Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Does Pet Insurance Cover Hip DysplasiaMost pet insurance companies don’t cover hip dysplasia, since they consider it to be a genetic condition. There are some that will offer this type of coverage, but you need to consider this type of coverage carefully.

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The insurance company may put restrictions in place on coverage for hip dysplasia when the policy is renewed that mean it will not offer continuous coverage for the condition. Read on to better understand both hip dysplasia in pets and your pet insurance options.

Pet Hip Dysplasia Defined

Pet hip dysplasia is a medical condition that causes pain and lameness in animals. Some species of large dogs are especially susceptible, including:

  • German Shepherd
  • Great Danes
  • Labrador Retrievers
  • Rottweilers
  • Golden Retrievers
  • Saint Bernards

This condition can also affect small dogs and cats. Most animals who develop hip dysplasia are born with normal hip function, but over time the abnormal structure of the hip joint and issues with the muscles, ligaments and connective tissues in this part of the body become more apparent.

The joint goes through an abnormal level of wear and tear, and arthritis develops as a result. As a result, the animal starts to exhibit signs of increasing discomfort after exercising.

If the condition remains untreated, the condition worsens so that the dog or cat experiences pain while trying to perform everyday activities. Eventually, the animal is unable to walk. This condition may affect one or both hips. The level of disability for the pet varies depending on the individual.

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Pet Hip Dysplasia and Insurance

Companies offering pet insurance know that certain breeds, like the ones mentioned above, are more likely to develop this condition. Breeders attempt to reduce the risk when making decisions about mating their animals, but this does not eliminate the risk entirely.

When pet insurance companies are setting coverage rates, they look at the level of risk that a particular pet presents. The breed of animal and its age are considered to determine the likelihood of the pet developing medical conditions that will result in a claim being made against the policy.

The pet insurance company may flatly refuse to cover any genetic conditions, like hip dysplasia. Other ones will provide coverage, but you must to add a rider to your policy for this condition. Before the insurance company will agree to cover the pet for hip dysplasia, it will need to know whether the pet is exhibiting signs of this condition or it has already been diagnosed with it.

You will also need to serve a waiting period after the policy has been issued before your pet is covered for dysplasia, so be sure to find out how long it will be before buying the policy. If your pet is diagnosed before this period expires, the company will consider it a pre-existing condition, and your pet will not be covered.

Consider Options Carefully

Before you buy a pet insurance policy, read through the policy provisions carefully so that you understand what you are buying. The insurance company may agree to provide coverage for dysplasia, but only for the term you choose. Once the policy term expires, the insurer may consider the dysplasia to be a pre-existing condition under the new policy and your pet will no longer be covered.

If you want to be sure that your pet is covered for dysplasia, there are some insurers who are willing to provide this protection for the pet’s lifetime. This option does provide you with the maximum level of protection, but you can expect to pay a lot more in premiums for it.

You will want to compare coverage options and rates from different providers before buying a pet insurance policy that covers dysplasia. Take your time in reading through the policy provisions. Pet health insurance has a deductible that you are responsible for paying directly, and you may be required to make a co-payment before the insurance company will pay out on a claim. If you have questions about the type of coverage you can get, the waiting period, or anything else in connection with the policy, contact the insurance company to get answers before you make your buying decision.

There are insurance companies that will offer coverage for pet dysplasia. Whether you can get insurance for your pet will depend on the breed and how likely it is that your furry friend will develop this condition. You also need to decide how much you want to spend for health insurance for your pet, as opposed to paying for healthcare services directly.

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