Is pet insurance for older cats worth it? This is a question many owners of senior pets ask. In truth it depends on your cat.
Just as with aging humans, some sail through old age in perfect health, remaining fit and active, while others suffer from multiple health problems.
In this post we’ll be looking at the difference in insuring pedigree vs non-pedigree, the types of insurance available and their pros and cons.
Taking out pet insurance isn’t unlike paying for your own private health care. In a similar way both can restrict in what you’re entitled to claim, and advancing years can mean a huge rise in what you pay. Is it worth it though?..
The pros and cons of insuring an older cat
If your cat is fit and healthy at the moment it can be tempting to avoid the cost of insurance. If you’re struggling financially the idea of yet another monthly bill can be off putting.
However, you also have to consider how you’d cope if your cat suddenly became ill. There are many elderly cat health problems your precious fur baby could develop. As a pet parent you have a duty of care to look after your cat.
It’s important you take kitty to the vet if she’s unwell. Being faced with a large bill you’re unable to afford is something no one wants.
With huge advances in modern medicine your vet may be able to provide treatments not available until now. Of course, this means higher costs for you, so being insured makes sense.
The pros of not insuring your cat are very few. Naturally, as long as your cat keeps well you’ll be better off financially. You could also decide to self insure, or put a little bit of money aside each month.
Self insuring your cat-do you have what it takes?
The idea of putting a bit of spare cash aside each month to cover vetinary bills may sound good. There are downsides to this though. Firstly, you may be tempted to dip into your savings. Secondly, it’s likely you’ll lose out as vets bills can run into thousands.
The monthly cost of insuring your older cat may seem high, but if you were to take that sum each month and put it into a savings account you’d still only have a fraction of the cost needed to cover some of the more complex treatments.
You should also bear in mind that once you’ve made your first monthly payment you’re covered. Though you may still need to pay excess, you’ll be able to pay for your cat’s treatment.
Which type of cat are more expensive to insure?
Moggies, or non-pedigree breeds tend to be stronger and have longer life expectancies. Some pedigrees are prone to certain health conditions, and in-breeding can lead to serious diseases or deformities.
Insuring a pedigree cat tends to be more expensive and as your pet ages the premium will increase. This is something to bear in mind before considering the type of cat you want to adopt.
Don’t despair though if you already own a pedigree. There are companies that specialise in the more exotic breed of cat so do your research and compare each one.
What are the different types of insurance for older cats?
Unfortunately, many companies will increase your premium once your cat is over a certain age. If your cat already has existing health conditions this could rise even more.
In the same way that claiming on car insurance increases your premium, so does making a claim on your pet insurance. Chances are your renewal quote will be much higher should your cat need expensive vetinary treatment..
Is lifetime pet insurance for older cats any good?
Lifetime pet insurance is different from other types in that it could pay the cost of your cat’s vetinary fees for life. The The downside though is it’s the most expensive, so you could be paying very high premiums.
If you’re looking at pet insurance for older cats, lifetime cover may be a good option especially if she has pre-existing health conditions. There’s no upper age limit either which in itself is a bonus.
With lifetime insurance you’re covered for up to a year with each condition. Older cats typically suffer from diabetes and arthritis, so you’d be covered for these chronic diseases.
Ongoing treatments can run into thousands, leaving many owners out of pocket, but you’d be covered. Hereditary diseases are also included, so this type of insurance is ideal if your cat is a pedigree.
Lifetime cover isn’t right for everyone. Apart from the higher cost, you’ll need to think carefully about pre-set limits. If your cat’s treatment works out more expensive than the limits set, you’ll have to pay the outstanding amount yourself.
Another important thing to consider is you won’t benefit from the plan if you decide to change providers. So, you have to be really certain before committing yourself.
Is time limited pet insurance suitable for an older cat?
Time limited pet insurance is cheaper than most other types. If you’re on a very tight budget it may seem a good idea, but beware!! If your cat develops a chronic, long term health problem you may regret your decision.
Though cheaper, time limited is a very basic plan. You’re only covered for one year of treatment, so if your cat’s condition becomes chronic and goes over that time you’ll end up having to pay expenses yourself.
There is also some confusion as to when conditions are covered from. Some companies claim it starts from diagnosis, others from when treatment starts.
If you get this wrong you could end up making a very costly mistake! In my opinion time limited insurance is not suitable for older cats.
Accident only pet insurance- should you take the risk?
Accident only pet insurance is the most basic you can get. While you’d be covered if your elderly cat got hit by a car, you wouldn’t get anything if she needed treatment for an illness.
You’d most likely be wasting your money on this type of plan. Older cats tend not to go outside as much, so less likely to be involved in an accident. If that’s all you can afford you’d be better off putting it in a savings account
What you need to consider before buying pet insurance for cats that are older.
Before you even start looking at different insurance plans you’ll need to check your cat’s vaccines are up to date. You’ll also need to declare any pre-existing health conditions.
Failure to do do this may result in your policy being rejected. Hiding anything from your insurers could cost you a lot of money and isn’t worth the risk.
What isn’t included with cat insurance.
While some plans cover dental care, you won’t be able to claim for routine treatments such as neutering, worming, or vaccinations.
You should be covered for any medication required after surgery, or for long term conditions, but won’t be able to claim for prescription diets.
Pet insurance for senior cats- getting the best deal
Now you know about the different types of pet insurance and their pros and cons you can start looking for the best deal. Remember, cheap doesn’t always mean good value. Take your time and don’t rush into anything before giving it plenty of thought. You’ll always get a cooling off period with any policy, but it’s always better to be sure first.
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Wishing you a purrfect day 🙂