The “waiting period” is the term generally used for the time between the start of the policy and when your cover actually starts.
This often only applies to vet treatment for illnesses but some policies also have waiting periods for vet fees for accidents, and other benefits.
The waiting period for illnesses is usually 10-14 days from the start of the policy.
If a policy has a waiting period for accidents is usually 2-5 days.
Any accidents and illnesses that occur during the waiting period will be treated as pre-existing conditions and therefore you will not be able to make any claims relating to the condition in the future.