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. Or even Ironduke![note to self - don’t forget to delete this last bit before posting or there’ll be hell to pay].
Remember, a small outlay of around £300 (for 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 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.
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.
Hats tips to waylandsmithy, Sinnick Tedweasel, ironduke, anybodyelsei'veforgotten