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There has been a lot of internet traffic on pre existing conditions cover for dogs – and much of it has not been complimentary. Pet insurance often gets a bad rap anyway and so this piece is designed to clarify options and offer pet insurance ideas for you. 

Of course, you can always cut to the chase and get award-winning pet insurance that covers pre existing conditions from Emerald just by clicking HERE

Of course other insurance providers are available but we are rightly proud of what we can do. 

Below we answer some questions from our pet customers, and some general questions as well on how we cover pre existing conditions.

What pre-existing medical conditions can be covered?

Looking at pre existing conditions cover, much will depend on the terms of the relevant insurance policy. You do not need to have a specialist insurance provider, but most pet insurance will exclude pre existing conditions as a matter of course. Check before you buy in the insurance policy documents attached to the quote – or else call. 

As to the specific pre existing conditions that can be covered, you will need to know your pet’s pre existing conditions first and then speak to the insurer. The general cover for pre existing conditions will have some exceptions and certain criteria for claiming, so read the policy documents carefully and always call if you are unsure. 

If you have any questions about a new pet insurance policy with Emerald, or your existing policy, you can call us on 0330 113 7109 for further assistance, whether on standard pet insurance policies or those covering a pre existing medical condition.

Will my pet insurance cover any new chronic conditions?

Again, it is important to read the terms of any policy before taking it out. For example, for your pet’s medical issue, there may be a reduced full vet fee limit, or other limits on vet treatment. That might include co-insurance, where the customer pays a share of the costs. So, when you get your pet insurance quotes, as cover may vary depending on the specialist insurer and the pre existing conditions, always call.

Do I have to declare my dog’s pre-existing conditions?

In short yes. All pet insurance will set policy limits to their cover, and one is telling your insurance about pre existing conditions. If you don’t do that, not only would those pre existing conditions not be covered, but your whole pet insurance may be void and not provide cover at all. Even if your pet is currently symptom free, if they have shown symptoms before then it is always the best practice to tell the insurer.

My dog has developed a long-term condition. What happens when my policy renews?

This will depend on the type of policy. For a pet insurance policy that offers lifetime cover, then if this long-term condition occurred after cover was taken out, it should be covered on renewal, is it is not therefore a pre existing condition. However there may be a change in premium or a cap on vet fees going forward. The best pet insurance will not have those limitations but it will depend on cover at the time and what cost. Pet owners have to balance cost compared to cover limits and whether they have a lifetime policy or a time limited policy. Many policies may have an upper age limit that is not dependent on any existing condition or particular condition. 

Will my pet insurance cover existing conditions that were undiagnosed when I took out my policy?

So this is the question of ‘what is a pre existing medical condition or pre existing medical conditions?’ You will only be obliged to declare something as a pre existing condition if it was possible to know about it at the time. For any specialist cover, if it is impossible to see a pre existing condition then it is not possible to declare it. Obviously if it is a chronic condition that could have been see, then you should have declared it, but not otherwise.

What will happen if I fail to disclose my dog’s existing condition to my insurance provider?

Pet insurance is clear when looking at the question of pet insurance pre existing conditions. If there is a pre existing condition or pre existing conditions and you do not disclose it, even if you do not want cover for that pre existing condition, then you run the risk that your pet insurance is going to be void and of no use. So, not only would your pet’s pre existing condition or dog’s pre existing conditions not be covered, but none of your future pet’s conditions would be either. 

That means that any money you have paid in premium previously would have been wasted. And if it is a serious omission, you would run the risk that the pet insurance provider may bring action for fraud. 

What happens if I want to change insurer?

This is something to discuss with your new insurer. Some insurers will allow you to bring over your pet’s pre existing conditions. 

And the good news? Emerald is one of those providers. When you change insurers, any existing conditions become pre existing conditions for the purposes of the new insurance provider. Your pet’s condition must be disclosed but Emerald insurance covers pre existing conditions. 

Like all insurance, please do read the terms and conditions, but we hope that you will be pleasantly surprised by what Emerald can do. 

How can I compare veterinary cover provided for pre-existing conditions?

This is sometimes the question of best insurance for pet health. Remember though that cover for pre existing conditions is only one part of insurance for cover. For example, does a policy cover repeat prescriptions? Are there any caps on vet fees? Can you choose a vet fee limit? Are any medical conditions automatically excluded? 

Historic conditions

This is another way of saying pre existing conditions. Note though that some insurance for pre existing conditions will not cover congenital conditions so that is also something worth checking. 

Bilateral conditions

Bilateral conditions are those that cover both sides of your pet’s body. This was a very specific questions! There is no reason that we would not cover bilateral conditions – if your pet develops any condition, of course take them to the vet – and let your insurance provider know about any ongoing treatment and they will be able to tell you if that veterinary treatment falls within cover limits. 

Does pet insurance cover existing problems?

This question is closely related to the ones above pre existing conditions – see above for the answer to that. 

Want to chat about our pre-existing condition cover?

When looking at pet insurance for pre existing conditions, we are always happy to chat – call us on 0330 113 7109 with details of your pet’s condition or else go onto our website at for more details. 

What is classed as a pre-existing condition for pet insurance?

When looking to cover pre existing conditions, any insurer providing insurance for pre existing medical conditions will make clear that they mean. 

Pet cover for my dog’s pre-existing conditions

This is the term used for pet cover that covers pre existing conditions. Not all covers will do this, so check with the policy and the provider to check. 

Remember that you can get an Emerald quote in minutes – just click HERE.

What are the disadvantages of pre-existing conditions policies?

They can be more expensive, as they are covering a condition that has already arisen, and so the insurer will know that there is a risk of reoccurrence, or ongoing treatment.

It is difficult to gauge the actual increase until you get a quote – so we would recommend going to the Emerald website to see the difference. 

How to find pet insurance for pre-existing conditions

Apart from calling Emerald!! There are some price comparison websites, but these may not have the level of detail that you need, so often it is better to call an insurer to check. 

Ask a vet

Sometimes vets will have an idea about the type of insurance that is needed, or the amount of cost of any particular treatment. 

My dog has epilepsy with occasional flare-ups. It can’t be cured. Can I still buy a policy?

That will depend on the terms of the policy – there may be an exclusion if you know that the condition will return. It’s always good to check with your insurer

How do pet insurers know my dog has a pre-existing condition?

You may have declared those conditions to an insurer, but even if not, in the event of a claim a vet will be required to notify if this is a longer term condition. Without cover for a pre existing condition, you may find that the insurer will simply not pay out.

Are allergies considered a pre-existing condition for pet insurance?

That will depend on the type of allergy and the type of treatment, prescribed medication etc. It will be worth you speaking to an insurance provider to check on options. 

Is it worth getting insurance for a pet with a health condition?

That will be up to you – the advantages of insurance is that it spreads the costs of a treatment that might run to many thousands of pounds. 

Can you cover behavioural conditions?

Several policies will cover some training costs if a vet prescribes it. Often this will be with registered trainers or veterinary charities. 

My Persian cat has a little trouble breathing. It’s an inherited condition. Is she covered for treatment by a pre-existing policy?

This will depend on the type of policy so please check your wording and if you have an Emerald policy please call us on 0330 113 7109

Will I be covered immediately?

You – and your pet – are covered as soon as you sign up. It’s easy to do – just go to Emerald’s pet page and get a quote. Once that has been done you will get your policy documents and your beloved pet will be covered. There may be some minimum period before you can claim – which stops customer gaming the system by buying insurance for their pet only when they suspect that their pet is ill. 

As ever, please do read the terms of the policy to see the conditions to claim.

Is there a waiting period for bilateral conditions under the Pre-existing pet insurance policy?

You should always read the terms under which an insurer will offer cover but mostly this should be okay. 

Remember also that you can change insurance – as long as you buy insurance for pre existing conditions then your pet should have the cover that you want. 

My German Shepherd had hip dysplasia in his left hip treated a year ago. He now has it in his right hip. Does my pet insurance cover this?

This will depend on the terms of your particular insurance, but we are always happy to have a call with you and run through your options!


Pet insurance is important as vet costs continue to rise. You may well need cover for pre existing conditions, and Emerald can help!