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Pet Insurance Waiting Periods

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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 Illnesse: 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.

Company Accident Illness Orthopedic
Healthy Paws 15 days 15 days 12 mos.*
Nationwide 14 days 14 days 14 days
Embrace 14 days 14 days 6 mos.
Petplan 5 days 15 days 6 mos.
Pets Best 3 days 14 days 6-12 mos.
Trupanion 5 days 30 days 30 days
ASPCA 1 day 14 days 14 days
PetFirst 1 day 14 days 14 days
PetPremium 1 day 14 days 14 days
AKC 0 days 30 days 30 days
24PetWatch 1 day 30 days 30 days

* Applies to hip dysplasia only


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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