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Your simple guide to understanding pre-existing conditions

Insurance isn’t made to help with issues that have already happened, also known as pre-existing conditions.
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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.

What is considered a pre-existing condition?

In pet medical insurance, pre-existing conditions refer to any injury or illness that your pet shows symptoms of before coverage begins.

You don’t need to formally know the name of a condition for it to be considered pre-existing.

Examples of pre-existing conditions:

These are only meant as examples. Actual eligibility for any condition isn’t known until a claim is submitted.

Your dog is constantly licking its paws before you enroll in a policy. You enroll your pet, and they are later diagnosed with allergies. Are the allergies eligible for coverage?

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

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

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

Before your dog is enrolled, they have a limp due to a wound on their foot. After you enroll your dog, they developed hip dysplasia. Is the hip dysplasia eligible for coverage?

Yes, the hip dysplasia is covered. The limp was related to a specific injury to the foot and not to a hip illness. so it would not be considered pre-existing.

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

The number one way to avoid denied claims due to pre-existing conditions is to enroll your pet when they’re young—puppies and kittens especially can benefit from getting medical insurance immediately. The sooner you enroll your pet, the less likely they are to have medical issues that can be considered pre-existing.

We want pets of any age to get the coverage they need to. That’s why Trupanion:

  1. Starts by reviewing your pet’s medical history.  That way, if your pet was sick years ago, it doesn’t automatically count as being pre-existing.
  2. Has reasonable waiting periods. Your coverage for injuries starts 5 days after enrolling. Your coverage for illnesses starts 30 days after enrolling.
  3. Works with veterinarians to provide enrollment offers that can waive waiting periods (call to learn more about these offers: 855.591.3100)

What if I think my pet has pre-existing conditions?

Even if your pet has a pre-existing condition, they can still be covered for any new injuries and illnesses.

Often, older pets enroll with symptoms of a pre-existing conditions that will not be covered. However, the older a pet gets, the more likely they are to develop new issues that may fall under coverage.

How do I know if my pet has a pre-existing condition?

If you haven’t enrolled with Trupanion yet, give us a call. We can talk about details specific to your pet that can give you a better sense of what can be covered.


Plus, we have offer a 30 day money back guarantee, so you can look into our coverage while getting through your waiting periods. Just know, this refund isn’t available if you live in New York or we’ve already processed a claim for you.

If your pet is healthy and you’re ready to enroll now, start by customizing your monthly price.