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Getting any kind of pet is a big responsibility, and kittens are no exception. Their adventurous and inquisitive nature can get them into all kinds of mischief…some of which can lead to accidents and injuries.

The resulting veterinary bills can make owning a new kitten surprisingly expensive, which is why many cat owners decide to take out insurance even when their cat is young and healthy.

With research by the Money Advice Service suggesting an average pet insurance claim comes in at around £750, investing in a relatively cheap insurance policy will ensure you can meet the costs of an unplanned trip to the vet if something does happen to your kitten.

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What level of pet cover is available for kittens?

There are a number of different levels of cat insurance that you could consider. While the majority will cover the basics, what’s included and excluded will vary from provider to provider so it makes sense to compare policies from a range of insurance providers before deciding on which one to go with.

The level of cover you opt for will also affect the cost of your insurance. From cheapest (and least comprehensive) to most expensive (but most comprehensive), the levels of cover available for your cat are:

Insure your kitten

Accident only: As the name suggests, this type of policy will only cover the cost of expenses directly related to accidents. As such, this is the most basic level of pet insurance – and also the cheapest. While this type of policy is certainly better than having no insurance for your cat, it’s important to bear in mind that if your kitten gets ill or develops a medical condition you will have to cover the resulting costs yourself.

Annual insurance: This type of policy is fixed and will cover you for a full 12 months. When the policy comes to an end your cat will no longer be covered and you will need to take out a new insurance policy.

This type of insurance is usually cheaper than lifetime cat insurance, but it’s important to note that most annual pet insurance policies will not cover any pre-existing conditions that were diagnosed before the new policy was taken out.

Lifetime cat insurance: This is generally the most comprehensive type of insurance that you can get for your kitten. Although it’s also the most expensive, it may well be worth the extra expense because it will mean your cat will be covered for any medical conditions it might develop later in life – unlike an annual insurance policy, which will usually exclude pre-existing medical conditions when the policy is renewed.

Your lifetime insurance policy will also continue to cover your cat no matter how old it gets, whereas annual insurance policies sometimes have a maximum age limit when you’re taking out a new policy.

What is covered?

It probably goes without saying that if you opt for accident-only insurance you will only be covered if your kitten has an accident.

The specific details of what’s covered by other types of kitten insurance, though, will depend on what level of cover you opt for and which provider you go with. As a general guide, though, many other policies will cover some or all of the following:

  • Veterinary expenses that you incur as the result of an accident your kitten has suffered
  • Vet’s bills that you incur due to your cat’s illness or a newly diagnosed medical condition
  • Expenses related to hereditary conditions, which are often not treated as pre-existing medical conditions (however, this can vary from provider to provider so it’s vital that you check the small print in your policy documents)
  • Certain pre-existing medical conditions, provided you have lifetime insurance and you took out the policy before your cat developed the condition.
Is dental care covered?

Routine dental care (eg dental check-ups, ordinary tooth extractions, teeth cleaning) usually isn’t covered by a standard insurance policy, although you may be able to add dental cover as an optional extra.

However, if your cat’s teeth are damaged during an accident, or your kitten needs dental treatment due to some other medical condition that is already covered by your pet insurance policy, then this dental work might be covered too.

Are pre-existing conditions covered?

Whether or not your kitten insurance covers pre-existing medical conditions will depend on the condition and the level of cover you’ve taken out.

Insure your kitten

If you opted for a lifetime cat insurance policy, and you took it out before your cat was diagnosed, then the pre-existing medical condition should be covered for your cat’s whole life – up to a maximum annual amount, of course.

With annual insurance many chronic medical conditions will be covered when they are first diagnosed, but will become excluded as “pre-existing” conditions when the policy is subsequently renewed.

It’s also important to note that you must declare any pre-existing medical conditions your pet may have when you’re signing up for pet insurance. If you fail to do so you could find that your insurance policy is completely invalidated.

How to find cheaper kitten insurance

First and foremost, cat owners should compare cat insurance quotes from a range of different insurance providers before deciding on which one to go with. That way they can be sure they’re taking out a policy that’s right for their cat at a price that’s right for their budget.

Secondly, opting for a lifetime insurance policy can save you money on your insurance in the long run, even though it will prove more costly initially.

Beyond the insurance policy itself, there are a few other things you can do to increase the likelihood that you’ll find cheaper kitten insurance:

  • Having your kitten microchipped could result in cheaper insurance quotes, since your cat will be easier to track down if it’s ever lost or stolen
  • Allowing your cat to live indoors can sometimes reduce your insurance premiums, since house cats are usually less likely to get injured or lost than an outdoor cat
  • Having your cat neutered or spayed can sometimes reduce the cost of your cat insurance
  • Opting for a higher excess can lower the initial cost of your pet insurance, although it does mean you’ll pay more if you have to make a claim
  • Taking out multi-pet insurance can prove more cost effective than insuring each pet individually.

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