This not only means that we have a loving creature living with us, but it also means that much more expenses and caring responsibilities.
How do pre existing conditions impact pet insurance?
Some families choose to buy pet insurance to cover the costs of veterinary care, protect against sudden injuries or sickness, or to save money for regular trips to the vet. However, such insurance is only available if the pet is completely healthy at the time of buying an insurance package. When pets are adopted, many times there is no way of knowing for sure if they are in prime health. With certain breed of dogs and cats and the age of the pet, you may find that they have ailments that make getting insurance more difficult. Fortunately, there are other ways to protect your pets and keep the burden on your wallet low at the same time.
Why do insurance providers exclude pets with pre existing conditions?
Just as is the case with all other types of insurance, if the risk of a claim is fairly high, insurance providers avoid taking on such a potential expenditure. While there is no guarantee that if the pets are in perfect health, they will not get sick or be in an accident. If there is already a pre existing condition, the chance of injury or sickness is increased many-folds which causes insurance companies to become wary. Furthermore, some medical conditions require constant veterinary care regardless of the level of sickness, which means constant claims for the insurance company. That also works as a deterrent for getting a pet insurance policy.
What medical conditions can exclude your pet from insurance?
Not every medical condition can be categorized as a pre existing condition. It is only when your pet is suffering from a significant disease such as cancer, arthritis, asthma or heart diseases that getting pet insurance becomes complicated. Most pet insurance companies have their own set of lists on what can and cannot be included under pre existing conditions. Most of the insurance companies refuse to offer insurance to pets with these conditions:
- Heart disease
- Past untreatable injuries
In addition to these, Petassure.com explains top 12 medical conditions for dogs and cats that can prevent pet owners from obtaining insurance:
For dogs, the top 10 most common medical conditions were:
- Atopic or allergic dermatitis – average cost to treat: $255
- Otitis externa – average cost to treat: $172
- Benign skin neoplasia – average cost to treat: $377
- Pyoderma – average cost to treat: $128
- Enteropathy – average cost to treat: $175
- Degenerative arthritis
- Periodontitis/Tooth infection – average cost to treat: $400
- Cystitis or urinary tract infection
- Anal gland sacculitis/Expression
Cats presented with similar common conditions:
- Cystitis or urinary tract disease – average cost to treat: $495
- Periodontitis/Tooth infection – average cost to treat: $434
- Gastropathy – average cost to treat: $334
- Renal disease or failure – average cost to treat: $649
- Enteropathy – average cost to treat: $221
- Feline upper respiratory infection
- Diabetes mellitus – average cost to treat: $889
- Atopic or allergic dermatitis
- Valvular heart disease or murmur
What alternatives are available in such a case?
There are several insurance services, known as specialist insurers. There are also medical treatment options that are tailored for owners of pets with pre existing conditions. Another option is to get a regular pet insurance policy that does not cover veterinary treatment for the condition that afflicts your pet. Some insurance policies may also offer a cap on the share of expenses that you will have to pay in case any insurance claim has to be made.
However, a more advisable and cost effective way is to go for simple discount plans that bet hospitals offer. These packages can offer discounted rates for a number of services, such as sick visits, surgical procedures, spays and neuters, routine vaccinations, allergy treatments, diabetes management and cancer care, dental exams, cleaning, x-rays, and so on.
Another benefit of getting such a discount plan is that they can cover multiple pets at the same time. For instance, if you have a cat and a dog, and if one or both of them have such a pre existing condition that excludes them from complete coverage by a regular pet insurance policy, you can use the same discount treatment package for both of them. You will not be required to buy separate packages for separate pets.