As Sigmund Freud once said, “time spent with cats is never wasted”. That’s why we strive, in turn, to reciprocate the same love and make their short lives here on earth as happy as possible. A great way to achieve this is by choosing the appropriate insurance plans for them, so that, in the event of something going wrong, we are able to get them the right treatment even if it’s expensive. In the search for such an insurance policy, you might have come across the term ‘preexisting condition’. What does it mean exactly and why doesn’t pet insurance provide coverage for preexisting conditions?
Preexisting Conditions and Their Importance for Pet Insurance
A preexisting condition is defined as a condition (be it an illness or an injury) developed by your pet before the end of the waiting period or before the policy has started. Usually, the waiting period is three to five days for normal conditions, but it can be as long as six months or one full year for other common conditions that are expensive to treat, like cruciate ligaments.
For insurance companies, it doesn’t matter if the condition has been treated or diagnosed¬ – if there are any noticeable symptoms showing that the four-legged pal is not well before the start date of the insurance, insurance firms define the condition as preexisting.
According to HealthCare.gov, a federal government website that is managed and financed by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an insurance firm is not allowed to deny, charge more, or refuse to reimburse essential health benefits for humans in the U.S. due to a preexisting condition.
Unlike with humans, generally, pet insurance companies do not cover preexisting conditions. However, some do provide insurance for curable preexisting illnesses or injuries. Curable preexisting conditions are those that can be entirely treated. So, if your beloved pets have been healthy and without symptoms for a certain amount of time – usually one year – they can be insured for that condition, too.
Which Insurance Company to Choose?
As stated earlier, there are certain pet insurance companies that offer coverage for preexisting conditions. For example, there is Pet Assure, which isn’t actually an insurance company but a firm that offers discounts on veterinary care for pets. Therefore for this type of coverage, preexisting conditions don’t matter at all.
PetFirst is another pet insurance company that offers coverage for curable preexisting conditions. Mind you, like most companies of this kind, cancer, heart disease, and arthritis are considered to be incurable preexisting conditions and are not eligible for coverage.
It is therefore extremely important that you inform yourself on the conditions offered by a pet insurance company before enrollment if you know that your pet has a preexisting condition. Read the small print in the contract carefully, do your online research about different firms, and read customers’ comments on these companies to make sure you offer your pet the best possible care.