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What Are Pre-Existing Conditions?

As a pet parent, you want to provide the best care for your beloved companion. If you’re considering purchasing health insurance for your pet, you may encounter some unfamiliar terms. For example, you may have heard the term “pre-existing conditions” referenced many times - whether in regards to human health care or pet health care. What are pre-existing conditions? Can you still obtain pet insurance if your pet has such a condition? And what’s the best way to select the right pet insurance policy for you?  Let’s take a closer look.

What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

First things first. When we're talking about insurance, a pre-existing condition is any injury, disease, or symptom noted by your veterinarian during your waiting period (before your insurance policy takes effect). Pet insurers often classify these conditions using two groups: curable and incurable conditions.

Incurable conditions include:

• cancer
• diabetes
• orthopedic conditions
• heart disease
• kidney disease
• urinary blockage
• allergies
• epilepsy
• arthritis

Curable pre-existing conditions include:

• vomiting
• diarrhea
• respiratory infection
• kidney infection
• urinary tract infection
• ear infection

Insurance companies use these terms to help them determine which conditions are covered. The tricky part is that each company uses a slightly different algorithm to achieve this. At, we look at pre-existing conditions a little differently than most pet insurers. For instance, we pay attention to whether your pet's condition is curable or incurable and cover curable ones after your pet is symptom-free for 12 months. If you're curious for more specifics on how we determine pre-existing conditions, take a look at our FAQ.

Does a Pre-Existing Condition Mean My Pet Can’t Get Insurance?

The short answer here is no. Pre-existing conditions help insurers determine what treatments they will (and won’t) cover financially. They do NOT prevent your pet from getting care, nor do they disqualify your pet from obtaining insurance.

The presence of a pre-existing condition merely means that the insurer may not reimburse you for any treatments directed toward that specific ailment. You may still opt to seek treatment for that condition, and you may still be compensated for treatments of other conditions affecting your pet.

At Figo, we're proud of our flexible coverage. We may cover pre-existing conditions considered curable if they show no signs or symptoms within 12 months of last treatment. That’s a win for you and your pet!

Choosing the Best Insurer for You

If you’re seeking the right pet insurer, you’ll probably want to shop around. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  • Do Some Research. Research and compare various pet insurance providers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—your pet’s health is important and conditions (pre-existing or emergent) should not be left untreated.
  • Compare Policy Details. Review terms and conditions (including pre-existing conditions policies) from various providers. Check their rules about waiting periods and whether your coverage is reduced as your pet ages. Also review the basics (monthly premiums, deductibles, etc.).
  • Practice Preventive Care. Basic wellness visits and up-to-date vaccinations can help keep your pet healthy. So when you do apply for pet insurance, you’ll have a healthy animal with few medical needs.

At Figo, we care about the health of your pet. We will never turn away a pet simply because of a pre-existing condition. Contact us today and let one of our experienced reps walk you through the process. Get the peace of mind you deserve.

Cecily Kellogg is a pet lover who definitely has crazy cat lady leanings. Her pets are all shelter rescues, including the dog, who is scared of the cats. She spent eight years working as a Veterinary Technician before becoming a writer. Today she writes all over the web, including here at Figo.

Protect your pet from the unexpected with Figo Pet Insurance, rated “Best Pet Insurance” by since 2017.

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