Qualification Period

In insurance terms, a qualification period is a waiting period between the time you take out an insurance and the point at which the insurance coverage takes effect.

Qualification periods are used by insurers to deter customers from taking out insurance for the sole purpose of immediately claiming benefits.

Many Swiss insurance offers have qualification periods. They are commonly found in legal insurancesupplementary hospital insurancesupplementary health insurancelife insurance, pet insurance, and loan insurance, among others.

For example, many Swiss legal insurance offers have qualification periods of between one and three months. The insurance only covers legal incidents which occur after this period.

Insurances may have qualification periods for specific coverages only. For example, there are Swiss supplementary health insurance offers which only begin to cover glasses and contact lenses after a one-year qualification period. Maternity is another example: Some supplementary hospital insurance offers only begin to cover maternity 270 days after you take out the insurance.

Pet insurance is another example. Many cat and dog insurances have 30-day qualification periods for regular illnesses and 90-day qualification periods for chronic illnesses.

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Expert Benjamin Manz
Benjamin Manz is CEO of moneyland.ch and an independent expert on banking and finance.