What are Paw Protect’s waiting periods?
All insurance policies with Paw Protect have a 48-hour waiting period for accidents. The waiting period for illnesses is 14 days. All dogs have a six-month waiting period for orthopedic conditions which can be reduced significantly to 14 days, if you follow the Orthopedic Exam and Waiver Process below.
Waiting periods will start on the same date as your policy. Any medical conditions that occur during the waiting period may be counted as a pre-existing condition and excluded from your coverage. This is to discourage pet parents from taking out a policy when their pet has a known condition and making an immediate claim, which increases premiums for everyone. Pet insurance coverage is meant for unexpected sickness and accidents.
You can apply for the Paytient Visa® card 12 days after your Paw Protect policy start date. If approved, you’ll need to complete an identity verification process which typically takes an additional two (2) business days, before your card is activated and ready to use.
How does a waiting period work with Paw Protect?
All waiting periods start at the same time as your policy, which will be the day after you purchase your plan at 12:01 am Eastern Standard Time (EST).
For example, if you purchase a policy on January 1 before 11:59 pm EST, it becomes effective on January 2.
Your waiting periods would be:
Accidents: January 4 (2 days after your policy start date)
Ability to apply for Paytient: January 14 (If approved, you’ll need to complete an identity verification process which typically takes an additional two (2) business days, before your card is activated and ready to use)
Illnesses: January 16 (14 days after your policy start date)
Orthopedic Conditions: July 2 (6 months after your policy start date) or as early as January 16 (14 days after your policy start date) if you complete the Orthopedic Exam and Waiver Process (explained below)
Can I make a claim during the waiting period?
Unfortunately not, as waiting periods by definition are the time you have to wait before making a claim. Even if your pet develops symptoms or an unforeseeable emergency during this time, you will not be covered.
Mandatory vet visit
Your pet must have been seen by a licensed vet in the past 12 months as part of your policy terms and conditions. You will also need to have access to your pet’s exam record. If your pet hasn’t seen a vet in this time frame, you are required to visit your veterinarian within the first 14 days of your pet’s policy before coverage begins. You will need to provide proof of this exam when making a claim and it will need to contain medical findings so spay/neuter or vaccine clinics may not qualify. Please contact us with any questions you may have.
Orthopedic Exam and Waiver Process for dogs
It may be possible to reduce the six-month orthopedic waiting period on your policy if you take your dog to the vet for a simple orthopedic exam after you purchase your policy.
Your vet will fill in the Paw Protect Orthopedic Exam Report Card by completing the following checks:
- All bones for signs of fractures and bone cancers.
- All joints for signs of arthritis.
- The hips and legs for signs of hip dysplasia, luxating patellas (slipping knee caps), and cruciate ligament tears.
- The spine for signs of intervertebral disc disease.
- The shoulders and forelimbs for signs of elbow dysplasia and osteochondritis dissecans.
- Any other orthopedic abnormalities.
This exam will not be covered by your policy, but you can claim back the cost if you have Paw Protect Wellness Rewards*.
If the orthopedic exam is performed within the first 14 days of your pet’s health insurance policy, your orthopedic waiting period will be reduced to the end of your illness waiting period.
If it’s performed after the first 14 days, the waiting period will be reduced to the day of your orthopedic exam. Unfortunately, examinations carried out before your policy’s official start date will not be accepted.
No other diagnostic tests, procedures, or X-rays are required for your pet’s insurance coverage.
Keep an eye out for a post policy email explaining how to obtain the orthopedic waiver.