Pet Insurance For Hereditary Health Problems

Pet Insurance For Hereditary Health Problems
While pet insurance coverage for US pets is growing at a rate of around 10% to 15% per year, there are still only around 1% of pets who are insured.
With so few familiar with how pet insurance works, it’s not surprising if people are unsure what it does and does not cover. One thing that many “basic” pet insurance policies do not cover but that you can usually add as a rider to your policy is hereditary & congenital conditions.

Why Cover Hereditary & Congenital Conditions With Pet Insurance?
A hereditary condition is one passed on to a dog, cat, or other pet from his/her parents. A congenital condition is one that is not inherited but that the animal acquires while still in the womb.

In many cases, hereditary and congenital conditions appear soon after birth, but many other times, they do not. You may only become aware of them later in your pet’s life.

Many of these types of health problems are quite debilitating and sever and cost a lot to treat. Hip dysplasia (a misaligned hip) may prevent your pet from walking properly or without pain following every step. Cancer or intervertebral disc disease can also be inherited. And congenital heart, liver, or nervous system problems may threaten your pet’s life.

If you don’t cover genetic, congenital, and breed-specific conditions in your pet insurance policy, and then your pet gets struck with one, you could face the choice between paying huge medical expenses, letting your pet continue to suffer untreated, or putting your pet to sleep.

How Does This Type Of Coverage Work?
Whether hereditary and congenital disease are included in a pet insurer’s regular policy or must be added on, either way, they are going to drive up risks for the insurer and thus premiums for the pet owner. They may not drive up costs unacceptably high, however, and getting hit with a $5,000 bill for pet surgery someday because you didn’t insure your pet is arguably a worse fate than paying a little extra per month.

Normally, there are some specific rules and limitations you need to be aware of as to hereditary health conditions coverage. First off, no one covers preexisting conditions with pet insurance. So the condition can not have already revealed itself before you enroll.

Second, there is usually a waiting period after enrollment. A one year wait period before these conditions are covered is pretty standard. This rule is to ensure people don’t just grab coverage because they suspect their pet may have a problem, get the insurer to pay when it turns out they were right, and then quickly drop coverage.

Third, there may sometimes be age limits for certain conditions to be covered for certain breeds. Fourth, some providers have per condition or per incident limits, while others simply have per year or per life of policy limits. The limits, if they’re per condition, normally cover the bulk of what the health problem would cost to treat.

The bottom line is this: enrolling earlier rather than later and, if possible, before a hereditary, breed-specific, or congenital disease reveals itself through symptoms or diagnosis of a vet, is going make it easier to get this kind of coverage – and at a better rate.

To learn more about how to find a policy that fits your pet’s needs, contact Flagler County (FL) Insurance Agency today!