Pet Insurance Waiting Periods



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.

Healthy Paws15 days15 days12 mos*
Nationwide14 days14 days14 days
Embrace14 days14 days6 mos.
Petplan5 days15 days6 mos.
Pets Best3 days14 days6-12 mos.
Trupanion5 days30 days30 days
ASPCA1 day14 days14 days
PetFirst1 day14 days14 days
PetPremium1 day14 days14 days
AKC0 days30 days30 days
FIGO5 days14 days6 mos**


*Applies to hip dysplasia only

**Applies to knees 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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