Ensuring our cat’s health and well-being can be pretty expensive at times – professional veterinarian treatment doesn’t come cheap after all!
So it’s of crucial importance to ensure that we’re financial prepared for unexpected medical expenses.
This is why pet insurance can prove so valuable, providing owners with a financial safety with which to cover costs.
But understanding the different types of coverage may seem a little daunting.
With this in mind, we’ve put together this guide to help you find a plan that suits both your feline friend and your wallet.
6 Popular Pet Insurers
- ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
- Chewy Pet Insurance *
- Embrace Pet Insurance
- Spot Pet Insurance
How Pet Insurance Works
So how does pet insurance work? Feline insurance follows the same principles as human health coverage or auto insurance.
You pay an insurance company a set amount of money (usually per month) in exchange for financial compensation to cover an unforeseen event.
Here’s a closer look at how the process works.
Choose a Suitable Plan
The first step is to select a feline insurance plan that meets your cat’s healthcare needs the best.
Plans range from basic coverage focusing on accidents to extensive plans encompassing illnesses, routine health care and even genetic conditions.
Make the Premium Payments
One you’ve chosen a plan, you’ll be required to make periodic premium payments.
Usually this will be a monthly commitment but could also be structured on an annual or quarterly basis, as per the terms of the pet insurance provider.
The price depends on various factors, including the extent of the coverage, the cat’s age and breed and possibly other aspects like your geographical location or the cat’s previous medical records.
If your cat encounters a health issue or accident, you proceed with veterinary care just as you normally would.
You’ll likely have the freedom to opt for any licensed veterinarian or animal hospital, as most feline insurance plans don’t impose restrictions.
Following your veterinary visit, you cover the bills initially and then apply for a claim with the insurance company for reimbursement.
This claim should detail the diagnosis and treatment provided, along with a detailed invoice.
Upon the insurance company’s approval of your claim following a review, they’ll reimburse a certain percentage of the costs as per the terms of your plan. Typically, the reimbursement rate lies between 70% to 90%.
Different Types of Pet Insurance for Cats
So what are the different types of pet insurance available to cat owners? Here’s a run-down.
Accident Only Coverage
As the name indicates, this kind of coverage extents to accidents. Be it an unexpected tumble from a tree or a sudden mishap, an accident-centric policy absorbs the related veterinary expenses.
Typically, accident-only pet insurance is the cheapest option.
Accident and Illness Coverage
This kind of pet insurance covers illnesses as well as accidents, sot it could potentially cover treatments for a wide array of conditions.
This might include commonplace issues such as urinary tract disorders to more severe diseases like cardiac conditions or cancer.
Wellness and Preventative Coverage
Wellness and preventative plans help to manage the expenses of regular veterinary care such as vaccinations, annual examinations, flea and tick prevention and in some cases, neutering and spaying.
Although wellness coverage isn’t a universal choice among cat owners, it can really help to save money in the long-run.
Comprehensive coverage generally incorporates accidents, illnesses as well as routine and preventative care. Some policies might even extend to dental care and inherited conditions.
Factors Influencing Insurance Premiums for Cats
In setting premium rates, there are numerous fawctors that insurance companies consider. Here are some examples.
The older the cat, the more likely they are to encounter health complications, making them a higher risk category for insurance providers.
Consequently, premiums are generally higher for older cats in comparison to kittens or young adult felines.
Breed-Specific Health Risks
Certain feline breeds carry an increased risk of specific health issues. For instance, Siamese cats have a predisposition for heart disease.
So if your cat’s breed has a higher likelihood of certain ailments, this could mean a higher insurance premium.
Pre-existing Health Conditions
Insuring cats with pre-existing health conditions often demands a higher premium.
While some insurance companies might exclude these conditions from the coverage, others might elevate the premium or impose a waiting period before the coverage begins.
Veterinary care expenses can significantly fluctuate depending on your geographical location.
Areas with a high cost of living often have more expensive veterinary care. This too can impact the cost of your feline insurance premium.
Key Elements of Cat Insurance Policies
Each insurance policy comprises a variety of important elements. In order to select the right policy, it’s vital to understand what they mean.
Scope of the Coverage
As already mentioned, the policy might stretch from accident-focused coverage to all-inclusive plans that encompass accidents, illnesses and wellness care.
But keep in mind that pre-existing illnesses are not usually covered. It’s sometimes the case that flea treatments, spaying/neutering and/or dental treatments aren’t covered either.
Much will depend on the invividuwal insurance policy.
A deductible is the sum you’re obliged to pay before your insurance commences with cost coverage. They can be established annually or per incident.
Generally, lower deductibles lead to higher premiums and vice versa.
This is a percentage of the total costs that the insurance company will pay you back after the deductible has been met.
Most plans typically ranging from 70% to 90%.
Some policies impose a maximum limit on the amount they’ll pay out in a year or over the policy’s entire term.
It’s therefore critical to verify whether there’s a restriction on coverage and also whether it’s applied per incident, annually or over your cat’s lifetime.
This is the length of time you have to wait for the coverage to initiated following your purchase of the insurance. This is commonly applicable to illnesses and particular medical conditions.
Some providers offer additional benefits, like wellness coverage for routine vet visits, dental cleaning, vaccinations, or coverage for alternative therapies.
What Pet Insurance Doesn’t Cover
Although coverage will differ between pet insurers, some of the most common exclusions in cat insurance policies include the following.
A widely held exclusion in many policies revolves around pre-existing conditions. These are health issues that your cat was diagnosed with or showed symptoms of before the start of the insurance policy.
Insurers typically refrain from covering these due to the higher probability of associated costs.
Treatments or surgeries that are purely cosmetic and do not impact the health or wellbeing of your cat are usually not covered. This might include procedures like claw removal or tail docking.
If your cat is used for breeding, costs related to pregnancy, birth and breeding-specific conditions are typically excluded from coverage.
While some insurers may provide coverage for behavioral issues, many do not. This can include conditions like anxiety disorders or destructive behavior.
Routine and Preventative Care
Unless you opt for a policy with wellness coverage, routine procedures such as vaccinations, flea prevention, teeth cleaning or general check-ups are not usually covered.
Specified Illnesses or Conditions
Some insurers may exclude certain diseases or conditions from their coverage, particularly if they are common in specific breeds. Always scrutinize the policy details to know what these might be.
6 Popular Pet Insurers
The following insurers are popular among owners and highly-regarded in the pet insurance industry.
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, underwritten by the United States Fire Insurance Company, provides comprehensive coverage designed to offer peace of mind to cat owners.
- Broad Coverage – ASPCA’s policies cover a variety of medical incidents, including accidents, illnesses and hereditary conditions
- Customizable Plans – Owners can customize their coverage, choosing from different deductibles and reimbursement options to match their budget and needs.
- Wellness Rewards – An optional preventative care coverage, offering compensation for routine procedures like vaccinations, dental cleanings, and annual wellness checks.
- Chronic Conditions – The policies cover ongoing and chronic conditions, ensuring that your feline friend is protected in the long term.
- Prescription Medications – Necessary medications prescribed by veterinarians are included within the scope of the coverage.
Website – https://www.aspcapetinsurance.com
Chewy Pet Insurance
Primarily a pet supplies retailer, Chewy has also branced out into pet insurance. It offers health protection packages offering health protection as well as accidents and ailments.
- Wellness Plans – Chewy’s wellness plans covers things like annual check-ups, vaccines, dental cleaning, spaying and neutering and prescription meds for parasites.
- Broad Coverage – The insurance plans cover accidents and emergencies, serious illness, chronic conditions and prescription meds.
- 100% Coverage – 100% coverage is offered to existing Chewy Customers.
- No Pay0ut Limits – Pets are entitled to unlimited lifetime insurance without and caps imposed.
- Free Live Vet Access – Insurance customers are entitled to free access to Chewy’s popular telehealth service. This is available for most plans.
Website – https://www.chewy.com/pet-insurance *
Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace Pet Insurance is a well-regarded pet insurance provider offering extensive coverage, via a collection of flexible plans.
Wide-Ranging Coverage – Embrace’s plans cover a broad array of medical events including accidents, illnesses and hereditary conditions
Customizable Policies – Embrace allows pet owners to adjust their coverage, picking from various deductibles and reimbursement levels to suit their financial situation and requirements.
Wellness Rewards – As an optional add-on, they offer preventive care coverage for regular procedures such as immunizations, dental cleanings and yearly wellness exams.
Chronic Conditions – The policies extend to ongoing and chronic conditions, providing long-term security for your cat.
Prescription Medication Coverage – Prescribed medications necessary for your cat’s health are included within the policy’s coverage.
Website – https://www.embracepetinsurance.com
PetAssure operates as a veterinary discount plan. It provides pet owners with an easy and effective way to manage their cats’ health and wellness costs without the complexities that often come with traditional insurance.
- Universal Acceptance – PetAssure accepts all pets, regardless of age, health, or breed, providing coverage with no exclusions.
- Instant Discounts – Offers immediate savings at the point of service. Subscribers receive a flat percentage off on all vet services at participating veterinary practices.
- Comprehensive Services – The plan covers a vast range of services including wellness visits, dental work, surgery, and even pre-existing conditions, making it an all-inclusive health plan for your cat.
- No Deductibles or Claim Forms – With PetAssure, there are no deductibles to meet or claim forms to fill out, making the process straightforward and hassle-free.
- Unlimited Use – There’s no limit to how many times the discount can be used
Website – https://www.petassure.com
Petplan Insurance is an established, popular insurance provider known for its all-encompassing coverage and flexible policies that allows pet owners to provide optimal healthcare for their cats while effectively managing veterinary costs.
Extensive Coverage – Petplan’s policies cover a diverse range of medical situations, including accidents, illnesses, and hereditary and chronic conditions, ensuring that your cat receives the appropriate care when it’s most needed.
Tailored Plans – Petplan offers the ability to personalize coverage based on individual needs, choosing from different deductibles, and reimbursement options to match budget and requirements.
Veterinary Exam Fees – Unlike some providers, Petplan’s coverage extends to include veterinary examination fees, an often-overlooked expense.
Dental Coverage – Policies include comprehensive dental coverage, ensuring protection against periodontal disease and other oral health issues.
Direct Vet Payment – In many cases, Petplan can pay your vet directly, removing the need for you to pay a hefty bill upfront.
24/7 Pet Health Helpline – Round-the-clock veterinary advice through Petplan’s health helpline available to policy-holders
Website – https://www.petplan.co.uk
Spot Pet Insurance
Spot Pet Insurance is recognized for its flexible and comprehensive policies. It’s a provider that combines practical financial management with a comprehensive understanding of feline health requirements.
Broad Coverage – Spot’s policies cover a wide range of medical events, including accidents, illnesses, and hereditary conditions, providing necessary care when your cat needs it the most.
Customizable Plans – Spot allows pet owners to adjust their policies, selecting from various deductibles, reimbursement percentages, and coverage limits to suit their financial circumstances and needs.
Preventive Care Add-On – Optional wellness plans are available, offering coverage for routine care procedures like vaccinations, annual wellness exams, and flea, tick, and heartworm prevention.
Direct Payment to Vets – Spot offers the ability to pay your vet directly, removing the necessity for you to pay a large bill upfront.
24/7 Veterinary Support Line – As an additional benefit, policyholders have access to a 24/7 vet helpline for any pet health-related questions.
Website – https://spotpetins.com
In conclusion, the question of whether pet insurance is a good idea for cats truly hinges on an individual’s personal circumstances and the specific needs of their feline friend.
Undeniably, it provides a safety net for those unexpected and potentially high-cost vet bills that accompany accidents or illnesses, offering considerable financial assistance.
That said,it’s not usually the case that all health issues are covered – routine caresuch as flea/tick treatment often fall out the scope of typical policies as do pre-existing conditions. Then you’ve got to consider costs such as the premium and deductibles.
Ultimately, securing cat insurance can be seen as investing in peace of mind.
It’s about knowing that if an unfortunate event or illness does occur, you have the financial support to provide your cat with the best possible care. This reassurance might well be worth the monthly cost for many cat owners.
Nonetheless, as with any insurance product, it’s important to thoroughly research your options and understand the inclusions and exclusions.
Cat Insurance FAQs
Q: What does cat insurance typically cover?
A: Cat insurance ordinarily covers a wide range of health-related incidents, encompassing accidents, illnesses, and often hereditary conditions. Depending on your policy, it can also include veterinary examination fees, hospitalization, surgery, medications, and some alternative therapies.
Q: Does cat insurance cover pre-existing conditions?
A: Typically, cat insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. These are defined as conditions that first occurred or showed symptoms before your pet’s coverage started or during a waiting period.
Q: Is it worth getting insurance for my cat?
A: Deciding on cat insurance depends on various factors. If your cat often requires veterinary care or if you’re concerned about potential health problems given your cat’s breed or age, insurance can help cover those costs and offer peace of mind.
Q: How much does cat insurance typically cost?
A: The price of cat insurance can vary according to the age and breed of your cat, the region where you reside and the kind of protection plan you opt for.
Q: What is a deductible in cat insurance?
A: A deductible refers to the sum you’re required to pay for your cat’s medical services before the costs are covered by your insurer. In most cases they apply to each incident or are yearly.
Q: Are vaccinations covered by cat insurance?
A: Vaccinations are generally considered preventive care, which standard cat insurance policies do not typically cover. However, some providers offer wellness add-ons or plans that do include coverage for vaccinations.
Q: How quickly does cat insurance start?
A: The onset of cat insurance coverage often depends on the provider. Most have a waiting period from the start date of your policy before coverage begins, which can vary in length depending on whether it’s for accidents, illnesses, or certain specific conditions.
Q: Can older cats get insured?
A: Yes, older cats can generally get insured, although some insurance providers may have age limits or may charge higher premiums for older pets due to the increased likelihood of health issues.
Q: Is there cat insurance that covers dental care?
A: Some pet insurance companies do provide coverage for dental care, usually under their more comprehensive policies. This could include treatment for dental diseases and injuries. Routine dental cleaning, however, is often considered preventative care and may not be covered unless you have a wellness add-on.
Q: What are the differences between comprehensive and accident-only cat insurance?
A: Comprehensive insurance for cats covers a wide range of health issues including accidents, illnesses, hereditary conditions, and sometimes even wellness visits, depending on the policy. Accident-only policies, on the other hand, only cover injuries and emergencies resulting from accidents.
Q: Does cat insurance cover vet visit fees?
A: While some pet insurance policies cover vet examination fees associated with a covered condition, others might not. It’s important to read your policy documents to understand what’s included.
Q: Are prescription medications covered by cat insurance?
A: Yes, many cat insurance policies do cover prescription medications that are necessary for treating covered conditions. This isn’t a universal feature though, so be sure to check the policy details.
Q: Can I use any vet with my cat insurance?
A: Typically, yes. Most cat insurance policies allow you to use any licensed vet. This can include specialists and emergency animal hospitals.
Q: What is a reimbursement rate in cat insurance?
A: The reimbursement rate is the percentage of the vet bill that will be met by your insurer after you’ve paid your detuctable. So if your reimbursement rate is 80%, your insurer will cover 80% of the costs and you’ll have to fork out the remaining 20%.
Q: Does cat insurance cover spaying or neutering?
A: Spaying and neutering are typically considered preventative procedures. As such they’re not usually covered by a standard policy. With that said, a few insurers cover the procedures as part of a wellness plans or add-on.