What is a "waiting period" for pet insurance?

October 31, 2022 - 3 min read
Dog in vet's office

What is a pet insurance waiting period?

All pet insurance companies have waiting periods. During this time, which varies depending on your state, your pet is not covered for illnesses and possibly accidents—you'll need to check your state's policy for details.

At ManyPets, the waiting period for your pet insurance starts the day after you purchase the policy. If you're enrolled in a non-insurance Wellness plan, the waiting period is a brief 24 hours.

Why do pet insurance companies have waiting periods?

For one thing, waiting periods help us deter fraud. Like all pet insurance companies, ManyPets excludes coverage for pre-existing conditions. Waiting periods prevent pet owners from sidestepping these exclusions; without waiting periods, some pet owners might purchase insurance only after their pet has developed a medical condition.

Look, we completely understand that you'd prefer to have full access to coverage the moment you purchase your policy. But waiting periods help us keep prices affordable for all our customers. If new customers purchased plans only when they needed to file new claims, any pet insurance company would be forced to dramatically raise premiums to pay for them.

Can I just wait until the waiting period is over to visit my vet or file my claim?

No, because our claims team will examine your pet's medical records when processing your claim. If these records make it clear that a condition developed before your waiting period was over, the condition will not be covered.

The last thing we'd ever want to do is discourage pet parents from taking sick or injured pets to the vet in a timely manner. Your veterinarian will know when the condition actually arose, and this information will be documented in the medical records we review, so there's nothing to be gained from delaying your vet visit. In fact, your pet's health condition may worsen or become less treatable while you're waiting.

Does ManyPets ever waive waiting periods?

Yes, ManyPets will waive your waiting period under one circumstance: if you can prove your pet was covered by another valid insurance policy leading up to your policy purchase.

The other policy needs to have been in force at least 24 hours before your new policy's effective date. But please note that this waiver will not alter pre-existing conditions exclusions.

Also, just keep in mind that any exclusions that apply to a condition that developed during your waiting period (or before) will only apply to that condition. For instance, if your pet develops a knee problem during your waiting period, that will not preclude us from covering skin conditions in the future, and so on.

What if I temporarily cancel my plan?

If you cancel your plan, even briefly, you will once again have a waiting period when you resume coverage.

Your deductible will also go back to square one; any pre-existing conditions that developed during your now-lapsed policy will be excluded from future coverage; and any accidents or illnesses that occur while your pet isn't covered will be considered pre-existing conditions. (Think hard before you cancel.)

Does the ManyPets Wellness Plan have a waiting period?

Technically, yes, but it's only 24 hours long.

Have any other questions about ManyPets insurance? Visit our FAQ page.

David Teich
Lead Content Editor

David Teich is Lead Content Editor at ManyPets. He loves pets, Scrabble, Oxford commas, and typing loudly.