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5 Best Pet Insurance Options for Pre-Existing Conditions in 2024

Lauren Lee - Writer for DailyTails
By Lauren Lee
Davor Štefanović - Editor for DailyTails
Edited by Davor Štefanović

Updated December 18, 2023.

A cat and a dog relaxing on the floor covered by pet insurance

Longer lifespans aren't just a human phenomenon. Thanks to advances in veterinary technology, our beloved pets are also living longer, healthier lives. However, these extended golden years often come with increased veterinary costs, a financial strain that can be mitigated with the right pet insurance.

From 2020 to 2022 alone, the average yearly expense for veterinary visits for households with dogs jumped from $224 to $362, according to a report by the American Veterinary Medical Association. The trend was mirrored in cat-owning households too, with costs rising from $189 to $321 over the same period. These rising costs are prompting many pet owners to consider insurance as a means to both protect their pets and manage their budgets effectively.

So what does a pre-existing conditon mean for pet insurance? A pre-existing condition for dogs or cats, such as cancer diagnosed or treated before their insurance policy was in effect, is typically not covered. In the context of pet insurance, pre-existing conditions are any ailments treated before the policy commenced.

Common pre-existing conditions include allergies, arthritis, bladder/urinary tract infections, cancer, dental disease, diabetes, ear infections, heart disease, hip/elbow dysplasia, rabies, respiratory infections, vomiting, and worms.

However, even with a diagnosis, pet insurance can be acquired to safeguard your pet against future illnesses and injuries. Certain infections, considered "curable conditions" by many policies, are not covered for treatment within one year of the last episode. Beyond that, they are treated as new problems.

In general, pre-existing conditions find no coverage in most pet insurance policies, but there are exceptions.

Here are the best options if you're looking for providers that cover pre-existing conditions.

Top 5 Best Pet Insurance Options for Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Best Flexible Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions - Embrace
  • Best Comprehensive Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions - MetLife
  • Best Multi-Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions - Lemonade
  • Best Affordable Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions - Fetch
  • Best Insurance for Senior Pets with Pre-Existing Conditions - Pumpkin

1. Best Flexible Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

If you're in search of a flexible policy for a dog with pre-existing conditions, Embrace deserves consideration. Its standard plan reimburses up to 90% of your vet expenses for various conditions and treatments. With budget-friendly, customizable plans, you can adjust your deductible, reimbursement amount, and annual limit to meet your needs.

Embrace also impresses with its approach to the waiting period for orthopedic injuries, which can be waived with a veterinary examination. Moreover, combining an accident and illness policy with Embrace's Wellness Rewards program lets you accumulate points for services such as flea and tick prevention, training, and grooming, thus ensuring your pup's wellbeing.

Why We Picked It

Embrace's coverage of curable pre-existing conditions sets it apart, provided there hasn't been a recurrence within 12 months from the last episode. As one of the few insurance providers covering breed-specific, congenital, and hereditary conditions, like allergies and hip dysplasia, Embrace ensures your policy also covers chronic conditions and offers ongoing coverage for treatment. So age-related conditions like arthritis or diabetes won't affect your dog's care or policy renewal.

Moreover, Embrace's comprehensive coverage includes pet prescriptions, while an optional dental policy caters to procedures like extractions and root canals.

Embrace Pet Insurance

4.2/5(1,813 reviews)

2. Best Comprehensive Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

MetLife provides extensive accident and illness policies, supplemented by an optional preventative care add-on that covers routine health screenings, wellness exams, parasite preventives, blood testing, and more. With coverage for accidents starting at midnight the day you enroll and access to telehealth services, MetLife offers a comprehensive approach to pet health, making it an ideal choice for cat insurance for pre-existing conditions.

Why We Picked It

MetLife's unique feature is its coverage of pre-existing conditions if a previous insurance provider has covered them. Additionally, it covers bilateral conditions if they were pre-existing on the other side. For instance, if your pet has been treated for left hip dysplasia and develops the same on the right hip five years later, MetLife covers it.

We appreciate MetLife's lack of breed or age restrictions, making it easy to secure a policy for a senior cat. Plus, with a multitude of options, MetLife is an excellent cat insurance choice for kittens needing vaccinations and spaying or neutering.

MetLife Pet Insurance

4.6/5(378 reviews)

3. Best Multi-Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

If you're on a budget and require affordable pet insurance, consider Lemonade's customizable policies, featuring numerous add-ons at lower monthly premiums than most competitors. Furthermore, Lemonade's waiting period for accidents is just two days, significantly less than the average of nine.

Why We Picked It

Lemonade's coverage of congenital, hereditary, and long-term conditions post-policy enforcement is admirable. For instance, if your dog has a tumor removed and it is diagnosed as cancerous, Lemonade covers the testing and necessary treatment. However, any symptoms or diagnoses before the end of your policy's waiting period would be considered pre-existing conditions and wouldn't be covered.

Additionally, Lemonade offers a 5% discount for each extra pet you insure and a 5% annual discount, a boon for multi-pet households. Claims can be conveniently filed through the Lemonade app, with most being processed in under two days.

Lemonade Pet Insurance

4.4/5(1,005 reviews)

4. Best Affordable Pet Insurance for Pre-Existing Conditions

Fetch offers unique benefits that set it apart, despite its limited annual coverage. These include coverage for accident and illness-related vet visits and boarding fees in case your pet needs hospitalization. The policy even provides up to $1,000 towards advertising and reward money for lost or stolen pets, bringing owners peace of mind.

Fetch covers many treatments that other providers often limit, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, and behavioral therapy. And there is no enrollment fee. You can get a free quote for your furry friend at Fetch.

Why We Picked It

We chose Fetch because they are one of the wallet-friendly pet insurance companies that cover curable pre-existing conditions. For example, let's say your cat has an infection when you sign up for your policy but recovers and goes 12 months without showing any clinical signs of that infection. The same condition will be covered under your plan in the future. Additionally, Fetch is an excellent choice for dogs predisposed to breed-specific issues, such as German shepherds and French bulldogs, because the policy covers hereditary problems such as hip dysplasia that many competitors do not.

Fetch Pet Insurance

4.3/5(775 reviews)

5. Best Insurance for Senior Pets with Pre-Existing Conditions

Older pets are more likely to suffer illness or injury, resulting in higher vet bills. Pumpkin shows they value the bond between people and their senior pets by offering comprehensive insurance policies and preventative care for dogs and cats of all ages. With 90% reimbursement for all plans and no upper age limits, Pumpkin is an ideal choice if you are looking for pet insurance for older cats or older dogs with pre-existing conditions.

Additionally, Pumpkin only has a 14-day waiting period for cruciate ligament injuries and hip dysplasia, which is significantly shorter than many competitors. And if you want to insure multiple pets, Pumpkin has you covered with a 10% discount for each additional pet you insure.

Why We Picked It

Pumpkin Pet Insurance is committed to pets living their best golden years, offering an extensive range of coverage options for various pet issues and expenses, such as vet exam fees, surgeries, and dental illnesses. They also cover curable pre-existing conditions, except knee and ligament problems. So if your pet is diagnosed with a respiratory infection before your policy goes into effect and the illness is curable, it will be covered. umpkin will never reject your pet based on age nor reduce your benefits. Moreover, Pumpkin covers alternative therapies such as acupuncture, ensuring your pet receives all necessary care.

Pumpkin Pet Insurance

4.5/5(579 reviews)

Paw-Sitive Mindset: Choosing the Right Pet Insurance

Choosing the right pet insurance plan depends on you and your pet's unique needs. Whether you're bringing home a new puppy or kitten, adopting a mixed breed or purebred, or insuring a senior pet, myriad options suit every situation. Do your research, compare policies, and remember, you're investing in your furry friend's future health and your peace of mind.