With our furry friends being part of the family, we want to take care of them as much as we can. Ensuring that they’re protected against disease or deadly illnesses is critical, as is the ability to provide them with necessary treatment for sudden sickness or accidents. 

That’s why pet insurance is such as important purchase and with veterinary bills unaffordable for many, a good policy can be a gamechanger in getting your pet the treatment it needs.

But what about if your pet already has a long-term illness which requires recurring, regular treatment? A condition that is pre-existing and not sudden or unforeseen? How does insurance deal with that?

Are pet pre-existing medical conditions covered?

Typically, most pet insurance in Dubai won’t cover pre-existing conditions, which are conditions your pet had before the policy started: such as hypertension, arthritis or diabetes. Don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that your pet is uninsurable per se. However, what it does mean is that any claims relating to their particular pre-existing condition will be rejected. 

So, I can still insure my pet?

Yes, your pet can still be insured and claims will be accepted (subject to other policy terms and conditions) for any new conditions, or sudden and unforeseen illness or accident: only their pre-existing condition(s) declared would be excluded. Pet insurance in Dubai is still relatively restricted in terms of the number of insurers offering this cover so do your research online, contact a broker or ask a friend with a pet who they insure with. Recommendation can be a great way to buy this kind of insurance.

What if I don’t declare the conditions? Will they be covered?

An insurance provider will always ask questions about your pet’s health history as part of the application process, and consider the implications of the information provided to them when quoting your premium. Insurance works on the principle of utmost good faith, meaning that any application must be made with full honesty and transparency. Should you withhold information about a particular medical condition and it later transpires that this was relevant, not only will any claims in this regard be rejected, but you may also find that your insurer chooses to cancel your policy altogether, rendering it void from inception due to lack of disclosure, which they are entitled to do.

Can I get cover for pre-existing conditions anywhere?

Whilst most mass market policies exclude pet pre-existing conditions, some insurers offer specialist policies with wider cover, or may accept to insure pre-existing conditions upon payment of an additional premium. Do your research and ask any insurer directly whether this option is available. Note that some conditions may not be accepted if they are likely to involve significant, on-going treatment costs. Pre-existing conditions are known risks that often no amount of premium would cover and therefore mean a straightforward loss for the insurer, which is not acceptable business for them.

What is the benefit of insurance then, if pre-existing conditions can’t be covered?

Whilst your pet’s pre-existing conditions are unlikely to be covered, any other sudden or unforeseen illnesses they contract or injuries they sustain should be (subject to compliance with other policy terms and conditions), and their associated costs of consultation and treatment advised and administered will be met by the policy.

If you didn’t have insurance, then you would have to pay for these yourself and on top of the costs of treatment for your pet’s pre-existing condition, this could prove to be extremely costly. So, your insurance policy can lighten the load and help cover you for those unexpected situations and unwelcome additional vet’s bills that you hadn’t budgeted for. 

I haven’t bought my pet yet. How do I know about whether they have any pre-existing conditions?

If you are in the process of buying your pet there are a couple of things to consider. First, generic conditions. Do your research on your pet’s breed before you buy. Some types of cat or dog are prone to contracting certain types of illnesses or diseases and these are well-publicized, so look online or even ask a vet for their advice. Note that some this applies to many pedigree breeds, who are not only expensive to buy, but also expensive to treat, so really do your research if you are considering buying one.

Second, specific situation to your chosen animal. Ask the breeder or owner you are buying your pet from about the animal’s history and ask to see any records from the vet regarding vaccinations, inoculations, and any treatment previously administered. These should give you an insight into whether there are any red flags to pet pre-existing conditions.

Final Thoughts

When considering pet insurance in Dubai and the UAE, you should take the time to carefully compare and research the different types of policies available. It is important to consider the amount of coverage required and the financial advantages or disadvantages of different plans. A comparison of features, benefits and costs should be made for each policy before making a decision. 

Choosing the right pet insurance in Dubai will give you peace of mind and financial protection in the event of your pet’s injury or illness and help you offset savings against any costs for treatment of your pet’s pre-existing conditions.

About Author

Rachel Al Mughairi

About Author

With over 34 years in the international insurance industry in a variety of senior management roles, and as holder of the Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Rachel surely knows her insurance! With experience in London, continental Europe and the Middle East, Rachel is here to share her knowledge and help you understand more about insurance products in this easy-to-understand series of videos and blogs.