PET INSURANCE FOR CATS: EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW
Photo by Marva Marrow
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As a cat owner, have you ever considered purchasing a pet insurance policy for your feline friend? While the idea of pet insurance may seem straightforward, there are many aspects to consider when buying a policy to protect your pet.
In order to help you determine if buying a pet insurance policy is right for you, we’re going to give you a complete rundown of everything you need to know about pet insurance for your cat.
What Is Pet Insurance?
Before we jump into discussing policy options for your cat, we want to explain in layman's terms what pet insurance is and what it covers.
Think of pet insurance as the equivalent of human health insurance. In fact, it works the exact same way as when you visit the doctor: you bring your cat to the veterinarian when it needs medical care, you pay for your procedure, file a claim with your insurance company and receive a reimbursement if the bill is covered. Seems pretty simple, right?
Once you buy a pet insurance policy, you’ll pay a monthly fee for the specific plan you choose. These options will vary depending on the deductible and premium you select. And, this selection will be entirely up to you and the amount of money you’d like to spend.
What Does Pet Insurance Cover?
Pet insurance for cats covers two main categories: accidents and illnesses. While some providers may cover wellness checkups by adding it onto your insurance plan, it’s not always a guarantee and you may need to pay for these visits out of pocket. The good news is that they are often far less expensive than other procedures.
The most expensive medical care often results from accidents, such as your cat eating something toxic and illness, such as cancer or heart failure. Each situation is unique, but without a pet insurance policy you can expect to pay upwards of several thousand dollars for these treatments.
Here is a further explanation of what pet insurance policies generally cover:
Examples are getting hit by a car, swallowing a foreign object such as a toy or rubber band , breaking a bone and cruciate ligament injuries (ACL) or eating something toxic/getting poisoned, being attacked by another animal.
Coverage includes procedures such as X-rays, MRI, ultrasounds, bloodwork, sutures, medications, hospitalization and surgeries to treat the accident.
Cancer (20% of cats get cancer), arthritis, diabetes, allergies, skin conditions, hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, ear infections, digestive problems, urinary tract infections.
Coverage includes the cost of these major and minor illnesses, full hereditary and congenital coverage including breed-specific illnesses like heart disease, hip dysplasia (some cat breeds are more genetically predisposed to getting it than others (larger, heavy-boned breeds like Maine Coons, Persians, Himalayans) eye issues and cancer.
Additionally issues covered are IBD and luxating patellas.
Wellness (If your provider offers this as an add-on to your accidents & illness policy)
Expected veterinary expenses such as annual exams, flea/tick and heartworm medication, shots/vaccinations, teeth cleaning and spay/neuter.
NOTE: There aren’t many quality wellness plans currently available, so it’s recommended that you pay for these procedures out of pocket as they usually don’t cost more than a couple hundred dollars.
What Does Pet Insurance Exclude?
Now that you know what pet insurance covers, let’s discuss what is excluded from most policies.
Pet insurance does not cover pre-existing conditions. Therefore, any issues that arose with your cat prior to your purchasing a coverage plan will be excluded. For example, if your cat suffers from ear infections or teeth chattering
(a condition that results from dental problems and is seen in breeds such as a Maine Coon) before you have your policy, these conditions won’t be covered by your provider.
Yet, there are ways to avoid this rule. And, that is by signing your kitten up as soon as you bring them home. That way, if they are essentially covered at birth, any conditions that may arise over time will be paid for by your insurance provider.
How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost For Cats?
With all of that information, you may be feeling more intrigued by the possibility of insuring your cat. So, let’s discuss the big question - how much does pet insurance cost for my cat?
The truth is that pet insurance is incredibly affordable for cat owners. While each plan will be customized to your cat’s breed, gender, age and where you live - the average price of pet insurance per month for a cat is around $30 per month and ranges anywhere between $10 to $40 depending on our specific coverage.
One fact that is not often known by pet owners is that you can sign up for pet insurance for 30 days free. All pet insurance providers offer a 30 day free trial. So, essentially - you could sign up for multiple policies to see which provider is the best fit, cancel the ones you don’t like and you’ll receive a full refund as long as you don’t file a claim.
Here are two “gotchas” about pet insurance providers that are important to note in relation to the cost of your plan:
Prices for your plan are not locked in: They can increase with refresh calculations each year based on increasing vet costs, inflation and age of your pet. Typically they can increase around 15% within several years.
Prices don’t increase based on anything you do individually: Pet insurance isn’t like car insurance and your rate doesn’t increase when you submit a claim. You can submit as many claims as you need without fear of rising prices.
Additionally, there are no limits to how many claims you can submit per year, or even that are reimbursed to you.
There is only the 'annual limit' which is the maximum amount the insurance company is liable to pay to you in any given year. Many reputable providers offer an "Unlimited" option (typically several dollars more than their $10,000 cap option) where there is no limit to how much they'll pay you (could be $10k-20k-30k+).
E.g. Last year the largest claim that was paid out to 1 pet owner in the US from 1 provider was $100,000.
Does Your Pet Insurance Provider Matter?
The short answer is yes, definitely.
As previously mentioned, your insurance policy is going to be specifically based on your cat’s breed, age, gender and where you are located. Therefore, while it may seem that you could simply buy any policy, pricing does vary based on these factors and each provider should be considered before making a final decision.
Yet, searching for a pet insurance provider on your own, comparing costs and researching extensively is going to take hours of time that you probably don’t have. Instead of adding stress and frustration to your life, you should consider working with the pet insurance broker such as, Fursure.
I’m a member of the Fursure team and would like to share with you the benefits of using our service to help you find the best pet insurance policy for your pet.
Made by pet parents for pet parents, Fursure is a team of pet insurance gurus that can help you find the best policy for your cat and budget. They’ve done all the heavy lifting when it comes to researching insurance providers and know the industry secrets in order to land you the best deal.
Their process is simple - schedule a free consultation call with their team, learn everything you need to know about pet insurance for your cat and they’ll send you a list of providers they recommend based on your personalized situation.
With Fursure, it’s simple, easy and fast to find an insurance policy that will cover your cat from any accidents, illnesses and any mishaps that may occur.
Is Pet Insurance Right For Your Cat?
Now that you have all the information, do you believe that purchasing a pet insurance policy is right for your cat?
If you’re dedicated to keeping your cat healthy, happy and protected no matter what, then yes - you should purchase an insurance policy for them as soon as possible. The truth is that none of us know what’s going to happen to our pets over time and now, more than ever, the health of your cat and family are your top priority.
Plus, cat insurance is very affordable in contrast to the price of most medical procedures. As mentioned, your insurance will most likely range from $10-40 per month. Yet, if you cat swallows a foriegn object, that surgery could cost upwards of $3000 out of pocket. It’s evident that a pet insurance policy can and will save you thousands of dollars during the lifespan of your cat.
In all, pet insurance gives you the peace of mind knowing that your cat is protected and taken care of. You’ll never need to choose between giving your cat the medical attention they need or figuring out how to pay the veterinarian bills.
Your cat is an important part of your family and they deserve the best care possible. With a quality pet insurance plan you can make sure they have a long, healthy life.
Written by Shannon Ciricillo