Why do I need cat insurance?
It can be very upsetting if your cat or kitten gets ill or has an accident and needs emergency vet treatment.
It can also be a potentially expensive time, because if you don’t have the right pet insurance in place, you’ll have to pay for treatment out of your own pocket.
And what sized bill could you be faced with? Well, the average pet insurance claim has topped £750, according to the latest figures from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Here are some examples of vet fees for cat treatments:
- curing cystitis could set you back around £300
- treating a respiratory issue could add up to £480
- taking care of a tumour could cost you around £600
Frequently asked questions
What are the most common cat health problems?
Here are some illnesses that could affect your feline friend:
Vomiting and diarrhoea – these often go away by themselves, but if they don’t you’ll need to take your cat to the vet.
Feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) is most commonly caused by bacterial infections. Your vet may prescribe antibiotics or surgery, depending on the cause of the problem.
Upper respiratory infections – these come from bacterial and viral infections. Treatment will usually involve antibiotics.
Eye problems – whether it’s conjunctivitis, cataracts or glaucoma, your vet may treat these conditions with eye drops or surgery.
Diabetes – just like humans, cats can suffer from type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Treatment involves administering insulin injections daily and regulating your cat's diet.
How much does cat insurance cost?
The average yearly cost of insuring a cat is £45.84**, across all levels of cover.
However, as with most types of insurance, the more cover you want in your policy, the more it's likely to cost.
That means that an Accident only policy is likely to be the cheapest and Lifetime cover the most expensive.
**50% of people could achieve a quote of £45.84 per year for their cat insurance based on Compare the Market data in May 2018.
What are the different types of cat insurance?
There are four main types of insurance for cats:
- Accident only – we found that 50% of customers could pay up to £2.94 a month for this cover.*
- Usually the cheapest type of policy.
- Offers cover for your vet bills if your cat is unlucky enough to have an accident.
- Doesn’t cover illness or if they develop any medical conditions in the future.
- Time Limited – we found that 50% of customers could pay up to £3.55 a month for this cover.**
- Covers any new illnesses or conditions that your cat develops in a 12-month period.
- There’s usually a cost limit.
- You can only claim once for a particular illness or condition and only up to a certain value.
- If the condition returns after the 12-month period you won’t be covered for any medication or treatment for it.
- Maximum Benefit – we found that 50% of customers could pay up to £4.73 a month for this cover.***
- Covers illnesses and accidents up to a maximum amount per condition.
- There’s no time limit on how long you can claim for.
- Can be useful if your cat has a chronic or persistent illness.
- There’s a financial limit and once you’ve reached that you won’t be able to make any further claims.
- Lifetime – we found that 50% of customers could pay up to £5.14 a month for this cover.****
- Covers your cat for accidents, illnesses or conditions throughout its lifetime, subject to limits as set out in the policy.
- You’ll need to have continuous cover to ensure your cat is insured.
- Usually the most expensive type of policy.
*50% of customers could achieve a premium of up to £2.94 a month based on comparethemarket.com data in February 2018.
**50% of customers could achieve a premium of up to £3.55 a month based on comparethemarket.com data in February 2018.
***50% of customers could achieve a premium of up to £4.73 a month based on comparethemarket.com data in February 2018.
****50% of customers could achieve a premium of up to £5.14 a month based on comparethemarket.com data in February 2018.
What should I consider when choosing cat insurance?
Here are a few things to look out for:
- Pre-existing conditions – if your cat suffers from one of these, the treatment won’t be covered by your insurance policy.
- The excess – this is the amount of money you’ll have to pay when you make a claim on your insurance.
Always check how much this is before you take out an insurance policy.
Some insurance providers might ask for a percentage-based excess as well as the usual one-off payment. This can become very costly if you have to claim for expensive treatment by a vet.
- Included extras – as well as cover for vet bills, some policies will give you:
- Cover if your cat is stolen or goes missing – this could be a one-off payment to you if your cat isn’t found, or it could cover any costs involved in advertising or a reward to help find your cat.
- Death by illness or injury – some insurance providers may also cover the cost of putting your cat to sleep and some will even cover bereavement counselling.
Can I get pet insurance for my older cat?
Yes, you can find a pet insurance policy for an older cat, but the premium is likely to be more expensive as older cats tend to need more medical care.
There could also be more conditions or restrictions attached to the policy. And be aware that insurance providers won’t cover any pre-existing conditions your cat has when you take out the policy.
How do I compare insurance for my cat?
Use our comparison service to find cat insurance that’s right for you. Just tell us a few details about your cat and we’ll show you different quotes and cover types so you can compare prices and policy details to find insurance that’s purrfect for you and your cat.Get a quote