Does Pet Insurance Have a Waiting Period?

waiting period for pet insurance

Every pet health insurance plan has a waiting period before your pet can be covered. The reason for this is because pet insurance companies want to prevent fraud, so they require all newly enrolling animals or new ones being added to an existing policy.  

Why Is There a Waiting Period?

Pet insurance is intended to protect your pet in case an unfortunate event happens and is not designed to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions.


After all, if there is pet insurance with no waiting period, any pet owners could delay enrollment until after their pet got sick or hurt, and the insurance company would start paying out money to care for the pet right away before getting premium on the policy. Insurance companies don’t want that to happen, so they enact a waiting period. However, pet owners may be able to get a waiver to reduce waiting periods for certain conditions if they get their pet examined by a vet.

The Typical Waiting Period for Pet Insurance Coverage

While all insurers have waiting periods, they vary from one insurer to another. Insurers typically have at least two different waiting periods. The first waiting period relates to accidents, while the second one has to do with illness. The waiting period for an accident is usually shorter than an illness because accidents don’t involve pre-existing conditions.


Having said that, some insurers may have a third waiting period for more severe health issues such as orthopedic conditions. Each waiting period starts the first day the pet insurance policy is in force.

What to Keep in Mind When Shopping for Pet Insurance

When you’re looking for the right insurance policy for your pet, the waiting period is just one of the factors you should consider. It’s also important to research the policy exclusions. This is more important if your pet has pre-existing health conditions. You should also consider deductible and coverage limits for the pet insurance coverage you’re deliberating on. 


Ultimately, you want to purchase the best pet insurance policy with comprehensive coverage for your best friend.


The major reason why you need to buy a pet insurance policy is to avoid spending unexpected thousands of dollars, which could put you out. Also, you don’t want to just get any pet insurance policy; you want a policy that will be great by minimizing your future expenses. Also, while waiting periods vary, most of the top-tier pet insurance companies offer waiting periods of no more than 15 days. So, you can’t truly use waiting periods as a key differentiator.

Why Purchase Pet Insurance Sooner?

Once your pet has an accident or is diagnosed with illnesses, it may be too late for you to purchase pet insurance coverage due to the policy’s waiting periods and exclusions for pre-existing conditions. You don’t want to put your pet in a position where they can’t get help without financial constraints. So, be sure to get your pet covered as soon as you can.


For more information about a pet insurance policy and how to choose the best coverage option, contact us today.