(Closed) Insurance for cats or save up yourself?

posted 3 years ago in Pets
Post # 16
Member
2804 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

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northernlight :  I’m sorry, but you need a new vet. Have you owned a cat before? Just reading your cats symptoms, I could have told you he just ate something off. Instead of suggesting that to you, and waiting a day or two to confirm, your vet ran a ton of tests and kept him overnight? He totally gouged you!! You don’t need insurance, you need a trustworthy vet.

Post # 18
Member
3902 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

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northernlight :  We got President’s Choice insurance for our dog and cat when we first got them cause we were so paranoid… (cat is like $20/month, dog is $65, cause our cat is a docile house cat so we got very basic insurance for her and our dog was very active and hyper and we got the best plan for him) we’ve had them for 4.5 years… at $85/month for both… should have just save that amount every month and had a “pets healthcare” fund we would have saved $4.5k by now. We have spent about 2k total in vet bills for both pets in 4.5 years (I’m highballing it)…and barely ever got anything back at all.. so basically wasted $2.5k on “peace of mind” and now we are really wishing we went the savings vs pet insurance route. Never again! So we decided at this point to just cancel the insurance and start putting away $100/month to our “pet fund”.

ETA. For our pets healthcare we are really big on prevention. We feed them really good quality food, try to keep them at perfect weight and never miss any checkups, shots, etc. And hopefully they will live long, healthy lives. The fact that they are both mutts also helps as purebreads tend to be more “high maintenance”… I do really want a purebread Cavalier King Charkes or English Cocker Spaniel nut it’s not doabke for us right now.  

Post # 19
Member
105 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

Not a cat, but a dog owner. Our insurance costs roughly 130 a year. Totally worth it. He needed emergency surgery,and between that and the nearly 2 week stay afterward cost about 4000. We had to pony up the cash initially, but were reimbursed about 3000. We use VPI. They don’t cover regular checkups or vaccinations, but it’s well worth it to us.

Post # 20
Member
1347 posts
Bumble bee

Really disagreeing with all the PPs saying basically ‘nothing ever happened to my cat, you don’t need insurance’. For every pet owner who has has a lifelong healthy pet there is another who has had expensive vet bills multiple times. You are responsible for these little animals and you should do the responsible thing and prepare to take care of their health. 

Also seen a few PPs say that if a cat ever needed $3000 worth of treatment, they’d need putting down anyway, which is insanely untrue. 

My friend’s cat has kidney stones for which the diagnostic work and surgery amounted to $3000. It’s solved now, but kidney stones can be a recurring condition and her cat is only 5 years old. 

My cat also broke his leg when he less than a year old, amounting to $1500 in treatment. 

There are so many things that’s could befall them – not just rarities that are unlikely. By all means, start a savings account for them, but be aware that these savings could be wiped out with just one incident, leaving you uncovered if any of your cats been any long-term care or anything else happens to them. 

Post # 21
Member
1942 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I have very comprehensive insurance for my indoor cat, I think it’s very important and totally essential. She has just turned 5 and has only needed special care a couple of times to my memory. Once for breathing problem which included lung X-rays etc, another time for ingestion of poisonous flower and I recall a time she got a claw stuck in something which half pulled it out and it had to be surgically removed and cleaned up (though it grew back perfectly). I have paid less than $1000 over these 5 years for her insurance and considering veterinary costs for something like operations with overnight care and ongoing medications, whether accident or cancer or whatever god forbid might happen one day can easily go into thousands and thousands of dollars it would be pretty sticky to save up enough money month by month in time for something like that happening. I would never ever want to be in the situation of not being able to afford treating my cat to the best medical care, or worst of all having no option but to put her to sleep because of money?! 

Something I did notice when moving from the UK to the US was that pet insurance is much more  expensive in the US, the UK covers more for less, the kind of premium unlimited lifetime insurance I had in the UK would be 10 times the cost in the US and I’ve had to opt for comprehensive plan but not as unlimited. Even with the best top policies in the US I wasn’t able to find any that even covered things like repatriation or holiday cancellations due to sick pet, seemingly even cover for death of pet is not very standard. 

Before my current cat I had a dog and another cat (and also horses) and for all my pets I always had insurance. For me that’s peace of mind and like pp said it only takes one incident or illness to have a vet bill in the thousands for completely treatable things, so it’s absolutely worth it. 

Post # 22
Member
1942 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

I have very comprehensive insurance for my indoor cat, I think it’s very important and totally essential. She has just turned 5 and has only needed special care a couple of times to my memory. Once for breathing problem which included lung X-rays etc, another time for ingestion of poisonous flower and I recall a time she got a claw stuck in something which half pulled it out and it had to be surgically removed and cleaned up (though it grew back perfectly). I have paid less than $1000 over these 5 years for her insurance and considering veterinary costs for something like operations with overnight care and ongoing medications, whether accident or cancer or whatever god forbid might happen one day can easily go into thousands and thousands of dollars it would be pretty sticky to save up enough money month by month in time for something like that happening. I would never ever want to be in the situation of not being able to afford treating my cat to the best medical care, or worst of all having no option but to put her to sleep because of money?! 

Something I did notice when moving from the UK to the US was that pet insurance is much more  expensive in the US, the UK covers more for less, the kind of premium unlimited lifetime insurance I had in the UK would be 10 times the cost in the US and I’ve had to opt for comprehensive plan but not as unlimited. Even with the best top policies in the US I wasn’t able to find any that even covered things like repatriation or holiday cancellations due to sick pet, seemingly even cover for death of pet is not very standard. 

Before my current cat I had a dog and another cat (and also horses) and for all my pets I always had insurance. Like pp said it only takes one incident or illness to have a vet bill in the thousands for completely treatable things, so it’s absolutely worth it. 

Post # 22
Member
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

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northernlight :  Depending on where you live, and what rate you can get, insurance can be quite a good idea – keep in mind most cover more than just health insurance.

We don’t currently have a cat but have PetPlan for our dog and from what I gather, the rates are comparable. It comes in at just under £200/year. Yes, we would have to pay £85 per unrelated illness, neutering and vaccines are not covered, but pretty much everything else. Including out-of-hour emergency care, boarding costs, travel cancellations caused by an ill pet, third party liability in case of an accident, … Honestly, her insurance is better than mine.

Apparently, their rates in the US are a little higher (10% of costs per unrelated illness, judging by their website). If your cat goes outside,  knowing that you wouldn’t have to pay for any potential accidents caused by it, is gold worth. When the puppy had her usual “I am growing and feel crap”-fever on New Year’s Eve, I was beyond happy that I could relax and see if it was something serious or just that, not panicking over the cost that a vet visit on January 1st would have come with. 

Plus, it is worth checking out vet chains. The chain vet around the corner has a vaccination subscription offer for £99, which covers all the vaccinations until the end of the pets life. I wouldn’t necessarily trust them with surgery (they have been perfectly professional, I just get a weird vibe from the particular vet doing most surgeries, no other reason) but vaccinations? Sure. 

Last point in favour of it: Often you get a lower rate when you register the pet while it is young. Sure, if the cat ends up being perfectly healthy for the first 10 years, you will end up paying more than you would with a higher rate paid for only 5-10 years, but that way you are on the safe side.

…with that being said, if it isn’t a pure-bred cat, seems overall healthy, and never goes outside, I would probably start a savings account rather than get insurance.

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Post # 23
Member
442 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

Definitely get insurance, or have at least £2000-3000 in a savings account (this is for a cat, if you have a large dog probably more).  I’m a vet and when clients tell me they’re thinking of cancelling insurance I suggest they put the money they would have spent monthly on insurance into a savings account so it’s there if needed.  There’s nothing more heartbreaking than animals with treatable conditions being put down purely because of costs.

My cats aren’t insured because if they get anything that we can treat in our clinic the cost is never more than we can reasonably cover, and they’re low risk of accidents being indoor-only cats.  We also have an emergency fund for them…or had, as one of them decided to develop 2 conditions in quick succession requiring referral to specialists, so he’s pretty much drained the fund for now…so worth it though! 

Post # 24
Member
597 posts
Busy bee

Here’s the thing, insurance is never “worth it” on average. That’s how the insurance companies make a profit. On average, they pay out less than they take in. The people who come out ahead are being covered by the many many more who never need the insurance. So strictly from a numbers perspective, no one should ever insure anything.

 

The real reason to insure something is because the cost of something were to go wrong would be problematic for you. So, I insure my house because I don’t have a spare 200k sitting around to buy a new one. I insure my driving because if I injure someone, it could cost millions to cover their medical expenses. I *don’t* cover the loss of my 7 year old Mazda 2, because it’s worth less than 5k, and we could easily afford to replace it. I don’t cover my cats because the most a cat is going to cost me is a few thousand, and again, we can handle that expense. If I was in university and got a pet and had no money, then I’d consider pet insurance.

So really, when people are deciding on insurance, it’s all about what they can afford vs the worst possible outcome of not being insured.

Post # 25
Member
1942 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

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iwanticecream :  I can barely believe it, sorry but…”if it isn’t a pure-bred cat…” what’s that got to do with it? My cat is not pure-bred but she’s a family member and it would be no less devastating to lose her than it would any other pet, pure-bred or not. That a pet is not pure-bred would never come into consideration for me whether to get insurance for them, that’s like saying “oh well, hopefully nothing’ll happen, but if it does and we have to put her down at least she was not a pure-bred”. Are non pure-bred lives less worth saving? Gross. 

Post # 26
Member
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

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annelise210516 :  …pure-bred cats are often more prone to various illnesses  = higher risk of long-term illness = higher risk of high costs. Sure, you can get all the genetic testing done if you don’t know the cat’s background but how many people actually do that? Calm down.

Post # 27
Member
487 posts
Helper bee

For cats, I don’t think it’s worth it. I looked in to getting it for my cat once but there were so many exclusions, basically nothing was covered. For example, if the cat has ever been treated for a certain thing they won’t cover it. So my cat had been treated for a UTI, if he got another one in five years it wouldn’t be covered. That even extended to things like hip surgery, once the cat has had one operated on they won’t cover the other. Which is just plain a scam because those degenerative conditions always affect both sides. 

There was also a high excess. Also in most cases you have to pay upfront and try to get the money back later. According to many reviews, the company will drag out the case and demand things you don’t have, like vet files from when the cat was a kitten, and he is now 16 years old. 

For me, when I first got a cat I was a bit over protective and brought the cat to the vet a few times. Now I’m more experienced I don’t get worried about little things and feel quite confident to monitor them at home if they are sick or give minor first aid. You can even give fluid infusions at home (vet can show you how). In time you gain the knowledge and confidence to decline unnecessary treatment from the vet as well. Vets do try to up sell you unfortunately, like one vet who tried to convince me cats needed to be vaccinated twice a year. 

Post # 29
Member
412 posts
Helper bee

We have an elderly female inside cat. Dear Fiance adopted her from the same vet she still visits. She is now 19. She goes to the vet yearly for check ups and is always up to date on her shots and required treatments. She has had surgery to remove cancer twice. She has had a long history of bowel issues which has required several pricey emergency visits over the years. She has been on many different medicines, herbal treatments and prescription foods over the years for her bowel problems. A lot of trial and error went into getting her the right medicine to food combo, but she has been doing lovely for a long time now. The vet constantly praises how healthy (relative to her known issues) and happy she is at her age.

We do not have any type of pet insurance and just pay out of pocket for her needs. 

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