Insurance of all types have been around for hundreds of years, used mostly as a method of hedging against a calamity or by the transfer or wide distribution of risk in a business setting. But did you know that pets can be insured as well? As pets live longer due to the advancements made in veterinary medicine, procedures, and drug treatments, the cost of a veterinary visit has increased accordingly. By acquiring an insurance policy for your pet, you can mitigate the cost of your pet’s increasingly longer life span.
It may surprise you to learn that the first pet insurance policy was written by Lansforsakrings Alliance, a Swedish based underwriter, more than 125 ago to cover livestock and horses. Today, it is estimated that the annual premium value in North America is $660 million, covering about 2 million pets.
As we’ve mentioned here at Happy Litterbox many times, a veterinary visit is the first step when you notice your cat peeing outside the litterbox or engaging in other improper elimination. This ensures that if the source of the problem is medical, it can be treated right away, and if not, other options can be considered. But a veterinary visit can be expensive, and this is where pet insurance comes into the picture. Pet insurance will not only offset many vet charges, but could also remove any dollar-related hesitation to get your pet to the vet if you notice something amiss.
Medical issues that could lead to a sudden and adverse change in litterbox habits include, but are not limited to urinary tract infections, Feline Interstitial Cystitis, bladder stones, and a blockage of the urethra. None of us would wish any of these on our feline friends, but the good news is that treatment for all of the mentioned conditions would likely be covered under most pet insurance plans, assuming none was the result of a pre-existing condition.
So, how do do acquire pet insurance? According to the North America Pet Health Insurance Association, there are many insurance vendor options in the United States and Canada. Of course, each vendor’s policies will differ but most have online quote generators that will show your estimated monthly cost based on your pet’s details, such as kind of animal, breed, age and gender, along with your desired coverage.
Here are the Happy Litterbox, we use Embrace Pet Insurance to cover our cats (and dog!). After a lot of research, we discovered they have a great reputation for covering a high number of claims, provide easy to understand policies and are well known for their exceptional service. Their user-friendly website allows you to purchase a policy for your pet in about 15 minutes and emails your policy to you shortly thereafter. Learn more about Embrace Pet Insurance.
Can I Get Health Insurance For My Cat?
Of course! Industry estimates show that currently there are more cat health insurance policies in the US than there are dog policies, so it’s more than likely that your cat is eligible for some sort of coverage. For most providers, age is not an eliminating factor, but can have an impact on the types of coverage options available and the overall cost of the policy.
Does Pet Insurance Cover “Litterbox Issues”?
Yes, the typical medical conditions that might lead to a litterbox problem are usually covered. As mentioned, UTIs, blockages, FIC, kidney and bladder stones and a host of other afflictions are covered. But a big bonus here is that treatment of certain behavioral issues are covered as well so whether your cat’s problem is medical or behavioral in nature, it’s likely that a cat insurance policy will have it covered. Also covered are things like dental disease, prescription drugs, hereditary conditions, specialists, diagnostic testing and imaging, allergies, illnesses, and emergency visits. Just like humans, however, there are certain treatments that most policies will not cover, such as cosmetic and breeding procedures, as well as pre-existing conditions.
What Are The Benefits of Pet Insurance?
So now we know the benefits of insurance for our cats, what are the benefits to the humans? Having the peace of mind knowing that our cats are insured against a number of issues is the most reassuring, but there is a big monetary incentive as well. For example, let’s say your cat suddenly developed a litterbox problem, which your vet diagnosed as a blocked urethra and sent along a $5,000 invoice. Without pet insurance, you’re on the hook for the entire amount. If, however, you were the proud owner of a policy that had a $250 deductible and a reimbursement rate of 80% (both typical policy attributes), your out of pocket would be $1,200 – total of $5,000 less the deductible of $250 for a subtotal of $4,750 of which you would be reimbursed 80%, or $3,800, leaving you with a total charge of $1,200. That’s a savings of $3,800!
Just like with humans, insurance is one of those things that we hope to never have to use, but we sure are glad to have it when we need it. Pet insurance is a smart move for maintaining the health of our beloved cats and the health of our bank account.