Perhaps you have a cat, or you may be considering bringing a new cat into your home. Deciding on the right animal for you and your family is not your only consideration. In fact, you must decide if you will be purchasing pet insurance for your cat.
Pet insurance was not available as a specific policy in the United States until 1982. That first policy was sold for the dog who played Lassie. Often people think that pet insurance only applies to dogs, but you can purchase it for your cat as well. But, is it worth the money?
Want the 101 on pet insurance for your cat? Then continue reading.
What Is Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance, while covering the costs of maintaining your pet’s health, is actually nothing like human health insurance. Pet insurance functions more like property insurance. Most of the time, you pay the vet bill upfront. You then file a claim with your insurance agency, and they reimburse you.
Because you are required to come up with the money upfront, it is important to remember that pet insurance does not help you pay for the actual treatment. There are a number of other financial aid organizations and fundraising efforts that you can do to pay your vet bills.
Pet insurance does help your recoup some of the losses you incur when caring for a sick pet. Veterinary costs have risen significantly in the last decade. It is now very common to spend $50-$400 on a routine vet visit alone. Emergency and critical care is another thing altogether. It can run many thousands of dollars. While you do pay that money initially, pet insurance can help you avoid debt and bankruptcy.
Pet Insurance For Cats
Even though dogs are more likely to affect your homeowner’s policy, cats can be costly to own as well. Cats are just as prone to medical bills as dogs. Emergency situations, like a broken leg, could cost up to $3,200 or more. Urinary tract disease, which is a common cat affliction, can cost $1,239 to treat if left and not treated.
Pet insurance is similar to gambling in that you never know if you are going to need it. You will need to pay the premiums as you would any other insurance policy. Also, there will be a flat deductible. The flat deductible will likely be between $50-$100. There will also be a co-pay or 10%-20% for each procedure.
Obviously, pet insurance is not supposed to cover every vet bill you incur with your cat. Normal expenses like routine vet checkups and heartworm/flea and tick medication should be covered by you. Instead, pet insurance for cats is there for unexpected health problems. The broken legs and urinary tract diseases mentioned above. Cancer and cataract surgery. Pet insurance insures you against these unfortunate issues.
What happens if you don’t want to invest in pet insurance? In that case, there are other options available. If you start a dedicated savings account for your cat, you put away a certain amount each paycheck for your cat’s welfare. You then use this savings account to pay any vet bills for your cat.
The problem with dedicated savings accounts is that you may not have enough money saved to afford certain emergency procedures. Pet insurance, on the other hand, protects you against any potential health crises with your cat.
Pet Insurance For Cats Pros And Cons
While pet insurance may be a great choice for cat owners, there are a few cons you need to consider as well:
- Most plans allow you to use a vet of your choosing.
- Pet insurance plans are typically less expensive than other plans.
- There are a variety of pet insurance plans for cats available. These include lifetime, maximum-benefit, time-limited, wellness, and accident-only plans.
- The wide variety of plans means you can pick the one that best suits you and your cat.
- Unlike human health insurance, you get to pick your vet.
- Most plans require you to pay upfront and then file a claim. You may not have enough money to cover the full vet bill.
- You could never need to use the policy, in which case, your premiums go to waste.
- Many plans exclude pre-existing conditions, and coverage/claim acceptance may vary.
Cats are amazing pets. They are funny, smart, and affectionate (on their terms)! Cat owners want to do the most for their pets. That is why you need to consider pet insurance. It is there is a safety net. It provides peace of mind and a safety net in case a health emergency happens to your precious cat.
Talk to us about pet insurance today, or visit our blog for more insurance advice.
*As a side note, we do not sell pet insurance.