Pet Insurance With Immediate Cover – Forbes Advisor UK – Forbes

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First, we provide paid placements to advertisers to present their offers. The payments we receive for those placements affects how and where advertisers’ offers appear on the site. This site does not include all companies or products available within the market.
Second, we also include links to advertisers’ offers in some of our articles. These “affiliate links” may generate income for our site when you click on them. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impact any of the editorial content on Forbes Advisor.
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Published: Nov 24, 2022, 9:02am
It can be difficult to find pet insurance with immediate cover – pet owners typically have to wait 14 days before they can make a claim on a new policy. 
This applies to all types of pets and almost all policies.
Pet insurance is designed to cover unexpected illnesses, accidents, and events. 
For this reason, pet insurance companies don’t offer immediate cover to new customers. This is because the insurer assumes that any illness that occurs straight away after buying the policy was known about before the policy was purchased.
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Pet insurance isn’t compulsory, but it can save you money in the long run if you own a pet. 
Pet insurance gives you peace of mind that your pet is covered for if it becomes sick or suffers an injury. A good policy will also cover you if your pet is lost or stolen. 
Without cover, vets’ fees can be expensive for both routine and emergency treatment.
If you have a pet insurance with immediate cover it means you can claim on the policy straight away after purchase. 
However, most pet insurers don’t allow this. Instead, most policies have a waiting, exclusion or deferment period. These are all basically the same thing – you can’t make a claim for illness in this time period.
The date from which you can make a claim is sometimes called the “effective date”.
With most insurers, you won’t get cover for an illness that started before the effective date, even if you wait until after the effective date to see the vet.
Having a waiting period encourages pet owners to take out pet insurance when they acquire their pet rather than at the point in time when they think they might need to make a claim.
If your pet insurance policy has a waiting or exclusion period, you won’t be able to make a claim for veterinary treatment for a set number of days from the start date of the policy.
This period is typically between 14 and 30 days, but it can vary between claims for illness and claims for accidents or injuries.
When you take out a pet insurance policy, the insurer will ask if your pet has any pre-existing medical conditions. If your pet has a pre-existing condition, it’s unlikely to be covered by a new policy. If you say that your pet does not have a pre-existing condition when you know or suspect it does, this can be classed as fraud. 
Almost all policies will have a waiting period for claims for illness. Without a waiting period, pet owners might be tempted to keep their pet uninsured until an illness occurred and their pet required imminent treatment.
In this situation a pet owner could get a big payout from their insurance while only having to pay a small premium. This would increase pet insurance premiums for all customers.
The waiting period for accidents is normally shorter than the waiting period for illness – for example, it’s 24 hours or two days on some policies. Some policies don’t have a waiting period for accidents at all.
The waiting period is shorter for accidents as, by their very nature, accidents are unplanned and have unknown consequences. So, it is impossible for a pet owner to have prior knowledge about any treatment required. 
Again, it’s difficult to find pet insurance with immediate cover for illness. The waiting period is put in place to dissuade people who know that their pets need treatment from buying a policy and making a claim straight away.
However, there are a small number of insurers that offer pet insurance with immediate cover for illness. But for this to apply, you normally need to have switched pet insurance providers with no gap in cover. 
For example, Many Pets (previously Bought By Many) has removed the 14-day exclusion period for claims for pet owners who switch to it. 
Customers who switch to Many Pets directly from another insurance company can claim immediately as long as there’s no gap in cover between the two policies. Scratch and Patch also has a similar stance when you switch to it from another insurer, without a gap in between.
However, in both cases you’ll be asked for proof of your previous policy if you need to make a claim in the first 14 days of the new policy.
If you want to buy pet insurance with immediate cover for accidents, you’ll have more choice of insurers.
Most pet insurers don’t have a waiting period for accidents. Of those that do it’s normally between 24 hours and three days. 
If you choose a policy without an exclusion period for accidents, your pet will be protected immediately against any accidents or injuries. For example, if you bought pet insurance and your dog was hit by a car the same day, you’d be covered. 
It’s best to buy pet insurance as soon as you buy your pet. 
Most pet insurers won’t cover animals with pre-existing conditions so it’s a good move to get cover in place straight away, before your pet is diagnosed with anything.
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Forbes Advisor UK’s broadband and mobiles expert, Emma Lunn has reported prolifically on the subjects for more than 16 years. Her award-winning work features in national newspapers, right through to specialist websites and trade titles.

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