Can I get pet insurance immediately?

Need pet insurance, pronto? Read on to see if your pet can be covered immediately.

When it comes to insurance, a waiting period is necessary between the time that you take out a policy and when you are able to claim for it. This also applies to pet insurance. Getting immediate cover is difficult, so it’s important to find out how long you’ll have to wait before you can claim on your policy. Let’s take a look at what a waiting period is and some of the options available.

Protect your pet before it's too late

You'll be covered immediately for any accidents. If your pet gets an illness, it'll be 30 days until you're covered. 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.
Details Features
Comprehensive Cover
Comprehensive Cover
Price beat guarantee on current comparable policies.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0 or $100
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,500
  • Discounts: Woolworths Rewards members get 10% off 1st year
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Comprehensive Plan
Comprehensive Plan
Get a free engraved pet ID tag when you sign up.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $8,000 or $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0, $100 or $200
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,000
  • Discounts: 10% multi-pet discount
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Major Medical Cover
Major Medical Cover
Get 2 months free when you sign up.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $15,145
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0, $100 or $200
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 15% multi-pet discount
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Ultimate Cover (Accident & Illness)
Ultimate Cover (Accident & Illness)
Helps support the RSPCA.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $11,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 10% multi-pet discount
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Premium Accident & Illness Cover
Premium Accident & Illness Cover
Pay fortnightly, monthly or yearly at no extra cost.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 10% refund after your 1st year
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 Premium Care
Premium Care
Helps support Guide Dogs Australia. Advertisement
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $20,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 85%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0 or $50
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $2,000
  • Discounts: 10% multi-pet discount
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Sovereign Accident & Illness Cover
Sovereign Accident & Illness Cover
With guaranteed renewal you can protect your pet for life.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $14,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 85%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 10% multi-pet discount
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Platinum Accident and Illness
Platinum Accident and Illness
No joining fee to pay.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,000
  • Discounts: No
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Top Accident & Illness Cover
Top Accident & Illness Cover
If you're over 50 get 10% off.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 80%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $1,200
  • Discounts: 10% off for seniors
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Accident and Illness Cover
Accident and Illness Cover
Your pet is covered for life.
  • Maximum yearly benefit: $12,000
  • Reimbursement rate: 75% or 85%
  • Eligibility: Between 8 weeks and 9 years old
  • Excess options: $0
  • Paralysis tick benefit: $500
  • Discounts: 10% off for pensioners and rescue dogs
Go to site More info
Girl Dog

Can I get pet insurance with no waiting periods?

In most cases, you will have to serve a waiting period before you get covered. While there are some companies that don’t enforce waiting periods, this usually only applies to accident-only insurance. It’s important to plan carefully and insure your pet as early as possible so that it’s protected against injury and disease.

What are waiting periods?

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, you won’t be able to claim a benefit for that visit. Only after a determined stretch of time will you be able to claim back on your policy.

There are two main reasons why waiting periods exist:

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 must usually 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. However, you could try to find a policy that enforces no waiting periods for emergency illnesses, if your pet requires urgent treatment.

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.


William Eve

Will is a personal finance writer for finder.com.au specialising in content on insurance. While he cannot give personal advice to clients, Will enjoys explaining the intricacies of different types of protective cover to help individuals and businesses find affordable cover that won't leave them underinsured.

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