Insurance for your cat? Yes, its available and becoming more and more common. Pet insurance should be seriously considered by anyone adopting a new kitten AND by those of you with middle age to older cats. It’s not for everyone, but here’s some things you should know:
First of all, we do not sell insurance, nor do we get any “cut” or benefit from any company.
You can select any insurance plan you chose, and typically go to any veterinarian you chose.
Your veterinary visit will be the same as any other, however you may have a little less stress about the bill, knowing that your insurance policy will cover it (or much of it).
When services are completed, you pay the same as you normally would. Then, you submit your invoice and receipt to your insurance companies. Companies are making this easier and easier, even offering apps to snap a picture of your invoice to upload and submit immediately for reimbursement.
Premiums vary greatly depending on where you live and they may increase based on your pet’s age, breed, veterinary cost inflation and other factors. Typical premiums for cats range from $20-30 per month.
Many plans deny or restrict coverage for congenital or hereditary conditions, for instance heart disease in Maine Coon cats.
There may be a limit on how much an insurance will pay for treatment of an individual illness or accident.
You may think your cat is young or “just an indoor cat”, however below are a few patient examples of why insurance can be a good idea:
*Marley is a three year old cat who gets the “crazies” often. One Saturday she was zipping around the home and a rug slid out from under her. She collided into the wall was suddenly limping afterwards. This “safe” little indoor kitty came in to CCC and was found to have a comminuted fracture of her femur that required a surgical specialist for repair. The bill totaled thousands of dollars.
*Bella is a Maine Coon who at 1 ½ years of age had severe inflammation of her gingiva (gum tissue) called stomatitis. This is often a life-long chronic disease. It can sometimes can be medically managed, but typically requires extensive oral surgery at a young age. If insured as a kitten, this would not have been a “preexisting condition”, and all of her dental care would have been covered by some companies.
*EF is a sixteen year old boy who began having seizures when he was twelve. A full diagnostic work up included a CT scan with a neurologist. He continues to be carefully managed with anti-convulsants that require frequent blood level monitoring. He has his ups-and-downs where his seizures get out of control despite medications and he needs hospitalization at a 24-hour facility. This can cost well over $1000 each time. Luckily, his mom signed him up for insurance when he was six years old. Although the rates were a little higher at that age, he did not have this seizure problem as a pre-existing condition at that time. She is thankful that she does not have to limit his medical care due to her budget.
These are just a few examples of unexpected problems that we see in cats. There are so many more including urinary tract disorders, arthritis, kidney disease, and others.
How do I sign up?
Not all plans are equal! We recommend looking into three or four companies and getting quotes (this will take into account your cat’s age, breed, and sometimes your location). This is easily done online on the company’s website.
We do NOT endorse any particular plan. Many clients and even staff here use ASPCA and Veterinary Pet Insurance. They are happy and feel it has been very worth the monthly fee. Check out the many other companies or even use an independent comparison website like petinsurancereview.com
We highly recommend you look closely at dental care coverage of plans. This is a common problem in cats that many people don’t take into account.
Many plans will cover prescription diets and supplements, which can be very helpful for many cats.
Companies modify their plans frequently, so it is hard for us to keep up with the differences. Policy coverage can change year-to-year for some companies, which can be frustrating. As you do research, don’t ever hesitate to call us if you have questions regarding a policy, if your cat has pre-existing conditions, or anything else.
Is Cat Insurance worth it?
For many, the peace of mind in knowing finances will not have to play a factor in decision making when faced with an unexpected injury, illness, or aging-related disease makes it money well spent.
For others, setting aside a small amount per month in a savings may be an alternative in case of an emergency.
There’s no purrfect answer regarding whether insurance is right for you and your cat or if you will “come out ahead”. But as cats live longer and longer lives, for the peace of mind it gives and the financial reimbursement potential it has, it may make sense for you to consider.
Our goal is to make sure you know it’s available and that you know the staff here at Cat Care Clinic is happy to help you sort through the information as you investigate it. We always want the best for you and your cat!