Is a taking out a pet health insurance policy the best decision for you?
When we take on the responsibility of a pet, we do realize that the privilege will include some expense.
We know that we incur the cost of feeding the pet, fortunately cats do not usually cost too much by way of diet.
But do we always think through the possibility of veterinary expenses, or the cost of pet health insurance, before we welcome a new companion into our home?
The ideal that we all hope for is, of course, to enjoy the company of our cat through the years and never incur any veterinary expenses.
Apart from the expected - neutering or spaying, annual check-ups etc., accidents happen. The unexpected happens.
Cats get sick.
Veterinary treatment can be expensive, sometimes very expensive.
So, is the precaution of taking out pet health insurance the best thing that you can do to protect your self from sudden unexpected veterinary costs?
It may be. But the decision to insure your pet, or not, is not necessarily an easy one to make.
Before deciding whether or not to take out health insurance for your cat, you may want to think about putting by the money that you would be paying in premiums - into a bank account.
This money only to be used in the event that your cat needs treatment.
This is no easy decision to make. You will need to take many things into consideration.
How much will pet health care insurance cost you over the length of your cat's life?
Has your cat an on going condition? The age of your cat. Will you cat ever be likely cause you any third party liability?
Will your cat need surgery, X rays?
For some cat owners, but by no means all, building up an emergency fund to cover veterinary costs makes better financial sense than paying pet health insurance premiums.
It is, if you like, a gamble. If your cat incurs a large medical expense only once or twice during the course of his or her life then quite possibly you would have paid out more in pet insurance premiums than the cost of treatment.
In this way the insurance companies make their profits.
On the other hand...
If your cat should ever need a long ongoing course of care, or just one very costly treatment, then having health insurance in force could benefit you greatly.
For some of us the security of having a pet health policy for our cat is reason enough regardless of any financial consideration.
Should you decide that pet insurance makes financial, or emotional, sense for you, then you will need to choose which policy and from which company.
As with any insurance policies, pet policies can be a minefield of small print.
You will need to be quite sure that you know exactly what cover you are getting.
Does the policy cover:
Whichever policy you choose it will almost certainly not cover every eventuality.
There will be exclusions. There will be deductibles (the excess), policy holders always pay a portion of the claim, you need to find out how much this is.
What is the maximum amount paid out per year? Most pet health policies only pay a set maximum amount per year, per condition. You need to investigate this.
Will you always be able to make the choice of which veterinarian treats your cat?
Or does the insurance company have a set list of approved veterinarians?
Does the same restriction apply to specialist treatment?
How long will it take to settle a claim? Can you communicate easily with the insurers, are they reachable by telephone?
Will you be able to continue your policy as your cat gets older? How will this affect the payments that you make?
Some pet health insurers increase premiums by up to 40% for older cats.
Are you able to take additional cover for routine things like spaying or neutering, parasite prevention and Vaccinations?
A pet health insurance policy may give you the assurance that, if the need arises, you may be able to get your cat whatever veterinary treatment is necessary, and you may consider it worth whatever the premium will cost you.
Do you dread taking your cat to see the veterinarian? Is the experience a stressful one for both you and your cat? Your cat may be less upset by going to an exclusively cat veterinarian.Home › Cat Articles › Pet Health Insurance