Cat insurance provides a safety net that helps to cover the costs of diagnostics, procedures, and medications to treat your kitty’s eligible accidents and illnesses.
What is cat insurance?
Cat insurance is another name for a pet health insurance policy that covers your feline companion. It can help you pay the costs of emergency care if your cat gets sick or has an accident, and you can get coverage for things you’re already paying for, like vaccinations and routine care.
Caring for a cat can get really expensive, especially if they’re suddenly diagnosed with an expensive chronic condition. You could be facing daunting exam fees, blood tests, x-rays, surgeries, and more, so a pet health insurance policy could be the difference between being able to afford saving your cat’s life or not.
How does cat health insurance work?
Different pet insurance companies will have different coverage options, so you’ll want to make sure you know exactly how your pet insurance policy works. In general, you’ll pay for your cat’s insurance plan in monthly installments, known as your insurance premium.
A pet insurance plan usually comes with a series of waiting periods.
Lemonade has three different waiting periods that determine when a pet parent can start filing certain claims. It’s 2 days for accidents; 14 days for illnesses; and 6 months for cruciate ligament events (btw, a cruciate ligament event is pretty uncommon for cats).
These waiting periods automatically start counting down from the start date of your policy.
How much does cat insurance cost?
The average cost of insuring a cat in 2019 was $29.54/month, according to Value Penguin, but the price of a pet insurance policy for your cat can vary based on a bunch of different factors, like their age, breed, and where you live. At Lemonade, the cost of a cat insurance policy starts at $12/month.
Most pet insurance companies allow you to customize your coverages, which also has a big impact on what you’re paying. When you purchase a Lemonade pet health insurance policy you get to pick your co-insurance, annual deductible, and annual limit.
Co-insurance is the percentage of the total cost your pet insurance company will pay on a claim. So if the co-insurance you chose is 80%, then your insurance company will pay for 80% of covered costs when your pet gets veterinary care, and you’ll pay the other 20%. Keep in mind that this is applied to every claim. With Lemonade cat insurance, you can pick either a 70%, 80%, or 90% co-insurance.
Your pet health insurance policy also has an annual deductible, which means you can exhaust it in one big claim, or use it up over multiple claims throughout the course of a year.
So what actually happens when you file a claim? Here’s an example.
- Your cat, Sasha, needs surgery for an eye injury. Aw, poor girl!
- The procedure costs $3,000, so you file a claim for that amount
- Your policy includes 80% co-insurance and a $250 deductible
Here’s how much your claim payment would be calculated:
($3,000 x 80%) – $250 = $2,150
Since your insurance company would pay $2,150 towards this claim, you and Sasha would be responsible for the remainder—in this case, $750 (that amount includes the $250 deductible).
Once you meet your annual deductible you’ll only pay your part of the co-insurance for the rest of the year, until you reach your annual limit. Different pet insurance companies will have different options. At Lemonade, you can choose an annual limit anywhere between $5,000 to $100,000.
The lower your co-insurance or annual limit and the higher your deductible, the less you pay per month. While that might save you some money at first, it means that you’ll end up spending more out-of-pocket in the event of medical claims.
What’s covered by my pet health insurance policy?
Your pet health insurance policy will provide coverage for all kinds of things that can happen in an active, happy cat’s life. The best pet insurance you can get will include different kinds of preventative and wellness care, but even a basic policy will cover you for blood tests, urinalysis, x-rays, MRIs, labwork, CT scans, and ultrasounds to treat eligible accidents and illnesses. So if you’re wondering what pet health insurance covers, you’ll want to look for a few things.
The first thing to remember is that any ailments your cat has before signing up for pet insurance would be considered pre-existing conditions, in which case your pet insurance company wouldn’t be able to cover treatments for these.
If you want to add more coverage for your pet, ask your pet insurance company about add-ons they offer. At Lemonade, we offer two different kinds of add-ons, a Preventative and Wellness package, and an Extended Accident and Illness package.
The Preventative and Wellness package provides coverage for expenses toward keeping your pet healthy and preventing illness. If you’d like us to help pay for preventative care costs (like annual wellness exams, bloodwork, vaccines, and more) you’ll want to add this onto your policy. As a bonus we’ll even give you access to our pet health experts.
The Extended Accident and Illness package allows us to reimburse you for functionality treatments (things like physical therapy, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy) that can help your pet through a recovery process. Bonus: We’ll pay for vet visit fees that are charged for accidents and illnesses (that’s the fee the vet charges for their time and labor, in addition to the actual cost of the treatment).
Of course, there are some exclusions and limits on our coverages, and you can find them clearly explained in our policy!
TL;DR: The best thing you can do is get your furry friend covered with pet health insurance when they’re young, and keep them covered as they age.
Does cat insurance cover hospitalization?
Yes! Overnight visits at the vet can be pricey, and insurance helps cover those costs (as long as they relate to an eligible condition). Pet insurance will help cover veterinarian-recommended hospitalization, fluids, medications, and additional testing.
Why should I get cat insurance?
Because you love your cat, and don’t want to bankrupt yourself to keep them healthy! Vet bills and exam fees can creep up quickly after an illness or emergency. Having cat insurance lets you avoid tough financial decisions during moments of crisis.