Compare cat insurance quotes – Forbes Advisor UK
As the home becomes a central part of many people’s lives, cats are becoming increasingly popular companions. Still, an estimated 84% of cat owners don’t have insurance, according to the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Especially if household budgets are tight, avoiding buying insurance could turn out to be a false economy. Without it, if your cat does get sick, you will likely have to shell out hundreds or even thousands of pounds in vet bills.
Here’s everything you need to know to get your cat covered.
What is cat insurance?
Cat insurance falls under the broader jurisdiction of pet insurance, which will pay part or all of a vet’s bill if your cat becomes ill or injured.
You will need to understand exactly what your chosen policy will and will not pay before signing up. And it starts with the type of policy you buy.
What are the political options?
The most comprehensive type of cat insurance policy is known as lifetime coverage. This means that, if your cat develops a long-term or recurring illness, he will be able to receive treatment as long as the policy is in place.
This applies up to an annual limit set in the policy, and sometimes also a limit per individual condition.
But as long as you renew the policy every year, these limits are renewed at the same time. However, the limits vary from provider to provider, so compare them to the cost of the premium quoted.
Another option is a time-limited policy that will pay for each illness or injury for a set period, say 12 months, from when the problem started. The period is distinct from the term of the policy.
You can also opt for a capital limited policy. These work in a similar fashion, but insurers pay up to a certain amount of money for each condition with no time limit.
Finally, there is accident-only coverage – which is usually the cheapest – because it only covers accidents but not sickness.
What does cat insurance cover?
With the exception of accident-only insurance policies, the insurance will cover your cat for health issues including diabetes, respiratory problems, and eye infections.
If for any reason you become unable to care for your pet for a period of time, your insurance may also cover cattery costs – up to a stated annual limit.
Some pet insurance policies also reimburse the cost of emergency dental treatment following an injury. Others will pay if your cat is lost or stolen – for example for the cost of advertising or a financial reward for finding it – or if your cat dies from illness or injury before reaching a certain age.
What could he not cover?
If your cat is unlucky enough to have an illness by the time you want to purchase coverage, most insurers will rule out any pre-existing conditions.
Claims related to pregnancy or childbirth are usually not covered, while routine checkups or flea treatment will also not be part of the policy.
It is also important to know that most insurers impose a 14 day window at the start of the policy, which means that any health problem that arises during this period will not be covered.
This is the case whether you take out a new insurance policy for your cat or switch to a different one.
What factors determine the premiums?
There are four main factors an insurer will base the cost on: your cat’s age and breed, where you live, and the type of coverage you choose. The most comprehensive (and therefore the most expensive) cat insurance policies are lifetime policies.
The level of deductible (the portion of any claim funded out of your pocket) will also have an impact on the cost of coverage. The higher the deductible, the lower the price.
Check if a percentage deductible is charged as well as the usual one-time payment. If this is the case and you are claiming long or expensive treatments for your cat, it can turn out to be costly.
How much does cat insurance cost?
According to the ABI, the average annual pet insurance premium in 2019 was Â£ 271, which works out to around Â£ 22.60 per month.
That said, some cat insurance policies start from Â£ 10 per month. And, as a general rule, the younger the cat, the cheaper the premiums will be.
Paying your premium for the entire year in advance will be cheaper, as insurers typically charge a fee to allow you to spread the cost over the 12 months.
Can I put multiple cats on one font?
According to the Pet Food Manufacturer’s Association (PFMA), 29% of households with a cat have more than one cat.
If you are among them, it is definitely worth considering multi-pet insurance. This type of coverage offers discounts, typically around 5%, compared to purchasing insurance for each animal separately.
However, it could still be cheaper to purchase individual policies, so be sure to do your research before committing to cover.
Is there a difference between cat and kitten insurance?
Kitten coverage is only cat insurance taken out early. Usually, you can take cover when your cat is six to eight weeks old.
Keep in mind, however, that standard procedures for kittens, including vaccinations, spaying, neutering, deworming tablets, and flea control, will not be covered by the policy.
If you purchase cat insurance while your pet is still a kitten, make sure it comes with indoor and outdoor coverage. After all, they can have just as many problems inside the house as they do outside while they are still young.
Can I insure an old cat?
While it is possible to get coverage for older cats, they become increasingly difficult and expensive to insure as they get older.
According to a group of consumers, Who? animals over 12 years old are almost twice as expensive to insure as those aged four to six. And some policies don’t cover older cats at all, so check the age limit.
And the pedigrees?
Purebred cats are generally more expensive to insure than crossbreeds because they are at greater risk for long-term disease. As a general rule, cats without pedigrees live longer and are healthier than pure breeds.
Does my cat have to be microchipped to be eligible?
Unlike dogs, it is not a legal requirement to have your cat or kitten microchipped. But your insurer may ask you for it for information.
Where can I buy cat insurance?
Comparing chat insurance online is quick and easy. And a little bit of shopping will ensure you get the right level of coverage for your cat at the most competitive price.
As always, read the fine print and make sure you understand the type of coverage you are purchasing and the exclusions.