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While it’s now law that insurers can’t deny humans insurance based on pre-existing conditions, the same perk isn’t enjoyed by pets. Pet insurers such dog costumes as Trupanion and Nationwide do not cover pre-existing conditions that the pet had before coverage began. Nationwide limits coverage for hereditary disorders by breed — such as cardiac arrhythmia in Boxers — in some plans, but offers full coverage for those conditions in its comprehensive Whole Pet with Wellness plan. For this reason, the best time to purchase pet insurance is when the pet is young because there is little chance of pre-existing conditions. The average age of insured cats and dogs was 4.86 years in 2016 , according to NAPHIA. In 2016, Americans spent $66.75 billion on pets , according to data from the American Pet Products Association. Of that, Americans spent $14.71 billion on pet supplies and over-the-counter medicine and $15.95 billion on vet care alone. “Now people are demanding more for their pets,” says Dr. Simon Platt, a veterinary neurologist and professor at the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine. Insurance appeals to pet owners who prefer to pay a monthly cost for future health expenses instead of doling out hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars when care is needed.
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