Vet visits aren’t cheap, but signing your friend for health insurance can also be expensive.
However, a good cat insurance plan could save you thousands of dollars over the course of your pet’s life, giving you both peace of mind and a stable family budget.
While cheaper doesn't always mean better, there are several ways you can reduce the cost of your cat insurance. In this post, we reveal five simple tips to help you get cheap cat insurance rates and find the best deal for your beloved pet.
Follow these steps to get cheap cat insurance rates:
- Compare different pet insurance plans
- Identify the right level of coverage
- Keep an eye on pet insurance discounts
- Consider your cat's breed
- Keep your cat healthy
1. Compare different pet insurance plans
Keep in mind that your plan’s rate will depend on several different factors, including health risks, age, breed, and even geographical area. For instance, vets in urban areas often charge higher than those in rural areas, and this higher cost will likely be reflected in premiums.
The good news is that pet parents no longer need to go from website to website to compare different pet insurance plans and find the best deal. You should check out expert comparison websites and tools like Pawlicy Advisor’s comparison charts, where they can see plan details and pricing.
If you find a good deal on a comparison site, go to the insurer’s website to see if they can offer you an even better rate. Don’t forget to look into waiting periods (see if there’s a longer waiting period for orthopedic conditions like hip dysplasia and cruciate ligament issues) and finally, take a look at customer reviews.
2. Identify the right level of coverage
Making sure you get the right level of coverage for your cat's needs can also help you get cheaper rates on cat insurance premiums, so take the time to think to consider all your options. For example, some providers offer multiple tiers for each type of coverage. You might be able to save by dialing back on some of the extra features offered at the premium rate.
The most common pet insurance plans cover accidents and illnesses. This includes a wide range of ailments and incidents such as chronic diseases, hereditary conditions, diagnostic tests, surgeries, cancer treatments, hospitalizations, emergency care, etc. Some more comprehensive policies cover things like prescription medication, physical therapy, behavioral therapy, and alternative treatments.
There are also accident-only cat insurance policies, which are cheaper but cover less than accident-and-illness plans, as well as add-on wellness coverage that provides reimbursement for routine care and preventive care.
Although price is an important factor, there’s no point in paying for unnecessary coverage. Ideally, you should be looking for a plan that will cover all of the things that your cat is going to be susceptible to in the future at a price you can afford.
Generally speaking, cats tend to be healthier than dogs, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to consider a lower level of cover. However, they can still be prone to chronic or breed-specific conditions later in life. Consult your veterinarian about common cat health issues or congenital conditions. They should be able to estimate how much insurance you should get for your feline friend.
3. Keep an eye on pet insurance discounts
Different pet insurance companies offer different types of discounts. Most of them (PetFirst, Hartville, ASPCA) offer a multi-pet discount that ranges from 5% to 10%.
Some pet insurance providers, like Armed Forces and USAA, offer generous discounts to former and current members of the military. If you have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, or Coast Guard, you are eligible for up to a 15% discount with these insurers.
You can also reduce the cost by paying your annual premium upfront, or get a discount if your employer offers pet health insurance as a voluntary employee benefit.
Switching insurance companies might also get you a new customer discount, which can be quite useful if you are moving a lifetime pet insurance policy.
Pet insurance providers might also have other ways to help you save money. For instance, with Embrace, you will get $50 off your deductible for each year you go without submitting an accident or illness claim.
4. Consider your cat’s breed
Do some research about your cat’s breed to determine if there is a risk for major health issues in the future. Determining the needs of your particular breed can help you find a lower monthly premium. Certain breeds of cats are susceptible to particular ailments and are therefore more expensive to insure.
For instance, Siamese cats can be prone to cancer and Ragdolls to kidney disease, both of which can require you to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on veterinary treatment. In general, pedigree cats are likely to be more expensive to insure because of their increased risk of illnesses.
5. Keep your cat healthy
Keeping your feline friend as healthy as possible is another way to save money on pet health insurance. Vaccinations and annual boosters, regular deworming and flea protection, feeding your cat a healthy diet, taking care of their dental health, and getting them microchipped can all play an important part in your pet's health. Healthy pets visit the vet less often, which reduces the chance of needing to make a claim, and your monthly premium might be cheaper as a result.
In addition, consider signing up for pet insurance while your cat is still young and healthy because new pet insurance policies typically exclude pre-existing conditions. So, by enrolling before your four-legged friend falls ill, you are maximizing the number of illnesses they will be covered for.
- Cat insurance costs can be high but it is definitely cheaper than paying thousands of dollars on veterinary care. Pet insurance is a great way to make sure your beloved pet gets the kind of medical care they need, but it's just as important to ensure that it doesn’t represent a financial burden.
- Finding cheap pet insurance rates is all about doing your research and figuring out what the best pet insurance plan is for both your pet and your budget. Insurance will cost different for old cats and young cats, healthy cats and those with pre-existing conditions, etc.
- If in doubt, compare pet insurance providers on Pawlicy Advisor to see how each one stacks up, with a clear explanation of exclusions, benefits, and more.