In recent years huge advances have been made in veterinary medicine. Vets can now do things to improve the health and welfare of cats which would have been unimaginable or impractical only a few years ago. Not surprisingly, these advanced surgical and medical treatments are often expensive so that a vet’s bill for intricate surgery or a prolonged course of treatment may be several hundreds of euros. Many pet owners worry that they will not be able to afford to pay for treatment if their cat becomes sick or has a major accident. Please Contact Us for more information on Pet Insurance
Who takes out pet insurance?
During the past two decades an increasing number of pet owners have chosen to take out insurance to cover the cost of veterinary treatment. There are three different companies in the pet insurance market – Allianz, petinsure.ie and 123.ie. It is not just valuable pedigree animals that are insured. There are policies for ordinary cats and dogs, as well as horses.
What costs are covered by insurance?
One in every three cats is likely to need major veterinary attention each year (in addition to the annual check ups and vaccination). The cover provided by different insurance policies varies according to the type of policy required and the cost of the premium. Typically, a policy will pay for the costs of veterinary treatment for illness or accident, as well as for third party liability and accidental damage caused by the animal.
A good insurance policy will reimburse you the purchase price of your cat if it dies from illness or accident before a certain age and the costs of recovering the animal if it goes missing. Some policies even offer cover for holidays cancelled because your cat needs emergency surgery in the week before the scheduled departure date.
What costs are not covered by insurance?
As with all household and motor insurance policies there is likely to be an excess on the policy so you will pay a small proportion of any veterinary bills. Policies are not designed to cover day-to-day maintenance and routine health care.
Treatment for diseases which were already present at the time that the animal was insured will be exempt from cover. Vaccinations, neutering costs and other routine preventive treatments are also exempt under most policies, as are the costs relating to an animal which becomes pregnant.
What should I look for in an insurance policy?
It is important to read insurance documents with care to make sure that the proposed policy is the one which will suit you and your cat. Some policies have a time or cost limit for the treatment of each particular condition. So there is a danger that your cat will run out of insurance cover if it requires long-term treatment for a chronic problem. Make sure that your cat will be covered for the whole of its life because your cat is more likely to need veterinary treatment as it gets older.
Is it worth taking out cat health insurance?
There is no compulsion to take out pet insurance and it is for you to decide whether it is necessary. Certainly, cost may be a factor, but the average increase in the premiums for veterinary health insurance policies have gone up far less over the past few years than the equivalent policies for human health care.
For a relatively small annual cost every cat owner who takes out insurance has peace of mind. If your cat has health insurance you know that everything will be done to restore them to full health and fitness if they become seriously ill or have an accident.
If you are in any doubt it may help to ask a friend who has some experience of insuring their animals. Your vet or veterinary nurse will also be able to give you independent advice on the types of insurance available.