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State insurance commissioner highlights new rules under state pet insurance law

After Gov. Jay Inslee signed a new bill related to pet insurance into law in April, Washington residents can expect more protection and less confusion, according to a news release from Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler.

According to the news release, Senate Bill 5319 was based on model legislation from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and requires insurers to disclose information about coverage. The bill also establishes training and licensing requirements for sellers.

SB 5319 establishes uniform definitions for terms frequently used in pet insurance policies, including chronic conditions, congenital anomalies, hereditary disorders, orthopedics, preexisting conditions, renewals, veterinarians, veterinary expenses, waiting periods and wellness programs. If an insurance policy includes any of those terms, the company is required to use the definition provided in SB 5319 and make that definition available on its website.

For those purchasing pet insurance, the insurance company is now required to let purchasers know if the policy excludes coverage based on preexisting conditions, hereditary disorders, congenital anomalies or disorders, or a chronic condition. If there are any other exclusions, the policy must include specific language to that effect.

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