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Learn About Pre-Existing Conditions

Insurance isn’t structured to help you face what has already happened, and for that reason, pet insurance companies do not offer coverage for incidents that are already present or have a reasonable chance of occurring based on previous symptoms; we call these incidents pre-existing conditions.
Golden Retriever at the vet


What is considered a pre-existing condition?

A pre-existing condition is any injury or illnesses that your pet has shown symptoms of having before coverage begins. You don't need to formally know the name of the condition for it to be considered pre-existing. Pre-existing conditions are not covered by any pet insurance providers.

To help sick pets get better, we at Trupanion just look for any condition that presented symptoms 18 months before enrolling in a policy or during the waiting periods (5 days for injuries, 30 days for illnesses) to determine what is a pre-existing condition and not eligible for coverage. If your pet was sick only once and that happened two years before you enrolled, it would not count as being pre-existing.


Can you provide examples of pre-existing conditions?

*These are only meant as examples. Actual eligibility for any condition cannot be determined until a claim is submitted.

Your dog is constantly licking its paws pre-policy, enrolls, and is later diagnosed with allergies. Are the allergies eligible for coverage?

No, the allergies are considered pre-existing and are not covered. The incessant licking pre-policy is a clinical symptom that your dog has allergies.

You enroll your cat who develops a sarcoma mass on their back during the policy waiting period. Is the sarcoma eligible for coverage?

No, the sarcoma is considered pre-existing and is not covered. That mass, and any future sarcomas are considered pre-existing because it occurred during the waiting period.

Pre policy, your dog sprained their knee. After you enroll, they developed hip dysplasia. Is the hip dysplasia eligible for coverage?

Yes, the hip dysplasia is covered. Our claims specialists could find a medical disconnect between the knee injury and the hip dysplasia, so it would not be considered pre-existing.


How can I avoid running into issues with pre-existing conditions?

The best way to avoid facing issues with pre-existing conditions is to enroll your pet in a policy while they are young and healthy. The sooner you enroll, the more likely it is that any future injuries and illnesses are covered by the policy.

lite-bulbTHINK ABOUT IT THIS WAY: You wouldn’t buy car insurance after you got into a wreck and expect insurance to help cover the cost of the accident. Medical insurance for pets works on the same principle; you cannot be protected from something that has already happened or is in the process of happening.



Should I still enroll if my pet has pre-existing conditions?

Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition or shows symptoms hinting at a pre-existing condition, they are still eligible for coverage of any new injuries and illnesses. Often, older pets enroll with symptoms of a pre-existing condition that would not be covered. However, the older a pet gets, the more likely they are to develop new issues that may fall under coverage. If your pet has had multiple illnesses in their lifetime, it may be harder for any new issues to be eligible for coverage and it’s recommended you begin saving to help with any future health expenses that an insurance policy can’t cover.

Every pet's situation is unique, so we recommend calling our pet-loving Customer Care team at 855.591.3100 to chat about how pre-existing conditions could affect your policy.

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