4 Best Cat Insurance Companies – Is Cat Insurance Necessary?
1 June, 2018
By: Lisa Fimberg
As a cat owner, you always want the best for your cat to keep them healthy. In order to keep your kitty(s) in the best care, you need to see your vet annually to make sure they remain in great shape. But, what if your cat has an unexpected emergency and the medical bill turns out to be much more than you can afford? It’s time like these when having pet insurance for your cat is a relief emotionally and financially.
Is Cat insurance worth the cost?
A simple paw injury can result in a big, unexpected medical bill that you don’t ever want to incur. Cats are also prone to kidney disease and the tests and bills for these can become unreasonably high.
Pet insurance for cats is less expensive than dogs and can range from under $10 per month to more than $50, depending on the type of cat owned, the amount of coverage selected, and the previous health of the cat. Older cats may also cost more, since they are more likely to develop health issues as they age.
When Is The Best Time To Insure Your Cat?
It’s best to insure your cat at a young age as kittens are much less expensive to insure than older cats. Further, it’s best to get started on a policy before your cat has any illness or genetic condition that occurs.
If you have an older cat whose veterinary expenses are primarily due to existing chronic conditions, pet insurance is probably not right for them. Most pet insurance providers don’t cover pre-existing conditions and insurance premiums typically start higher for older cats.
It’s always a good idea to check with your veterinarian to see if your cats are prone to any hereditary or genetic conditions. There are certain cat breeds that are known to have hereditary issues and your vet can help answer those questions. For instance, Siamese cats tend to have asthma and hip dysplasia; Himalayan cats: polycystic kidney disease and progressive retinal atrophy, and Ragdoll cats can have bladder stones.
Ask your vet to help you calculate the price of a potential worst-case scenario. The cost for vet services varies according to where you live, so make sure you’re buying a plan that will cover you for as much as you need if your pet ever needs extensive care. Your vet can help explain the costs of specific treatments and give you an idea of how high the bill could be, allowing you to be better prepared in a crisis.
How Much Does Cat Insurance Cost?
How much you pay for your cat insurance will depend on several factors: your level of coverage, your co-payment and deductible options, the age and breed of your pet and your location. That’s why it’s important to compare a range of insurers to ensure you find a cat insurance policy which best suits your individual needs and budget.
Each plan has a deductible
Most pet insurance plans have a deductible which is the amount you pay out of pocket before the coverage starts on your policy. Depending on the plan and policy you choose, the deductible typically ranges from $50 to $1,000 each year. The higher the deductible, the more you will receive back on each bill.
A co-payment (or co-pay), is the percentage of the total medical expenses you pay once your deductible limit has been reached. For example, if your veterinary bill is $3,000 and you have a deductible of $500 and a co-pay of 20%, you would pay your $500 deductible and a co-pay of $500 (20 % off the $2500 balance). Your insurer will then reimburse you $2,000 to cover the rest of the cost of treatment.
Reimburse for bills
Most pet insurance companies require that you pay your vet bill upfront, and then they reimburse you according to your coverage, usually between 70-90%. Some plans will pay the veterinarian directly.
It’s important to make sure that the reimbursement is based on the final total costs of the bill. Make sure to know what is covered in your plan. Also, try to choose a plan that has unlimited coverage so you are not reaching a ceiling each calendar year should you have multiple incidents for your dog or cat.
The price of cat insurance
While individual costs will vary based on your pet’s breed, age, health, where you live and the policy you choose, the price (or premiums) for cats ranges from $10 to $50 a month.
The best plans have unlimited lifetime benefits meaning plans that have no payout cap. With veterinary costs increasing, it is very common for any procedure to cost in the $5,000 to $10,000 range and you want to be prepared. Even something as simple as running some extensive tests on your cat can cost at least that amount which is why unlimited benefit payouts are recommended.
Some terminology to consider when looking into a cat insurance policy:
Pre-Existing Conditions: Every major pet insurance company excludes pre-existing conditions from their coverage. This means that any ongoing condition your cat was diagnosed with prior to being covered by their policy will not be covered in future claims.
Incidents: The term incident is used to refer to the condition that is causing you to visit the veterinarian. Chronic conditions such as skin allergies are considered to be a single incident even if you pay your veterinarian multiple visits. This can help in determining the best plan for your cat.
Exclusions: Exclusions are items which are not covered by your pet insurance policy, this can include: pre-existing conditions, certain musculoskeletal disorders, congenital disorders, hereditary disorders, and elective or cosmetic procedures.
Schedule of Benefits: The schedule of benefits is important to review as it outlines conditions that are covered under your plan and the amount of money you are provided for each diagnosis.
With a growing range of cat insurance policies on the market, you can be sure to find a cat insurance plan which suits your needs and budget. As well as accident and illness cover, many providers now offer wellness plans to cover the cost of routine veterinary care, and advanced treatment options for conditions such as cancer, meaning you and your cat can hope to have a healthy, long life.
Before selecting a cat insurance plan, pet owners should consider their ability to cover the monthly premium and the benefits the policy includes or excludes.
Here is our list of the 4 BEST Cat Insurance Companies :
2. Nationwide Pet Insurance
For cat insurance, Petplan USA has three different policies from which you can choose. They cover all the basics, including medical treatment, in addition to extras such as pet-theft reimbursement. What’s nice about Petplan is they offer a lot of flexibility with the deductibles, reimbursements and coverage options. Cat owners can customize their policy based on deductible, reimbursement percentage and coverage amount. The company provides these comprehensive plans with no per condition limits, no lifetime limits and no riders needed. They also cover periodontal disease, which is especially important for cat owners since 80% of felines over the age of 4 have periodontal disease.
Petplan USA also offers many discounts upon enrollment which helps save money! Monthly premiums can be reduced by enrolling online, insuring multiple pets, or by insuring medical services. With so many avenues for saving money, Petplan USA sets itself apart from the rest.
Read full review of Petplan
Nationwide’s Feline Select plan has a low monthly fee and covers a range of common cat diseases and injuries. When you buy Nationwide’s Whole Pet with Wellness Plan, you are getting one of the most comprehensive policies available. Although it does cost more than most other standard pet insurance plans, it covers nearly everything, from accident and illness conditions to physical exams, to vaccinations, to flea and heartworm prevention and even spaying and neutering.
With Nationwide, you either get the full Wellness benefits via their Whole Pet plan or you only get wellness via their Wellness plans. Wellness is not an add-on with Nationwide (making them pricier) but a great addition for those routine visits. Another benefit is that with Nationwide cat insurance, there is no copay is required. There is an age restriction, however, as cats must be registered before reaching 10 years of age. (But, truly, no reason to insure your cat at age 10!) The starting monthly premiums are $18 a month for cats.
Read full review of Nationwide
PetFirst Healthcare offers both excellent coverage, as well as a large variety of policy options. There are two different policies to choose from: lifetime and standard. Lifetime policies have annual limits while the standard policies are limited on a per-incident basis. With each plan, you can choose from a variety of deductible and copay options to cater to your budget and your needs.
PetFirst is a great choice for those with older cats because they have no upper age limits and will cover hereditary, congenital and chronic conditions. There is no exam required before signing up with them.
PetFirst offers an enrollment process that is easier than most. They do not require a vet exam, and accident coverage starts in 24 hours which is quicker than most other providers. And what’s also nice is that there aren’t any waiting periods for a few conditions many other providers just don’t cover. PetFirst also has a healthy pet discount for every year you don’t make a claim! The upper tier plans are a bit on the pricier side and the company does not offer unlimited coverage like some of the other plans. The prices do start as low as $9 a month for cats.
Read full review of PetFirst
Pets Best is a premiere supplier of cat health insurance not only due their coverage options, but because of their custom Feline Illness add-on. This cat-specific option provides an extra $10,000 of lifetime coverage if you know that your cat is of a certain breed that is prone to an illness or condition. Pets Best allows for easy customization, which can range from deductible and copay options to wellness coverage.
PetsBest offers three levels of coverage that are differently arranged than other pet insurance companies. The company’s Essential, Plus, and Elite plans all cover accidents, illnesses, emergency care, and non -pre-existing hereditary conditions like most policies. However all plans also include prescription coverage which not all companies do.
Pets Best is consistently one of the least expensive options when it comes to cat insurance. They typically pay claims within 5 days and they offer multiple forms of customer service, so you’re bound to reach them one way or another. The starting monthly premiums cats is $16 a month or if you opt for the accidents only policy, the price can be as low as $10 a month. This could be a great option for those cat owners who want the just-in-case scenario.
Read full review of PetsBest
Cat insurance is great to have in the case of what if something unexpected happens or if you have a certain breed that tends to have issues. Call the different insurers, have a list of questions ready and get a few quotes. In the end, you will know if cat insurance is a good fit for you. If you need to learn more about pet insurance, take a look at our guide that gives you a detailed look at what to look for in pet insurance!