What’s a Waiting Period for a Pet Insurance?
One of the most common questions people ask is “what is the waiting period for pet insurance?”. If your pet got into an accident or got ill, when do you think you’ll get your money back? Or if you just signed a contract, when does the coverage start?
Pet insurance waiting periods differ according to each company. Though this often depends on the type of policy you’ve got.
Pets are also exposed to different diseases like cancer and diabetes besides accidents. With pet insurance, you can get financial aid when these situations come. But, how long does it take after filing a claim?
We all know that the treatments for these illnesses are not a joke. Veterinary bills reach a whopping $200 to $7,000, while maintenance medicines are on another topic.
Hence, some pet owners apply for pet insurances is to help cover medical bills on various health services like:
- Eye, Ear, Periodontal, and Dermatological Conditions
- Orthopedic Conditions
- Alternative Therapy
These are the most common conditions that pets may encounter as they get old. It won’t fully cover your pet’s medical bill, but it will help you get around 70% to 90% of it.
Pet Insurance Waiting Period
The waiting period is the time it will take before you can claim your insurance when your pet gets sick. It is also the time when you wait to get your reimbursement.
Waiting periods depend on your pet’s breed, health condition, and your insurer. First, let’s look into the waiting period relating to reimbursement claims.
Most insurers have a 14-day waiting period for diseases. Some companies offer a 24 hours waiting period for wellness plans. Others offer 2 to 7 days of waiting periods for accident claims.
Waiting periods for health conditions like orthopedic conditions and others may last longer.
The longest waiting periods are mostly expensive procedures. Knee surgery and torn ligament treatment take about 3 to 6 months. Some insurers take about a year and even 18 months.
Waiting Periods Before Coverage
If you’ve already applied for insurance in your desired pet insurance company, then that’s great! But before you can take out your pet insurance, insurers implement a waiting period before coverage starts.
Pet insurance companies implemented this waiting period to avoid fraud. The duration of waiting periods before coverage vary by state and your insurer. It usually lasts within 0 to 30 days from the date you signed.
Some companies extend or shorten the waiting period depending on the medical exam. To determine what is covered and not on your policy, they require your pet to undergo an examination. This is where pre-existing conditions are identified and listed.
If the vet discovers some possible health problems, this could extend the waiting period. If he deems your pet fit and healthy, this could also shorten the pet insurance waiting period. Though this all depends on your selected pet insurance.
Why Do They Have a Waiting Period?
Some may think that the pet insurance waiting period is such a hassle. Waiting periods allow turn over time for the insurance company and mainly to avoid any fraudulent claims by pet owners.
Waiting periods for pet insurance can differ depending on your pet’s breed, health condition, and your chosen policy. So it is important to check the policy before you sign the insurance contract.
Unfortunately, no insurance company reimburses at the same time as the diagnosis. Waiting periods are there to make sure that you can reimburse all expenses spent. If you miss a bill, ask your insurer if this can be included to your claim during a waiting period.
Can I Reduce the Waiting Period?
Waiting periods for illnesses and injuries are fixed, but a few companies can reduce it depending on your pet’s condition. Insurers need an orthopedic exam and a waiver given by your veterinarian or your insurer. However, you can only submit the exam results within the first 14 days of your policy.
Pet Insurance Companies with Shorter Waiting Periods
Pet insurers have different waiting periods, so you need to review each one in every plan or policy. There are a few companies that offer shorter waiting periods.
Others offer as fast as a zero or 2-day waiting period for accidents. Companies have pre-defined waiting periods for each case.
Before you say yes to your pet insurance policy, check all plans and do some computations. Check your target insurer’s history and reviews online, then clarify doubts when you discuss your policies.
Each pet insurance waiting period varies, so it is important to insure your pet now. Insuring your pet while young is the best action to get good coverage. So talk to your vets soon, since they might even recommend the best pet insurance for you.