All Insurance is a minefield at best but you would hope that when it comes to something which, on the surface, looks simple, such as pet insurance we might get a break from the legal language and red tape that surrounds so many other types of insurance. While it may be true that, of all the types of insurance out there, pet insurance is the least complex there are a few areas specific to the nature of this cover that really overcomplicate matters. Pre-existing medical conditions is one of these areas, hopefully we can help to simplify it today.
There are two areas of complexity with pre-existing conditions and pet insurance, if your animal already has a pre-existing condition and if your animal develops a lifelong condition which might be deemed as pre-existing while you are currently covered. The latter is further complicated if you want to change pet insurance providers after a condition has been diagnosed, however, with a little insight the legal mumbo jumbo can be extensively simplified as we will attempt to do here.
If your pet had a pre-existing condition:
If your pet has what is deemed to be a pre-existing then its something that you must declare on your insurance application and its very unlikely that any insurance company will ever provide any level of cover at all for any cost incurred as a result of any health issues relating to the condition in any way. The only exception to this is where an existing condition can be treated to 100% cured and then, in that instance, after the 100% cure has been applied, at that time your cover would provide protection against the condition but only if it was a condition that was not know to reoccur and even then it would be at the discretion of the provider. There are some horror stories about the price of treatment for uninsured pets when it comes to long term conditions.
An example here would be if a dog had broken its leg, the break was standard and able to be healed 100%, in this example once the leg was totally healed then you could take out insurance that would cover future leg issues but only once the injury was healed.
Where an animal develops a condition which would later be defined as pre-existing while you hold a policy:
This is the most complex of situations, if your animal develops a condition while insured then the insurance company that you are currently covered with are liable to pay out as a result of that condition providing everything site within their terms and conditions, however, if you want to move insurance companies, perhaps as you have found a cheaper quote then the new company will not pay out on (as they will not provide cover for) the pre-existing condition but will cover the animal in all other aspects. If you move companies though, this should not matter, as your old company should continue to provide cover for the long term illness while anything new that may develop will be covered by the new policy.
Lots of people believe the misconception that, once an insurance company is paying out on a regular basis, perhaps for the treatment that they have to stay with that company. This is not true, also, people often feel some unjust sense of loyalty to these companies but it is worth considering, if the shoe was on the other foot, if the company would have the same level of loyalty to you. Consider the stringent terms and conditions that exist purely to weigh any potential legal disputes in favour of the provider and the reassess your sense of misplace loyalty!
Hopefully this article has helped to clarify some of the more complex issues around the pre-existing conditions element of pet insurance, however, if you have any further questions on any element of pet insurance then please leave a comment below and I will either respond here or if it warrants it I will make a new post dedicated to the topic.
Further areas for discussion include:
Exotic animal insurance,
Why cat insurance is so much more variable than dog insurance
Insurance a horse
Taking out all of your insurance with a single provider rather than using individual specialist companies
If any of these areas are of particular interest to you then please also highlight that below and if there is more interest in a single area I will dedicate a little more time to it and move it up on the list of priorities so that it gets published quicker.
Thanks for reading and come back soon!