cat insurance

Cat Insurance: What You Need to Know Before Buying

Cat owners, are you tired of being told that your cat is a liability?

We’re here to tell you it’s not true! Cats are awesome and they deserve the best protection possible. I’m sure many cat owners wonder if they should have their furry feline friend insured.

The average cost of cat ownership is around $700 per year, not including veterinary costs for routine checkups or emergencies. If your kitty gets sick or injured, the bills can add up fast!

But, the cost insurance adds up to this cost as well!

In this blog post, we will cover some of what you need to know about owning a cat and how it may impact your decision-making process with regards to whether or not you want them insured.

Note: The blog post below is written with American cat owners in mind. Cat insurance policies might differ in different countries.

What is cat insurance

Cat insurance is a type of pet care that covers the medical and emergency treatment for your cat. Typical coverage includes prevention, diagnosis, surgery or therapy to treat injuries or illnesses in addition to routine check-ups. Cat owners are protected from high vet bills but not unlimited; most plans have lifetime limits on payouts.

How does cat insurance works

Cat insurance works by paying for your cat’s vet bills. Generally, a monthly premium is paid and the policy will pay out when you need it to cover ongoing treatments or in-patient care that would otherwise be unaffordable.

The cost of purchasing cat insurance can vary widely depending on how much coverage you want, what kind of plan best suits your cat, and your personal situation.

The process of purchasing and claiming for cat insurance works like this:

  • You select an insurer and sign a premium policy
  • You pay your monthly or annual premium
  • Your cat needs treatment
  • You pay the vet for the treatment
  • You make a claim with the insurance provider for reimbursement of costs incurred
  • You receive the claim amount based on your insurer’s terms

This process may differ between different insurers and policies. Some insurers do not require you to pay the vet bills upfront but some do.

The benefits of getting cat insurance

You should consider getting cat insurance to protect yourself if your pet needs treatment.

Cat insurance is comparatively cheaper than vet costs

Cat insurance is relatively inexpensive and will pay for a variety of treatments that may arise. It’s worth considering if you have an animal with frequent trips to the vet or health issues.

In the States, a vet visit costs around $100 for basic consultation and treatment.

This might not seem like much but you may be surprised at how quickly these costs can add up, especially if your cat requires treatment for serious issues such as hip dysplasia or kidney failure which is an average cost of $2000-$3000 per surgery plus medical care and medication in the weeks following.

This illustration from pawlicy demonstrates how much a vet visit cost based on the illness and injuries of cats.

dog-and-cat-common-costs-for-treatment
Source: Pawlicy

This is a clear sign that pet insurance can be financially beneficial for owners–especially if your cat has any chronic health conditions or requires expensive treatment such as surgery and medication.

Cat insurance ensures that your cat will be taken care of if they get sick or injured

We all want our cats to be healthy and happy. When they get sick or injured, it can be a very stressful time for the cat owner and their pet.

This is where cat insurance can come in handy! You’ll have peace of mind knowing that your feline friend can get the best treatment they deserve without worrying about the cost.

Cat insurance provides coverage for unexpected vet bills and ongoing health care needs 

Another benefit to having cat insurance is that it provides coverage for unexpected vet bills and ongoing health care needs.

Pet owners who have to make an emergency visit to the veterinarian or take their pet in for treatment may not know what they’re going to do when faced with a huge bill, but with cat insurance, this worry can be eliminated. Depending on the insurer, cat insurance offers benefits such as coverage for accidents, cancer treatments, dental and more.

Your cat’s life could depend on it!

close up photography of cat
Photo by Amir Ghoorchiani on Pexels.com

Every second count when it comes to caring for a pet. In the event of an emergency, cat insurance can be what makes the difference between life and death for your beloved feline friend.

The same goes for long-period treatment which could cost you a bundle if it’s not covered by regular medical insurance or just too expensive to pay out-of-pocket without help from pet health coverage.

Cats love their independence, but sometimes they need a little help from humans to keep them healthy and happy – don’t leave them high and dry!

The drawbacks of getting cat insurance

Cat insurance can be expensive

Some people refer to cat insurance as a “luxury item”, rather than a necessity. If you have other forms of pet health coverage, such as regular medical care or dental plans for your feline companion and they are healthy enough to not need frequent veterinary visits, then getting cat insurance may be an unnecessary expense.

The average cost of pet insurance is around $30-$50, although some premium starts as low as $10 per month. This amount might not seem like much, but it can add up over time.

You’ll have to research different companies and plans before you make a decision about cat insurance for your pet. There are many factors that go into the price of any given policy, such as age at enrollment or breed of animal. Your vet may be able to recommend reputable providers in your area.

You may not need cat insurance if your cat is healthy

If your cat is young and healthy, cat insurance may not be necessary. There are some plans that will cover the cost of a surgery in case your cat has an accident or develops a condition down the line, but you’ll be paying monthly premiums until then.

It is not a huge amount but that adds up. This amount can be used for other purposes which benefit your cats if he or she is healthy.

Some policies don’t cover pre-existing conditions

If you decide to purchase cat insurance, make sure that it covers your needs.

Some plans only cover certain conditions and others have specific exclusions for surgeries. Be aware of these before purchasing the plan so that you know what is covered and not covered under this policy.

Some plans do not cover pre-existing conditions which can be a concern for some pet owners.

If your cat has a pre-existing condition and you are still eligible for coverage, you may want to consider purchasing cat insurance as soon as possible so that the illness does not interfere with your ability to get coverage later on in life.

Sterilization and regular check are usually exempted

Cat insurance often does not cover spaying and neutering, annual check ups or vaccines.

This means that you will have to pay for the premium fee on top of your yearly health fees in order to keep up with these procedures.

Considerations before buying cat policy

If you just made the decision to purchase a cat insurance policy, here is some advice for choosing one.

1. Consider the different types of policies available

Different cat insurance policies include some basic coverage for the cost of a claim, while others also offer reimbursement and lifetime care.

Let’s talk about the insurance coverage period. 

Lifetime means the policy holds up for the entire of your cat’s lifespan. As long as your pay for the annual premium, your cat is covered for life. 

Time-limited is usually bounded by a time period, most commonly 12 months. This works on a renewal basis and is suitable for new cat parents who want to have just the first year covered. 

Wellness plans cover only preventive care and routine treatments, such as checkups, vaccinations, blood tests, heartworm prevention, flea and tick control, dental care, spaying and neutering, and more.

That means you pay the entire bill when your pet gets sick, which can be frustrating and costly. Wellness plans also don’t cover costly emergencies, such as cancer treatments, so it’s important to find a good balance between the various types of insurance.

Accident-only pet insurance is an excellent way to protect your pet’s health and financial future. It is a relatively new pet insurance product, but some dogs and cats are already covered.

The insurance plan covers your pet’s accident-related medical bills, but nothing else. This type of plan is ideal for pet owners who want to insure their pet against injury, but don’t want to pay an annual fee for unrelated diseases or conditions.

Accident-illness pet insurance covers medical costs that arise from accidents or illnesses. This pet insurance can be right for you if you want to have a veterinarian that you trust to treat your pet and have the peace of mind that your pet is covered if something unexpected happens.

2. Evaluate your financial situation before making a decision

You should always think about your budget before making a decision. You should consider how much you want to spend on a pet insurance plan, and what your options are.

Each person’s financial situation is different; some people might be able to afford an accident-illness plan with high premiums but low deductibles while others may need a more affordable option that covers accidents only.

There really isn’t one perfect policy for everyone but don’t worry, we have a plan that works well for most people. 

We’ll go into more detail about it later in this post! Or you can click here to skip to our recommendation.

3. Research the company’s reputation and customer service ratings

It is important to research the company’s reputation and customer service ratings before you buy a cat insurance policy.

We suggest asking friends or family members who have purchased pet coverage for their opinions and doing some digging online. You should be able to find these reviews in social media, forums or cat owners’ recommendations.  

In addition, make sure that your chosen provider is licensed in your state!

4. Find out how much coverage you need for your pet

You will need to find out how much coverage you need for your pet and that will depend on factors like age, breed, and lifestyle.

The cost of the coverage will also depend on these factors. For example, older cats are more expensive to insure than kittens because they have a higher risk of developing health issues as they get older like diabetes and kidney disease.

Certain breeds have genetic diseases which may be a concern for you. If you’re taking care of an outdoor cat (Which we higly do not recommend), you may want to buy higher insurance to protect against accidents and illnesses since they are more prone to these things than indoor cats.

5. Compare rates between companies

Now that you know what coverage you want, it’s time to compare the rates between the various insurance companies. Make sure to take the time and read all of the fine print.

You want to make sure that you’re looking at total coverage, deductibles, premiums, waiting periods before your cat is covered by insurance and how much it will cost in a year or over their lifetime.

When comparing rates between companies we recommend contacting three to five different agencies for comparison.

Now that you’ve decided which plan to go with and the insurer, it’s time for you to contact their agent so they can start processing on insuring your pet!

What is the best insurance for cats

After accessing most of the insurance policies in the US, we have found the most affordable and reasonable pet insurance for cats (and other pets).

Pawp created a low-cost insurance plan (or what they called emergency fund) for multiple pets with no long commitment. It is available nationwide and easy to sign up for on their website.

With a monthly plan of $19 for up to 6 pets in your household, it’s no wonder they’re our favorite company! Their policy covers vet bills of up to $3,000 per year so you can rest assured you get your cat’s emergency treatment covered.

What’s good

  • This fund protects up to 6 pets a month for a fixed rate
  • Monthly premium is relatively low at $19 per month. This is around $3 for each pet if you have six. Even if you only have one, the premium is only around 60 cents per day! It is definitely more affordable than most out there!
  • You can use this fund with any vet in the US as long as you call Pawp in advance 
  • You don’t have to pay anything during your vet visit! Pawp pays the vet directly before you leave the clinic. This is a big plus as compared to most other insurance. 

What to consider

  • You can only use the emergency fund once a year. However, since vet bills in US range between $250 to $8000, we think that just using it once will be worth the insurance premium
  • You have to call the Pawp Vet through a video call to confirm the emergency before they activate the fund
  • After signing up for the emergency fund, you will have to wait for 14 days for the fund to be accessible

You may read more about Pawp Emergency Fund here. 

Disclaimer: This is an affiliate link, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.

FAQ

How does cat insurance work?

Pet insurance is an investment that will ensure your pet’s health and wellbeing, while also providing peace of mind. Essentially, it works like this: The insurer collects a monthly or annual premium for your pet, and after a vet visit they’ll reimburse you for the bills based on what kind of policy coverage you have written in with them.

What is the average cost of pet insurance for cats

Average pet insurance for cats costs $29 per month for an accident + illness plan and $10 for an accident-only plan. If you have more than 1 cat, you may want to consider the Pawp emergency fund where they support up to 6 pets for $19 per month. 

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