Cat insurance: choice, guarantees and subscription

Why take out cat insurance?

Three risks of financial loss are incurred by the owner of a cat. In addition to his civil liability which may be incurred if the animal causes damage to a third party, the owner has to bear the financial loss represented by the death of a purebred cat having a certain value. And that resulting from the costs of veterinary care incurred to treat the animal. Each of these risks can be covered by insurance.

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Civil liability guarantee

In general, the civil liability guarantee of your multi-risk home contract covers and pays for the harmful consequences due to your cat. You must check if you are covered because article 1243 of the Civil Code provides that the owner of an animal (or the person who has it in his care) is responsible for the damage that the animal has caused to a third party (bites , scratches, breakage, but also an accident caused by the animal can lead to more or less significant damage).

If you have several cats, it is advisable to check that your contract covers them without limitation of number.

Cat mortality insurance

Mortality insurance provides for the payment of a lump sum allowing the replacement of the deceased animal. This can be interesting, especially for owners who have acquired a high-priced purebred cat. Guaranteeing your cat registered in the Loof (official book of feline origins) against mortality by accident and illness should therefore be considered depending on the pedigree and the price of the animal and of course the cost of the guarantee.

To note : very often the death guarantee is granted in addition or as an option to the complementary health insurance covering all or part of the veterinary costs of your cat.

Health insurance to cover veterinary costs

Veterinary fees being free, your cat’s health exposes you to sometimes high costs, depending on the practitioner chosen and the ailments from which the animal suffers. Thus a simple veterinary consultation costs on average 40 or 50 euros. Costs of analysis, radiological examination, not to mention the surgical procedures which increase the bill, which can quickly climb to several hundred euros or more. This is why taking out health insurance covering part of the costs incurred can be useful. Depending on your budget and the needs of the animal, different more or less complete formulas are offered by insurers.

How cat health/mutual insurance works

The majority of market players (very often more or less specialized brokers) offer the choice between 3 or 4 formulas. These formulas, like that of your complementary health insurance, provide more or less complete guarantees for a crescendo cost between the basic guarantee and the top of the range.

What makes the difference between the formulas:

  • The scope of coverage: limited to the risk of accident/or covering accident and illness; but also coverage of only surgical costs / or on the contrary of a guarantee of routine care (consultation fees) with sometimes in the most complete formulas a payment of prevention costs often fixed and per year of insurance ( sterilization, vaccines, deworming, descaling, antiparasitic treatment, etc.).
  • The reimbursement rate applicable to each guarantee (in particular for old cats to which a reduction according to age is sometimes applied). This percentage varies according to the insurers and formulas between 50 and 100%.
  • The annual coverage ceiling which therefore limits the intervention of the insurer to a sum determined according to the formula (variable according to the insurers and the formulas between 1,000 to 2,500 euros).
  • Franchise which may be applicable annually, or per claim, or per act (expressed in euros or as a percentage of the costs incurred).
  • Exclusions often numerous and to be clearly identified, in particular many diseases are generally excluded if the vaccinations are not up to date. Just like operations not justified medically or for aesthetic reasons, but also certain genetic or congenital diseases.
  • Waiting periodsthat is to say the waiting period before the guarantee applies and which can vary according to the guarantees between 2 and 180 days and according to the guarantee put into play. after a period of 2 or 15 days depending on the insurers, it generally varies between 30 and 60 days for illness and is increased to 120 to 180 days for surgery.
  • The existence or not of an annual prevention package (vaccination, sterilization, descaling, etc.).
  • Whether or not there is a support service.

To note : certain top-of-the-range formulas can include assistance guarantees, a lump sum in the event of the death of the animal and even, for certain contracts, a civil liability guarantee and sometimes even a funeral expenses lump sum.

Which insurance to choose and at what price?

You have the choice between 3 formulas: basic, intermediate and high-end. Difficult to advise a contract more than another. It all depends on your budget and the specific needs of your cat’s breed, but the intermediate formula seems a good compromise in most cases. Of course the top of the range covers even better, but its cost is significantly higher.

Basic formula: economical (from 7 or 10 euros per month depending on the insurers), but very incomplete and often limited to accidents. It makes it possible to ward off a hard blow by not bearing all the costs borne at 50/60% by the insurer. The annual ceiling generally does not exceed 800 euros.

Intermediate formula: it generally covers expenses resulting from illness and accident, even in the event of surgery, as well as examination costs (x-ray, analysis, etc.). The annual ceiling is higher than in the first formula and the reimbursement rate varies between 70 and 90%. The contribution varies between 20 and 45 euros per month.

Premium formula: this is the most complete protection, with a higher ceiling (2,000 to 2,500 euros per year) and a reimbursement rate of 90 to 100% of expenses, including in pharmacies. It often provides for death benefits/funeral expenses, assistance, etc. But the contribution often exceeds 50 euros or even 70 euros per month.

You can help yourself with insurance comparators to make your choice. The best way to choose will still be to compare the details of the guarantees and the mode of operation of the contracts. Do not hesitate to ask for several detailed quotes.

When to take out cat insurance?

Generally, kittens are not insurable before 2 or 3 months (sometimes even with a waiting period) and some insurers do not admit cats beyond the 8th year. On the other hand, if contracts cover the animal without age limit (which can also be a criterion of choice), some exclude it after 10 or 12 years.

Choice of insurance according to the breed of the cat

This may surprise some owners, but the breed of their cat can affect the pricing applied. Not all cats are at the same risk. Some breeds are more fragile in health or are more prone to genetic frailties which increase the risk. It is in consideration of all these particular factors that the insurers determine the rate applicable to each race. But for some insurers the age of the animal may also be involved in the calculation of the cost of insurance.

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