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Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

How to make sure you have the best cover possible for your pet
Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

What is a pre-existing condition in pets?

A pre-existing medical condition refers to any injury or illness that your pet had before getting a pet insurance quote. These medical conditions are often recorded on the pet’s medical records, which would be kept by your vet. 

Some examples of pre-existing conditions are:

  • Chronic conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart or kidney disease. These conditions would have been diagnosed by a vet.
  • Injuries such as broken bones or wounds that were treated by a vet.
  • Recurring illnesses such as ear infections or skin conditions that have required repeated treatment.
  • Hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia or heart defects that have been genetically inherited.
  • Any other condition that has been recorded by your vet.

What are the disadvantages of pet insurance policies for pre-existing conditions?

Pre-existing pet insurance policies may seem like the best option, but it’s not always the case. It’s important you always read the small print of your pet insurance quote and policy. Some disadvantages to look out for are: 

  • Exclusion of existing conditions. Some policies may look like they’re tailored to your pet’s condition, but actually exclude treatment for the existing issue. 
  • Limited coverage for higher-cost treatment. The policy might cover the condition, but not the full cost of treatment - which could leave you out of pocket.
  • Higher premiums. Often pre-existing conditions mean higher premiums. So it’s even more important to compare policies to make sure you’re getting the cover you need at the best value.
  • Ambiguity on the definition of a pre-existing condition. Check what each insurer classes a pre-existing condition, as not all insurers define them in the same way.
  • Waiting periods. Most policies have a waiting period of around 14 days, so you can’t make a claim in that time. Some pre-existing policies may have longer waiting periods - meaning you may not be covered when you need it.

How does Agria treat pre-existing conditions?

For every pet insurance quote we’ll ask you if your pet has had any previous illnesses or injury. How those pre-existing conditions are covered depends on several factors - including the type of animal or what the existing condition is. They’ll often fall into the following three categories: 

  1. We’ll cover a minor illness if it’s fully treated. For example, issues such as kennel cough, tick infestation, giardia or Pseudomonas that have been treated will be covered with your policy
  2. We can’t cover the condition right now but may be able to in the future. Some conditions may be covered if the pet has been symptom-free for a substantial period of time (such as 3 months). For example, if your pet has kennel cough at the time of the quote, that condition would not be covered - but could be reviewed once the condition is fully treated. 
  3. The particular condition can’t be covered. In this scenario, the pre-existing condition would not be covered - but your pet would be covered for other conditions. This is where Agria differs from some other insurers. Agria will always cover your pet, if not all pre-existing conditions. 

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About the Author

Jos Davies works as a Marketing Consultant and during his career has worked with some of the biggest Financial Services companies in the UK. These include Confused.com, ManyPets & Admiral Insurance. He specialises in writing insurance and pet related content that's helpful to the reader and performs well in search.

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Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, Financial Services Register Number 496160. Agria Pet Insurance Ltd is registered and incorporated in England and Wales with registered number 04258783. Registered office: First Floor, Blue Leanie, Walton Street, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP21 7QW. Agria insurance policies are underwritten by Agria Försäkring who is authorised and regulated by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and Financial Conduct Authority.

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