Insurance costs for cats are rising, with the modern feline being both faster and more powerful than its predecessors. Particularly if it’s a turbo cat and the previous owner had it ‘chipped’. Young, inexperienced owners are 5 times more likely to claim in the first year.
Before insuring your cat, underwriters will wish to know if it has a hidden history. And so will the wise purchaser. A cat may look alright to your untrained eye but unless you’re buying from a reputable dealer it may be best to have it inspected by a trained vet.
Remember, a small outlay of around £300 (in cash) for a five-minute ‘once over’ by your local vet at this early stage could save you a fortune later on (although to be honest there’s little you can do which will actually reduce your insurance premium). Your prospective new pet might turn out to be a classic ‘cut & shut’ case, with a front end from a Persian Blue ‘not quite fast enough’ road-kill model, stitched onto the rear of a bacon-slicer sniffing Cornish Rex. Don’t forget also that, in general, spare parts for foreign cats are more expensive and harder to find.
A few simple security measures now can more than repay the initial outlay. If you leave your cat out at night but don’t keep it in a garage, why not detach its feet and make it harder to tow away? Or you could have your name and address etched on its eyeballs; most thieves won’t want the trouble of replacing your cat’s eyes.
Has the cat got any points on its licence? If so, consider putting it as a named driver on your boiler or water supply pipe insurance for a couple of years. Or perhaps you live in an area where a lot of cats have been written off recently – if so that will push your premiums up. Consider sending the cat to live with a friend or relative who lives in another postcode area. Or even in a different country.
Of course, treatment costs for pre-existing conditions will not be met by any insurance policy. So for example, don’t expect ‘difficulty with breathing’ to be covered; after all, it’s most likely that your cat will have been breathing to some extent when you first got it; if you can’t prove that, insurers are likely to refuse cover on the grounds that it’s actually a pup.
And finally, if you do neglect to insure your cat and are then faced with the prospect of massive vet bills, don’t forget the old standby emergency kit; a sack, a brick, the location of the nearest river and the phone number of your local ‘free to a good home’ kitten-rescue & relocation centre.
Hat-tops to Waylandsmithy, Sinnick, Tedweasel, ironduke and Riesler