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Pet Insurance 101

What is a pre-existing condition?

How pre-existing conditions affect pet insurance.

If you're new to pet insurance, there's one phrase you should get to know: pre-existing conditions. And for those unfamiliar with what this term actually means, it’s a good thing you landed on our article.

In terms of insurance, a pre-existing condition is any condition that occurred or that your pet has shown clinical signs of before signing up for pet insurance, during the waiting period or at the time of your pet’s first veterinary exam. It’s important to know how pre-existing conditions can impact if you’ll get paid back for pet insurance claims.

Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions?

Like other pet insurance providers, Fetch by The Dodo doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. That’s why we recommend signing your cat or dog up for pet insurance while they’re young or as soon as you welcome them into your life so that we can cover future accidents or illnesses.

What does pet insurance cover?

And while Fetch doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions, we’re still the most comprehensive pet insurance provider. Here are all the ways we’ll help you to cover your pet’s medical expenses:

  • Sick-exam fees
  • Emergency vet visits
  • Specialist vet visits
  • Comprehensive dental
  • Breed-specific conditions
  • Complete sick visit
  • Injuries and illnesses
  • Virtual vet visits
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Imaging and ultrasounds (like MRIs)
  • Veterinary holistic and chiropractic care for medical conditions
  • Veterinary behavioral therapy
  • Cancer treatment
  • Surgery and rehabilitation

RELATED: Does pet insurance cover surgery?

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Pre-existing conditions list

Some of the most common pre-existing conditions we hear about at Fetch are cancers, allergies, diabetes, arthritis, heart diseases and knee disorders. Make sure your pet is signed up when they’re young so we can cover them if they develop any conditions

What is a waiting period?

The 15-day waiting period, which begins the day after you enroll, is a set period before your coverage kicks in and you can be paid back for claims. Here’s what you need to know about the waiting period:

  • We cover injuries, illnesses and behavioral disorders that occur after the waiting period is over.
  • Any claims you submit during the waiting period will not be covered.
  • Any condition that develops during the waiting period will be considered a pre-existing condition, which means it won’t be eligible for coverage.

There’s also a 6-month exclusionary period before injuries of the hips and knees can be covered.

You can waive the 6-month exclusionary period for knee conditions and disorders by having your pet examined by a vet in the first 30 days of your policy to determine and document that they don’t have any relevant pre-existing conditions.

Can I insure my dog with a pre-existing condition?

Yes! Even if your pup (or cat) has pre-existing conditions, we still urge you to sign up for Fetch pet insurance so we can be there for things they haven’t been diagnosed with or any future accidents. As pet parents, we know you’ll do anything to keep your pet happy and healthy, so sign up for Fetch pet insurance today or learn more at

The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.

Photo by Anusha Barwa on Unsplash

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