We've reviewed the latest independent research to come up with our list of the Best Pet Insurance for Cats and Kittens in 2019. These are:
You can learn more about the cat insurance providers in our top 10 with our individual reviews.
Bought By Many's pet insurance policies do not feature in our list of the best cat insurance because they are relatively new products and have not yet been rated by all the independent financial experts we use to create the lists.
However, we have received over 5,700 5-star reviews from customers and our Complete policy has been rated 5 stars by an independent financial service. Get a quote.
You can see what customers think about our insurance on our testimonials page.
How did you come up with this list of the best cat insurance?
We looked at the awards insurers have received and reviewed research on pet insurance conducted by independent financial services review firms, including Which?, to find the best pet insurance for cats in the UK in terms of all-round quality - not just cost.
You can use a price comparison site like GoCompare to compare cat insurance in the UK.
Looking for dog insurance? Check out the best pet insurance for dogs.
Looking for rabbit insurance? Compare rabbit insurance.
More than one pet? See the best multi-pet insurance discounts.
Exotic pets? Check out our guide to exotic pet insurance.
Best cat insurance versus cheapest cat insurance
It’s common for cat owners who haven’t previously bought pet insurance to choose the cheapest policy available. Although this is a good way of keeping your pet insurance costs down, it can lead to bad experiences when your cat needs vet treatment and you have to claim.
In this article, we want to go beyond looking at pet insurance costs for cats. But if you're not convinced, and you're simply looking to minimise your costs while giving your cat some insurance cover, here are the 5 cheapest cat insurance policies that start from under £5 a month:
It's important to note that four of the five cheapest cat insurance policies are 'accident only', meaning they will not pay out for illnesses.
If you have more than one cat, save money on insurance with one of the best multi cat insurance discounts on the market.
What does cat insurance cost?
The average annual premium paid for pet insurance by UK cat owners is around £150 - equating to £12.50 a month, based one year worth of data from Bought By Many cat insurance policies. But you might pay much more or much less than this, depending on 3 key factors that influence the cost.
Although it's possible to insure a cat on a no-frills accident only policy for as little as £5 a month, the cat insurance policies in our Top 10 list are likely to cost between £10 and £20 per month, as they are mostly lifetime pet insurance policies.
Lifetime cat insurance (or ‘yearly limit’) covers vet fees up to the stated limit every year. This can be a good option if you worry about your pet developing a long-term or recurring illness. So long as you renew a lifetime policy each year, the level of vet fees will reset to the full stated limits that you started with.
With a lifetime product, it is important to note that your premiums will increase each year at renewal. This is different to a 'per condition' policy, where a particular condition can become excluded once the condition limit is reached. Your excess is also likely to increase as your cat gets older.
The exact cost of a cat insurance policy will vary from cat to cat and owner to owner, depending on these factors:
- Your cat's breed. Pedigree cats are more expensive to insure than moggies.
- Your cat's age. Older pets cats typically cost more than kittens to insure.
- Your postcode. Cat insurance costs more in the parts of the UK where vet prices are highest - particularly London & South East England.
Best pet insurance for older cats
As there's more chance of senior cats needing vet treatment, many pet insurance companies won't cover cats over eight years old.
But here's a list of the companies who will insure older cats:
Is pet insurance worth it for a cat?
Pet insurance is designed to cover the cost of unexpected vet treatment; whether you feel it is worth it will depend on a number of factors.
The cost of the cover is likely to be a big consideration but it's important not to forget the cost of vet treatment if you don't have insurance.
The Association of British Insurers says the average cost of treating a cat with diabetes in 2016 was £1,060 and the average cost of treating a tumour for a cat was £687. According to the ABI, the costs of the average pet insurance claim topped £750 for the first time in 2016 and that insurers paid out a record £706m.
Cat vet insurance is usually cheaper than dog insurance, but it all depends on the age, breed and health of your cat.
Premiums also depend on what the cat insurance includes. Cheap insurance may not cover the full cost of treatment, meaning you could end up paying for some of the vet fees on top of your annual or monthly premium. More comprehensive policies will cover more treatment for longer but they will cost more.
When thinking about whether pet insurance is worth it, consider the total amount you may pay towards unexpected vet fees during the life of your cat and whether cat insurance is likely to save you money.
Making sense of the results of our list of the best cat insurance policy
- They provide a higher amount of cover for vets fees (in some cases, up to £12,000 per year) than most pet insurance policies for cats
- There are fewer terms and conditions attached to when they will and won’t pay out. Lifetime pet insurance for cats will continue to pay out for a medical issue up to the vet fees limit for the full length of the cat’s life (in contrast to "time-limited" policies, which stop paying out after one year)
- The cover for cats goes beyond just vet fees, and may include cover for end of life, dentistry, cattery fees, and even cover overseas
Lifetime cat insurance
Here are some of the best lifetime pet insurance policies for cats:
Why is your best cat insurance list slightly different to your dog insurance top 10?
There are differences between the insurance cover available for cats and dogs, and in how pet insurance companies regard the risks of insuring them.
First, cat owners don't need public liability insurance. This is because - unlike dogs - cats are seen as "free spirits" in the eyes of the law, and owners cannot be held legally responsible for the things they do. Interestingly, this principle has been enshrined in law since Ancient Rome.
Meanwhile, the cost of vet treatment for a cat during its lifetime is significantly less than the cost for a dog. This is partly because procedures for cats and kittens cost less in the first place, and partly because the probability of cats needing treatment doesn't increase as sharply as the probability of dogs needing treatment does.
As a result, the total amount of vet bills cover in an insurance policy influences the ratings less for cats than it does for dogs, meaning policies with lower levels of vet bills cover (such as John Lewis Insurance Plus, which offers £7,500 of cover) feature highly in the top 10.
This may be why fewer cat owners choose to buy pet insurance than dog owners. In the UK, around 35% of dogs are insured, but only 15% of cats.
Reviews of UK cat insurance companies
We've reviewed most of the pet insurance companies in our list. Learn more about them in our reviews:
- MoreThan Pet Insurance Review
- John Lewis Pet Insurance Review
- Pet Plan Pet Insurance Review
- Animal Friends Pet Insurance Review
- M&S Pet Insurance Review
- Debenhams Pet Insurance Review
- PetPlan Insurance Review
- Argos Pet Insurance Review
- Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance Review
And here is our full list of pet insurance reviews.
We also have guides in Swedish for anyone living in Sweden who wants to find out about pet insurance.