What is an Effective Date?
An effective date is when your pet insurance policy begins providing coverage to your pet (when your protection kicks in). Often, there are different waiting periods following your enrollment date for different types of coverage, such as illness coverage versus accident coverage.
More importantly, policies may have fine print that describes certain conditions as having unique waiting periods. For example, Healthy Paws has a 15 day waiting period for illnesses BUT a 12 month waiting period on hip dysplasia in pets younger than 6 years old. This is a critical reason that you want to find the best provider based on your breed’s specific health risks.
Once a waiting period has ended, your policy becomes effective, creating your “effective date.”
How Effective Dates Work
Effective dates are when your policy becomes eligible to reimburse you for covered costs. There may be a difference between when accident coverage versus illness coverage becomes effective based on your particular pet insurance plan.
For example, suppose you sign up for a pet insurance plan with a 5 day waiting period for accidents, a 15 day waiting period for illnesses, and a 6 month waiting period for orthopedic conditions. If you signed up for your policy on March 1st, your accident coverage would kick in on March 6th, illness coverage on March 16th, and orthopedic condition coverage on September 1st.
Any accidents or illnesses developed during or before your effective date will be considered pre-existing. If you’re unsure about your effective dates, check with your pet insurance provider for specific information on your plan’s effective dates and waiting periods.
- An effective date marks the day your insurance policy begins covering your pet.
- Usually, you must complete a waiting period following enrollment. Once the waiting period is over, your pet’s coverage begins, which is your effective date.
- Different plans/providers have different waiting periods and these can also vary for specific conditions.