When should I buy pet insurance?

Choosing when to buy your pet insurance can be as important as choosing the right policy.

Cat and owner high five
When you buy cover can impact on what you're covered for and how much you pay

OK, so you've done your research and you know which pet policy is right for you and your pet. The next decision is when do you buy it?


It's best to be prepared


Getting your quotes in advance has two key advantages. Firstly, insurers like policyholders to be organised. Getting your quotes in advance can result in a premium discount. Secondly, you need to be aware of any waiting periods that apply.


What's a waiting period?


Many policies will exclude claims that happen in the first 10 to 14 days, and they do this by applying a 'waiting period' or 'exclusion period'. The primary reason for this is to ward off anyone who thinks they can wait until an illness or injury that has already occurred or started before buying a policy and submitting a claim. Insurance is designed to give protection for things that might happen during the period of cover, not what already has happened before cover started.


If you're getting a new puppy or kitten from a reputable breeder, they may provide free cover for so many days after you collect your new pet, which will cover some of the waiting period. Or, if you're looking to change insurers for an older pet, some will waive the waiting fee so you don't have a gap in cover between your old and new policies.


What about pre-existing conditions?


See our related post below about pre-existing medical conditions for more information on this, but most policies will exclude cover for pre-existing medical conditions, even if your pet wasn't insured (because you didn't have a policy in place) at the the time. To be on the safe side, ensure you always have cover in place before any new conditions can occur.


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