There are a large number of insurance companies offering cat insurance. So how should a cat owner go about finding the best policy for their beloved cat?
Price Comparison Websites for Cat Insurance
It is important not to simply pick the easiest or most commonly available pet insurance, but to go about choosing the best one in the same way one would look for the best company when insuring a house or car. There are now a number of price comparison websites for pet insurance. These allow the cat owner to decide what level of cover they would like, and then find the best deal.
What Should be Covered?
All policies should cover against illness or injury for a cat. However, as with other types of insurance, there will be a number of differences in what level of cover the owner gets. Some policies only cover up to a certain amount, and with vet bills increasing, the owner needs to consider what would happen if the cat was seriously ill or badly injured. Would she be prepared to cover the extra, or is it better to pay more now. Also, some policies only cover for a year, which could be a problem if a cat were to have a longterm illness or health condition, necessitating frequent trips to the vet and ongoing medication.
Owners of pedigree cats might want to insure for the cost of their cat, should it disappear or even be stolen. Some policies also cover the owner if the cat is ill when they are about to go on holiday. Of course, all these options make the policy more expensive, so it is important to consider what is necessary in each individual case.
Many pet insurance companies will only allow the owner to insure for the first time for cats up to a certain age, often around 8 – 10 years old. But if the cat is already insured with them, most will cover older cats. However, the premium may go up significantly once a cat becomes a senior citizen.
What will Not be Covered
Most cat insurance policies will not pay out for routine check-ups, spaying and neutering, and worming and flea treatments. Most also have an excess, to prevent the owner making constant small claims for minor problems. Some will cover for complementary therapies, but if the owner is likely to use these, she should check the individual policy.
Self-Insurance as an Alternative?
Some owners decide that cat insurance is too expensive, particularly in the case of multi-cat households. Some people decide to ‘self-insure’, which means they put aside a certain amount of money each month to use in the event of a cat emergency. This is a reasonable alternative, but it is important to make sure that enough funding will be there should a cat have a serious accident or become very ill.
Cats are generally healthy, and it is easy to postpone thinking about insurance until it is too late. But it is important to decide what will be done before the anything happens, rather than struggle to be able to find fees for veterinary treatment.