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As a cat parent, there is probably nothing in this world you wouldn’t do for your fur baby when it sick or injured. Imagine when it does happen. Your cat is using the bathroom outside of the litter box. You think it might be a urinary tract infection, so you rush your kitty to the vet.
After running a battery of tests, your vet confirms that your poor baby is suffering from something much worse than a UTI. She is going to require a bowel surgery, antibiotics, and a course of corticosteroids. Now here you are, facing down a $2,500 vet bill and panicking because you don’t have an extra $2,500 just laying around.
This scenario is more common than you’d realize. Not willing to have to face that possibility, more cat owners are turning to pet insurance for peace-of-mind.
How Much Does Health Care for Cats Cost?
Depending on where you live, wellness exams can cost between $50 and $150, which is well within most cat owners’ budgets. While its true that some cats can go their whole lives without needing any medical treatment beyond a periodic wellness exam, there are emergencies that can arise.
Our friend, Danielle, had an older cat – about 8 – who tried to pounce on a bird and ended up jumping through the window screen of her third story apartment. The fall broke that poor kitty’s back. Thankfully, with major advances in veterinary medicine, we’re able to fix broken backs, and Danielle’s kitty ended up making a full recovery.
Cats, as wonderful as they are, are absolutely the worst about having unexpected injuries, accidents, and illnesses. Cats are very good about hiding their pain, discomfort, and injuries. And while veterinary medicine and our understanding of cats have taken huge leaps forward in recent years, unexpected things can still happen.
Your outdoor cat can get in a fight and get an infected wound, your indoor baby can be dehydrated and start to experience kidney problems. While all of this is treatable at most every stage, it can be prohibitively expensive, running into the thousands.
How does pet insurance work?
Pet Insurance is basically health insurance for your pets. Just like regular people insurance, you pay a monthly premium amount which is invested by the insurance company. If your pet has an illness or accident, you simply take them to any licensed veterinary practice (including emergency and 24 hour vets) for treatment.
You will need to pay your bill yourself as pet insurance providers don’t interact with caregivers directly, but once you receive your bill, you can submit it to your insurance provider, and they will reimburse you for the full cost, less your deductible and any exclusions.
Different providers and plan levels will have different deductibles and amounts of coverage – just like human health insurance – but you can rest assured knowing that every pet insurance plan will cover the most severe accidents and illnesses.
Healthy Paws Pet Insurance gives the example of Bella The Cat who came down with cancer. Bella was able to overcome cancer, but ended up going through $8,600 worth of treatments. Healthy Paws paid for over $7,500 of that treatment.
Pet Insurance is Peace of Mind
Pet insurance can provide you, as a cat owner, with peace of mind that if anything were to ever happen to your cat, you could afford the treatments. There are a lot of people out there whose cats become sick and the treatments are prohibitively expensive. This leaves these parents with a tough choice: Let the cat live a short, uncomfortable life; or, put the cat to sleep.
Thanks to pet insurance programs like Healthy Paws, you can create your own, better option for your fur baby. Most vets will give you a whole bill and allow you to make payments. This will allow you to make your first payment, then submit the whole bill for reimbursement, so that you aren’t out of pocket a massive sum of money. This enables you to give your cat the care and treatment it needs without bankrupting you in the process.
Pet Insurance is budget-friendly
For most cats, the average cost of pet insurance is between $25 and $35 a month, with the cost varying based on the cat’s age and the size of your deductible. We’re able to get a $250 deductible and great coverage for Gabby for as little as $22.50 a month!
Obviously, the younger you start with your cat, the cheaper your premium will be. That being said, we can infer that the opposite is also true: Older cats are more expensive to insure, and no pet insurance companies currently to market are willing to cover pre-existing or congenital conditions. We’ve also found that most pet insurance does not the cost of spaying or neutering, and no pet insurance covers routine visits and exams.
Just like in human insurance, these restrictions on pet insurance help to keep costs low.
Unlike human insurance, however, pet insurance usually has an unlimited payout cap. Because they aren’t wasting money on routine visits and procedures such as a spay, they are able to save their money for when it counts – like cancer, or a serious accident.
For most cat owners, buying pet insurance is going to be a safety-net, just like their own health insurance. It is one of those things that your purchase for your cat but hope to God that you never actually have to use it.
For some people, it may be prohibitive in cost, or may not cover as much because your cat is older and has already developed or been diagnosed with major illnesses or congenital defects. While its understandable that you wouldn’t seek out pet insurance in that case, we would hope that you would consider it for younger cats in your care, or any future pets you may have.
Pet insurance is a life-saving product that we firmly believe every pet owner should take advantage of for their pet’s sake. While it may seem a little silly at first, an investment as low as $20 a month could mean the difference between life and death if or when your precious fur baby is ever diagnosed with a serious illness.
We hope we’ve given you a fair look at the ups and downs of pet insurance with this article, and we hope that you’ll at least get a free quote from our partners over at Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.
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