Can You Switch Cat Insurance?

by Kari Steere, Licensed Insurance Agent
Pawlicy Advisor
Pet Insurance Blog
Can You Switch Cat Insurance?
If you want to switch cat insurance companies for better coverage or a cheaper price, be sure to read these tips first.

If your cat insurance policy is due for renewal, you might have noticed that your monthly premiums are set to increase. This is not uncommon and it can be due to several different reasons: increasing veterinary bills, your cat aging, a claim being made, or your introductory discount ending.

Whatever the case may be, you should never feel stuck with a lousy policy. If you aren’t happy with the level of coverage or the renewal price, you can always switch pet insurance — but there are a few considerations you'll want to keep in mind to avoid making the wrong decision.

Get Customized Cat Insurance Recommendattions

Use the links below for answers to common questions about switching cat insurance:

What to look for when switching cat insurance companies

Understand how your reimbursement is calculated

Vet fees can vary depending on the cat’s age, size, breed, and location, as well as the severity of the health condition and how your cat responds to treatment. That’s why you need a reliable and predictable payment method for your claims.

Whether you choose a pet insurance plan with 70%, 80%, or 90% reimbursement, make sure the reimbursement rate is based on your cat’s veterinary bill instead of a benefits schedule or a fixed amount depending on the treatment option or diagnosis.

Consider the customer service levels

Take some time to check out the pet insurance company’s site to see whether it is easy to find contact info and whether they offer options such as live chat, 24/7 claims lines, video consultations, and online account management. These things are often overlooked but can be of great value if you happen to need them.

Look for quick claim payouts

Choose a pet insurance provider that offers quick claim processing and payment. Most insurers take between 10 and 20 working days to process claims and offer several different claim submission options including mail, fax, and email. Some providers like Pets Best, ASPCA, and Lemonade, also offer mobile apps through which pet owners can file claims and manage their accounts. Once your claim is approved, you’ll get reimbursement via direct deposit or check.

  • Switching cat insurance is an important decision, so comparing insurance quotes from different pet insurance companies is the best way to ensure you’re getting the best deal possible.

Can you switch pet insurance if your cat has a pre-existing condition?

While any provider may allow you to enroll, most will not cover any condition that's pre-existing from the start of your (new) enrollment.

If your cat needed veterinary treatment, has an ongoing medical issue, or you filed a claim in the past one to two years, it may be considered a pre-existing condition. In which case, highly consider whether switching cat insurance companies is a prudent move. Although you may be facing higher premium rates, the money you could potentially save on vet bills could be well worth it down the road.

The good news is some pet insurance companies (such as ASPCA and Embrace Pet Insurance) offer coverage for curable pre-existing medical conditions provided your cat hasn’t shown symptoms or required treatment in the few months before the policy’s effective date.

How to avoid coverage gaps when switching cat insurance

Once you have found a pet insurance plan that fits your cat’s needs and your budget, you will need to cancel your existing insurance policy at some point.

Keep in mind that most pet insurance companies have a mandatory waiting period during which they won’t pay any claims you make.

To avoid a gap in coverage when switching cat insurance companies, you can either:

  1. Have two cat insurance policies at the same time until the new policy's waiting period has passed and coverage becomes effective.
  2. Wait to switch cat insurance until just before your old policy is set to renew.

Waiting Period by Insurance Provider (Comparison Chart)

How to switch to a better cat insurance plan

Switching insurance plans is a big decision, so be sure to compare different pet insurance providers and their policies using sites like Pawlicy Advisor. Our comparison tool lets you compare cat insurance options side-by-side so you can feel confident that you're making a great decision.

You can also get a free, personalized pet insurance recommendation by entering your cat's unique information. Get started today to see how much you might be able to save by switching.

View Cat Insurance Recommendattions

Key Takeaways

  • When comparing pet insurance plans, be sure to consider the level of coverage, the benefits included, whether there are annual limits, how your reimbursement is calculated, etc.
  • Another thing to take into consideration when switching cat insurance is the 14-day exclusion period during which you can’t make claims, as well as the fact that the new pet insurance company may not provide coverage for pre-existing medical conditions.

Kari Steer, Licensed P&C Insurance Agent at Pawlicy Advisor

About the author

Kari Steere, Licensed Insurance Agent

Customer Support - Pawlicy Advisor

Kari Steere is a licensed P&C insurance agent in all 50 states and has focused entirely on pet insurance since 2019. As an animal lover with a rescued Terrier named Barry, when she's not helping pet owners find the perfect plan on Pawlicy Advisor, she runs a ranch in Oregon and rehabilitates any animals that come across her path.

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