Waiting period

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A waiting period is the period of time between when an action is requested or mandated and when it occurs.

In the United States, the term is commonly used in reference to gun control, as some U.S. states require a person to wait for a set number of days after buying or reserving a firearm from a dealer before actually taking possession of it. This waiting period allows the state to perform a background check to confirm that the purchaser is legally permitted to possess a firearm.

Waiting periods are also used for new insurance policies, particularly health insurance and flood insurance. Incidents which occur during this time are not claimable. The term may also refer to the time between the making of a claim and the payment of it, also called the elimination period.

In business finance, a waiting period (or quiet period) is the time in which a company making an initial public offering (IPO) must be silent about it, so as not to inflate the value of the stock artificially. It is also called the cooling-off period.

Other things potentially subject to waiting periods include divorce and merger proceedings.

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