Which Is the Best Pet Insurance Provider for Cats in 2020?

Nadav Shemer
Pet Insurance for Cats
Cats might have 9 lives, but they often test each life as far as it can go. That’s why it’s so important to get cat insurance for your feline friend. Some companies only cover emergency care but won’t pay the cost of routine checkups, and some exclude costs such as hospital stays but pay for alternative therapies. Before you choose your cat insurance policy, think about your cat insurance needs.

If you’re looking for the right cat insurance, we’re here to help. Take a look at 5 of the best pet insurance companies below so that you can easily compare the advantages of each one and choose the one that suits your cat’s needs.

How Cat Insurance Works

Overall, cat medical insurance is a lot like medical insurance for people. If your cat falls ill or gets injured in a covered incident, then your cat insurance provider will cover most of the costs. If you want routine care and wellness, then you’ll need to upgrade your plan to avoid paying out of pocket. Extras like dental and cosmetic treatment are usually excluded. Like all insurers, cat health insurance companies never cover pre-existing conditions.

Most of the terms you’re probably familiar with from your own medical insurance also apply to feline insurance. When you purchase pet insurance for cats, expect to have a waiting period of 14-30 days before you can file any claims. You’ll also have a deductible ($50 - $1,000), reimbursement amount (70-90%) and annual limits ($3,000 all the way up to unlimited) that you can customize to your needs. 

Is Cat Insurance Affordable? 

A number of factors go into determining your monthly premium, including your cat’s age; its breed; the level of coverage; and the size of the deductible. Cats that are prone to illnesses–like the Maine coon, which is prone to hip dysplasia–can cost a lot to insure. Common breeds with fewer illnesses, like domestic shorthair and domestic longhair, typically cost the least. 

Based on our survey of the best cat insurance providers, you can expect to pay as little as $6 for accident-only coverage and $20 for accident & illness. Obviously, the costs can get a lot higher than that for certain breeds. Wellness and routine coverage also cost a lot more. 

Tips When Looking for Cat Insurance

No two cats are the same, and therefore no two pet insurance companies offer the best cat insurance for your cat.

When looking for cat insurance:

  • Compare prices for your breed. It only takes a few seconds to get a cat medical insurance quote, so request one from all the top providers and compare side by side.
  • Look closely at what’s covered – and what’s not. When purchasing cat health insurance, you want to know you’re covered for expensive medical emergencies that would otherwise break the bank. 
  • Check how easy the service is to use. Does the insurer offer paperless claims? How quickly does it usually pay out on claims? Are other cat parents satisfied? Finding the answers to these questions will help you make a decision.

What's Covered
Deductible
Annual Limit
PetsBest

Accident Illness
Cancer
Checkups
Dental
Alternative care

$50 to $1,000
$5,000 to unlimited
ASPCA

Accident Illness
Cancer
Preventative care
Behavioral issues
Dental

$100 to $500
$3,000 to $10,000
Embrace

Accident Illness
Rehab
Congenital diseases
Behavioral issues
Wellness
Alternative therapies

$200 to $1,000
$5,000 to $30,000
Hartville

Accident Illness
Preventive care

$100 to $500
$3,000 to $10,000
Petplan

Accident Illness
Dental
Cancer
Hereditary and chronic 
Rehab

$100 to $500
$5,000 to unlimited

1. Pets Best

Pets Best makes it easy to get exactly the right level of coverage for your cat because you can adjust your deductible, reimbursement level, and annual limit. Pets Best allows you to add on policies for wellness checkups, exam fees, prescription medicines, rehabilitation costs, and alternative treatments like chiropractor and acupuncture, or you can pick an accident-only plan to keep the costs down. Pets Best will pay out no matter which vet you visit, and there's a 24/7 worldwide pre approval hotline to make it easy to check that treatment is covered. Pets Best settles insurance claims fast, with most claims paid out within 5 days.

The Pets Best Accident and Illness plans pays your actual vet bill for unexpected incidents. With multiple levels of coverage, the plans can be customized to meet your budget and your furry friend. The EssentialWellness ($16/month) and BestWellness ($26/month) add-ons pay up to a minimum amount (with BestWellness paying slightly more) for routine care, such as teeth cleaning, flea prevention and microchipping. Pets Best covers all kinds of things, depending on your plan, such as cancer treatments, hereditary conditions, dental treatments, travel coverage, prosthetics and exam fees. 

  • Suitable for: Fast claims payment
  • Deductibles: Customizable from $50
  • Reimbursement: 70%-90% of claims
  • Annual limits: $5,000 for most plans, or you can pay extra for unlimited
  • What's not covered: Pre-existing conditions, elective or preventative care such as nail trimming, declawing. 
  • Age limit: From 7 weeks old, no upper limit
  • Monthly costs: Costs are customized based on your pet and the plan you choose. Here is a sample cost for a standard plan for a 2-year old domestic shorthair neutered male with no previous illnesses.
Accident Only
Accident & Illness
Accident & Illness + Exam Fees & Rehab
$6/month
$19.53/month
$23.84/month

Read the full Pets Best review

Pets Best Pets Best Visit Site

2. ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

ASPCA's cat insurance will cover some of the most advanced medical treatments for animals, including things like stem cell therapy and acupuncture for cancer. You can choose your level of coverage, from an all-inclusive, comprehensive policy to a low-cost, accident-only cat insurance plan, and decide whether or not to include coverage for preventive care and dental care. What's great is that once you meet your deductible amount, you won't have to pay it for any other claims in the same year. ASPCA has plans that cover surgery, diagnostics, cancer, wellness and behavioral care, and alternative therapies. 

  • Suitable for: Coverage for advanced treatments
  • Deductibles: From $100 to $500
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, or 90%
  • Annual limits: $3,000 to $10,000
  • What's not covered: Cosmetic procedures, breeding costs, pre-existing conditions, incidents unrelated to accidents
  • Age limit: From 8 weeks
  • Monthly costs: Costs are customized based on your pet and the plan you choose. Here is a sample cost for a standard plan for a 2-year old domestic shorthair neutered male with no previous illnesses.
Accident Only
Complete Coverage
$15.98/month
$21.85/month

Read the full ASPCA Pet Health Insurance review

ASPCA ASPCA Visit Site

3. Embrace

Embrace stands out for offering coverage for a wide range of congenital and hereditary disorders. It’s also got top ratings for its customer service of all pet insurance companies. Embrace’s cat insurance policies cover a wide range of needs, including rehabilitation, prosthetics, and alternative therapies. Embrace offers discounts if your cat is neutered or spayed, if you pay for a year upfront, or if you are a veteran. You can visit any vet and still access cat insurance with Embrace, and it has plans that cover a range of treatments, from rehabilitation to prescription medication, behavioral therapy to dental treatment. The Wellness Rewards add-on gives you 100% reimbursement for routine care up to a maximum of $250-$650 per year.

  • Suitable for: Purebred cats at risk from breed-specific diseases
  • Deductibles: From $200 to $1,000
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80% or 90%
  • Annual limits: $5,000 to $30,000
  • What's not covered:  Routine vet care (unless you have the Wellness plan), pre-existing conditions, breeding and pregnancy, injury caused deliberately by someone in your home, cosmetic procedures, DNA testing
  • Age limit: Up to 14 years
  • Monthly costs: Costs are customized based on your pet and the plan you choose. Here is a sample cost for a standard plan for a 2-year old domestic shorthair neutered male with no previous illnesses.
Accident and Illness
Accident and Illness + Wellness Coverage
$21.58
From $40.33

Read the full Embrace review

EMBRACE EMBRACE Visit Site

4. Hartville

Hartville offers flexible cat insurance policies that can range from accident-only to include advanced diagnostics and treatment and also preventive care. You can choose your annual coverage limit, deductible, and reimbursement level. Hartville has plans that cover advanced diagnostics, treatments, preventative care, exam fees, hereditary diseases, and dental treatments. 

  • Suitable for: Simple cat insurance plans
  • Deductibles: $100, $250, $500
  • Reimbursement: 70%, 80%, 90%
  • Annual limits: $3,000 to $10,000
  • What's not covered: Pre-existing conditions
  • Age limit: From 8 weeks
  • Monthly costs: Costs are customized based on your pet and the plan you choose. Here is a sample cost for a standard plan for a 2-year old domestic shorthair neutered male with no previous illnesses.
Accident Only
Complete Coverage
$15.98/month
$21.85/month

Read the full Hartville review

Hartville Hartville Visit Site

5. Petplan

Petplan offers just one, customizable cat insurance plan that lets you choose the right level of coverage, deductible, and annual limit for your pet. Petplan makes it easy to file a claim through the Petplan app, without needing any paper forms or phone calls. Petplan allows you to visit any vet in the country, and your coverage begins immediately on the day after you’ve been approved for insurance—there’s no long gap between approval and coverage. Petplan can cover accidents and illness, cancer, exams, non-routine dental care, rehabilitation, prescription medication and alternative therapies. 

  • Suitable for: Fast insurance coverage
  • Deductibles: $100 - $2,500
  • Reimbursement: 70%-90%
  • Annual limits: $2,500 plus
  • Monthly costs: PetPlan offers one customizable plan with varying deductibles, reimbursements and limits. Sample monthly costs for a 2-year old neutered male with no previous illnesses: $21.46
  • What's not covered: Wellness and routine care, pre-existing conditions
  • Age limit: 6 months and up

Read the full Petplan review

PetPlan PetPlan Visit Site

How to Choose the Right Pet Insurance for Your Cat

Although you want to keep your cat insurance costs down, the policy with the lowest premiums might not be the best option or even the cheapest. If you're paying low premiums, you might have to pay much higher deductibles or face a lower reimbursement level. It's also important to check the annual limit of each policy, which is the maximum that the insurer will pay out in any given year. These are all important issues to bear in mind when you look for insurance for your cat.

Cat Insurance Bottom Line

It's impossible to state which is the top cat insurance for every cat since each pet is different, but having an insurance plan will surely save you money and can save your pet's life.  You'll need to consider how often your cat goes outside, if his or her nature is more mischievous or calm, his or her age and breed, and if you have any hazards nearby, like a neighboring cat who likes to fight your pet. If your cat tends to stay indoors all the time, it might not be worth paying for full comprehensive coverage. On the other hand, if you have an outdoor cat that keeps picking fights, you'll want all the cat insurance you can get--it will surely pay off. Cat insurance is a no brainer, but which cat insurance policy you buy definitely is a choice. Whether you choose a full-featured, comprehensive feline insurance policy that covers every possible incident, or an accident-only cat insurance plan that’s just for emergencies, pick the right one for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Cat Insurance

What information do I need to get a quote? 

Getting a quote from the best cat insurance providers is surprisingly easy. Just go to the cat health insurance provider’s website and enter your cat’s name; its breed; its age; its sex; and your contact details. A couple of seconds later, you’ll see your quote.

How much could I pay out of pocket without cat health insurance? 

This really depends a lot on your cat’s breed and age–and luck. The average surgical vet visit for a cat costs $214 and the average routine vet visit costs $160, according to the 2019-20 American Pet Products Association National Pet Owners Survey. Procedures involving things like CT scans, transplants, and radiation therapy can cost in the thousands.

What are some of the alternatives to cat insurance? 

Aside from paying out of pocket, other options include: credit financing; a pet savings plan; or volunteer-run vet clinics that provide low-cost procedures for cats and other pets.

Nadav Shemer
Nadav Shemer specializes in business, tech, and energy, with a background in financial journalism, hi-tech and startups. He enjoys writing about the latest innovations in financial services and products.