What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

January 14, 2022

Just like medical insurance for humans, pet insurance policies also have certain items that are not covered, called exclusions. One category of exclusion is called pre-existing conditions. Knowing what this term means can guide you to choose the right protection for your furry friend.

What is a pre-existing condition? How is it different under Pawfect Care?  

For most medical insurance, a pre-existing condition refer to any medical condition that occurred, showed symptoms, or was diagnosed before the policy start date or during the waiting period. Pawfect Care’s definition of pre-existing condition is not as broad. Only the conditions in the table below, if they occurred before coverage takes effect, will be considered pre-existing: 

· Neoplasia (Benign), Cancer (Malignant) 
· Inflammatory bowel disease, Chronic colitis, Chronic gastritis, Chronic liver disease, Chronic pancreatitis, Chronic eye disease, Chronic renal disease 
· Arthritis (Non-septic), Osteochondral disease, Joint dysplasia 
· Cardiovascular disease, Asthma or chronic tracheobronchial disease, Urinary blockage 
· Allergies, Endocrine disease, Permanent neurological damage, Incurable infections  

Other illnesses and conditions not listed here are eligible for claims once the relevant waiting periods* are over. 

Why doesn’t insurance cover pre-existing conditions? 

Insurance is meant to protect you from future risks that are unexpected, rather than to compensate for something that already happened.  Pre-existing conditions are excluded because they happened before a policy’s coverage takes effect. We can’t predict when our furry ones will get sick, so it’s wise to enroll them in a plan while they’re healthy! 

If an illness develops before your pet is insured, you won’t be able to claim for it and treatments can become quite expensive, especially if it’s a serious condition.  

To illustrate more clearly how pre-existing conditions may affect claims, we came up with a few examples:  

PawfectCare’s list of chronic illnesses^: 

· Cancer (Malignant)
· Chronic liver disease, Chronic eye disease, Chronic renal disease  
· Osteochondral disease, Joint dysplasia 
· Cardiovascular disease, Urinary blockage  
· Allergies, Endocrine disease. Incurable infections

How can you prevent illnesses from being excluded as pre-existing conditions?  

The only way to prevent it is to act before illnesses strike. Getting insurance protection for our furry friends while they are young and healthy (and hopefully they will stay that way!) can ensure the most comprehensive coverage with minimal exclusions. Even if a pet has a pre-existing condition, insurance can still protect us from risks of accidents and other illnesses happening in the future. Pawfect Care can provide a personalized quote for your pet, with monthly premium as little as HKD 170.

Check out our Pet Insurance page for more details!  


* Waiting period is how long a policyholder must wait before making claims for a newly issued policy. For Pawfect Care, the waiting period for cancer is 180 days after policy start date. For other illnesses and accidents, it is 28 days. 

^A chronic illness is a condition that lasts at least 3 months and generally can’t be prevented by vaccination or cured by medication. Pets that enroll in Pawfect Care before age 5 will have lifelong coverage of chronic illnesses. For pets that are age 5 or older, a chronic illness will be covered in the policy year it occurs, but it will be excluded as a pre-existing condition in the next policy year.   


For more on Pawfect Care’s coverage, and detailed terms & conditions, please refer to our Pet Insurance Policy.  

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