How to Protect Your Kitties with Cat Insurance

23 Oct, 2019 by Sylvia

Does your financial situation allow for unexpected $1,000+ vet bills? If not, you might want to consider taking out a pet insurance policy to protect your cat from the threat of snake bites, not to mention all the other mishaps that could happen to a reckless feline.

If your cat is like most, he’s a curious, adventurous creature who doesn’t think twice about taking massive risks. He’ll stalk a snake, devour the Christmas tinsel, stick his nose in a beehive, jump off the roof or swipe a paw at the not-so-friendly pit bull living next door. He thinks he can get away with these outrageous behaviours – and, astonishingly, he often does. But not always. And you’re the one left to pick up the pieces if your mate hurts himself.

So what would you do if you discovered your cat had, for example, sustained a venomous snake bite? Would you be able to cover the high costs of anti-venom treatment for your cat? In Australia, it’s typical for one dose of anti-venom from the veterinarian’s office to cost as much as $1,000. Most cats would require at least 2 doses, and it is possible that a cat could need as many as 11.

How Cat Insurance Can Protect Your Best Mate

female hand stroking a cat on the head in a summer sunny garden.
Photo: Omega / Adobe Stock

Cat insurance works in a similar fashion to private health insurance for people. However, one critical difference is that Medicare covers the costs for major medical procedures and care for Australian humans. There is no such publicly funded Medicare option for pets.

You might have made the choice to forego health insurance, knowing you’re covered by Medicare in the event of a medical emergency. But if your cat gets hurt, sick or injured, it will be up to you to cover all the costs for his care – unless you have cat insurance. A pet insurance policy, if you have one, is likely to cover a significant percentage of the vet bills you’ll incur if your cat has an unexpected accident or injury. There are even some pet insurance policies that cover eligible vet bills resulting from illnesses.

A pet insurance policy could give you the peace of mind that your cat will have access to the care he needs, even if the vet bills would amount to more than you could pay.

How Much Does Cat Insurance Cost?

Costs vary depending on a variety of factors. Your cat’s age, breed, the type of cover you want, where you live and other factors can all affect the amount of insurance premiums you’d have to pay.

Does Cat Insurance Cover All Your Vet Bills?

Portrait of a cute gray and white striped kitten sitting on blue background and playing. The cat is looking at camera.
Photo: Alexandr / Adobe Stock

Cat insurance does not typically cover 100 per cent of all vet bills. Each policy is different; but, in Australia, it is typical for pet insurance policies to pay out a percentage of each vet bill – perhaps 80 per cent of the bill. You would still have to pay the other 20 per cent of the bill. But many pet owners find that this arrangement is viable because their expected outlay would be relatively manageable – whereas paying out-of-pocket for all the vet costs wouldn’t be.

What’s Covered?

The level of cover depends on the specific pet insurance policy you choose to enrol in. There are different types of policies available. Some of the most usual cover options include the following:

Accidental Injury: An accident-only policy will usually cover vet care your cat needs as a result of occurrences such as car accidents, falls, attacks by other animals and snake bites.

Illness Cover: This type of policy will cover your cat in the event he is diagnosed with a disease or condition such as diabetes or an infectious disease, assuming it was not a pre-existing condition. Some insurance providers may include cancer treatments under their illness cover policies. Others may make cancer treatment available under a separate type of plan.

Accidental Injury and Illness Cover: This type of policy provides cover for both accidents and injuries.

Preventive and Routine Care: This type of policy might or might not be an optional extra offered by your insurance provider. If it is offered, it would cover a range of standard veterinary services, possibly including de-sexing, vaccinations, deworming, teeth cleaning and microchipping.

What’s Not Covered by Cat Insurance?

Funny Fat Cat Sitting in the Kitchen and Probably Waiting for some more Food
Photo: aetb / Adobe Stock

Each policy differs regarding what’s covered and what isn’t. If your pet had pre-existing conditions that were evident before enrolling in the policy, those are probably not going to be covered. Pet insurance providers may be unwilling to pay claims for illnesses where a preventative vaccine is available. Providers typically will not cover claims resulting from animal neglect or abuse. Ambulance costs are likely to be excluded. Incidents that happen during the waiting periods are not covered. Each pet insurance policy has a product disclosure statement that will reveal exactly what is covered under that plan.

We hope this information is useful to you in understanding how cat insurance can help to protect your kitties against injuries and illnesses. Insurance additionally provides peace of mind for pet owners whose daredevil cats are in constant danger as a result of their daily exploits.

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