Cat Insurance

(48 Posts)
oscarwilde Mon 30-Sep-13 17:43:33

Come and tell me I would be a mug or not not to take out pet insurance. The vet is recommending Lifetime Insurance, value up to £4000 per annum. With two new rescue kittens, that's nearly £400 a year. Yeouch !
Grew up with cats - other than spaying, they never went to the vet that I can recall. I need horror stories about huge vets bills to make me feel better about the cost of it all grin
I did get sick laughing at the insurance broker dude at Petplan trying to sell me the plan on the basis of £1000 annual cover for complementary treatments. I would love to see a cat having hydrotherapy, sitting still for acupuncture and massages !!
I'm prepared to be flamed for not researching the cost of it before getting the cats and having a whinge now. It is what it is, I'm just a bit taken aback. I love the new kitten-cats but they are not humans and I have no intention of having cats who get more "treatments" than I do.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 30-Sep-13 17:54:07

Complimentary therapy also includes behavioural consults I have just referred someone for one of these first consult £360.
Regarding level of cover lets take a common scenario that I am faced with regularly:
Cat is hit by car on Sunday night has complicated open compound fracture of a hind leg. Best treatment is to goto specialist orthopaedic surgeon have several operations, but ends up with fully functional leg total bill £3000. Next option amputation of leg total cost £850. Or due to financial restrictions the financial pragmatic option is taken to say goodbye to the cat cost £150.
I rarely ever use the final option, but often have to use option two and people end up paying me back over months. Most vets do not offer option to pay back gradually I am unusual.
I'm not saying you should have insurance, but I think this scenario helps you to consider what you feel most comfortable with.

I have 2 neutered 1-yr-old cats, their top level insurance with Argos is £12 a month.

I renewed last month - I got several other quotes from recommended companies, they all came in at very similar prices so I thought I might as well stick with Argos - they don't do no claims as uncheck but it might help down the line

The premiums will increase as they get older I think

(That's £6 a month each btw!)

Unless you have a few thousand in the bank that you could lay your hands on if necessary, then you absolutely have to have insurance - for the reasons lonecat mentions above. So many people end up having to have their cat put down as they can't afford treatment for an accident/blocked bladder/ etc etc.

If you have plenty of money then you can gamble on not having insurance, and if the gamble doesn't pay off well at least you'll still have your cat. If you don't have lots of money then you can't take that gamble.

TheWinterOne Mon 30-Sep-13 19:41:18

I'm with Pet Plan and am paying almost £20 for the 2 of mine on life time cover. It may sound a lot but it covers for most things and it's an absolute necessity unless as TCN says you can afford to lose a few grand and aren't panicking about how much it's going to cost if a vet's trip is in order.

I also got my first month free.

TheWinterOne Mon 30-Sep-13 19:43:34

£20 per month*

my £6 per month per cat with Argos is lifetime too - £7000 per 12 months, as long as "you ... keep your payment up-to-date and ... renew your policy each year"

seems like great value to me! (my summary doesn't mention complementary treatments though sad grin)

caroldecker Mon 30-Sep-13 21:46:28

But 400 a year is 2,000 over 5 years and 4,000 over 10. Surely save rather than insurance and then have money if necessary

Carol that only works if you have thousands in the bank so you can afford to take the risk. What if your cat has a really nasty accident in the first year that would cost a couple of thousand to put right? How much of your unpaid insurance premiums would you have saved up by then? £80? £200 even? It's not going to save your cat is it?

anyway £400 a year is excessive for 2 young cats, even if it covers routine annual vaccinations (does it?)

mine is about £150 a year, for more cover (& vacs another £100 or so)

Lovethesea Mon 30-Sep-13 22:27:17

See my summary on Huntercats recovery.

Petplan get 13 a month from me for their lifetime cover.

His broken leg cost over 4000. Apart from the 70 excess I had to pay twice (as we went over the renewal date) all covered.

Our only other option would have been to PTS.

cozietoesie Mon 30-Sep-13 22:44:49

It's like all insurance, oscar. Apart from where you have no choice, you're paying for peace of mind. You may use it two days after it becomes valid - or you may never use it for 15 years. Or ever even. It still makes it easier to sleep at night.

caroldecker Tue 01-Oct-13 00:46:22

thecatneuterer the point is you are very unlikely to claim more than the cost over the life of the cat.
the younger the cat, the more relevant this is.
However, I will say the only insurance I have is car because it is compulsary, so consider your own risk profile

tabulahrasa Tue 01-Oct-13 01:17:28

My cat was diagnosed with lymphoma at age 7, it cost nearly £2000 to diagnose what was wrong with her, before any actual decision on whether we were treating it or not.
She wasn't insured.

My other cat is now, £6 a month for £7500 a year lifetime cover - if she became ill at the same age I'd have paid less than £500 in that time...which is a bit irrelevant if you don't have a few spare thousand you can dip into.

There's nothing like having a huge vet bill to make you realise the value of insurance, lol.

chemenger Costa Rica Tue 01-Oct-13 08:46:56

Maybe I've just been unlucky but I think I have had my money's worth from cat insurance. We first got it when a cat nicked her tummy when walking along a spiked railing (above a 20 foot drop which her sister subsequently fell off) and had to have surgery on a Saturday (everything always happens on a Saturday). Since then we've had oral cancer twice (£hundreds if not thousands), injured leg from above mentioned fall, unexplained choking (Saturday, obviously), radioactive iodine treatment for hyperthyroid (£2000), large mass in abdomen (never explained, just went away after biopsy and other tests (£1000), massive allergic reactions to harvest mites (which we thought was a wound on nastycat's tummy, Friday evening this time), currently up to £400 on that one! New kittens have so far just had misaligned canine teeth (extracted, £600).

I think because cats are living longer and vet medicine is getting better all the time lifetime vet bills are very high. Having insurance means you don't need to hesitate about choosing the best treatment, which for a beloved pet is a great comfort. In the case of nastycat, who none of us really like it means we don't feel she is costing us a fortune!

cozietoesie Tue 01-Oct-13 08:51:22

Poor 'nastycat'. Is she really that bad?

moonbells Tue 01-Oct-13 09:01:44

I wish I knew how to get these cheap quotes - I have been quoted £14+ pcm for Moonkitten from several insurers, and he's only 5 months!

That's before we add in Mooncat, whose age we don't really know...

We have decided to save money instead for cat medical bills.

Lump sum to begin so we have a decent fund base, then add £30 pcm, rising £2 per year. Hopefully that will help. Though if I can get basic cover for £6 each, might do both for a couple of years until we've saved enough to have a good bit of peace of mind!

SilverApples Tue 01-Oct-13 09:07:02

I have insurance for my cat, you don't need insurance if you are
a) Minted
b) Prepared to have your cat killed if anything goes seriously wrong with it.

My parents always went for b

chemenger Costa Rica Tue 01-Oct-13 09:30:23

Nastycat is that bad. At the vet yesterday the lovely vet student said "I've been warned not to attempt to touch her". We've had her 8 years and one of my children has never touched her, or been within a foot of her without being hissed at, even when feeding her. She likes me more but I would not normally pick her up or touch her except to stroke her head, and if I'm feeling lucky, her back. However, I think that since we took her on we have to do the best we can for her so she will continue to get the best of treatment and be allowed to live out her grumpy, unfriendly life, at least now she has stopped spraying up the curtains. I suspect she had a not very happy life before we adopted her at 7.
People always feel sorry for her when I describe her....until they meet her.

moonbells Tue 01-Oct-13 09:51:08

Awww poor nastycat. Sometimes it is unfathomable what can happen to a cat before it's rescued, and the trauma scars that are left.

Anyway, just tried Argos and realised (duh!) that two cats are considerably cheaper to insure than just one. I was feeding in details for one of them and half-expecting the quote for two to be double, when it's not. It was £14pcm for basic for two.

Buoyed by this, I phoned Petplan on their hidden 0800 number (0800 0727000) and realised that it's £18 for two cats basic cover pcm. Still a lot, but if they were 15yo not <2yo it'd not be that much more. Certainly nowhere near the extortionate £31 Direct Line wanted for old lady cat when she was 16 in 2009!

And they do dental, which others don't. And I get a month free.

Now I have to go and think! Cheers, everyone...

carol that's true but you've missed the point. If you were to theoretically save up the amount you would have paid in premiums to pay any vet bills with, quite possibly you'd have money left at the end of your cat's life.

However, it could be that you're faced with a bill of £4000 say (as Huntercat was) in the first few years. You won't have saved up that much in insurance premiums and if you don't have that much in the bank then you will have to have your cat put down.

So as I've said, if you have access to a few thousand then not having insurance is a chance you can take. If you don't have access to that sort of money then you really, really need insurance.

In fact I've just realised that I've repeated exactly what Silverapples said, only she said it so much more succinctly ...

oscarwilde Tue 01-Oct-13 12:20:05

Lonecat, All, thanks for the feedback. We are happy in principle and planned to take out insurance, just didn't expect it to be so astronomically high. It's quite reasonable if you don't go for the lifetime cover. The broken leg scenario (which seems most likely) is well catered for then.
I guess my main question is therefore, do many cats need ongoing expensive treatment past a 12 month period for an illness, and continue to have any quality of life? Diabetes is about 2-5% of the cat population.
Personally, if my cat was diagnosed with cancer and had to have treatment like radiation or chemo for humans, I would go straight to Silverapples Option B. There is no way I would put a cat through chemo, it's got nothing to do with the cost of it.

MissDD1971 Tue 01-Oct-13 13:33:38

Just wanted to add.

both me and my mum (we have cats from 2 litters, related, separate homes) had Pet Insurance, with Pet Plan then Sainsburys, More Than etc between us.

both sets of cats got sick when young and mine used to get in fights involving drips etc... My mum's cat had a kidney infection too (which we think killed him) - cat insurance paid out for all this.

when I was a kid though, we had a tabby - never had a booster, roamed all the time and only time it saw the vet was when a rat bit it.

he lived until 17 but not with us (had to give him away due to brother's asthma) and rarely saw the vet apparently so that's another spin on insurance or not.

depends on cat. I'd check cover and price - £6 a month per cat isn't much if as other posters say cat gets really sick and you don't have money to hand or credit card etc.

moonbells Tue 01-Oct-13 20:41:31

Well! This is probably the fastest eating of words I've done in a while. Got home and discovered Mooncat was bleeding out of an eye.

Sat and panicked for half an hour in the vet's. Luckily a scratch rather than anything serious, I bet it was that wretched Moonkitten and one of his ambushes. Not too pricey but I now have two flipping insured cats...

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