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Protect your cat against unexpected vet bills

Cat insurance can cover your pet if they have an accident or illness

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Last updated
August 10th, 2023

What is cat insurance?

Cat insurance offers cover against unexpected veterinary bills. It typically covers your pet against accidents, illnesses and injuries.

Cat insurance policies may seem expensive, but they can protect you from the shock of a large, unexpected bill. But as treatment costs for cats can be expensive, insurance is too.

Cat insurance typically covers your pet against accidents, illnesses and injuries."

Do I need cat insurance?

Caring for your cat can be costly. Cats rack up higher vet bills than any other regular house pet apart from dogs. This makes it important to find the best cat insurance policy to cover the needs of you and your furry friend.

Remember that the best cat insurance is not always the cheapest. Cheaper cat insurance means accepting a lower level of cover. While this may be tempting, any pet insurance policy that doesn’t provide an adequate level of cover is likely to be a waste of money.

Make sure your prospective policy covers your cat’s needs, and only look for the lowest price.

Different types of cat insurance

Accident-only cat insurance

This type of pet insurance covers your cat if they’re injured in an accident. It’s the standard level of cover offered by most cat insurance providers, so it is usually the cheapest option. It may also include some cover for vet fees if your cat needs treatment because of an accident, though not all providers will include this.

Time-limited cat insurance

This type of policy gives you the option to claim multiple times over a set period (usually a year) if your pet suffers from a health condition. Once this period ends, you’ll need to pay to treat that condition yourself.

Maximum benefit cat insurance

This form of pet insurance lets you claim for vet fees and other costs up to a specified limit (for example, £5,000). Once you hit that limit, your insurer will not pay for further treatment.

Lifetime insurance

With lifetime cat insurance, you can claim for any condition your pet suffers from up to a set amount (e.g. £10,000) for every year of your cat’s life. As it’s the most comprehensive choice for cat insurance, this policy type is typically the most expensive.

Different types of cat insurance

Accident-only cat insurance

This type of pet insurance covers your cat if they’re injured in an accident. It’s the standard level of cover offered by most cat insurance providers, so it is usually the cheapest option. It may also include some cover for vet fees if your cat needs treatment because of an accident, though not all providers will include this.

Time-limited cat insurance

This type of policy gives you the option to claim multiple times over a set period (usually a year) if your pet suffers from a health condition. Once this period ends, you’ll need to pay to treat that condition yourself.

Maximum benefit cat insurance

This form of pet insurance lets you claim for vet fees and other costs up to a specified limit (for example, £5,000). Once you hit that limit, your insurer will not pay for further treatment.

Lifetime insurance

With lifetime cat insurance, you can claim for any condition your pet suffers from up to a set amount (e.g. £10,000) for every year of your cat’s life. As it’s the most comprehensive choice for cat insurance, this policy type is typically the most expensive.

How to choose the best cat insurance?

It’s important that you find the right cover for your needs, so here are three things to consider during the decision making process:

Check vet fees

The main reason to get cat insurance is to be protected if you encounter a large vet bill. Make sure to check each policy’s maximum amount of cover and ensure that you are comfortable with the protection value.

Decide how much excess you can afford

Cat insurance will come with an amount of excess that you’ll need to pay up front if you make a claim. Try and avoid cover where the excess increases as your pet gets older and instead look for one where you pay just one excess fee.

Compare multiple deals

Always compare multiple deals to find the best cat insurance for you. Remember, cheapest is not always best, as it’s more important to have the cover you need.

What do most cat insurance policies cover?

What's covered?

Alternative therapies (e.g. hydrotherapy or acupuncture) or any treatments that your vet has referred your cat for
Diagnostic costs for working out what’s wrong with your cat (e.g. blood tests)
Putting your cat to sleep

Not covered

Routine and preventative procedures such as vaccination or flea treatment
Dental treatment, unless it’s an emergency
Paying for your cat to be buried or cremated

How much is cat insurance?

The cost of cat insurance depends on various factors. Potential insurers might look at your cat’s breed, its age and how much cover you want.

Performing a pet insurance comparison will give you a wide range of quotes and policies to help you find the best cat insurance at the best price.

To give you an idea of what you're likely to pay, here's the average monthly insurance price pet owners paid, broken down by the age of their pet.

Prices based on Confused.com data taken between 17/04/2022 – 17/10/2022. Costs shown are based on the average price paid for cover across all cover types, breeds, and in all locations.

Pet's ageAverage spend
0-4£7.99
5-9£8.75
10-14£14.01
15-19£21.80
20+£20.39

What factors impact the cost of cat insurance?

  • The level of cover: the more cover you need, the more your policy will cost. The ideal policy for your cat offers the perfect level of cover at the best price

  • Your cat’s breed: pedigree pets are more likely to suffer acute hereditary conditions and can therefore be more expensive to insure

  • The age of your cat: older pets are more likely to suffer from conditions that require veterinary treatment, so a cat with some miles on the clock may require a pricier insurance policy than a kitten

  • Pre-existing conditions: if your cat suffers from a long-term illness that requires regular treatment, you’ll find that their insurance policy costs more than for a healthy pet

  • Excess payment: as with most insurance policies, you can often reduce your premiums by choosing a high excess payment

FAQs

Can I get cover for my cat’s existing medical conditions?

Sometimes. Most policies do not cover existing conditions, but some offer cover if your cat has been symptom-free for at least two years. Find out how to find the best cat insurance for your pet here.

Can I insure my older cat?

Yes. However, many insurers set a maximum age limit on their policies – for example, eight years old. Here’s how to find cover for your older pet.

Can I cover my pedigree cat?

Yes. Make sure you get the best cat insurance policy you can afford because pedigree cats can be prone to certain illnesses. Here’s how to insure your pedigree pet.

How do I claim on my cat insurance?

You need to send a claims form to your insurer. Here’s what you need to do to make a pet insurance claim.

Can I cover more than one cat on the same policy?

Whilst indoor cats may be less prone to accidental injuries than outdoor felines, they can still develop illnesses or injuries in the home. So, it’s still worth covering your indoor cat with insurance.

Explore our pet insurance guides

Find out more about how pet insurance works and whether it's right for you
Can you get insurance for older pets?
Can you get insurance for older pets?
Can you get cover for your pet with existing conditions?
Can you get cover for your pet with existing conditions?
A buyer's guide to pet insurance
A buyer's guide to pet insurance

About the author

Lucinda O'Brien
Lucinda O'Brien has spent the past 10 years writing and editing content for regional and national titles. She applies her industry knowledge to ensure readers can make confident financial decisions.

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