Pets are family, and just like other family members insurance should be considered to protect them.
As with human insurance, pet insurance covers everything from illnesses and accidents to a range of emergency care needs. In 2019, Americans spent an estimated $18.98 billion on veterinary care. That’s a nearly 5% increase over the previous year, according to the American Pet Products Association.
Veterinary care is necessary throughout the life of a pet, and it’s not cheap — especially for emergencies. Global Market insight finds that unexpected surgeries, such as cancer or ligament tear, cost between $10,000 to $20,000 at least.
With an insurance policy? About 80% of the cost would be covered.
If you have a pet, it’s also time to have pet insurance. Here are a few tips on finding the best policy.
Do Your Homework
Your first step: compare providers. There are many different pet insurance companies, and some offer coverage for all types of animals, and some are specific to dogs, cats, and others. Certain websites such as Canine Journal compile different providers together for a quick comparison glance, similar to how travel sites compile options for airplane tickets and hotels.
Such overviews typically outline the pros of each business, including whether their plans are customizable, whether you can continue to see your own vet, or if there are discounts for multiple pets.
Personalize For Your Cat
Emergencies can happen to anyone but think about the age, general activity, and overall health of your cat. Certain cat insurance companies cover, for example, behavioral issues, hereditary and congenital conditions, and other pre-existing conditions. Others accept all ages and breeds, while others do not.
Think About Your Budget
The average cost of cat ownership is around $500 to $900, according to the ASPCA. And that just covers the basics — food, preventative care, wellness exams, toys, and treats among others. Fitting in pet insurance is another monthly expense, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be expensive.
Look through insurance options that fit in well with your overall household budget and offer generous reimbursement for care (many offer 80% or 90% reimbursement) and a low set monthly fee. For example, some cat insurance companies promise low, set deductibles and monthly costs of no more than $60 to $75.
Once you’ve nailed down a few top companies to choose from, take time to do a bit more research. Read through reviews from pet owners on the company websites or third-party sites that compile honest feedback.
There, you’ll get a clear view of whether policy coverage is up to snuff, how a company’s customer service is rated and if claim repayments are handled swiftly. Such reviews also help you figure out if a new company, one that’s been on the market for less than five years, is legit when compared to insurance that has decades of history under its belt.
Don’t forget discounts
Once you asked your top cat insurance companies for quotes, don’t forget to ask about potential discounts that go a long way in helping bring down your monthly cost. Many companies offer discounts for insuring multiple pets. If you already have home, car, or other insurance with a company, adding pet insurance through them also may bring down the cost.
In the end, you will be on the way to ensuring a happy and healthy feline — and renewed peace of mind for you.