Waiting Period

Pet health insurance policy definition of "waiting period"

The period of time as specified in this policy that is required to transpire before some or all of the coverage in the policy can begin.

What is it?

A waiting period is the amount of time you must wait before your pet's health coverage goes into effect and you can actively start using your policy. This is also known as an elimination period or a  qualifying period. 

Why do I have to wait?

Waiting periods are standard practice to prevent the misuse of the pet health insurance policy by policyholders who want to manipulate claims for already sick or injured pets. It helps control the unethical practices by the policyholders.

For example, someone who has a dog with an already broken leg or a cat with diabetes cannot buy a policy and expect the insurance company to pay for all of the expenses the next day.

Pet health insurance works on the concept of everyone paying a premium toward a collective pool and sharing the risk in case someone's pet suffers an unexpected health event. Therefore pet insurance can only start paying claims once the policyholder pays out their share of the insurance premium. 

What happens if a claim is filed during the waiting period?

The claim will be denied by the insurance company if it is filed before the completion of the initial waiting periods.

What are the waiting periods?

Starting from the policy effective date.

UII= Unexpected Illness and Injury Policy

AOP = Accident Only Policy

State UII-Injury UII-Illness UII-Cruciate Ligament Event AOP-Injury
ME, WA 0 days 14 days 30 days 0 days
MS 3 days 14 days 30 days 0 days
ND, OR 3 days 14 days 30 days 3 days
VT 3 days 14 days 120 days 0 days
All Other States 3 days 14 days 180 days 3 days