Pet Insurance for Cats
- Why you might need cat insurance
- Companies that offer coverage
- Common cat diseases
- Do you need cat insurance?
Why You Might Need Cat Insurance
Your cat is important to you and you want to see him live a long, healthy life. For that reason, you might need to get cat insurance to cover their healthcare. Your policy might cover any number of problems and might even cover part of routine preventative care measures, such as vet visits, vaccinations, or even alternative practices. You might also consider cat insurance if your cat’s breed tends to have particular problems, or be prone to a special sort of curiosity that leads to a medical problem.
What it Covers
Though cat insurance won’t cover curiosity, per se, it can cover the results of curiosity. If your cat is still a kitten, his curiosity is likely at a high point and accidents are liable to happen. For instance, sometimes cats eat small objects, or devour a ball of yarn. Some cats love to chew and swallow rubber bands. These objects often won’t pass easily, so you will need to visit a vet and have them taken care of, sometimes to the point of surgical procedures. Adolescent cats might become more adventurous, especially if they are allowed outdoors, where the possibilities for injury are numerous.
Cat insurance also covers any number of veterinary procedures, from vaccination to cancer treatments. You can purchase policies that cover routine visits and check-ups, as well as plans designed specifically to cover emergency care. Some policies even cover acupuncture or other alternative treatments.
Companies that Offer Cat Insurance
A wide range of insurers extend coverage to our feline friends. Here is a brief list of insurers who can cover your kitty:
Pets Best covers your cats with policies that include emergency care, diseases such as cancer, congenital disorders, and even routine procedures. Routine care is a bit more expensive but may be worth it. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Pets Best consistently is one of the cheapest options as it’ll come to cat insurance.
Typically, they pay claims within five days and provide several types of customer service; therefore, you are bound to get in touch with them in some form or another. A mixed breed, four-year-old cat from Illinois may have coverage which has a $250 deductible, 80 percent reimbursement, and unlimited yearly maximum for $23.63/ mo.
Embrace Pet Insurance
Embrace offers comprehensive coverage plans that include accidents, genetic conditions, alternative care, and chronic conditions, among others. You won’t have to join a network of providers, as Embrace is accepted by all vets.
One of the top-rated insurers for pets, Healthy Paws offers comprehensive coverage for your cat. They cover diagnostic procedures, medications, hospital visits, and specialty care. Be sure to sign up for coverage while your pet is healthy, as many insurers don’t cover pre-existing conditions. Healthy Paws has a yearly deductible, reimburses as much as 90 percent of the actual veterinarian bill after deductible, covers every accident, illness, and hereditary condition (as long as they were not pre-existing), and they never will put a number on any claims. That means unlimited lifetime benefits for your pet without a cap.
As if that isn’t enough, Healthy Paws additionally weighs in with an affordable quote of $22.10/ mo. (based upon a 4-year-old mixed breed cat from Illinois) with an 80 percent reimbursement and $250 deductible.
Though they are not an insurance company, you can sign up for coverage through this anti-cruelty society. Their website allows you to generate at quote one one of their three levels of care. They also offer a wellness coverage package that can be added to any of the three coverage levels.
Figo Pet Insurance
Figo offers three tiers of cat insurance that offer coverage of $10k, $14k, and an unlimited plan that reimburses you for any expenses incurred when you cancel plans for a pet’s emergency. Their mid-range plan will also pay claims if your pet is lost or stolen. This might be a good option for those who love purebred cats that might be coveted by pet-nappers.
Nationwide Pet Insurance
If you have human insurance through Nationwide, they offer five percent off on your pet’s policy, which is one incentive to consider this well-known insurer. They claim to cover 90 percent of veterinary bills for procedures that include vaccinations, chronic illness, surgery, hospital stays, and medications.
PetPlan Pet Insurance
This insurer offers a comprehensive plan that covers nearly everything you can think of: medication, vet visits, non-routine dental work, illness, accidents, and even alternative therapies. You can purchase additional coverage that covers kennel fees, death from illness or injury, and even behavior therapy. Customers may customize their policy based upon coverage amount, reimbursement percentage, and deductible.
The company provides these comprehensive plans without any per condition limitations, no lifetime limitations and no riders necessary. Also, they cover periodontal disease that’s particularly important for feline owners since 80 percent of cats over age three have periodontal disease. You will not know the right price for your cat until you run quotes from several companies.
One quote ran on the Petplan site for a mixed breed, four-year-old cat from Illinois was $34.73/ mo. for unlimited coverage with an 80 percent reimbursement rate and $250 deductible.
Now that we have gone over the important stuff, we want to arm you with an additional bit of knowledge. Below is some must-know terminology to assist you in navigating policy jargon as you look for the ideal feline insurance policy.
Similar to the way it applies in health insurance for human beings, deductibles also apply to cat insurance. A deductible is the sum of money paid out of pocket before receiving reimbursement from your cat’s insurance plan. For the majority of companies, the deductible has to be paid per incident instead of per year.
A co-pay is the sum of out-of-pocket cost you have to cover per incident after the deductible. Usually, a co-payment is listed as a percentage, for instance 80/20 means the insurance provider covers 80% of the balance after the deductible is paid and you have to pay the rest of the 20%.
All major pet insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions from coverage. That means that all ongoing conditions your cat was diagnosed with before being covered by their policy won’t be covered within future claims.
The word incident is utilized to refer to the condition which is causing you to go to the vet. Chronic conditions like skin allergies are thought to be a single incident even if you pay the vet several visits.
These are items that aren’t covered by the cat insurance policy, this may include: hereditary disorders, pre-existing conditions, congenital disorders, specific musculoskeletal disorders, intentional injuries that are caused by you or your loved one and cosmetic or elective procedures.
The document given to you as you sign up for your cat insurance policy. The document goes over conditions covered under the plan and the financial allowance provided for every diagnosis.
The term “code” is listed on the schedule of benefits with the majority of vet insurance providers. Under this term you’ll see a number listed. It’s the “code” the provider utilizes to identify the diagnosis that is given to your cat.
Primary Condition or Diagnosis
This term appears on the benefit schedule and refers to the monetary limitation the company places upon a primary condition or diagnosis which includes treatment, surgery, exams, hospitalizations and injections.
Primary Diagnostic Exam Maximums
The term additionally appears on the benefit schedule and refers to the price limitation the provider places upon primary diagnostic testing. Generally, this allowance is made per bodily system. Within most cases, the benefit limitation doesn’t extend to specialized diagnostic exams.
Allowance for General Anesthesia
Upon the benefit schedule, providers also will outline the maximum limitation for general anesthesia expenses as they apply to certain conditions.
Radiation and Chemotherapy Treatment Allowance
Also, the schedule of benefits lists the maximum reimbursement limitation for radiation and chemotherapy treatment as they apply to certain conditions. These amounts generally are split into two allowances with the radiation allowance being a lot higher than chemotherapy.
Secondary Condition or Diagnosis
If your cat gets treated for a second condition which happens as a result of the primary diagnosis it’ll be covered underneath the benefits listed as a secondary condition or diagnosis. This secondary condition receives monetary reimbursement in addition to the primary condition or diagnosis.
Here’s a look at some common cat ailments that might cause you to bring your beloved feline in for an exam:
Common Cat Diseases
Cancer is a disease where cells grow throughout the body, invading nearby tissue and spreading to other parts of the body. Cats are not limited to getting just one specific type of cancer. The cat’s cancer may not be confined to just one spot, although it can be localized in one spot, or it can spread throughout the entire body. There is no specific cause for cancer in cats. Lymphoma or Lymphosarcoma is the type of cancer most often found in cats.
Of the reported cases of cancer in cats, 30% are due to LSA. Cancer of the ears, nose or eyelids is also frequently found in cats, particularly a light-colored cat, white cats or those with white ears. These cats are most prone to this form of cancer because the usual cause is too much exposure to the sun. Cancer is more common in older cats, but it can be found in cats of all breeds and ages.
The same thing that causes diabetes in humans also causes it in cats. It’s because there is not enough of the hormone insulin, the body is unable to correctly use the insulin that is present. The cat’s digestive system breaks down what the cat eats into little parts, including glucose, which is transported to the cells by insulin. If the cat does not have insulin or cannot utilize it correctly, the cat’s blood sugar levels elevate causing hyperglycemia.
Diabetes in cats is a manageable disease if treated. Diabetes is typically classified as Type 1, which is caused by a lack of insulin or Type 2, which is caused by either not enough insulin or the cat’s inability to utilize the insulin that is in the body.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
Feline immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) is a slow-acting disease that is transmitted from an infected mother to the kitten or from one cat to another if one of them as a deep cut. The virus seriously weakens the cat’s immune systems. The initial infection may start when the cat is young, but the actual symptoms may not show up for years. Because the cat with FIV has a weakened immune system, it’s susceptible to developing other infections. If an FIV-infected cat leads a quiet and stress-free life indoors, the cat may live comfortably for many years.
Feline Leukemia Virus
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is a transmittal disease that can seriously affect a cat’s immune system. This is probably one of the most common diseases in cats as well as the one that causes the most cat deaths. If a cat does have FELV, it may not always display the symptoms, so if a household brings a new cat into the home, a veterinarian should first test the cat.
The cat infected with FeLV is predisposed to many cat diseases and infections, including lymphosarcoma, kidney disease, anemia and cancer of the lymph system. Cats under the age of one are most susceptible to Feline Leukemia Virus. It can be transferred through bodily fluids like nasal secretions, saliva, blood, urine and feces.
Heartworm, which is transmitted through infected mosquitoes, is being acknowledged today as an indirect cause of many other health issues in domesticated cats. Although heartworm affects dogs more than cats, it can affect cats and cause serious problems in the cat’s lungs. Cats whose owners live where they are many mosquitoes are more likely to develop heartworm and should be seen by a vet. There are various medications available to help prevent feline heartworm. Cats who spend a lot of time outdoors are also more at risk of developing heartworm.
Rabies is a serious viral disease that can affect the spinal cord and brain of mammals, including cats. While we typically think of rabies as a disease that affects dogs, it can also affect cats and even humans. The disease is so serious that most states require pet owners have their dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies. Once the symptoms of rabies appear, it’s almost 100% fatal. Although it may be transmitted through the saliva of another infected animal, the most common cause is through a bite by a rabies-infected animal.
Ringworm is a fungus-based disease that can infect the cat’s skin, nails and hair. Despite the name of the disease, ringworm is not caused by a worm. Ringworm is a highly contagious disease that can be spread not just to other household pets but also to humans. A cat can get ringworm by contact with an infected animal or indirectly by contact with food dishes, bedding, toys or anything that has come in contact with the infected animal. Although cats of all ages can develop ringworm, kittens, cats under the age of one and long-haired cats are most susceptible to ringworm. Ringworm infections are also more prevalent in warm or humid conditions.
Do You Need Cat Insurance?
Your cat is a part of your family. Purchasing insurance for your beloved pet can help you weather the storms of illness and injury, and everything in-between. If you have a healthy cat, find the policy that best suits you.