An insurance waiting period is the length of time you must wait after your pet is insured before your pet is eligible for benefits. Most pet insurance policies have a waiting period of 14 days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses. There are a few policies that have a 30-day pet insurance waiting period for both accidents and illnesses, but they are becoming rare.
Some pet insurance policies also have a waiting period for certain conditions. For example, a policy might have a 90-day waiting period for hip dysplasia. This means your pet would not be eligible for benefits for hip dysplasia until 90 days after the day your pet was insured.
Why do pet insurance companies have waiting periods?
The main reason why there is often a waiting period before pet insurance coverage begins is that most providers want to make sure that the pet is actually sick or injured before they start to pay out claims. This way, the provider is not paying out for routine care and exams and is only paying for care that is necessary because of an illness or injury.
Much like humans may not be covered for pre-existing conditions that existed before their coverage kicks in, your pet health insurance policy might not cover medical bills for hereditary conditions or veterinary care for your puppy before this period passes. The waiting period prevents fraud and makes pet insurance more accessible.
By having a waiting period, pet insurance providers can ensure that only those pets that need coverage will actually receive it. This also helps to keep premiums down, as providers do not have to pay out for routine care.
Are there exceptions to these waiting periods?
The good news is that, in most cases, your pet will be able to receive necessary care even if it is during the insurance waiting period. However, there may be a few things you need to know to make sure everything goes smoothly.
While your pet is not covered by insurance during this period, you are still responsible for any vet bills. However, many pet insurance providers offer a waiver if your pet needs care during this time. This waiver means that you will not have to pay for the vet bills yourself, and the insurance company will cover them.
To qualify for the waiver, you will usually need to provide proof that your pet received necessary care during this period. This proof can come in the form of a bill, receipt, or statement from the vet clinic.
How can you pay for vet care in the meantime?
If you do not have the waiver and your pet needs care during this period, you will need to pay for the vet bills yourself. However, you can often submit a claim to the insurance company once the policy goes into effect and receive reimbursement for the costs.
It is important to keep in mind that the insurance waiting period varies from policy to policy. Some policies have a waiting period of just a few days, while others cover a period of several months. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your policy carefully to find out how long this period is.
If you really love your dog and don't have pet insurance, there are some other ways you can pay for your pet’s medical costs during this time. You may want to consider taking out a loan to cover your vet bills. This can be a great option if you know you'll be able to pay the loan back in a timely manner. Credit cards can also be a great way to pay for vet bills, as they often offer low interest rates. Just be sure to keep track of your credit card balance so you don't end up in debt.