Pet Keen is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Home > General > How Long Is a Pet Insurance Waiting Period? Facts & FAQ

How Long Is a Pet Insurance Waiting Period? Facts & FAQ

pet insurance care concept

If you’ve been considering buying pet insurance for your loved ones, don’t delay it any longer! Pet insurance is an excellent way to ensure that your furry friends have access to the medical care they need when they need it.

It’s essential not to delay getting pet insurance because pet insurance typically has a waiting period of at least 48 hours before the insurance benefits can be claimed. Keep reading to learn everything you need about your pet insurance waiting period.


What Is a Waiting Period in Insurance?

The waiting period is a brief period when your insurance coverage is restricted at the beginning of your policy. The period varies by insurer and specific plan information but is typically a few days to a few weeks.

Pet insurance
Image Credit:, Shutterstock

Why Do Insurers Use Waiting Periods?

The waiting period prevents people from buying insurance only when they need it and canceling it when they no longer need it. Most insurance providers have standard waiting periods for different types of procedures.

For instance, Embrace’s pet insurance policy has a 14-day waiting period for illnesses, 48 hours for accidents, and six months for orthopedic conditions.

Some insurance providers offer a waiver process that pets can go through to have their waiting period waived in case of an unforeseen emergency after the plan has been purchased.

How Is the Waiting Period Calculated?

Waiting periods typically start on the date that your policy becomes effective. So, if your policy with Embrace goes into effect on January 1st, you’ll be able to get coverage for your pet’s illnesses starting on January 15th, accident coverage will begin on January 3rd, and orthopedic procedures will be covered starting on June 1st.

If you are concerned about the waiting period, we recommend checking a few different companies to compare policies and find the one that best fits your needs.

Top Rated Pet Insurance Companies:

Most Affordable
Our rating: 4.6 / 5
Most Customizable
Our rating: 4.4 / 5
Best for Direct Payments
Our rating: 4.7 / 5

What Happens If I Make a Claim During the Waiting Period?

The insurance typically does not cover claims during the waiting period, even if the situation is an unforeseen emergency. Some insurers may have a process by which you can waive the waiting period in the event of an emergency, but you should confirm this with your insurance provider before your purchase the plan if you suspect this may be an issue.

couple with a dog getting a pet insurance
Image Credit: Drazen Zigic, Shutterstock

What Other Restrictions Are There for Pet Insurance Coverage?

Many pet insurance providers also require that a licensed veterinarian see the pet being covered before it can be covered. This is to see if the pet has any pre-existing conditions that the pet parents may be trying to get coverage for.

Like with people, pre-existing conditions are typically not covered by pet insurance. So, your insurance provider may require a veterinarian to see your pet before coverage begins to determine if the pet had any conditions the plan would not cover.


Final Thoughts

Pet insurance is an excellent investment for your pet’s continued health and wellbeing. However, before you purchase an insurance policy, you’ll want to ensure that the policy you choose is right for you and your family. There are many different plans out there with varying periods of waiting. So, pick one that works best for you and your furry friends!

Featured Image Credit:, Shutterstock

Our vets

Want to talk to a vet online?

Whether you have concerns about your dog, cat, or other pet, trained vets have the answers!

Our vets