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Pet insurance with no waiting period

It’s possible to get pet insurance with no waiting periods for accidents, but not for illnesses or long-term health conditions. Use our comparison table to easily check provider waiting periods and save time.

What you need to know

  • A pet insurance waiting period is how long you need to wait to be able to make a claim after taking out insurance.
  • Pet insurance with no waiting periods is usually only available for accidents, such as a bone fracture or fight wound.
  • For illnesses, you will have to wait between 14 to 30 days and around 6 months for long-term conditions, such as a cruciate ligament or paralysis tick.

Compare pet insurance waiting period options

You'll be covered immediately for any accidents. If your pet becomes ill, it'll be between 14-30 days until you're covered, depending on the policy. In either case, it's better to get insurance as soon as possible so you're protected if your furry mate develops a pre-existing condition.
Name Product Maximum yearly benefit Maximum yearly benefit Reimbursement rate Reimbursement rate Waiting Period
Medibank Pet Max Cover with Extra Care
$30,000
$30,000
90%
90%
Medibank Pet Max Cover includes Extra Care benefits for specified dental conditions and specialised therapies including physio. T&Cs apply. Medibank and ahm health members also save 10% on yearly premiums.
Everyday Comprehensive Plus Cover
$30,000
$30,000
80%
80%
Everyday Pet Insurance customers get 10% off their monthly Woolworths shop. T&Cs apply.
PIA Major Medical Cover
$30,145
$30,145
80%
80%
  • 30 days for illnesses & tick paralysis
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament
Covers specified accidents and illnesses, with Routine Care Cover included. Get 2 months free when you sign up using the code PIA202. T&Cs apply.
Budget Direct Pet Insurance
$12,000
$12,000
80%
80%
  • 2 days for Accidental Injuries
  • 30 days for illnesses
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament
Apply online and get 15% off your first year's premium. T&Cs apply.
Coles Premium Cover
$15,000
$15,000
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
  • 21 days for accidental injuries or illnesses
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament
Earn 10x Flybuys points per $1 spent on pet food at Coles Supermarkets. T&Cs apply.
PD Deluxe Plan
$20,000
$20,000
100%
100%
  • 0 days for accidental.
  • 21 days for illness, Ingestion poisoning, IVDD, and Tick Paralysis.
  • 6 months for hereditary conditions, cruciate ligament, patella luxation, third party liability & Dental illness.
Apply online and get your first 1 month free. T&Cs apply.
Fetch Pet Insurance
$30,000
$30,000
80% or 90% or 100%
80% or 90% or 100%
Get dental, physio and behaviour cover included and skip wait periods by following our in-app journey.
Pet Circle Dog Cover
$0
$0
70% or 80% or 90%
70% or 80% or 90%
Get 2 months free when you sign up using the code PCI2FREE. T&Cs apply.
Vets Choice Elite Cover
$15,000
$15,000
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
  • 21 days for illnesses & tick paralysis
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament
Get a 5% discount when you insure more than one pet.
Guardian Platinum Accident & Illness Cover
$12,000
$12,000
80%
80%
  • 30 days for illnesses & tick paralysis
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament
Lifetime cover for cats and dogs, up to 80% covered.
Petsy Custom Cover
$0
$0
80% or 90%
80% or 90%
  • 1 day for injury
  • 14 days for illness
  • 6 months for specified conditions
⭐ Finder Exclusive: Enjoy 30% off your first month of pet insurance, plus receive a custom pet tag. Sign up using the code FINDER. T&Cs apply.
Real Premium Accident & Illness Cover
$12,000
$12,000
80%
80%
  • 30 days for illnesses & tick paralysis
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament
Claim up to a maximum of $12k per year, with no excess to pay.
RSPCA Ultimate Plus Accident and Illness Cover
$20,000
$20,000
80%
80%
  • 30 days for illnesses & tick paralysis
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament
Comprehensive cover for your pet, including the option of routine care. Get 1 month free for the first year of new policies. T&C's apply.
Australian Seniors Top Accident & Illness Cover
$12,000
$12,000
80%
80%
  • 30 days for illnesses & tick paralysis
  • 6 months for cruciate ligament
Benefits include overseas cover when in NZ or Norfolk Island for your pet, plus an optional routine care add-on.
Knose Pet Insurance
Finder AwardExclusive
Knose Pet Insurance
$25,000
$25,000
90%
90%
⭐Finder Exclusive: Get 10% off your first year. Sign up using promo code FINDER10. T&C's apply.
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  • You pay the same price as buying directly from the pet insurer.

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Waiting periods for specific conditions and illnesses

Waiting periods vary depending on the ailment and the provider offering pet insurance. Below is an outline of how long you will likely have to wait for specific conditions and illnesses.

Use the Compare checkbox in the table to compare provider waiting periods side-by-side.

Typical waiting periods for pet insurance

Ambulance vehicle with pet paw on the front

Accidents - 0 days

Accidents generally have no waiting period so you should be covered immediately. Accidents you can claim for usually include:

  • A motor vehicle incident
  • A burn or electrocution
  • Allergic reaction to insect or spider bite excluding flea bites
  • A bone fracture
  • Snake bite toxicity
  • A traumatic ligament or tendon injury other than cruciate ligament condition
  • Bite wound or fight wound abscesses
  • Lacerations or abrasion of tissue, skin or mucous membrane due to external violence

Pet toothbrush and scissors

Routine care and illnesses - 30 days

Routine treatments and most illnesses usually come with a 30-day waiting period. These might include:

  • Embedded grass seed
  • Eye trauma
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)
  • Heat stroke
  • Ingestion of foreign object
  • Poisoning
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Tick paralysis
  • Torn nail
  • Trauma-induced respiratory impairment
  • Traumatic spinal disc rupture

Vet building with pet paw on the front

Specified conditions - 6 months

Most pet insurance policies have a 6 month waiting period for certain serious conditions. These can include:

  • Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS)
  • Cherry eye
  • Cruciate ligament condition
  • Ectropion
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Entropion
  • ​​Hip dysplasia
  • Intervertebral disc disease
  • Lumps
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Patella luxation

What is a waiting period?

The waiting period is the time between when you take out your insurance policy and when it comes into effect. If you take out pet insurance the day before a vet visit to investigate an illness, you won't be able to claim a benefit for that visit.

There are two main reasons why waiting periods exist:

  • Pre-existing conditions. This is a condition that you know your pet will need treatment for and therefore cost your insurer. It's important to be aware of whether your pet's breed is known for developing particular conditions. For example, King Charles Cavaliers are known for developing heart conditions.
  • To prevent fraud. Insurance is designed to cover the unexpected. Someone could take out a policy knowing their pet has an expensive surgery scheduled for the next day and claim a large rebate, only to cancel the policy afterwards.

Can I get pet insurance with no waiting period?

Yes, you can get pet insurance no waiting period policies, but just for accident-only insurance. For all other policies, you'll have to wait between 14 to 30 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament problems.

As you can see from the table above, the length of time you'll need to wait varies between insurers. Most have 6 month waiting periods for serious conditions like cruciate ligament problems and 30 days for other illnesses, though a handful come with slightly shorter waiting periods.

How long will I have to wait until my pet is insured?

Conditions covered under illness and tick paralysis and routine treatments usually come with a 30-day waiting period. For cruciate ligament conditions, you usually have to wait 6 months, although some providers will offer a form for waiving or shortening this.

Many policies have a 21-day "cooling-off period", which allows you to cancel your policy at no extra charge if you've made no claims during that time. You can still cancel your policy whenever you want to after this period, but you may have to pay additional charges.

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

You can seek treatment for any illness outlined in your insurance policy, but it won’t be covered until after the waiting period has been served.

Remember: If your pet is showing symptoms of a condition determined to be pre-existing during the waiting period, you won’t be covered.

Do I need to re-serve waiting periods when I switch pet insurance policies?

It's common to take out one pet insurance policy when your dog or cat is young and switch to a different policy when your pet gets older. While this may seem like a cost-effective strategy, it could result in you having to re-serve waiting periods. There are some providers that won't reset the waiting periods if you switch to a new policy with the same level of cover as your previous one.

If you upgrade your policy with the same company, for example, from accident and illness cover to comprehensive, you may still have to re-serve the waiting periods, depending on your provider and what you're being covered for.

What impacts the length of waiting periods?

If a service has a longer waiting period, like a cruciate ligament condition, for example, it's usually because the insurer wants to ensure your pet had no existing cruciate ligament conditions when signing up. In other words, waiting periods prevent you from receiving treatment for pre-existing conditions that you know your pet will need treatment for and therefore costs your insurer in rebates.

In fact, accidents generally have no waiting periods because it's something that can only occur unexpectedly.

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