ManyPets guide to pre-existing conditions

October 30, 2022 - 5 min read

Pet insurance can be a lifesaver—literally.

In a worst-case scenario, it may be the only tool that enables you to pay for crucial veterinary care.

At ManyPets, we wholeheartedly believe in the immense value of insuring your pet. At the same time, we think it's important to be upfront about what may be excluded from coverage.

Like all pet insurance companies, ManyPets places restrictions on coverage for pre-existing conditions.

How does ManyPets define pre-existing conditions?

A condition is considered to pre-exist your pet's accident and illness coverage if any of the following have occurred within the past 18 months:

  • Your veterinarian has diagnosed or provided medical advice for the condition

  • Your pet has received veterinary treatment for the condition

  • Your pet has displayed signs or symptoms consistent with the condition

When does ManyPets cover pre-existing conditions?

All pet insurance companies restrict coverage of pre-existing conditions. But unlike some companies, ManyPets will cover past health conditions in certain circumstances.

A health condition is considered pre-existing only if your pet has been diagnosed, treated, or displayed signs or symptoms consistent with a particular condition within 18 months prior to your policy's effective date (or during your waiting period after purchase).

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Pre-existing conditions and insurance - how does it work?

ManyPets has exclusions for pre-existing conditions, but past conditions don’t always prevent future coverage. Get the details.

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Can I still insure my pet if they have a pre-existing condition?

Yes, absolutely! Even though ManyPets won't be able to cover that specific condition, we'll still be able to cover any conditions that don't pre-exist your Accident & Illness policy.

Plus, once your pet has been free of diagnosis, treatment, and symptoms for 18 months, we may be able to cover the pre-existing condition as well. Or, to put it more precisely, we will no longer consider that condition to be pre-existing. (The only exceptions are hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament conditions, which will still be considered pre-existing conditions even after 18 months have passed.)

What pre-existing conditions are covered?

Technically, pre-existing conditions are never eligible for coverage, but ManyPets will not consider a condition to be pre-existing in certain circumstances.

Pre-existing Not pre-existing
Any illness or injury that’s been diagnosed, treated – or whose symptoms have been noticed by you or your vet – within the 18 months prior to your policy effective date or during your waiting period. Illnesses and injuries (other than cruciate ligament conditions and hip dysplasia) that haven’t been diagnosed, treated, or been symptomatic for at least 18 months.
Hip dysplasia or cruciate ligament conditions that were diagnosed, treated, or symptomatic prior to your policy effective date or during your waiting period. Applies even after 18 months, and even if their previous condition was symptomatic on the opposite side of their body. Illnesses and injuries that are judged by ManyPets (and by your vet) to be unrelated to any pre-existing illnesses or injuries, even if symptoms are similar.

By the way, your pet may be eligible for coverage after 18 months, even if they reach the 18-month mark after you purchase their plan.

Just keep in mind that pre-existing chronic conditions (like diabetes or allergies, for instance) are highly unlikely to become eligible for coverage at any point, as they continually cause symptoms and/or require treatment. That’s why it’s wise to purchase insurance before such conditions arise.

How Can I Know If My Pet Has a Pre-Existing Condition?

A history of veterinary treatment doesn't necessarily mean your pet has any pre-existing conditions. For instance, any non-recurring illness that's not related to another treatment or condition—a temporary stomach bug, for instance—would not be considered a full-fledged health condition. So if your pet had an upset tummy one time, that doesn't mean a pre-existing condition exclusion will now apply to all stomach problems.

If you'd like to know whether your pet has suffered from any health issues that pet insurance companies tend to categorize as pre-existing conditions, you should ask your veterinarian to review your pet's medical history for the past 18 months. Your vet should be able to offer sound guidance.

But if you want to be extra careful, feel free to call our customer support team once you have 18 months of medical history in hand. You can reach us at 1-888-978-5291; our team would be happy to let you know if any exclusions apply.

What about bilateral conditions?

A bilateral condition is any health condition that can affect both sides of your pet’s body—for example, an illness that affects your pet’s right eye after having previously affected their left eye. Unlike ManyPets, some pet insurance companies exclude coverage for all pre-existing bilateral conditions.

ManyPet excludes only two bilateral conditions if they pre-exist your policy, meaning they’ll be ineligible for coverage even if the condition was previously diagnosed on the other side of their body. These conditions are:

As we’ve mentioned, these are also the two conditions that can’t be covered even if 18 months have passed since they were last diagnosed, treated, or showed symptoms.

And there’s one other exclusion surrounding hip dysplasia (though not cruciate ligament conditions): We won’t be able to cover hip dysplasia if your pet is at least six years old on the start date of your policy. But there will never be any age-based exclusions if you insure your pet before age 6 and continuously keep them insured.

One last thing to keep in mind: If a health condition comes about while your pet is insured (and after their waiting period has passed), bilateral condition exclusions will not apply in the future.

All in all, it’s wise to insure your pet when they’re younger.

Do pre-existing condition exclusions apply to the ManyPets Wellness Plan?

Nope. A ManyPets Wellness Plan will help reimburse you for routine and preventative care like wellness exams, vaccinations, parasite prevention, dental cleanings, vitamins, supplements, and more. Your pet's medical history won't affect your reimbursement.

Be careful about lapses in coverage

Bear in mind: Any current or recent condition that’s covered by ManyPets will instantly become a pre-existing condition if you allow your coverage to lapse, even if you once again purchase insurance at the earliest opportunity.

Likewise, switching providers may immediately turn a covered condition into a pre-existing condition. So if your pet has a current or recent health condition,

How Can I Avoid Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions?

That's easy: Insure your pet while they're still young, then keep them insured. Health conditions are only pre-existing if they pre-exist your accident and illness coverage. The second your plan's waiting period is over, any new conditions that develop from that point forward will be eligible for coverage.

Just FYI, if your coverage is canceled for any reason, even temporarily, any conditions that developed during your now-expired policy period will be considered pre-existing from that point forward. This will be the case even if you sign up for coverage again in the future, whether with ManyPets or any other company.

But if you insure your pet before they develop health conditions—and keep them insured—you'll never have to worry about pre-existing conditions at all.

Have any other questions about ManyPets insurance? Visit our FAQ page or read our sample policy.

*ManyPets analyzes every claim on its own merits, subject to the terms and conditions of your policy. Exclusions apply, including those for pre-existing conditions. Only claims unrelated to an excluded treatment or condition are eligible for coverage.


David Teich
Lead Content Editor

David Teich is Lead Content Editor at ManyPets. He loves pets, Scrabble, Oxford commas, and typing loudly.