Sadly, there’s no equivalent of the NHS for animals, so it’s a good idea to consider setting up insurance cover for your cat.
Your cat is part of the family. It’s natural for its health and well-being to be important to you. A recent Mintel Pet Insurance report (published in 2003) showed that 55% of pet owners have taken their pet to a veterinary clinic because of illness of injury in the previous two years.
The good news is that many serious conditions can now be effectively treated. However, this could end up costing you hundreds, or even thousands of pounds.
Is insurance expensive?
Pet insurance offers you the peace of mind that your cat could get the best treatment, should the need arise. What’s more, it probably costs a lot less than you think. Leading insurers, such as Direct Line, offer cover from as little as £5 a month for cats, whereas dogs cost about £2 a month more.
Premiums will vary depending on the age and breed of your cat, and where you live. Most insurers have a minimum age your cat needs to be to start a policy, (normally eight weeks old), and some will have an upper age limit too.
Comparing different policies
There are various levels of cover, with different additions and exclusions. You’ll even find a big support network of advice lines open 24 hours a day, with many good insurers.
But, before committing to insurance cover for your cat, you really should shop around.
Remember, as well as arranging pet insurance by post or on the phone, you can do it online. Some insurers even give a discount if you buy online as it reduces their administration costs.
Types of cover available
All insurers have their own specific policies and levels of cover, but they fall into three basic types of cover.
The most comprehensive. It’s really ‘cover for life’, giving your cat a fixed amount of insurance cover each year for veterinary fees. It’s probably the most suitable cover for ongoing conditions, because it covers treatment throughout the animal’s life.
Generally less expensive than Level One. It gives your cat a fixed amount of cover for each condition, so you can carry on claiming until this limit is reached.
Commonly referred to as a 12-month policy. This gives your cat a fixed amount of cover for a condition, over a fixed amount of time. This can mean that previous conditions may not be covered next year.
There are many leading pet insurance companies you can contact for further information. Usually, they are happy to answer any questions you may have about insuring your pet.
Searching online is probably the easiest, although any good telephone directory will provide you with a good range of insurers.
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