Pet Insurance Waiting Periods

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Overview

A waiting period is the time between the day you enroll and the day coverage starts. The day your coverage starts is referred to as the effective date. The reason companies have waiting periods is to avoid pet owners enrolling in a plan to cover a pre-existing condition.

There are three different waiting periods:

  • Waiting Period for Accident: 0 – 15 days
  • Waiting Period for Illnesses: 14 – 30 days
  • Waiting Period for Orthopedic Issues: 14 days – 12 mos.

 

Waiting Periods by Company

Waiting periods are pretty straightforward, but if you’re still stuck this might help.

CompanyAccidentsIllnessesOrthopedic Conditions
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance & Foundation15 days15 days15 days (12 mos. for hip dysplasia)
Embrace Pet Insurance2 days (in most states)14 days6 mos. for dogs (This can be reduced by following Embrace’s Orthopedic Exam and Waiver Process)
Trupanion Pet Insurance5 days30 days30 days
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance1 day15 days15 days
Petplan Pet Insurance5 days15 days15 days (6 mos. for cruciate ligaments and patellar luxation)
Nationwide Pet Insurance14 days14 days14 days (12 mos. for cruciate and meniscus issues)
Pets Best Insurance3 days14 days14 days (6 mos. for cruciate ligaments)
FIGO Pet Insurance5 days14 days14 days (6 mos. for knee issues)

 

How it Works

Here is a simple example to give you a better sense of how it works.

  • Effective Date: October 1, 2016
  • Policy Period: October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017 (12 months)
  • Waiting Period Accidents: 1 day from effective date
  • Waiting Period Illnesses: 14 days from effective date
  • Waiting Period Orthopedic: 6 months from effective date

Pet insurance companies use waiting periods to prevent pet owners from enrolling in a plan because their pet is sick. Pet insurance policies are designed to protect against unexpected health issues.

 

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