The world of pet insurance is a tricky one. There are lots of companies that offer a wide variety of different policies to cover a huge range of eventualities. But which one should you choose for your kitty, and how on earth will you know what you’re covered for and how to get the best deal for you both?
As with any type of insurance, there’s a plethora of factors that your insurance company will consider when calculating your cat’s insurance policy.
Firstly, the breed: if your cat is a pedigree, then it is more likely to carry a higher premium than a moggy because of the higher instance of inherited disorders. For example, with our beloved Ragdolls, disorders such as the following are prevalent in the breed:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM – heart disease)
- Chriptorchidism (a failure of one or both testes to descend)
- Feline Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD – Cysts on the kidney(s))
- Pancreatitis (inflammation and malfunction of the pancreas)
- Problems at various stages of reproduction
- Lower urinary tract problems
- Predisposition to Feline Infectious Peritonitis
You can find more information on the inherited disorders associated with the Ragdoll cat and their treatments at the Feline Advisory Bureau.
Another factor is location. The more potential danger your prized pussy is in, the higher your premium. So to use a clear example, the insurance policy for a Ragdoll based in inner city London would be a great deal higher than one based in deepest Norfolk.
Age is the third of the primary determining factors. As with us humans, the general rule for our cats is that with age, they will tend to experience more health problems. Some insurers won’t touch a cat that has passed the age of about eight or nine, but if your cat is already covered and they are reaching that crucial age, then you should expect a sudden increase in the policy premium.
If you already have yourself a floppy little bundle of joy, then there’s probably not a lot you can do about those aforementioned factors, but if you are considering buying one, then the above will be food for thought.
The next factors, however, can be determined, to a degree, by you – the discerning customer. It will require a certain amount of research into the terminology used by insurance providers, and a getting to grips with what exactly is on the market, but once you begin looking into it, you’ll get to know the lingo fairly quickly. A great place to start, though, would be to compare cat insurance, which will remove a lot of the leg work and help you find yourself the best cat insurance deal around.
Usually, the priciest cover is going to be those ‘covered for life’ policies, which cover vet fees for the duration of your cat’s life, and most importantly cover you and your feline friend for ongoing and often very costly treatment for recurring conditions. These policies will increase in price as age and/or number/cost of previous claims rise.
Next in line is the ‘financially capped’ or ‘maximum benefits’ policies, where the payouts for vets fees are capped at a maximum amount for each condition, and then finally, those shorter ‘12-month’ policies – often offering the lowest form of cover, but in the short term can be the cheapest.
The Guardian has conducted a useful investigation into pet insurance, using a non-pedigree kitten based in Chorley as their fixed variable. They found some very interesting results, and highlight the fact that it is primarily down to careful research and a good bit of cat insurance comparison.
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