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Pet Insurance & chronic illnesses: everything you need to know


Jade Poole from I write words

Pet Insurance & chronic illnesses

Game changing information to know about pet insurance coverage and chronic illnesses in pets

Having a pet in the family with a chronic illness is truly heartbreaking and if that is the case for you and your pet, I really do send my condolences and wishes of good health!

Fortunately, condolences and good wishes aren’t your only options.

A chronic illness is a condition that lasts over a long period of time and requires ongoing treatment. That being said, your pet can still enjoy an active and comfortable life with the right team of experts: you, your vet and a trustworthy pet insurer. Having a pet with a chronic illness is not only emotionally taxing, but the bills aren’t easy to swallow either. Paying for monthly medications and consultations is often too much of a financial burden to bear.

Insuring your pet with a chronic illness

Let’s say you’ve found yourself in the position of being uninsured and with a chronically ill pet. Is it ideal? Not really. Is it hopeless? Absolutely not. Pet insurance is quickly becoming the no-brainer approach for pet-parents because it makes total sense: we should always protect the things we love, our beloved animals included.

I know the lengths that people go through to provide for their pets. I have seen people fork out tens of thousands of rands for a surgery that may or may not work. I have also seen people backed into a corner where they have no choice but to say goodbye to their furry family member because they simply do not have the funds. It is with these scenarios in mind that I will always advocate for reliable, accessible pet insurance.

There are pet insurers out there who won’t insure a pet with a chronic illness - they see it as a huge risk. There are, however, pet insurers who will. Today, you won’t have to look far to find one.

Oneplan and chronic illnesses

I have a really great relationship with the team at Oneplan and although there are a few reasons I think they’re fantastic, I will give you one: they are pet people through and through. Oneplan is one of the few insurers who really understand what it means to have a place in your heart for your animals and so they don’t focus on risk, they focus on the reward.

This is why they will insure your pet, even if they have a chronic illness. If you are looking for a policy to cover your pets chronic medication,  it all comes down to your plan. A basic (even if it is comprehensive) hospital plan will not, whilst a plan like Oneplans Pet Super Plan will cover your pets chronic medication after a 12 month waiting period.

Waiting Periods

“A 12 month waiting period?!?!”

I can hear you shout from across the screen. Yes, a 12 month waiting period. Trust me, they’re there for good reason.

Pet insurance was created as a protective service, not a “my pet is ill and now I need to finance their recovery immediately” service. It sounds harsh but it isn’t:  it’s the way insurance companies stay afloat. 12 months may seem like a long wait but in the wider scheme of things, you may have years and years ahead of you that include the costs of your pets’ medication and treatment

One year in the bigger picture is a small wait for the large helping of peace of mind that’s around the corner.

What am I covered for?

After your waiting period, you can start to claim for your pets chronic illness. This means that if your pet suffers from any of the issues below, you have to wait 12 months for any claims relating to them (medication and treatment) to be covered:

  1. Hereditary - these are inherited conditions from your pet’s parents
  2. Pre-existing conditions - these are conditions that started before your cover began
  3. Congenital - this is something disease your pet is born with
  4. Skin conditions, tumours or growths, liver/pancreas disease
  5. Back/spinal/vertebral/disc conditions
  6. Arthritis, heart/kidney disease, Addison’s disease and diabetes

If you want to find out more about congenital and hereditary illness cover, I wrote about it here.

Common chronic illnesses in pets

  • Cancer
  • Allergies
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)

These illnesses can happen to your pet at any age and are often completely unexpected.  Keep an eye out for if your pet is displaying any of the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting or diarrhoea
  • Coughing (into their elbow, of course)
  • Decreased activity or lack of appetite
  • Itchy skin or hair loss
  • Urinating more or less frequently

The general consensus is that when you, the person who sees and loves your pet every day, notice something is a little off, take them to the vet.

I hope you feel somewhat comforted in the fact that there is a team out there who want to help ease the financial and emotional burden of your chronically ill pet, and you can get in touch with the Oneplan team by clicking here.


Until next time,

The Pet Insurance Team

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