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I cannot stress the importance of pet insurance for your cats!
Fact, vets are expensive, it’s just the way it is and that’s why pet insurance is key to preventing massive costs (think thousands) further down the line. Your cat could spend their entire lives not needing the vets for anything except check-ups, however, they could also end up with a lifetime condition or ongoing disease that needs treatment. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you can see your cat is suffering but can’t afford to do anything about it!
With this in mind, I wanted to do an insurance-related post for Cat Week this year to impart a little knowledge for those who are struggling to decide on what they want. If you have existing vet bills you need help with, my post on Help With Vet Bill Affordability will be more suitable to you
*Obviously, I am not an insurance provider, nor can I decide on specific situations or your own policy but here’s some knowledge so you at least know where to start. *
Types Of Policies
It’s important to understand the different types of pet insurance policies out there so you select the right one before you need to make a claim and understand any restrictions that come with them.
The most comprehensive option that fully covers your pets throughout their lives (as long as you remain active and pay premiums of course.) There will also be tiers within this cover to pay up to a certain point each year but it will cover ongoing conditions.
*This is generally more expensive because of the level of cover.
The other end of the scale that only covers for some accidents that your cat is involved in (as well as directly related issues that arise from it.) It does not cover illnesses.
*This is the cheapest type of policy and provides the least amount of cover.
This means that there is a set amount that a condition can be paid up to, for example, the limit may be £1000 over the course of the cat’s lifetime. So, you have as much time to claim as you need but once you reach that amount, the cover ends and there are no more payments.
This is absolutely fine for a lot of conditions, however for ongoing illnesses or diseases, it can get costly.
This is a restricted version of maximum benefit, whereby you usually have a 12-month time limit to claim for a condition up to the maximum allowance. After this, ongoing costs are liable to be paid by you. Also, you cannot claim for the same condition again in the future (even if you renew your policy.
Exemptions are conditions or illnesses that are not covered in your insurance and it is important to read these carefully. Normally, existing conditions prior to insuring your cat won’t be covered which is why you should get pet insurance when your cats are young.
Things You Can Get Cover For
Policies vary but there are options to include all of these elements in your policy depending on who you go to so look out for these bonuses in your T&C’s:
- Death premiums – it doesn’t sound nice but for expensive pedigrees, you receive a sum covering the costs upon their death.
- Third party cover/Accidental damages – It covers damages that your pets cause others if necessary e.g. attacks or fighting. As well as damages to property.
- Costs of cremation
- Cover overseas – If you are travelling with your cat
- Boarding and catteries – if you need emergency treatment or care
- Holiday Cancellation – if your cat becomes ill or has an accident and you have to cut short a holiday, this cover will claim back some of the expenses not covered under any holiday insurance.
- Lost cats – Which can provide reward money if found as well as advertising costs.
- Dental cover
An important factor for many but prices for your policy will entirely depend on a variety of different factors including:
- Cat Breed – pedigrees are more expensive
- Previous history and claims
- Type of cover
- Location – different areas cost different amounts because vet expenses are higher or lower making them charge more or less.
- Age of cat
- Multiple pet discounts
- Amount of excess you choose (how much you are willing to put towards a claim
Generally speaking however, for lifetime cover you could be looking at around £400-£600 per year. This may seem like a lot however if you consider that a trip to the vets for a checkup is around £30 – £50 with routine tests costing around £200, medication starting at £10 per visit and this hasn’t even taken into account treatment, surgery or any ongoing conditions. Cancer in animals, for example, can run up to £5000, particularly if they are young and have a lot of fight in them.
3 Top Tips For Looking For Pet Insurance
- Reduce Premiums – Neuter and microchip your cat to reduce the amount of premium.
- Shop Around – Don’t always take the first quote, use comparison websites such as GoCompare.com to do all the hard work for you and get the best deal. Also, remember that cheaper is not always better, you want the best policy for money.
- Start Young – Insure your kittens straight away when they are young as insurers won’t pay for pre-existing conditions before the date your cover starts. This can be a pain if their condition is ongoing throughout adulthood.
Ultimately (as you may or may not have guessed!) I am all for getting pet insurance, it’s definitely not worth the risk without it and I have always had my cats covered (as if I can afford the vet fees!) and for those who want to know, The Toolbox Kitties are insured by Animal Friends.
*Always read the terms and conditions of your policy so that you completely understand what is covered and what isn’t. Feel free to ring your insurer and have them clarify, you don’t want to be caught out further down the line!
This concludes Day 6 of #CatWeek2017, for the other days, check out the Cat Week Home Page.