You want to know whether paying cat insurance premiums works out cheaper in the long term than simply paying your veterinarian’s bills as they arise. You want a straightforward answer. You won’t get one, regrettably. I would love to give you one but the equation is too complicated. The top two articles as found by Google search ask the question “Is pet insurance worth it?” and neither of those articles actually answer the question. As they say, it all depends. On what does it depend?
“Cat health insurance is about providing the best health care and peace of mind for the cat’s guardian.”
Insurance is about risk and reward. Some people will gain and some people will lose financially when insuring their cat. Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of cat health insurance is the peace of mind that it brings. It is perhaps that which sells policies. In fact peace of mind is worth money, and for some people it is money well spent.
On the risk and reward equation, it is probably more sensible to take out a cat health insurance policy if you have a purebred cat because arguably purebred cats are more prone to genetically inherited diseases and arguably their lifespan is slightly shorter than random bred cats. Therefore it is more likely that a purebred cat owner will need to take their cat to veterinarian for a major health issue. But even then it is far from certain.
Read what Kimberly Goodwin, PhD says about pet insurance on lendedu.com if you’d like a second opinion by clicking on this link.
Personally, I have never taken out cat health insurance. Thus far I am massively in pocket by which I mean financially I’ve gained tremendously by not taking out cat insurance. Perhaps I’ve been lucky or perhaps I’ve been careful. Perhaps the only winner in pet health insurance is the insurance company.
One factor which weighs against pet health insurance is its cost. It can be more expensive than house or car insurance. It’s just another household overhead and in straitened times you want to reduce overheads. You are more likely to take a risk.
One aspect of cat health insurance is that it will mean that your cat receives better healthcare. I suppose it is obvious but when a cat owner is not paying directly for veterinarian treatment he or she will be more likely to go to the vet without delay when required. A cat owner facing a large veterinary bill may delay in dealing with the matter and in doing so their cat’s health may deteriorate further. So cat health insurance is good for the cat but it may be bad for the wallet of the owner.
There’s a good story in the Times newspaper about a couple who have a labrador as a pet. They went on holiday to Australia and while they were there the person looking after their dog informed them that she had eaten her lead. The cotton material that was part of the lead had become entwined in her gut. The veterinarian quoted a bill of £7000 which included a 10 day hospital visit and follow-up treatment. The couple did not have pet health insurance. They paid the bill. The dog recovered nicely. They decided that over the entire time that they had been looking after dogs without pet health insurance they have saved money despite the £7000 bill. This is because they would have paid out £12,000 over the past 40 years on pet health insurance, which make a net gain of £5000. However, their assessment presumes that there were no occasions when insurance would have kicked in over 40 years other than the £7k bill.
Many people swear by pet health insurance. Many people have gained tremendously financially by having it. That said, you will find that the vast majority of people do not take out pet health insurance policies. This is probably because they think like me, which is that the risk is worth it and that over the long term there is, on average, a net financial loss in taking out an insurance policy.
You have to make up your own mind. There is no clean answer and as mentioned it is impossible to answer the question in the title. Perhaps it turns on peace of mind, what you want at an emotional level. If it makes you happy and if you want to give your cat or dog the best possible health care whatever happens then take out a premium policy which will cost you the earth but it will still be worth it.