Cat insurance is designed to help with the cost of unexpected veterinary bills. You pay a monthly or annual premium to your cat insurance provider and should you need to claim you will be able to claim back some of the cost of the veterinary bills, as long as the claim meets the requirements outlined in the policy documents. Some cat insurance providers such as Petplan can also pay your vet directly so you may not have to pay for the treatment at all, just the policy excess.
In this article, we look at what cat insurance covers as well as the cheapest cat insurance providers. We also share some things you should consider before choosing the cheapest cat insurance policy.
What does cat insurance cover?
How much cover you have for your pet will vary depending on the type of cat insurance policy you choose. There are four main types of cat insurance; lifetime, maximum benefit, time-limited and accident-only. Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive as the amount your pet is insured for renews annually. Accident-only pet insurance provides the least amount of cover as it only insures your pet for accidents and so you won't be covered for illnesses. For more information on the different types of pet insurance, read our article, "What are the different types of pet insurance?"
Below we share what a typical cat insurance policy will and will not cover.
Most standard cat insurance policies will cover your cat for:
Veterinary fees for accidents and illness (excluding accident-only policies which only cover accidents)
Death of your pet due to injury or illness (age restrictions usually apply)
Loss and theft
If you choose a more comprehensive policy, such as lifetime pet insurance, you may also be able to cover your pet for holiday cancellations, emergency boarding should you need to stay in hospital unexpectedly and vet fee cover whilst travelling abroad.
A typical cat insurance policy will not cover your cat for:
Third-party liability (this is for dogs only)
The policy excess or percentage co-payment
Routine care such as vaccinations and worming
What is the cheapest cat insurance?
In this section of the article, we share some of the cheapest cat insurance providers in the UK. The amount you pay for your pet insurance will depend on the type of policy you choose. For more information on the different types of pet insurance, read our article "What are the different types of pet insurance?"
Cheap lifetime pet insurance for cats
Lifetime pet insurance is the most comprehensive cat insurance for your pet as the veterinary fee cover for illness and injury renews annually. There are two main types of lifetime pet insurance; annual limit and annual limit per condition lifetime pet insurance. Annual limit lifetime pet insurance will insure your pet for a set amount per policy year which means you can claim for multiple conditions up until the policy limit is reached, the veterinary fee cover will then renew the following policy year as long as you continue to pay your policy premium.
Annual limit per condition lifetime pet insurance will insure your pet for a set amount per condition, which means you can claim up until the condition limit for each condition each policy year. It may therefore be worth looking carefully at the different types of lifetime pet insurance when choosing your policy, particularly if you're trying to keep your costs low. For example, it may be more beneficial to select a policy that covers your cat for £1,000 per condition per policy year instead of just £1,000 per policy year. For more information on lifetime pet insurance and the best providers read our article, "Compare the best lifetime pet insurance".
Cheap lifetime cat insurance providers
In the below comparison table we share some of the cheapest cat insurance providers. The quotes are based on a 1-year-old mixed breed moggy with no underlying health conditions and living in a South East postcode.
|Animal Friends*||Healthy Pets||Waggel*|
|Policy name||Super||Extra||Waggel Lifetime|
|Lifetime Policy type||Annual limit per condition||Annual limit||Annual limit|
|Annual veterinary fee limit per condition||£1,000||£1,000||£2,000|
|Annual veterinary fee limit per year||No limit||£2,000||£2,000|
|Monthly cost 1-year-old cat||£7.04||£5.82||£8.13|
(Quotes correct as of 12/10/23)
Cheap maximum benefit pet insurance for cats
Maximum benefit pet insurance isn't quite as comprehensive as lifetime pet insurance as the veterinary fee cover for illness and injury does not renew each policy year, however, it may still be a good option to cover your pet for longer-term conditions. This is because your cat will be insured for a set amount per condition and there is not a time limit on how long you have to claim for that condition. Therefore you may claim for a particular condition in the first year of your policy and then not claim again for the condition until a few years later. As long as you have not exceeded the amount the condition is covered for, you will still be able to claim. To find out more about maximum benefit pet insurance and the best providers, read our article "Compare the best maximum benefit pet insurance".
Cheap maximum benefit cat insurance providers
|Animal Friends*||Healthy Pets||The Insurance Emporium|
|Policy name||Max Value||Bronze||Bronze|
|Policy type||Maximum benefit||Maximum benefit||Maximum benefit|
|Veterinary fee limit per condition||£1,000||£1,000||£1,500|
|Monthly cost 1-year-old cat||£6.03||£5.75||£7.74|
(Quotes correct as of 12/10/23)
Cheap time-limited pet insurance for cats
Time-limited pet insurance is the least comprehensive insurance policy for your cat that covers both illness and injury. With time-limited pet insurance there is a time limit on how long you have to claim for a particular condition, and this is usually 12 months from the onset of the condition or from the initial treatment date. Time-limited pet insurance may be better suited to those who wish to cover short-term illnesses and injuries. For more information on time-limited pet insurance and the best time-limited providers, read our article "Compare the best time-limited pet insurance".
Cheap time-limited cat insurance providers
|Animal Friends*||The Insurance Emporium||Perfect Pet Insurance|
|Policy name||Basic Plus||Bronze||Essential Monthly|
|Veterinary fee limit per condition||£1,000||£1,000||£1,000|
|Annual veterinary fee limit||£4,000||No limit||No limit|
|12-month claim limit|
|Monthly cost 1-year-old cat||£5.60||£5.82||£7.94|
(Quotes correct as of 12/10/23)
Cheap accident-only pet insurance for cats
Accident-only pet insurance is the most basic pet insurance policy for your cats because it only covers your cat against accidents and does not cover your pet for illnesses. It is usually therefore one of the cheapest cat insurance policies. Whilst accident-only pet insurance can seem tempting because of the price, if your pet did fall ill you would need to fund the treatment yourself. However, you may wish to consider accident-only pet insurance if your pet is old or you are unable to insure them for illnesses due to pre-existing conditions. For more information on accident-only cat insurance and the best providers, read our article "Compare the best accident-only pet insurance".
Cheap accident-only cat insurance providers
|Animal Friends*||Tesco Bank||The Insurance Emporium|
|Policy name||Accident-only||Accident & Injury||Accident-only|
|Veterinary fee limit per condition||£2,500||£3,000||£2,500|
|12-month claim limit|
|Monthly cost 1-year-old cat||£3.10||£3.66||£4.25|
(Quotes correct as of 12/10/23)
What to consider before buying cheap cat insurance
If you are considering pet insurance for your cat and are looking for the cheapest pet insurance policy, here are some things you should consider first to ensure you are not short-changed with the cover you have. More information can be found in our article, "Cheap pet insurance - 5 reasons why it's not always the best".
- A cheaper pet insurance policy usually means lower cover
The cheapest pet insurance policy is usually accident-only which means that your pet is not covered for any illnesses. Make sure you are checking the type of pet insurance policy you have and exactly what you are covered for. If you would like a more comprehensive policy, such as lifetime pet insurance, then look at the different providers as some may offer policies with lower veterinary fee cover. The vet fee cover will still renew annually, but your pet will be covered for a lower amount that renews each year. This will therefore reduce the cost of your premium compared to policies with higher veterinary amounts. According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) the average pet insurance claim in 2021 was £848 and most insurers offer cover from £1,000 upwards.
- Are you paying more towards the pet insurance claim?
Cheaper pet insurance premiums can sometimes mean you are expected to pay more in the event of a claim in the form of a policy excess. Be sure to check pet insurance quotes carefully so you know exactly how much you are expected to pay when you make a claim. It is common for cheaper pet insurance quotes via comparison sites to include higher excesses or a percentage co-payment (which can be as much as 20%) towards the cost of the claim.
How to reduce the cost of cat insurance
Cat insurance can seem expensive, particularly if your pet is healthy and young. You may find the cost of insurance even more costly if your cat does not leave the house, however, it can often pay for itself quite quickly should you need to make a claim for a long-term or chronic illness.
If you are looking to reduce the cost of your cat insurance policy you could try the below. Additional money-saving tips can be found in our article, 'How to save money on pet insurance'.
- Ensure your cat is microchipped - microchipping your cat can increase the chance of you being reunited with your pet should it be found following it being missing
- Neuter/spay your cat - neutering or spaying your cat is likely to stop your cat from straying to mate and will mean your female cat will not have any complications that could be caused by pregnancy or birth
- Buy a multi-pet policy - if you have more than one pet in your household having a multi-pet policy with providers that offer a discount will see a reduction in your policy premium cost
- Increase the policy excess - increasing how much you are willing to pay towards a claim whilst your cat is still young will lower the cost of your monthly premium. It is worth noting that some insurers will increase the excess once your pet reaches a certain age.
How to buy cheap cat insurance
The easiest and most convenient way to buy a cat insurance policy is via a comparison site such as Quotezone*, MoneySuperMarket* or Compare the Market* as it allows you to easily compare the cost of different insurers. It is worth noting, however, that most comparison sites are not whole of market so you may be missing out on a deal with another cat insurance provider, such as Direct Line which does not show up on comparison sites. It is also important to check the policy terms carefully as some of the cheaper comparison site quotes have a higher excess and co-payment in the event of a claim.
If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link, Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. The following link can be used if you do not wish to help Money to the Masses or take advantage of any exclusive offers - Animal Friends, Waggel, MoneySuperMarket, Compare the Market, Quotezone