Thinking about getting cat insurance? You’re making a good decision. Taking on the care of another living thing is a big responsibility and paying for medical costs out of pocket can get expensive.
Cat insurance works like any other type of pet health insurance. It reimburses you for some of our veterinary costs after you take your cat to the vet.
That may sound simple enough, but with so many different plans out there, finding the best one for you and your cat can get confusing. Many different companies offer cat insurance. There are also different levels of coverage, different types of plans, and various costs to consider.
If you’ve just adopted a new cat or kitten and you’re in the market for pet insurance, here’s what you need to know before you start shopping.
- The 3 Different Types of Cat Insurance Plans
- Choosing a Provider and a Plan
The 3 Different Types of Cat Insurance Plans
There are three types of pet insurance plans you need to consider: accident-only plans, accident and illness plans, and wellness plans for routine care.
Keep in mind that there are no pet insurance plans that cover pre-existing conditions. Pre-existing conditions are any medical conditions that start before your cat insurance plan takes effect.
Accident-only plans reimburse you for the costs of veterinary care, but only for care associated with accidents. In this case, accidents include physical injuries like broken bones as well as cuts, as well as foreign body ingestion, and poisoning.
Accident-only plans may also cover important tests for diagnosing injuries, such as X-rays and CT scans. In this way, they can save you significantly if your pet needs testing to figure out what’s wrong with them.
That said, accident-only plans are limited in their coverage. They won’t cover illnesses or chronic health conditions like diabetes. If your cat gets sick, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for any medical expenses associated with their illness.
Accident & Illness Plans
Accident and illness plans are the most common types of pet insurance plans. They’re also the types of plans most veterinarians will recommend for your cat.
That’s because accident and illness plans will cover most of the health problems your cat may face in its lifetime. You’ll get coverage for broken bones and cuts like with an accident-only plan, but you’ll also get coverage for some of the most expensive pet health conditions out there, such as diabetes and cancer.
If you have an outdoor cat, you may be tempted to choose an accident-only plan because your biggest concern is your cat getting injured.
But keep in mind that injuries aren’t the only risks to an outdoor cat. Outdoor cats are also more susceptible to illnesses like feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which can progress to feline AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). Most accident and illness plans will cover FIV testing and treatment.
Wellness Plans for Routine Care
Cat wellness plans are typically sold as add-on features to regular pet insurance policies. They reimburse you for the costs of preventative care like annual exams and teeth cleanings.
It’s a good idea to bring your cat in for routine care at least once per year when they reach adulthood, and twice per year once they reach the age of ten. Getting a routine care add-on will help to reduce some of these costs.
If you’ve adopted a kitten, you should think about signing up for a wellness plan as soon as possible, because younger pets need to visit the vet for routine care more often than adult cats. A wellness plan will help you offset the costs of essential preventive care for kittens, such as vaccinations, deworming, FIV screenings, and more.
Choosing a Provider and a Plan
The best thing about cat insurance is that it works with any veterinarian. There are no networks. Simply take your pet in for care, then submit your invoice to your insurance provider to get reimbursed.
Nonetheless, pet insurance providers offer a wide variety of plans. Typically, you’ll want to find a plan that offers the most coverage for the lowest monthly cost. However, it’s important to understand your breed-specific health risks and how much the premium is expected to increase over the lifetime of your cat. Sometimes the cheapest plan today is more expensive in the long run, so use Pawlicy Advisor to understand each plan’s coverage and lifetime pricing score.
You should also pay close attention to other factors that impact your plan, such as the following:
- Annual Deductible: the amount of money you must pay out-of-pocket before you get reimbursed for veterinary costs.
- Premium Rates: the amount of money you pay for your insurance policy (usually per month).
- Reimbursement Rate: the percentage of covered veterinary expenses your insurance provider will pay after your deductible has been met.
- Average Days to Reimburse: the average number of days it takes for the insurance company to reimburse you for a claim.
- Waiting Period: the amount of time you must wait for your plan to activate after you sign up.
If you use Pawlicy Advisor, you can get multiple quotes for a variety of plans right at your fingertips. Just enter some basic information about your cat.
Pawlicy Advisor also provides you with helpful features to make shopping much easier. We’ll rate every cat insurance plan with a Coverage Score and a Lifetime Pricing Score. These scores tell you how much coverage you’ll get compared to other plans and how much value you’ll get from a specific plan over your cat’s lifetime.
Try the free comparison tool right now!