Pet insurance and pre-existing conditions

At Petcover, a pre-existing condition will never stop your pet from getting pet insurance coverage. While your pet’s pre-existing condition will not be eligible for cover, you will still be covered for all other issues that could happen in future, including chronic conditions.

At Petcover we’re proud of the fact we’re the top experts in the industry – pet insurance is all we do; it’s all we have ever done – we’ve been insuring the nation’s beloved companions for 40 years. Now that’s a lot of Fidos and Fluffys! 

As pet insurance specialists, we offer New Zealand’s best range of policy options packed with added benefits to suit every budget. Our plans are affordable and designed to cover the unexpected. As long as you continue to renew your pet’s policy each year, without a gap in your cover, we will continue to pay claims for lifelong illnesses, you can rest easy knowing that your furry friend is covered. 

 What is a pre-existing condition? 

A pre-existing condition is an illness, injury, or symptom identified by you, or your veterinarian, prior to taking out a pet insurance policy. 

There are two types of pre-existing conditions: those that will be cured or heal so are deemed temporary; and those that may never be cured, and therefore deemed permanent. 

Temporary pre-existing conditions include: 

Soft tissue injuries 

Broken bones 

Urinary tract infections 

Ear infections 

Respiratory infections 

Bladder infections 



Permanent pre-existing conditions include: 



Orthopaedic conditions 

Heart disease 

Kidney disease 

Bladder crystals 



Hip dysplasia 


Chronic skin disease 

Permanent conditions require repeat veterinarian visits, ongoing medication, and sometimes even surgery. 

How can I avoid a pre-existing condition?  

While there is no guarantee that your pet won’t have a pre-existing condition, you might find that it’s worth considering taking out insurance while your pet is young and healthy. By doing this early, you will ensure your beloved family member is covered for the care they deserve and avoid not being covered for conditions that may occur in their early years and become lifelong. Just like their humans, they can develop health issues early that continue in the long term. 

Our pets can get sick out of the blue or injured when we least expect it. The longer you delay getting pet insurance, the higher the chance of something happening to your pet, and that injury or illness would then be considered a pre-existing condition and therefore not eligible for coverage. 

Can my pet still be insured?  

Despite their pre-existing condition/s, you may find pet insurance to be a worthwhile investment in order to protect them from other issues that can occur.
If your animal develops any other illness or gets into an accident, not being insured could lead to significant out-of-pocket costs to get them the care they need. In fact, statistics have shown that you are five times more likely to utilise your pet insurance than you are your household insurance.   

How can Petcover help? 

Petcover’s pet insurance plans are designed to cover the unexpected so you can afford the care your pet deserves. We give you peace of mind by taking the financial worry out of having an animal. Our policies protect your animal against conditions that happen after you take out a pet insurance policy. Cover is available for new accidents and illnesses that occur after the applicable waiting period. 

As experts, we use our in-house veterinary team to determine exclusions and we seek to avoid placing exclusions, if possible, based on individual circumstances. For pre-existing conditions that will eventually heal, Petcover may place an exclusion for the condition temporarily for up to two years. During this period, any treatment for the pre-existing condition will not be covered. If your pet remains completely asymptomatic during the excluded period, the exclusion may then be removed, upon review, for the following years. Once removed it is as if the exclusion was never there. 

As a multi award-winning pet insurer with 40 years in the pet insurance business, we know that every pet’s situation is unique, so we recommend calling our friendly pet-loving team on 0800 255 426 to chat about how pre-existing conditions could affect your policy. 

How Petcover can help your pet

Petcover specialises in offering quality, straightforward pet insurance with a range of policy options that suit your needs. Whether your pet is big or small, our range of cover options are packed with added benefits. Accidents can happen at any time and the reality of veterinary costs can come a quite a shock. With our range of cover levels for dogscats, and horses why not get a quote today.