Best Pet Insurance Plans with No Waiting Period (2023)

by | 1/23/2023

Jump To: Spot | Lemonade | Embrace | Healthy Paws | Pets Best | Figo | Trupanion

You likely won’t find a pet insurance policy with no waiting period, but the best pet insurance companies have short waiting periods to get your pet covered quickly.

Continue reading to learn more about the following pet insurance providers so that you can choose the best one for your needs:

 

When you take out a pet insurance policy, your coverage usually doesn’t go into effect right away. There’s typically a delay – known as a waiting period. Unfortunately, you’re not likely to find pet insurance with no waiting period. Virtually all pet insurance companies have a waiting period of some kind before your pet is eligible for coverage. Most pet insurance companies have a waiting period of about two weeks. However, you can find a policy with a short waiting period so your pet is covered quickly.

We’ve reviewed the waiting period policies for major pet insurance companies across the industry to find the best ones. In this article, we’ll go through them to help you make the right choice.

Waiting periods by pet insurance company

Waiting periods are a crucial aspect of a new pet insurance policy. The best policies have short waiting periods, helping you get coverage quickly.

*Certain conditions, such as cruciate ligaments or orthopedic conditions, may have longer waiting period times, usually six months to a year. This is common among many pet insurance providers, but most illnesses will be covered after the waiting period listed above.

Provider Accident Waiting Period Illness Waiting Period Other Waiting Period Policies BBB Rating
Spot 14 days 14 days N/A A
Lemonade 2 days 14 days 6 months for cruciate ligament issues; preventative care coverage goes into effect right away N/A
Embrace 2 days 14 days 6 months for orthopedic conditions, unless your pet is examined A+
Healthy Paws 15 days 15 days 12 months for hip dysplasia A-
ASPCA 14 days  14 days Preventative care coverage starts right away N/A
Prudent Pet 5 days 14 days 6 months for knee and ligament issues A+
Figo 1 day 14 days N/A B
Wagmo 15 days 15 days 30 days for cancer treatments N/A
Trupanion 5 days 30 days N/A A+

Spot Pet Insurance 

Waiting Period

 Five days for accidents, 30 days for illnesses

More: Read our Spot pet insurance review

 

Lemonade Pet Insurance

Lemonade combines low prices with top-of-the line technology to top our list for best pet insurance with short waiting periods. You can quickly take out a pet insurance policy on Lemonade’s well-designed website: You’ll just answer a few easy-to-follow questions and get an instant quote.

You’ll manage your Lemonade pet insurance policy straight from a dedicated app, and money is deposited straight into your bank account after you file a claim. Lemonade also offers an extensive breadth of coverage, including preventative care, dental procedures and prescription medications. Lemonade’s waiting period is very short to begin with, and there’s no waiting period at all for preventative care coverage.

Pros and Cons of Lemonade Pet Insurance

Pros

Cons

Broad coverage

Hard to compare plans online

Excellent user experience

Only available in 37 states

Cheaper than most competitors

No 24/7 vet line

Waiting Period

Two days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses, and six months for cruciate ligament events.

More: Read our Lemonade pet insurance review

Embrace Pet Insurance

Your pet insurance deductible is the amount you pay out-of-pocket before your coverage kicks in to help cover the rest of the bill. Embrace has an unusual feature for its deductible: For every year you don’t file a claim, your deductible falls by $50. Over time, it can even reach $0 – so if your pet stays healthy, this makes Embrace a fantastic deal.

Embrace has a very short waiting period of just two days for injuries and two weeks for illnesses. There is a longer waiting period for orthopedic conditions, but you may be able to shorten it to just 14 days by having your vet fill out a short waiver form. 

Embrace also has one of the more generous policies on pre-existing conditions: If your pet has been symptom-free for the past 12 months, it’s covered.

Pros and Cons of Embrace Pet Insurance

 

Pros

Cons

24/7 pet health helpline available

Wellness and preventative care not covered

Shorten waiting periods with a vet exam

$25 enrollment fee and $1 monthly processing fee added to cost

Accident-only plans available

Doesn’t cover exotic pets

Waiting Period

14 days for illnesses and 48 hours for accidents.

Six months for dogs for orthopedic conditions.

Special notes: You can shorten the orthopedic condition waiting period to 14 days if you take the dog to a vet for an orthopedic exam at your expense or by using the wellness benefits and get an ‘all-clear’ on ortho issues as reported on your Orthopedic Report Card (every dog with Embrace has one).

If your vet does find something, for instance with the right hip, then all areas not impacted will be reduced but the right hip would be considered pre-existing. Embrace does have a clause where you can ‘earn back’ the coverage and they will remove the pre-existing condition if you get the dog reexamined in six months and the issue has gone away.

More: Read our Embrace pet insurance review

Healthy Paws Pet Insurance

Waiting period

15 days for accident and illness and 12 months for hip dysplasia.

Special notes: They do have exclusions for the ‘other side’ if one side experiences an orthopedic event.

More: Read our Healthy Paws Pet Insurance review.

Figo Pet Insurance

At just one day, Figo offers the shortest waiting period for pet insurance on the market. If you’re nervous about your pet getting hurt before your insurance can take effect, this is the company to go with.

Figo offers policies with an unusually high 100% reimbursement rate, meaning the insurance company will pick up the entire bill once you hit your deductible. Figo is also unusually quick to process claims. The company says you can get reimbursed as soon as within three business days after filing your claim. 

Pros and Cons of Figo Pet Insurance

 

Pros

Cons

Extremely short waiting period

Exam fee coverage is only available as an add-on

Curable pre-existing conditions covered after 12 months without symptoms

Pricier than some competitors

24/7 pet health helpline available 

No accident-only plans

Waiting Period

The last posted data showed 14 days illnesses and five days for accidents.

According to Figo, these vary by state and you need to check with customer service prior to enrolling.

More: Read our Figo pet insurance review.

Trupanion Pet Insurance

Waiting Period

Five days for accidents or injuries and 30 days for illnesses.

PETS BEST PET INSURANCE

Waiting Period

Three days for accidents and 14 days for illnesses.

Six months for cruciate ligament events and any other related conditions.

Special notes: No wait for routine care.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Insurance with No Waiting Periods

 

Do pet insurance policies have waiting periods?

Yes, pet insurance policies more than always have waiting periods. between your initial enrollment period and when coverage officially begins for the plan. Across most providers, the standard is around 14 days for accidents and illnesses, but some others, including Lemonade and Embrace, can shorten your waiting period to as low as two days for accidents.

How much does pet insurance cost? 

Pet insurance costs will vary based on your pet insurance provider, location, your pet’s breed, your pet’s age, and more. Other factors that will influence the cost of pet insurance include the type of plan you choose, especially if the plan has extensive coverage and if you opt for preventative care add-ons. The more coverage your plan has, the higher the cost is likely to be. 

To give you a general idea of pet insurance costs, we’ve researched the following numbers for you. Currently, most dog insurance plans cost $28 per month on average, and cat insurance plans can cost as little as $11 per month. Depending on the plan, you can expect to pay anywhere from $10 per month to $90 per month in most cases.

Is buying pet insurance worth it? 

For most pet owners, pet insurance is absolutely worth it. We never know when our pet could have an unexpected accident or develop an illness, so having a backup plan in place to help pay for your pet’s vet bills is beneficial for most pet parents. Vet bills can quickly add up to hundreds, or even thousands of dollars, which many pet parents don’t have readily available. 

Having pet insurance protects you financially and gives you peace of mind that you won’t have to say no to recommended treatments to benefit your pet’s health and happiness.

How long are pet insurance waiting periods?

In general, pet insurance waiting periods are about two weeks. However, you can easily find pet insurance policies with much shorter waiting periods – even as short as one or two days. In some cases, the waiting period is shorter for accidents than for illnesses. 

What happens if my pet gets hurt or sick during the waiting period?

If your pet is hurt or sick during the waiting period of your pet insurance policy, you will not be covered. You will not be able to file a claim for reimbursement on any of the treatment your pet receives. The health issue will also become a pre-existing condition – so you will not be able to get coverage for the problem once your waiting period is over. However, future problems after the waiting period will be covered.

Is there pet insurance with no waiting period? 

No, there is no pet insurance with no waiting period. One company, Companion Protect, advertises that it does not have a waiting period. However, the company requires a recent, full medical examination before approving a policy, and it takes a few days after you buy the policy to review your pet’s vet records to determine pre-existing conditions. Many procedures also require that you get prior approval before moving forward. So in effect, it may be a few days before you can feel confident that you’re covered.

How can I shorten the waiting period on my pet insurance?

In most cases, there is no way to shorten the waiting period on pet insurance. However, for some conditions with long waiting periods, you may be able to have the period shortened with a vet examination.

When should I buy pet insurance?

It’s best to buy pet insurance as soon as you can, when your pet is healthy. This way you can be confident that when the time comes, you’ll be covered. We recommend that you look at our guide to the best pet insurance companies and choose one that’s right for you.

How We Rate Pet Insurance Companies

The 365 Pet Insurance research team bases its reviews on a variety of factors, including:

  • Breadth of coverage
  • Plan options
  • Cost 
  • Reputation
  • Customer service 
  • Species available
  • Wellness benefits 

We’ve created a 5-star rating system to score pet insurance brands based on a 100-point scale. To develop a list of the best pet insurance plans, we looked into plans, rating coverage, claims handling, reimbursements, deductibles, and limitations. 

  • Monthly Pricing (25 points): Price isn’t everything, but it’s a major factor in how to choose the right pet insurance policy. Affordable rates and comprehensive coverage are the defining characteristics of providing the best pet insurance.
  • Coverage (20 points): We scored companies based on the treatments and procedures they cover. Providers offering broader coverage and more treatments receive more points. Providers who have an age limit on the pets they cover were deducted points.
  • Plans (15 points): Pet insurance providers offer accident-and-illness plans, accident-only plans, wellness add-ons, and pet preventive care add-ons, so customers can choose the right plan for their pets. Companies with more options receive higher scores.
  • Customization Options (10 points): You can ensure your pet only gets what they need by customizing your policy. Providers who offer a greater range of annual limits, deductibles and reimbursement rates get higher scores.
  • Customer Service (10 points): We scored companies based on their website accessibility and usability, mobile apps and grating points to companies with the most customer experience options.
  • Industry Reputation (10 points): We assessed each company’s industry reputation by reviewing up-to-date BBB ratings and accreditation information, as well as their years of experience in the industry.
  • Waiting Periods (10 points): Companies with shorter accident and illness waiting periods scored higher than companies with longer waiting periods.

Our team revisits each company’s information at the end of every month to make updates and ensure the information is as accurate as possible.