If you have a cat, we highly recommend considering pet insurance. While pet insurance won’t cover all your vet bills, it does help immensely in an emergency. Most cat expenses are easy to budget for, but injuries and illnesses are not. With pet insurance, you can balance some of that unknowability by offsetting emergency vet costs with monthly premiums.
However, not all insurance companies are made the same. Some of them are very high-quality and easily cover potential bills. Others? Not so much.
Choosing can be difficult, especially since most insurance companies use legal language. It can be challenging to determine what a company covers and doesn’t. To help you out, we’ve reviewed 10 of the best cat insurance providers below.
A Quick Comparison of the Winners for 2023
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The 10 Best Pet Insurance Providers for Cats
1. Lemonade Pet Insurance – Best Overall
Lemonade offers insurance for a variety of different things—including cats. Their base plan is the cheapest on the market by far. Therefore, if you’re looking for a budget option, Lemonade is easily the best choice.
However, their base plan doesn’t include the same coverage as other companies’ plans. They do offer many different add-ons that can up your coverage cost. For instance, their vet visit fees add-on provides payment for exam fees associated with an accident or illness. Their extended accident and illness plan adds extra coverage, such as hydrotherapy.
Therefore, Lemonade coverage is extremely adjustable. You can choose what you want to be covered and what you don’t at a level that other companies don’t offer. This provides customizability for those who know exactly what they want from their insurance company.
This company also offers a kitten prevention package and several other wellness plans. Therefore, if you want help paying for preventative care, they can help with that, too.
2. Trupanion – Best Value
Trupanion is another popular pet insurance company. Their base plan covers accidents and illnesses, including congenital conditions. Furthermore, you can add some extra add-ons that are a bit unique. For instance, you can get coverage for property damage caused by your pet to someone else’s home.
We like that this company offers various deductible options, ranging from $0 to $1,000. The higher the deductible, the lower the monthly premium. Therefore, choosing the $0 may not be the best option for everyone.
Furthermore, you only have to pay the deductible once per condition forever. Therefore, if your dog gets diagnosed with a chronic condition, you’ll only pay the deductible once—not every visit. The company also does not have any coverage limits at all. Your cat will be covered forever—no matter the number of times they end up at the vet.
3. Spot – Best for Comprehensive Coverage
Spot offers several different plan options for their customers. For instance, they offer an accident-only plan and one that covers both accidents and illnesses. You can adjust your coverage limits and deductible as you see fit, allowing you to adjust your premium.
We love that the base plan includes vet exam fees and alternative therapies. In other words, their plan covers more than most companies. Therefore, we recommend this company to those who want just about everything covered. The only thing this company doesn’t cover (that others sometimes do) is pre-existing conditions.
Furthermore, Spot offers two wellness packages. These provide some coverage for wellness check-ups, vaccinations, and dental cleanings.
However, because the coverage is so comprehensive, this company is also expensive. To some extent, this is to be expected. When you cover just about everything, your operating costs will be higher.
Overall, Embrace is very similar to other cat insurance options. The company covers surprise accidents and illnesses. However, this company has an interesting feature for customers that don’t use the insurance plan much. For each year you don’t file a claim, the company will reduce your deductible by $50. Therefore, by the time your cat needs the plan, you may have no deductible.
The company doesn’t offer any wellness add-ons. However, they do offer a Wellness Rewards plan that you can pay into. Then, the company gives back some of your money when your cat has routine exams and similar wellness operations. However, this isn’t technically an insurance plan.
This company has many waiting periods, including 6 months for orthopedic issues. This waiting period is longer than most options out there.
We like that their claims can be done very easily through their app. Therefore, you don’t typically have to call or interact with a real person to use your insurance.
5. Healthy Paws
Healthy Paws is a solid cat insurance company because it has no claim caps. In other words, its plans have unlimited benefits per incident, condition, and annually. Therefore, you’ll keep getting paid every time you go to the vet.
Their accident and illness coverage waiting periods are 2 weeks on average. However, there is a full-year waiting period for hip dysplasia if your pet is under 6 years old (when genetic hip issues usually arise).
Claims are processed quickly, usually within 10 days. You don’t have to fill out a lengthy form, however. All you have to do is take a picture of your vet bill, which you then submit through the app or website. Therefore, this company has one of the easiest claims processes around.
Sadly, this company does not offer any multi-pet discount, which is common in the industry.
6. Pets Best
Pets Best is another company that attempts to offer its customers many options. They have one plan that covers accidents and another that covers accidents and illnesses. They also have an add-on that provides extra coverage for vet exams and rehabilitation.
This company also offers a range of different plan options. For instance, you can adjust your annual limits, annual deductibles, and reimbursement rates. Their claims are super easy to make, too. You can make claims through their app or website, and there are no forms to fill out.
You can also add a “Routine Care” add-on, which functions as a wellness option. There are two tiers of preventative care coverage. The main difference is the coverage of wellness exams, spaying and neutering, and teeth cleaning.
This company has normal waiting periods except in the case of cruciate ligament coverage, which is 6 months.
Nationwide is well-known throughout much of the United States. However, many people don’t know that the company also covers pets like cats. The company offers three plans that cover cats (with their fourth plan only covering exotic cats). Their Major Medical plan covers most costs associated with accidents and illnesses. For instance, it covers chronic conditions, surgeries, prescriptions, and exams. The Whole Pet plan covers a few extra supplements and parasite treatments.
Their Pet Wellness plan covers wellness exams, testing, and vaccinations. This is their wellness plan option.
They do have coverage limits on all their plans. However, the exact coverage depends on the plan you choose. For instance, the Major Medical plan has a per-condition and lifetime limit.
One big downside of Nationwide is its high cost. They cost much more than other options on this list. Furthermore, they also have a maximum enrollment age of 10 years.
Figo offers many different insurance options. You could potentially choose a 100% reimbursement option, for instance. There are also different coverage limit options, including an unlimited option. Of course, while unlimited coverage and 100% reimbursement may seem great, they come with a fairly high premium.
Furthermore, the company also has several additions that can add more coverage. For instance, you can add wellness coverage. Exams and consulting fees can also be added for an extra cost.
This insurance company typically settles claims within 3 days, which is relatively fast. They also provide 24/7 coverage for all pet owners, allowing you to get some questions asked without going to the vet.
Their plan covers just about everything. However, it doesn’t cover pregnancy, cosmetic surgery, or parasites.
ManyPets is a new cat insurance company on the market. They offer some unique features and very competitive pricing. Therefore, it may be a good option for you if it’s available in your area. However, as a newer company, it doesn’t have the same reputation as others.
This company offers only 24-hour waiting periods for illnesses and accidents if you switch from another provider. However, the waiting periods are 15 days if you’re new to pet insurance, which is about average.
The company offers $0 deductibles and 100% reimbursement in several states. Therefore, you can set up your plan to have zero costs for each claim. However, the premium for this is quite expensive.
We love that the company covers vet exam fees in the base plan. Surprisingly, this is a pretty rare coverage in this industry. Most plans require you to purchase an add-on.
10. Prudent Pet
Prudent Pet is pretty average as far as cat insurance plans go. However, they do have a solid base plan and plenty of extras for you to choose from. Therefore, it is a great option for cat owners who want to choose exactly what their plan covers.
For instance, the plan allows you to choose extra coverage for boarding fees if you’re hospitalized. You can also get coverage for lost cat rewards and advertising fees if your cat gets lost. You can even pick an optional wellness add-on to help you pay for preventative care.
If you get multiple pets covered, you can get a discount.
The company also offers an accident-only plan for those that want basic coverage. However, because this plan covers very little, we don’t particularly recommend it.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Pet Insurance Provider for Your Cat
Pet insurance can seem a bit complicated. However, there are really only a few factors that you need to consider. These factors represent the main differences between the companies out there. Therefore, understanding each can help you choose the best company for your feline.
A plan is only useful if it provides the proper coverage your cat needs. Sure, a plan may be inexpensive, but it isn’t very useful if it doesn’t pay the vet bills you need it to pay.
Once, it was challenging to figure out what plans covered what. However, companies have improved at explaining what they cover over the last few years. Therefore, it’s now easier to figure out exactly what the plan will reimburse you for.
Of course, plans that cover more fees are typically better. Most plans cover basic accident and illness bills, such as prescriptions and testing. However, very few will cover vet exam fees, behavioral therapy, and rehabilitation. Despite not often being covered, these expenses can be quite common and expensive. After all, any sick pet will need a vet exam.
Therefore, you should first figure out exactly what a plan covers. This step helps you judge its cost accurately. Many plans may be cheaper but cover much less than more expensive plans. If you want comprehensive coverage, the cheapest plan out there probably isn’t the best option.
Customer Service & Reputation
Only a few years ago, most claims were processed by a company representative. Today, most companies have moved towards mobile apps to help speed up the claim process. This tends to speed things up and reduce how often you interact with a real person.
However, you’ll probably need to contact customer service at least once. How helpful a customer service agent is can be vital for many cat owners. After all, if you can’t figure out your plan or troubleshoot a claim, your insurance plan may not provide you with the payment help you need. A customer service agent may be the only person-to-person contact you have with the insurance company, so it counts a lot.
Furthermore, different companies have varying reputations. Often, they get these reputations for a reason. Many reputations start with word-of-mouth, usually after a customer has a good or bad experience. While these experiences may not represent all experiences with that company, the company’s overall reputation can help you determine whether their plans are worth it.
For instance, if a company has a reputation for turning down a large percentage of claims, it may not be the best option.
There are several factors to consider regarding claim repayment. As we’ve touched on, how often a company repays claims is an important consideration. However, companies often don’t publish information about the percentage of claims they reject. Therefore, you must rely on user reviews.
On top of this, how long a claim takes to be repaid is also vital. Usually, insurance companies don’t pay the vet directly. Instead, you pay the vet upfront, and the company repays you. Most people cannot afford to lose thousands of dollars from their bank account for months. Luckily, several companies repay in only a matter of days. In these cases, you can expect to have your money back quickly.
Of course, fast claim repayment may be more important to some people than others. If you’re particularly concerned about waiting for these large amounts of cash, choose a company that makes repayments quickly.
Price of Policy
Most cat owners know that the price of the policy is important. However, many people only consider the premium, which is only one of the costs associated with the plan. Many of these costs affect each other. Therefore, it’s vital to understand them, even if the premium is the most important cost to you.
Here’s a quick explanation of several “costs” that exist in most insurance plans:
As you can see, several factors affect how much you may pay in vet bills. Lowering the amount of money you pay in one factor will raise your premium. Therefore, it’s important to balance how much you pay each month with how much you may pay in vet bills later.
Not every person or cat is the same. Therefore, you’ll probably want to adjust your cat insurance plan to fit your needs. Different plans have varying amounts of adjustability, however. Some have many options in all the pricing factors we previously discussed. Others may also add add-ons to their coverage (and price). If you only want a basic plan, you’ll need to find a company that offers that. If you’re looking for something comprehensive, look for a company that has a comprehensive base plan or plenty of add-ons to make the plan comprehensive.
With that said, more customization options aren’t always a good thing. This customization can easily become overwhelming, especially if you’re new to pet insurance. Therefore, feel free to choose a company with fewer options if you want a plan that works without all the decision-making.
How much is insurance for a cat?
It depends largely on the company you choose and the plan’s specifics. A plan with a low deductible and 100% reimbursement will cost much more than one with a high deductible and low reimbursement. Therefore, the customization options you choose play a huge role in your monthly premium.
However, on average, you may pay anywhere from $6 to $38.53 per month. The average is probably closer to $30 a month, especially for older cats. Younger felines are usually cheaper to insure, but their price rises quickly.
Is pet insurance worth it for a house cat?
Even house cats can get sick or have accidents. For instance, your feline may eat something they aren’t supposed to, leading to thousands in vet bills. Vet bills are notoriously difficult to budget for since you never know when they’re coming. However, cat insurance makes it a bit easier to budget for these expenses, as you’ll have a set monthly premium to pay.
Then, when your cat does need vet care, the costs won’t be anywhere near as expensive. While pet insurance doesn’t pay for every dime, it usually covers enough to make treatment affordable.
Pet insurance is one of those purchases you don’t need until you really need it. Your future self will thank you for getting your cat insurance now to help you save money later.
When should I insure my cat?
As early as possible. Most plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions so if your cat gets sick or has an accident before they’re insured, the plan will never pay for anything associated with that illness or accident. For this reason, it is best to get your cat insured before there is anything wrong with them. If you wait, you could risk the plan not covering certain costs in the future.
What the Users Say
Most negative reviews about cat insurance involve users not understanding what the plan covers. Therefore, before you purchase anything, be sure you understand what isn’t included. Rehabilitation is a common exclusion, but it may be necessary for any cat with a major injury. Many plans also don’t include vet exams, so you’ll have to cover those out-of-pocket.
Furthermore, each company also has waiting periods. During those periods, illnesses and accidents won’t be covered. Some plans have longer waiting periods for specific problems. Ensure that you understand these, as well.
Which Cat Insurance Provider is Best for You?
It largely depends on what you’re looking for. Lemonade is a great option for those interested in a cheaper, basic plan—or for owners who want many customization options. Their base plan is cheap but doesn’t isn’t very comprehensive. Luckily, they have many add-ons that make their plan more comprehensive. You can choose exactly what add-ons you want and which you don’t.
For those who just want a plan that works, we recommend Spot. This company doesn’t provide as many customization options, but its plan is very comprehensive.
If you choose to get a cat insurance plan, you’ll already be ahead of the game. Most cats are not insured, which can lead to their owners needing to make tough decisions about their health care. With coverage, you should find covering these emergency expenses much easier. These plans help you make decisions based on what your cat needs—not what you can afford.
Featured Image Credit: Prasad Panchakshari, Unsplash