If you’ve thought about, chances are you’ve come across the term “waiting period” here and there. It’s commonplace for pet insurers to require a waiting period before coverage kicks in, which can range from a few days to a few weeks on average. And, certain conditions may have even longer waiting periods before coverage kicks in. That’s how pet insurers protect themselves from excessive risk.
But what if your pet needs to see the vet now? You may not have months to wait for insurance to kick in, so are there any pet insurance providers that don’t make you wait for coverage to begin?
Is there pet insurance with no waiting period?
Finding a pet insurance policy with no waiting period may be difficult. In fact, only one provider claims to offer policies with no waiting period — but the terms and conditions appear to vary by state, and there are limitations and exclusions that may make that type of policy more limited compared to some of the other options.
In turn, a no-waiting-period policy may not provide the best policy for you. It’s important to compareand consider other factors like price, coverage and how coverage is provided (direct or reimbursement).
How to alleviate pet insurance waiting period concerns
There are ways to alleviate waiting period concerns and get a more well-rounded policy, including:
Purchase pet insurance while your pet is young
If you, there may be some time before you need your insurance benefits to cover any major veterinary expenses. As such, a waiting period of a few days or weeks likely won’t be much of a concern.
But that’s not the only reason to purchase pet insurance while your pet is young, either.
Pet insurance providers consider the risk your pet poses when they issue a policy for it. The younger your pet is, the lower the risk typically is to the insurance provider. As such,if you purchase a policy while your pet is still young.
Purchase a policy with a short waiting period
Sure, a pet insurance policy with no waiting period sounds great, butare relatively short — at least for most medical issues. Unless your pet has an immediate need for medical attention, chances are you’ll be able to wait a couple of weeks to get care.
On the other hand, if there is a need for immediate medical attention, it’s likely too late for insurance. After all, even a policy with no waiting period may refuse to cover pre-existing conditions.
If you want to start normal checkups soon, look for a policy with a waiting period on the shorter end. This will open the door to more options while allowing you to get a checkup for your furry friend in a reasonable amount of time.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
If your pet is already showing symptoms of a problem, it may be too late for insurance to help. Insurers consider pre-existing conditions when issuing a policy, regardless of the waiting period. And, most policies won’t cover anything that’s pre-existing. Those that do typically only cover these claims on a limited basis and can be expensive.
Choosing between a pet you love and the cost of care can be a heart-wrenching decision — especially if you don’t have thousands of dollars to pay for surgery or cancer treatments.now. That way, when something does pop up, you know your pet is covered.
The bottom line
There aren’t many pet insurance policies without a waiting period. However, as long as you insure your pet while it’s healthy, the waiting period may be on the low end of the priority list as you compare your options. If you’re concerned about coverage for check-ups, there are plenty of policies that offer short waiting periods.