Best Cat Insurance

This guide was written by Joe Francis
Updated: September 7, 2020

Cat insurance offers financial protection when your cat falls ill or has an accident. Like other insurance products, it is a safety net that can come in handy, especially considering the rising cost of veterinary care.

While you can always self-insure, we all know how difficult this can be. It takes discipline to make sure that money will always be readily available, especially if your pet develops an ongoing condition. 

In this guide, we explore the different options available to you, what you should consider, and identify some of the best cat insurance policies available in the UK.

Vet fees can cost thousands of pounds if your cat gets seriously ill or injured, but a cat insurance policy helps to cover off these unpredictable costs.

Best Cat Insurance Providers in the UK

As owners of pets, we have found that picking a cat insurance policy purely based on the price can become very expensive in the long run. Many of the cheaper policies have exclusions and limits that will leave you having to cover large portions of vet bills should your cat fall foul of one of these. 

The cat insurance policies listed below are all rated 5 stars by Defaqto (2020) which we have found to be a reliable and independent view of identifying the most comprehensive cover levels in the UK. All policies are listed in alphabetical order.

Defaqto star ratings are independent expert ratings that show the quality and comprehensiveness of features and benefits of cat insurance products.

4Paws Pet Insurance

4Paws Pet Insurance

5 Star Defaqto Rated Policies

Life Plus Policy

Life Premium Policy

Life30 Plus

Life30 Premium

Max Benefit £7,000 Policy

Cat Age Covered

6 weeks to 9 years

Maximum Vet Fees Covered

up to £12,000 per year for lifetime policies


Bought By Many

Bought By Many Pet Insurance

5 Star Defaqto Rated Policies

Complete Policy

Fixed For Life Policy

Moneyback Policy

Pre-Existing Policy

Regular Policy

Cat Age Covered

4 weeks upwards

Maximum Vet Fees Covered

up to £15,000 per year for complete policies


Petplan

Petplan Pet Insurance Logo

5 Star Defaqto Rated Policies

Classic

Classic+

Ultimate

Cat Age Covered

6 weeks to 9 years

Maximum Vet Fees Covered

up to £12,000 per year


Sainsbury's Bank

Sainsburys Bank Pet Insurance Logo

5 Star Defaqto Rated Policies

Lifetime £2,500

Lifetime £5,000

Lifetime £7,500

Lifetime £10,000

Max Benefit £3,000

Max Benefit £6,000

Cat Age Covered

8 weeks upwards

Maximum Vet Fees Covered

up to £10,000 per year for lifetime policies


Tesco Bank

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance Logo

5 Star Defaqto Rated Policies

Extra Cover (£4000 Vet Fees)

Extra Cover (£7,500 Vet Fees)

Premier Cover (£4,000 Vet Fees)

Premier Cover (£7,500 Vet Fees)

Premier Cover (£10,000 Vet Fees)

Cat Age Covered

8 weeks upwards

Maximum Vet Fees Covered

up to £10,000 per condition


What to consider when buying cat insurance

Choosing a pet insurance policy can seem like an easy process, but by considering the following list, you should ensure you are buying the perfect cover for your cat.

  • Does your cat have a pre existing condition? Cheaper policies won't provide cover for these so look for cover that does. 
  • What do you want your insurance policy to cover? Policies mostly provide cover for vet fees, theft, death or cattery fees. 
  • Do you have a pedigree cat? Some pedigrees are prone to certain illnesses - so look for plenty of cover for these.
  • How old is your cat? The older your cat, generally the more expensive your policy will be. 
  • Do you want lifetime cover? Most cheaper policies will limit the age of cat they will cover.
  • Do you have multiple cats? multi cat discounts are available from multiple insurers.
  • How much is it? Don't overpay for your cover level - make sure to use a comparison site to get the cheapest quote for your required cover level.

Answering the questions above should help you to pick a cat flap that is perfect for your feline friend. 

__CONFIG_group_edit__{}__CONFIG_group_edit__
__CONFIG_local_colors__{"colors":{"48211":"Royal Blue","3e7a9":"Nevada"},"gradients":{}}__CONFIG_local_colors__

How much does cat insurance cost?

The average price of cat insurance is around £145 (around £12 per month) - whilst the cheapest policy on the market starts at £3 per month. The price you pay will vary dramatically based on some of the following:

  • What breed your cat is - pedigree are more expensive
  • How old your cat is - older cats are more likely to suffer from illness, so cost more to insure
  • Where you live - vet fees can vary by postcode in the UK, so insurance companies cater for this by increasing prices in bigger cities such as London
  • Your cover level - If you want a more comprehensive policy, or lifetime cover, you'll pay more for it

What types of cat insurance cover are there? 

There are generally three types of cat insurance cover available, they are:

  • Lifetime Cover - the most comprehensive cover level out there. You pay a premium each year and the insurer will keep covering your cat regardless of age or the treatment your cat has already received as part of the policy. You can expect your premium to increase slightly each year as your cat gets older.
  • Annual Cover - You pay for a years cover on a rolling basis that allows you to switch provider each year. This policy type is generally cheaper as it is unlikely to cover pre-existing conditions and often includes more exclusions. You'll likely find it more difficult to insure your cat as it gets older.
  • Accident Only Cover - This is the cheapest cover on the market, but it only covers if your cat is injured in an accident (e.g. a car accident) but it doesn't cover illness.

When looking at cat insurance policies, you should combine the cat insurance cover type with the claims basis of the policy to understand your cover level.

What is Claims basis? 

The claims basis for a cat insurance policy specifies how the policy will cover vet fees when your cat gets ill. There are generally four different types:

  • Per year - A set amount of cover for any vet treatment is provided for each year. You can claim up to the limit in a year, but once you reach the annual limit, you will not be able to claim again until you renew your policy the following year. 
  • Per Condition - The Insurer provides a set amount of cover for each condition. Once you have claimed up to the limit for a condition, you will no longer be able to claim for that condition in later years even if you renew the policy.
  • Per Condition, per year - Similar to per condition, the insurer provides a level of cover for each condition. However, if you renew the policy, the limit for each condition will reset after each year. Note - the limits do not carry over from year to year, they simply refresh back to their original limits.
  • Per Condition - no time limit - unlike normal 'per condition' policies, the insurer will pay out for conditions needing treatment year after year.

What Does Cat Insurance Cover?

Like insurance for humans, cover for your cat can vary, which means you have to do a bit of work to find the right one. Despite the uniqueness of each policy, many are most likely to cover the following:

Pet Theft or Loss

This covers the amount of money you paid to get your cat. Make sure you have proof. Otherwise, the insurer will only pay “market value.” They may also cover the amount you spend looking for your lost pet (for example, printing flyers), as well as the reward you offer for recovery. And though you will never find a cat exactly like the one you lost, insurance can give you enough to cover a new cat friend if you can’t find your cat.

Behavioural Management or Treatment

Not all cat insurance policies cover this, but the better ones do, at least for £500. If a policy does offer this coverage, make sure treatment is provided by a professional organisation or under the direct supervision of a vet.

Death and Euthanasia

Most cat insurance policies provide cover for death, but should you need it, you may have to look for a qualified vet who can certify the cause to be able to claim. There is also an age limit to this kind of cover. You’ll want your policy to cover euthanasia, as well.

Liability

Liability coverage will spare you from paying for someone’s injury or damage to their property that your cat may cause. Coverage can be large, as high as £1 million or more. But remember that insurers will only cover as much as what you had initially agreed upon as stated in your policy. Most providers will also require you not to admit liability. In any case, you can get cat insurance as a stand-alone policy for this purpose or as part of a more comprehensive plan.

Kennel and Cattery Costs

This coverage usually applies for hospitalisations longer than four days in a row, and it has to be for a minimum of £500. Also, if you usually take your cat on your travels abroad, make sure her policy covers emergency treatment of at least £1,500.

What It Doesn’t Cover

Like your own health insurance, your cat’s policy will have exclusions, or needs that will not be covered, which is fair enough, but you need to know them to avoid surprises.

Basic Health and Wellness Care

Also referred to as preventative care, this applies to all routine and preventive veterinary care and procedures that are meant to keep your cat healthy and safe, such as spaying and neutering, flea and tick control, teeth cleaning, micro-chipping, and so on. If you want to make it part of your policy, it’s possible, but it will come with an added cost.

Checkup and Diagnostic Fees

Vets usually collect a fixed rate for checkups or diagnostic tests, and this is usually on top of all the other tests or treatments that your vet will want to perform. Some cat insurance policies with payout limits, will cover this charge, but others will not.

Needless to say, you have to read the policy before you sign a contract with your cat’s insurer. Copies will be available on the insurer’s website, so go through them so you can be sure that everything is acceptable to you. Pay particular attention to the exclusions as this is typically where the most issues arise. Different policies will exclude different types of cover, but what’s important is you know exactly how your cat will benefit from the cover, as well as what you’re paying for and what you’re not.

Can You Insure Older Cats?

It really depends on the insurer, so make sure you do your research on every company you consider. Some don’t have age limits and will keep providing cover for as long you are up to date with premiums. Sometimes, a company may insure an older cat, but you will have to pay higher premiums as expected.

Does it Cover Dental Insurance?

Many cat insurance policies provide as much as £350 of dental cover. Usually, dental insurance exclusions kick in if you get the procedure done six months or more after the vet recommends it. So, if you get a policy, be sure to get the treatment as soon as you can. Dental cover for cats will not include cosmetic, cleanings, or routine treatments. The good news is, all dental treatments necessary because of an accident will be covered, although not all illness-related treatments will be.

Insuring a Kitten

Insuring your kitten as soon as you get it won’t just lower your premiums, but it’s also a smart way to help cover some of the cost of those initial visits to the vet. You will have to look specifically for kitten insurance, however.

Can You Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

As we all know, pre-existing conditions are health conditions that an insured party already had before the start date of their policy. In short, whatever is on your cat’s medical record before her plan was effective is considered a pre-existing condition. Any treatment for this condition will not be covered if the policy excludes pre-existing medical conditions.

This is a good reason to get insurance for your cat as soon as possible. If you wait longer, your pet may go through a serious health issue, and an insurer will no longer cover it because it technically existed before you took out the policy.

And Finally, Testimonials!

There is a lot of consider when finding the best cat insurance policy, but once you have found your cover level, make sure to read real customer reviews! The Internet is your best friend, look at trusted review sites such as trustpilot or google reviews. When reading testimonials, pay attention to how difficult or easy the insurer made claims, and how quickly the insurer is known for reimbursing you after a claim.

You may also like