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Pet insurance for pre-existing conditions

Pre-existing pet insurance helps to protect your cat or dog for a condition that they had before taking out your insurance. As well as pre-existing conditions, these policies can also protect your pet from accidents and new illnesses they develop. Different insurers have varying ways of defining and covering conditions so check policy wording carefully.

We do not offer cover for pre-existing conditions on new business policies.

10% multi-pet discount

93% of claims paid in 2021

24/7 access to our veterinary Careline


Immediate cover when you switch

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Our approach to pre-existing conditions

Our new business policies do not cover pre-existing conditions.  

Any illness, disease or injury that your pet has shown clinical signs for and/or you have sought veterinary advice or treatment prior to starting a policy will be considered as a pre-existing condition. Pre-existing conditions are excluded from cover. 

If you require cover for pre-existing conditions you should contact a specialist provider. 

 Existing customers who have purchased a Champ policy will continued to be covered for any accepted conditions shown in your policy documents. Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy. 

What are pre-existing conditions and how does cover work?

Pre-existing cover intends to provide cover for medical issues that a pet already has. They describe any illness, injury, symptom or condition that happened or first showed signs before your policy begins – regardless of whether your pet went to the vet for it. Our full definition is shown in the FAQs below or in our policy wording.

Cat and dog insurance quote

Whilst we cannot currently offer pre-existing conditions cover, we can help to cover your cat and dog from as little as £4.72.

Get a quote >

How do insurers know about pre-existing conditions?

Most insurers don’t require you to tell them about pre-existing conditions prior to taking out cover, but they will be aware of this through the pet history when making a claim.

In some policy wording you may find that the limits for pre-existing conditions are lower than new conditions. So whilst the vet fee cover could be £7,000, you may find lower claim limits on pre-existing conditions, sometimes as low as £500.

What conditions can be covered?

Because most insurers don’t require you to tell them which conditions are pre-existing then you will be able to cover all of your pet’s pre-existing conditions up to a limit. But remember this limit for pre-existing conditions is usually much lower than the overall vet fee limit, particularly across the first, second and third year of your policy.

Existing pre-existing condition policyholders

As of November 2021 we are no longer offering our pre-existing conditions policies (known as Champ 2.5, Champ 4.0 and Champ 8.0) to new customers.

If you are a current Scratch & Patch Champ policyholder then your cover will still be valid and continue with the same conditions accepted as described on your policy wording.

You will also be able to renew your Champ policy on or before your renewal date.

If you have any questions about how the removal of the Champ product will affect your cover please contact us.

Switching from another provider?

Research show that 69% of UK pet owners* would consider switching insurers if their pet’s pre-existing conditions would continue to be covered.

Find out more about how to switch pet insurance.


*Scratch & Patch Pet Insurance Survey 2020

Multipet discount

If you’re insuring 2 or more pets then you’ll receive a 10% discount off your total insurance premium. The offer applies to our Bronze, Silver, Gold, Premier and Premier Plus cover and will be deducted when calculating your quote.

24/7 Vet Advice Careline

The Scratch & Patch Careline which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is included for all cover levels. Our friendly UK based team are available whether you’re looking for pet care advice or looking for assistance with a quote or a claim.

Need to claim?

If the unfortunate situation arrives where you need to make a claim on your policy, we can assist by paying your claim fast and efficiently and often payments can be made directly to your vet – so long as you and they agree. In 2021 we paid 93% of all claims made.

Cover benefits and what our members say

Switching without the waiting period

It hasn’t always been easy to switch your pet cover, but we’re changing that. Most providers will impose a 14-day wait time for illnesses if you switch, but so long as you are an existing pet insurance holder when you switch to us, we won’t.


No co-insurance

Co-insurance is a payment in addition to the excess that’s shared between you and an insurer which splits the cost of claims, usually it’s an 80/20 split.

We want you to know exactly what your costs will be so we don’t impose a co-insurance payment on any of our plans.

Pre-existing conditions cover FAQs

How are pre-existing conditions defined?

Our definition of a pre-existing condition for our policies is; Pre-existing condition: An injury or illness that:

  • Happened or first showed clinical signs,
  • Has the same diagnosis or clinical signs as an injury, illness or clinical sign your pet had,
  • Is caused by, relates to, or results from, an injury, illness or clinical sign your pet had, before the start date of your pet’s first period of insurance (inception) or before the date the cover level on your policy was increased. No matter where the injury, illness or clinical signs are noticed or happen in, or on, your pet’s body.

What’s an excess and how does it work?
An excess is a compulsory payment made by you.

Our excess also depends upon the ages of your pet. Dogs under 8 and cats under 10 will have a £100 excess per claim, whilst over these ages the excess is £250 per claim.

Under our Champ product we may impose an additional excess for accepted conditions.

If you claim under the Third Party Liability section of cover then the excess rises to £250.

What happens to my policy at renewal?

Existing Champ policyholders will be receive their renewal invite 21 days prior to the renewal date. Renewal prices will be calculated on the same details we know about you when you took the policy out.

Despite us no longer offering the Champ product to new customers, any existing policyholders who took the policy out prior to November 4th 2021 will be able to renew.

How does accidental damage cover work?

The accidental damage section of our policies protect you up to the limit stated on your plan if your dog causes accidental death or injury to a person or accidental loss or damage to their property. Find out more about accidental damage cover within pet insurance.

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Comprehensive pet insurance cover for your furry friend. Get a quote today.

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