Your cat or kitten is a beloved family member and part of the family, and you’ll do anything for them. That might include paying for their veterinary care, even when they’re sick or injured. The cost of this care can be substantial, so it’s important to understand the options available. Cat insurance provides financial protection by reimbursing you for eligible vet bills. It’s best to find a policy that covers your pet’s specific health needs, including breed-specific conditions and illnesses, as well as the procedures you expect them to need.
There are three major types of cat insurance — accident-only, accident and illness and wellness. The type that is best for you depends on your pet’s needs and your budget. Accident-only policies cover accidents, such as being hit by a car, but don’t cover illness. Accident and illness policies cover both illnesses and accidents. However, many will have time limits on coverage for certain conditions. Once a limit is reached for a condition, the insurer will not pay for any further treatments of that kind during that year. This is why it’s important to compare the coverage available for each condition and each provider.
The amount of money that a plan will pay out each year is another important factor to consider. Most plans have an annual maximum benefit — which is the most they will pay for your cat or kitten in one year. It’s also common for policies to have a deductible, which is the amount you will be required to pay each year before the plan starts to reimburse you. The higher the deductible you choose, the lower your premium will be.
Some policies will have exclusions for pre-existing conditions — that is, any illnesses or injuries that your pet suffered from before the policy began. This is why it’s best to take out a policy as early as possible, when your cat or kitten is at their healthiest.
You should also consider a lifetime policy, which can provide longer-term cover. It can work out more expensive than an annual policy, but it offers peace of mind that your pet will be covered for the rest of their life. Some lifetime policies may have a fixed sum that will be paid out in total, while others will specify a maximum for each section of the cover.
Some policies will also include a loss-of-life cover, which pays out a monetary amount if your pet is lost or dies. Some will offer a replacement cover, which will give you the option to buy a similar dog or cat from the same breeder and age, up to a monetary limit.