Do You Need Pet Insurance for Cats?
Doting pet owners want to keep their pet cats and dogs safe just like they would a family member. Statistics say this is true of Canadian pet owners. Between 2013 to 2019, pet insurance coverage climbed from $91.1 million to $208.6 million. It’s important to know, with pet insurance, cats are becoming increasingly more popular.
A pet insurance plan is a necessity, especially if your furry feline is no Garfield. While Garfield is often content to sit around and do nothing, other cats are curious and adventurous pets. Such traits in your cat may pose safety and health risks.
As it wanders about, injuries may happen. It may also catch some viruses or bacteria that may require serious veterinary care. In these situations, cat insurance plans provide financial relief and peace of mind.
How Pet Insurance Works
Pet insurance works in many of the same ways that your health insurance does. Every Canadian insurance company is required to explain the terms and conditions. Including any period before your cat insurance policy activates.
Terms and conditions may or may not state exclusions on pre-existing conditions. Any medical condition or ailment your pet cat was diagnosed with, before the start of the policy, counts as a pre-existing condition. Many pet insurance providers don’t provide coverage for medical or care expenses for these conditions.
As for the cat insurance waiting period, expect anywhere from 1 week to 1 month before you can make any claims from your insurance company.
Depending on the type of insurance policy, insurance pet coverage may include financial assistance for:
- a sudden illness
- injury due to an accident, and
- veterinary bills
The cost of the Premium set by a pet insurance company will be dependent on these factors:
- amount of deductible you’re willing to set
- limits of coverage
- caps or maximum claim values, and
- additional cat insurance benefits (like wellness care and others)
There are other expenses that cat insurance companies may not cover. These are often:
- pregnancy and or whelping expense
- a neuter procedure, and
- ineligible medications
Hence, it’s always wise to check and confirm the scope and limit of coverage before taking out any cat insurance policy.
Best Pet Insurance Policies Suited for Cats
The best coverage for your pet cat depends on several factors that influence price and coverage. You’d want to get the best deal, of course. And that depends on your preference.
If budget is a consideration, you need to work out an affordable package with your insurance provider. A plan that includes all the necessities.
If your cat is the delicate type, you’d want a plan that covers the unforeseeable emergencies and expenses you may incur.
The best cat insurance policy to consider is one that:
- reimburses a big percentage of veterinary bills, inclusive of exam fees and x-rays
- provides cover for alternative treatments like therapeutic massage or acupuncture for cats
- wellness care, including routine check-ups, and vaccines
- covers hospitalization or emergency treatment at the veterinary hospital
- reimburses a big percentage of the cost of medication and surgeries, and
- provides assistance for illnesses and accidents
The following benefits may or may not be available, depending on the insurance provider. Make sure to discuss these inclusions or exclusions with the insurance broker:
- dental coverage for yearly cleanings and teeth or gum treatment
- the use of medical devices like forelimb prosthetics
- behaviour therapy
- boarding or kennel fees, and
- burial or cremation costs
Depending on one’s needs, the best cat insurance may cover or be a mix of the following:
- Accident and illness. This is a comprehensive cover that provides benefits for medical treatment for sickness and injury.
- Accident. This covers medical expenses that arise from accidents.
- Wellness care. This covers dental care and regular procedures like vaccinations and diagnostics.
Understand Cover Limits
Your cat insurance may grant unlimited coverage if you took out the most comprehensive package. However, basic to average plans most likely enforce coverage limits. The limits may be per accident or treatment, or it may be per year.
Let’s suppose that your plan has a $1,000 cover per condition per year. This means that you can only claim up to $1,000 per case for each year. If your cat receives care or treatment for the same condition within the year, you can only claim whatever amount remains available.
Understand Premiums and Deductibles
Premiums are the amount you need to pay each month (or year) to be eligible for pet insurance with a provider. The deductible limit is the amount you need to spend first. Then anything over that, you may claim for reimbursement from your provider.
Lower premiums do not automatically make the best insurance for your cat. You need to weigh how much coverage your cat needs. If your cat is aging, it may likely need frequent medical treatment and visits to the vet.
The same goes for cat breeds that are prone to specific types of diseases or medical conditions. These factors often require higher coverage for your cat. As a result, you’re likely to pay higher premiums.
However, if your cat is young, strong, and rarely sick, then lower premiums may be the best plan for your pet cat.
If you want higher coverage but desire to pay lower monthly premiums, consider increasing the amount of your deductible. This way, you lower monthly payments. However, you need to set aside funds to cover your participation costs when emergencies occur.
The Bottom Line
Pet insurance for cats becomes necessary especially when your cat is about to reach its senior years. Consider taking out a plan especially when your cat frequently gets sick. Having a cat breed that is predisposed to certain diseases is also an indication that you need to purchase insurance for your pet cat.