Last updated:11 August 2020

Finding pet insurance for pre-existing conditions is possible, but most insurers do not cover existing medical conditions.

If your pet has had medical problems in the past, you may be able to find a policy which covers them by using our comparison above to compare pet insurance. Pre-existing conditions, UK providers will usually say, increase the risk of you needing to make a claim. Therefore expect these policies to be more expensive.

What conditions can you cover?

  • Historic conditions: These are conditions your pet had in the past but no longer suffers from.

  • Chronic conditions: These are long term medical problems your pet has when you take out cover, and are usually conditions they will have for their whole life.

You can find cover for historic conditions using the comparison above, but most insurers only cover them once your pet has been symptom and treatment free for at least two years.

There are currently no pet insurance companies that cover chronic conditions.

Make sure to look for specialised policies if your pet has a particularly unusual existing illness. For specialist pet insurance, UK providers are likely to charge far more than standard cover.

It is worth considering whether this extra cost will be more expensive over time than paying for treatment up front. With specialist pet insurance, UK providers may also prevent you claiming for a certain period of time or charge a much higher excess.

Can you get a policy if your pet is ill?

Yes, you can cover them against illnesses or injuries they could develop in the future, as well as things like theft, loss, death and third party liability.

However, a provider offering pet insurance for pre-existing conditions is rare. For example, if your pet has a skin problem when you take out your policy, your insurer will not cover the cost of any treatment they need for it.

When you apply for pet insurance, pre-existing conditions that your pet suffers from must be declared. Any chronic conditions will be excluded from your policy.

This guide outlines everything a pet insurance policy can cover.

Existing condition pet insurance FAQs


Can I insure my pet with a congenital condition?


Most policies do not, but some with some pet insurance, pre-existing conditions can be covered if your pet has been symptom free for at least two years. Find out how to find cover here.


What is an existing condition?


For pet insurance pre-existing conditions, UK providers will usually consider any injury or illness that happened before you have taken out a policy, including anything you have seen a vet about in the past.


Will my existing policy cover new conditions?


Yes, but for how long depends on your policy. Lifetime insurance covers your pet for a set amount every year; find out more about what is covered here.


Does my pet legally need insurance?


No, you do not usually have to insure your pet, but it could save you money if your pet is ill, injured, lost or stolen.


How do I claim on my pet insurance?


You need to send a claims form to your insurer. Here is what you need to do to make a pet insurance claim.