Cat insurance is a shorthand term used to describe pet insurance, which helps cover the costs of any unexpected bills related to the health and well-being of your feline friend. Whether your cat gets into a fight with a neighbourhood tabby, develops an illness or swallows an unidentifiable object, your pet insurance provider may cover up to 85% of the vet bill – depending on your level of cover.
A standard pet insurance policy should be able to cover any breed of household cats. Alas, it does not cover meerkats!
An accident-only policy is the most basic level of cover you can get for your cat. If they get into a fight or they’re hit by a car, this policy will help cover a portion of the treatment costs.
In addition to what’s offered in an accident only policy, accident and illness cover may reimburse you up to 85% of vet bills for certain illnesses. These typically include treatment for cancer, skin conditions and infectious diseases.
A comprehensive policy will cover everything that an accident and illness policy covers with a higher claim and annual limit. For an additional cost, you may also opt in for extra cover for routine treatments and essential procedures, such as desexing, microchipping and regular check-ups.
An insurance policy may not cover everything, but it does offer financial support at critical times. Most cat insurance policies will cover up to 85% of eligible vet bills. Many insurers will have you pay an excess amount per claim and the remaining percentage of the cost which isn’t covered.
For example, if the insurer covers 80% of a $1000 bill and you’ve agreed to pay a $100 excess, you will have to pay $200 (20% of $1000) and the $100 excess, which totals $300.
However, in a lot of cases you can choose not to pay an excess, so that the insurer covers the entire agreed amount. Keep in mind that as the excess amount decreases, the premium may increase.
Depending on your insurer and policy, there will normally be several exclusions. Some exclusions apply to all policies, while others are policy-specific. Common policy exclusions include pre-existing conditions, bilateral conditions (medical conditions that affect both left and right versions of a body part, such as eyes and ears), elective treatments, and treatments for conditions in which there is a known vaccine.
Excluding bilateral conditions doesn’t mean that any body part that has a bilateral counterpart won’t be treated, but rather that your insurer will likely only cover treatment for one side of the body.
Vaccinations, desexing and preventative treatments may also be excluded in some policies, but not in others. Policy-specific exclusions can be found in an insurance provider’s Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
It depends on the policy. Provided your cat is insured before the age of nine, they can be covered for their entire life for accidents and illnesses, as long as the policy is constantly maintained.
That is to say, older cats cannot be covered by certain policies once they reach a certain age. So, it’s a good idea to insure your kitten before it turns nine years old so that it can be protected for accidents and illnesses for life.
Accident only policies, on the other hand, typically don’t have age limits. You can cover your cat for accidents regardless of what age they are when you purchase your policy.