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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.

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Pet insurance with no waiting periods is usually only available for accidents. For illnesses, you'll have to wait between 14 to 30 days and even longer (usually around 6 months) for long-term health conditions such as tick paralysis and cruciate ligament conditions.

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 Ultimate Pet Care
$15,000
$15,000
80%
80%
30 days for illnesses & 6 months for cruciate ligament
⭐Finder Exclusive: Enjoy 18% off your first year. Sign up using promo code FINDER18 by 30 June 2022. T&Cs apply.
Budget Direct Pet Insurance
$12,000
$12,000
80%
80%
30 days for illnesses, 2 days for Accidental Injuries & 6 months for cruciate ligament
Apply online and get 15% off your first year’s premium. T&Cs apply.
PIA Major Medical Cover
$15,145
$15,145
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.
PD Deluxe Plan
$15,000
$15,000
100%
100%
0 days for accidental, 21 days for illness, Ingestion poisoning, IVDD, Tick Paralysis and Third Party Liability. 90 days for hereditary conditions, cruciate ligament & patella luxation & 6 months for Dental illness.
Apply online and get your first 1 month free. T&Cs apply.
Vets Choice Elite Cover
$15,000
$15,000
80% or 100%
80% or 100%
21 days for illnesses and tick paralysis & 6 months for cruciate ligament
Get a 5% discount when you insure more than one pet.
Woolworths Comprehensive Cover
$24,000
$24,000
80%
80%
30 days for all Illnesses and 6 months for Cruciate Ligament Conditions. There is no waiting period for specified accidental injury.
Woolies top policy comes with a $24,000 annual limit — higher than the majority of providers — plus cover for accidents, illnesses and routine care. Pay the gap and claim on the spot with GapOnly. Pricebeat is available for similar policies. T&C's apply.
Kogan Pet Luxury Cover
$15,000
$15,000
80% up to age 8 & 65% over age 8
80% up to age 8 & 65% over age 8
30 days for specified illnesses & 6 months for cruciate ligament
Sign up and get your first month FREE plus $10 ongoing monthly credit. T&Cs apply.
Australian Seniors Top Accident & Illness Cover
$12,000
$12,000
80%
80%
30 days for illnesses, tick paralysis & 6 months for cruciate ligament
Extra benefits such as overseas cover for your pet, plus an optional routine care add-on.
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.
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.
Real Premium Accident & Illness Cover
$12,000
$12,000
80%
80%
30 days for illnesses & 6 months for cruciate ligament
Claim up to a maximum of $12k per year, with no excess to pay.
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
Sign up before 30 June 2022 to get 10% off your first year. Plus, earn 10x Flybuys points per $1 spent on pet food at Coles Supermarkets. T&Cs apply.
Petsy Custom Cover
$0
$0
80% or 90%
80% or 90%
1 day for injury, 14 days for illness, 6 months for specified conditions
Enjoy 5% off your first year of pet insurance.
PetsOnMe Deluxe Plan
$15,000
$15,000
100%
100%
21 days for illnesses, wellness, and tick Paralysis, 90 days for cruciate ligament & 6 months for dental illness.
Get 2 months free if your pet is between 6-52 weeks old, or 1 month free if your pet is over 1 year old. T&Cs apply.
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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.

What are the waiting periods for pet insurance?

Most pet insurance policies allow you to claim for an illness or a routine treatment after a 30-day waiting period, but there are a few happy exceptions. For example, Knose and Vets Choice offer shorter waiting periods for illnesses: 14 and 21 days respectively.

For cruciate ligament conditions, you usually have to wait 6 months, although some providers will offer a form that your vet fills out that will allow you to waive or shorten this period. In most cases, you should be covered immediately for accidents.

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 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.

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. On the contrary, accidents generally have no waiting periods because it's something that can only occur unexpectedly.

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.

🐾 Remember: Waiting times may vary between providers so make sure you check the product disclosure statement (PDS) to see exactly how long you will have to serve, or use our 'Compare' feature in the table here to compare provider waiting periods side by side.

ConditionTypical waiting period
Accidents such as:

  • 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
0 days
Illnesses such as:

  • Ingestion of foreign object
  • Tick paralysis
  • Heat stroke
  • Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV)
  • Trauma induced respiratory impairment
  • Traumatic spinal disc rupture
  • Torn nail
  • Poisoning
  • Embedded grass seed
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Eye trauma
30 Days
  • Cruciate ligament condition
  • Paralysis tick
6 months

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