Cat insurance offers cover against unexpected veterinary bills. It typically covers your pet against accidents, illnesses and injuries.
Cat insurance policies may seem expensive, but they can protect you from the shock of a large, unexpected bill. But as treatment costs for cats can be expensive, insurance is too.
What are the main types of cat insurance?
Here’s an overview of the different levels of cat insurance on the market:
|Insurance type||Level of cover|
|Accident-only cat insurance||This type of pet insurance covers your cat if they’re injured in an accident. It’s the standard level of cover offered by most cat insurance providers, so it is usually the cheapest option. It may also include some cover for vet fees if your cat needs treatment because of an accident, though not all providers will include this.|
|Time-limited cat insurance||This type of policy gives you the option to claim multiple times over a set period (usually a year) if your pet suffers from a health condition. Once this period ends, you’ll need to pay to treat that condition yourself.|
|Maximum benefit cat insurance||This form of pet insurance lets you claim for vet fees and other costs up to a specified limit (for example, £5,000). Once you hit that limit, your insurer will not pay for further treatment.|
|Lifetime insurance||With lifetime cat insurance, you can claim for any condition your pet suffers from up to a set amount (e.g. £10,000) for every year of your cat’s life. As it’s the most comprehensive choice for cat insurance, this policy type is typically the most expensive.|
What does pet insurance cover?
All policies have exclusions, and certain claims could be rejected. When you’re choosing a health plan for your cat, make sure you check the policy document for a list of exclusions.
Here are the treatments and conditions most cat insurance providers include with their policies, plus what’s almost always excluded.
Alternative therapies (e.g. hydrotherapy or acupuncture) or any treatments that your vet has referred your cat for
Diagnostic costs for working out what’s wrong with your cat (e.g. blood tests)
Putting your cat to sleep
What’s not covered
Routine and preventative procedures such as vaccination or flea treatment
Dental treatment, unless it’s an emergency
Paying for your cat to be buried or cremated
Why is cat insurance important?
Caring for your cat can be costly. Cats rack up higher vet bills than any other regular house pet apart from dogs. This makes it important to find the best cat insurance policy to cover the needs of you and your furry friend.
Remember that the best cat insurance is not always the cheapest. Cheaper cat insurance means accepting a lower level of cover. While this may be tempting, any pet insurance policy that doesn’t provide an adequate level of cover is likely to be a waste of money.
Make sure your prospective policy covers your cat’s needs, and only look for the lowest price.
Cat insurance for pedigrees
If you own a pedigree cat, you may need to consider purchasing a higher level of cover. Lifetime cat insurance is usually considered the best option for pure breeds because these pets often suffer from hereditary diseases that can become particularly severe in old age. Lifetime or maximum benefit insurance could potentially save you a significant sum compared to paying vet fees directly in the long run.
As pedigree cats can be very valuable, it’s also important to have the right cover if your pet is stolen or gets lost. UK providers usually offer a range of add-ons and extras to cover your cat if the provision you need is not included in a standard policy.
Does pet insurance cover pre-existing conditions and older cats?
Some policies exclude cover for older cats, while others only cover healthy pets and not cats that already suffer from one or more pre-existing medical conditions. Standard pet insurance may also not cover cats used for breeding.
If your pet falls into one of the above categories, you could still insure them through a specialist pet plan.
Here’s more information on how to claim on your cat insurance, including all the common exclusions to look out for.
How much is cat insurance?
The cost of cat insurance depends on various factors. Potential insurers might look at your cat’s breed, its age and how much cover you want.
Performing a pet insurance comparison will give you a wide range of quotes and policies to help you find the best cat insurance at the best price.
To give you an idea of what you’re likely to pay, here’s the average monthly insurance price pet owners paid, broken down by the age of their pet.
Prices based on Confused.com data taken between 17/04/2022 – 17/10/2022. Costs shown are based on the average price paid for cover across all cover types, breeds, and in all locations.
|Pet’s age||Average spend|
What factors impact the cost of taking out cat insurance?
The level of cover: the more cover you need, the more your policy will cost. The ideal policy for your cat offers the perfect level of cover at the best price
Your cat’s breed: pedigree pets are more likely to suffer acute hereditary conditions and can therefore be more expensive to insure
The age of your cat: older pets are more likely to suffer from conditions that require veterinary treatment, so a cat with some miles on the clock may require a pricier insurance policy than a kitten
Pre-existing conditions: if your cat suffers from a long-term illness that requires regular treatment, you’ll find that their insurance policy costs more than for a healthy pet
Excess payment: as with most insurance policies, you can often reduce your premiums by choosing a high excess payment.