A simples guide

How much is cat insurance?

Why did the cat cross the road? Well, clearly that’s not a matter for our concern because cats like to do, what cats like to do – and they’ll tell you so.

We love cats in the UK, so much so, there are 7.5 million of them up and down the country. But there’s one thing that all of households with cats know – and that’s no one ‘owns’ a cat.

It’s more a question of our cats tolerating us for useful things like food and cuddles – and perhaps the occasional trip to the vet. But if your cat did cross the road and didn’t quite make it to the other side – could you foot the bill to get kitty onto the path to recovery?

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Do I need cat insurance?

You’re not obliged to buy any form of pet insurance. But with vet bills rising by around 12% a year (and expected to carry on rising), it’s often the most cost effective method of ensuring the welfare of your pet.

Plus, we all know just how fearless cats can be – all that jumping out of windows, midnight walks and climbing on furniture. Your cat’s big night out on the town could set you back £443 if a vet had to treat it for any accident or injury. If your cat were to be involved in a hit and run, that could cost you £875 on average  and all that fighting cats like to do – well the price tag for cat bites and resulting abscesses could be around £245 to fix.

Chances are, as much as you love your cat, their antics sometimes make them less than considerate companions. While you might find it amusing to watch it leap out of an upstairs window to see if lands on its feet, you’ll probably get bored of forking out for vet fees every time it misses.

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How much is cat insurance?

It will depend on the policy you choose – there are four different types to consider:

  • Accident only – this does exactly what it says on the tin and is usually the cheapest type of policy you’ll find. You’ll only get help when your cat has an accident, it does not include cover for illnesses that your cat may develop. We found that half of our customers could cover their cat for £3.49 a month, but policies can start from as little as £2.51**.
  • Time limited policy – this means you’re covered for any new illnesses or conditions that your cat develops in a 12 month period; there is usually a cost limit too. It means you can only make a claim for a particular illness or condition once, and only up to a certain value. If the condition returns after that 12 month period, you won’t be covered for any medication or treatment for it.
  • Max benefit – if you’d prefer continuity of treatment for your cat, this cover allows you to do that. There are no time restrictions with a Max benefit policy so you can keep claiming for an illness or condition year after year, as long as you renew your policy. There is however a financial limit and once you’ve hit that, you won’t be able to make any further claims.
  • Lifetime cover – as the name suggests, this will cover your cat for illnesses or conditions throughout its lifetime (regardless of whether they are new or recurring). As you’d expect, this is usually the most expensive type of policy.

How much is cat insurance 

Recent ABI data shows that the average premium cost £146.02 for the year, but the average cost of a claim came in at £541.53. Based on that, having cat insurance won’t just give you peace of mind, it’ll save you more than just a few quid.

When you choose a policy, make sure you read the exclusions carefully. Most policies include third party liability which helps you cover the cost if your cat damages someone else’s property or causes an injury (for example). But some policies will not cover damage done to your own or your family’s property, they may also exclude damage done to someone else’s property if they were specifically looking after your cat.

For peace of mind, start comparing

Having cat insurance is a matter for your own conscience but with pet ownership comes responsibility and your favourite feline relies on you to look after it (although your cat would never admit it). So put your mind at rest and start comparing the market for insurance that’s purrrrfect for your pet.

**All average price and cheapest price amounts based on Comparethemarket.com data in February 2016

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