What's the best type of pet health insurance for my Maine Coon?

The pet health insurance market is complicated. It's hard to know what to choose. Having thought about it, the starting point must be the inherited diseases of this popular cat breed which include spinal muscular atrophy, hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. And these diseases can start quite young. And they can be debilitating.

Maine Coon pet health insurance discussed
Maine Coon pet health insurance discussed. Image: MikeB based in images in the public domain (believed).

I wouldn't expect a Maine Coon cat to be involved in many accidents because they will normally be full-time indoor cats and if and when they go outside it will be under supervision. So, the pet health insurance is mainly about managing these inherited health conditions.

Some pros and cons of pet health insurance.

Four types

There are four types of cat health insurance namely accident only, time-limited, maximum benefit and lifetime.


I will rule out accident only for the reason stated above. 

Time limited

"Time-limited" covers illnesses as well as accidents but for a limited amount of time normally 12 months and you can only claim once for a particular illness or condition. If it returns after the 12-month period or if you use up the amount of money for this condition before the 12-month period has elapsed, you won't be covered. This would seem to be inappropriate for the Maine Coon cat because of potential ongoing health issues which are not time limited except by death.

Maximum benefit

Maximum benefit is described as being useful for a cat that has a chronic persistent illness. That seems to hit the nail on the head. It covers illnesses and accidents up to a maximum amount per condition and there is no time limit on how long you can claim for. This is my preferred option for the Maine Coon cat. It should be slightly less expensive than the lifetime cover which is the most expensive type of policy.


Lifetime policies cover cats for a whole range of possibilities including illnesses, accidents or conditions such as the inherited conditions mentioned. And you are covered throughout the lifetime of the policy which is renewed annually.

And as the Maine Coon is likely to develop an ongoing condition and you want to be covered for that condition on an ongoing basis you will need to renew the policy.

The weakness for me in this option is that the insurance company can hike up the insurance premiums when the policy is renewed. And therefore, if you make a lot of claims and/or an expensive claim in one year, I can foresee the company putting up the price of the premiums for the following year.

Let's remember that insurance companies never make a loss. This is because they always have the option to adjust the premiums upwards. If they make a mistake on assessing the level of premium payments which doesn't provide them with a sufficient profit, they can adjust premiums (payments) upwards as needed.

Therefore, I would be reluctant to pay for this most expensive form of pet health insurance for a Maine Coon cat.


There is actually fifth option which I think is the best namely you run your own health insurance policy. This is very simple. You simply save an amount of money which is similar to that which you would pay in terms of premium payments on the maximum benefit form of pet health insurance referred to above.

Pet savings account to pay for self-insurance.

You put the money into a savings account, and you pay out as and when required for veterinary bills. What's the advantage of this? You are managing it and therefore you do not pay insurance company employees to manage the policy. These are expensive individuals on good salaries which obviously pushes up the price of the premium.

Self-insurance is the best pet insurance.

What are the disadvantages of this form of self-help insurance? It requires self-discipline! And, obviously, it takes a little while to save up enough money to pay the first veterinary bill that might come along. So, for a while, say about 12 months, you don't have any savings. Nonetheless, personally I would recommend it because also personally I don't trust insurance companies!


As to the cost of the premium payments, I would be reluctant to put a figure on them. They will vary quite widely and there are other factors involved such as where you live and the age of your cat. The best thing probably is to go for one of those compare the market websites. But they might be around $50 per month. I have seen ten times that figure. Don't quote me please!

The three Rs of pet insurance: “how can we refuse, recoup or reduce this claim”.

I use these compare the market websites to pick out the cheapest car insurance. I change my car insurance every year and pick up cheapest every year which saves me hundreds of pounds annually I believe.


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