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Owning a pet is expensive. Pet owners are able to factor predictable costs like food, grooming, and routine veterinary care into a budget, but unexpected costs can throw things wildly off track.
The right cat insurance plan can give you peace of mind and help mitigate some of those extra costs. But is it worth the monthly premium? And how do you choose the right plan?
We’ve done a deep dive into the best cat insurance providers in Canada to help you decide if pet insurance is a solid investment. We researched monthly premiums, coverage, and practical factors like waiting periods and customer service to help you find the right option for you and your cat.
At a Glance: Best Cat Insurance in Canada Reviewed and Compared
Why Should You Trust Us?
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What Can You Expect From Pet Insurance?
The idea behind pet insurance is similar to health insurance for humans in that it gives pet owners peace of mind that they’ll have health in the event of an accident or injury. While routine care costs are predictable, emergency veterinary care can be needed at any time and it’s likely to be expensive.
Unlike health insurance, pet insurance plans don’t typically pay providers directly. Rather, you pay the cost upfront then submit a claim. Pet insurance plans generally pay out at a specific rate (ranging from 70% to 90%), but only for covered costs. Certain conditions are excluded from most plans and anything your cat has been diagnosed with or treated for before you sign up will be considered pre-existing.
Whether or not pet insurance saves you money depends entirely on your individual situation. Cat insurance is generally for unexpected expenses, though some plans include limited preventive care benefits.
There’s no guarantee you’ll actually use the plan, so you could end up paying monthly premiums for nothing more than peace of mind if your cat remains health.
How We Came To Our Top Picks
To get a feel for the best pet insurance plans in Canada, I used one of my own cats, Biscuit, to collect quotes and evaluate the options. Biscuit is an 8-year-old female cat who is spayed and in good health. She weighs about 10 pounds and has no pre-existing conditions. To represent a customer from Canada, I used a zip code from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario.
I do have two other cats, Bagel and Munchkin, but for simplicity’s sake, I did most of my research using a single cat and took a quick look at the options to tack on additional pets.
In addition to offering multi-pet coverage, many of the insurance companies reviewed below offer several different levels of coverage. Some offer accident-only or illness-only plans and some offer combined plans. I’ll also note which plans offer additional coverage for routine wellness, behavioral therapy, and alternative therapy.
The Top 7 Cat Insurance Providers Reviewed
Pet insurance is definitely not a “one size fits all” subject. Though similar in some ways to human health insurance, pet insurance varies greatly from one plan to another. Most plans are fairly comprehensive when it comes to coverage for accidents and illness, though there are a few standard exclusions such as treatment for pre-existing conditions.
In the reviews below, I’ll provide a basic overview of what each provider has to offer and sample costs using Biscuit’s information mentioned above. I’ll also note which plans have options for additional coverage and which have a limited or more lenient position on certain common exclusions.
There is no hard line on whether pet insurance is worth it. Not only does it depend on your cat’s health status, but other factors like age, breed, and location might play into the decision as well.
The bottom line is pet insurance is a safety net. Because most plans don’t include preventive care coverage, you may end up paying monthly premiums for nothing if your pet never has any health problems. Pet insurance is really only for unexpected costs.
If you’re not sure whether pet insurance is the right move, you can always take what you would have spent in monthly premiums and put it into an emergency fund for veterinary care. The downside of this is that the savings will take time to accumulate – if you buy a pet insurance plan, you’ll have access to the benefits immediately after any applicable waiting periods.
Before buying pet insurance, talk to your veterinarian about your cat’s current health status and potential future problems based on your cat’s age and breed. Remember that anything your pet has already been diagnosed with or treated for likely won’t be covered as a pre-existing condition.