Bengal cats look like tiny tigers and are gaining popularity worldwide. Although they look wild and exotic, they make excellent family pets. But the best pet insurance policy for Bengal cats may not be the same as for other cat breeds. That’s why we’ve created this insurance guide for Bengals.
This breed ranges in height from 13-16 inches and weighs 8-20 or more pounds. No matter the popularity or cat size, this breed is susceptible to accidents and illness like any other feline, making pet insurance an excellent investment.
All cats are unique and pose various health concerns throughout their lifespan, and their breed can impact this. We’ve compiled a list of health concerns for Bengals and insurance options to give you choices on how to fit an insurance plan for your cat into your budget.
At A Glance
Note: Clicking the above links take you to each company’s website to learn more and get a quote. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
- At A Glance
- Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
- Who Offers The Best Cat Insurance Policy?
- Considerations When Choosing An Insurer
- Common Health Issues In Bengal Cats
- How To Save Money On Pet Insurance
- Final Thoughts
Is Pet Insurance Worth It?
According to NAPHIA (North American Pet Health Insurance Association), the average monthly premium for an accident and illness insurance policy in the U.S. in 2022 was $32.25 for cats. If this is something you can afford, then we think pet insurance is completely worth it. And, keep in mind that your price will vary from this average, so be sure to get your own quotes from multiple companies. Not only does pet insurance allow you to seek out the best medical treatment for your cat, but it also helps you budget your finances.
If the thought of a cat emergency resulting in hundreds or even thousands of dollars causes you stress, then pet insurance may be beneficial to you. All cats are vulnerable to accidents and illnesses. The important thing to remember is that you must sign up for pet insurance before your cat experiences an emergency or is diagnosed with a chronic condition if you wish to be covered.
Additionally, pet insurance doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions. So the sooner you sign your cat up for a policy, the less likely you are to be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition exclusion.
Who Offers The Best Cat Insurance Policy?
Below are our top picks for pet insurance for Bengal cats based on their breed-specific needs.
Best Overall Pet Insurance
- Extensive coverage
- Some of the lowest prices
- No age limits or restrictions
- Detailed dental coverage
Pets Best is the best pet insurance for Bengal cats because of its lower average premium prices, absence of a maximum age limit for enrollment, shorter hip dysplasia waiting period (only 14 days), and wide range of plan customization options. There are also fewer exclusions for Pets Best in comparison to many other companies, including more detailed dental coverage and optional add-on wellness plans.
Best Pet Insurance For Older Cats
- No age limits or restrictions
- Diminishing deductible for healthy pets
- Offers 100% reimbursement
- Fast claim processing
Best Wellness Coverage Offered By An Insurance Provider
- Three optional wellness plans
- Diminishing deductible for healthy pets
- Covers exam fees
- Some curable pre-existing conditions are eligible for coverage
Additional Options We Recommend
- Unlimited payouts for all plans
- Among the fastest claim processing
- High customer satisfaction
- Affordable coverage for unlimited payouts
- Per-incident deductible
- No transaction or one-time fees
- Can pay the vet directly through Trupanion Express
- 90% reimbursement and unlimited payouts for all plans
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)-driven claims process allows claim processing within seconds
- Competitive pricing
- Ability to bundle with other insurance products
- No available in all 50 state
Considerations When Choosing An Insurer
What Are Waiting Periods?
Waiting periods are a short length of time at the beginning of a new policy until your pet’s health condition is eligible for reimbursement. Remember, pre-existing conditions and accidents and illnesses that are diagnosed or show symptoms during the waiting period are excluded from coverage. The average waiting period for accidents is less than five days and for illnesses is 14 days, but can vary by company.
Are There Age Restrictions For Pet Insurance?
Pet insurance companies typically have minimum age requirements (generally between six and eight weeks old) before allowing you to enroll your cat. There are also a few companies that have maximum age restrictions which cap the age at which you can sign up your older cat (14 years old is the most common). Additionally, some companies exclude specific health conditions from coverage if your cat is enrolled beyond a certain age (e.g., hip dysplasia, dental developmental abnormalities, etc.).
What Types Of Pet Insurance Coverage Is Available?
There are two different types of insurance coverage for you to choose from:
- Accident & Illness – These are the most popular type of pet insurance policy because it covers both accidents (e.g., broken bones, foreign body ingestion, etc.) and illnesses (e.g., cancer, diabetes, FIV, etc.), including the most unexpected veterinary costs. Since pre-existing conditions are not covered by any pet insurance companies, it can be financially helpful to enroll in a policy while your cat is still younger.
- Accident-Only – These policies only cover expenses associated with accidents (most sudden physical injuries). Accident-only plans are often cheaper than the more comprehensive accident and illness policies. Owners whose cats have several pre-existing conditions might find this to be a better option.
Some companies also offer wellness plans during the enrollment process to cover preventive health care, including heartworm and flea/tick prevention, dental cleanings, vaccinations, and routine checkups. But this add-on coverage isn’t technically an insurance product and comes with an additional fee. There are also a few companies that offer it separate from an insurance policy.
Premium Is Determined By The Deductible, Reimbursement & Payout Options
The premium is the amount charged by the insurance company that is normally billed monthly or annually to cover your Bengal’s pet insurance policy. Additional transaction fees are tacked on by some companies when you opt to pay on a monthly basis, so if you can budget to pay the bill once each year, you can often save a little on your annual total bill.
Breed (or mix), location, age, gender, pre-existing conditions, deductible, reimbursement percentage, and payout are among the factors that are used to calculate your premium. Now, you know your zip code and that you have a Bengal, their gender, approximate age, and medical history. But what do you need to understand to make the right choices when it comes to the deductible, reimbursement, and payout?
- Deductible – The amount of money you are responsible for paying before the provider will start considering reimbursing you for vet expenses. This amount normally resets every annual policy period (this is based on your date of enrollment – not a calendar year) and is referred to as a per-year deductible. However, a few companies have per-incident deductibles instead. In this case, you must pay up to this amount for each new condition experienced by your pet. Companies all have their own unique way of thinking about this, so make sure you understand your policy’s fine details. The difference between an annual and per-incident deductible can vastly change the amount of money you’re expected to pay before coverage and reimbursement start to kick in, especially for chronic conditions.
- Reimbursement – This is the percentage of any given claim that you’re eligible to receive repayment for after you’ve met your deductible. 70%, 80%, and 90% are the reimbursement options you will see most often, but you may see different options based on the company as well as your pet’s age and location.
- Payout – This is the maximum amount a company will reimburse you during a given policy period. While you will likely have a lower premium to pay if you select a low payout limit, this also means that you may be responsible for more costs if your animal needs costly vet treatment.
Most companies allow you to customize your deductible, reimbursement, and payout to find a premium that fits your budget. But, it is a balancing act to ensure it will also cover your biggest concerns. If you are seeking a lower premium, you might want to choose a plan with a high deductible and reimbursement percentage but a low payout. However, it’s crucial to find a balance between your budget and the worst-case situation if your Bengal’s health fails and you are stuck paying expensive vet bills. Facing a life or death decision due to financial concerns (aka economic euthanasia) is a scenario we never wish for our readers.
What Are Pet Insurance Exclusions?
Exclusions are listed in your policy and outline the items not covered by your provider. Examples of exclusions include pre-existing conditions, musculoskeletal disorders, specific dental treatment, hereditary disorders, and more.
The most likely and substantial concern for Bengals is that a few companies have additional waiting periods for orthopedic conditions, such as hip dysplasia. Because Bengal cats have a high risk of hip dysplasia, you’ll want to read the policy carefully to ensure you understand and are okay with any additional restrictions regarding this condition.
Common Health Issues In Bengal Cats
Let’s review some common health issues that Bengal cats are prone to.
Hip dysplasia is most commonly diagnosed in larger cat breeds, including Bengals. The specific cause of feline hip dysplasia has yet to be identified, although many think there is a genetic component.
Prevention and treatment options for feline hip dysplasia are limited. The best thing you can do is ensure your cat isn’t overweight and keep their hip muscles strong. You can assist with this by having your cat jump up on a counter to get their food or hide the food under a sofa, so your cat has to crouch down to find it.
Some vets recommend anti-inflammatory medication and dietary supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin, both of which help strengthen cats’ connective tissues. Surgery is an option in advanced hip dysplasia cases, including a femoral head and neck excision and micro total hip replacement. Feline hip dysplasia surgery costs can run from $1,500 up to $12,000 depending on the type of surgery recommended by the vet and if both sides require treatment.
Arthritis is when one or more joints suffer from inflammation and degeneration. Cats with arthritis may experience joint pain and inflammation that impact their daily lives.
To diagnose arthritis, a vet will conduct an examination, palpate your cat’s joints to determine areas of pain and their intensity, and take X-rays. Approximately 90% of cats ten years or older will experience arthritis in at least one joint.
Your vet may recommend a new diet to help your cat maintain a normal weight. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to help with pain management. Joint disease supplements may also be administered to support overall joint health. Acupuncture can also aid in general pain relief. All of these items can cost several hundreds of dollars or more a year.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most commonly diagnosed heart disease in cats. HCM causes the heart walls to thicken, decreasing the heart’s efficiency and sometimes creating issues in other areas of the body.
The cause of HCM is unknown, but it is more prevalent in some breeds, including the Bengal, suggesting that genetics play a role. Diagnosis consists of an echocardiogram and ruling out high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism. Additional tests may be recommended by your vet, including chest radiographs and electrocardiography.
Treatment consists of medication administered orally or by injection. Diagnosis can be up to $1,500 and medication can cost $300 each month.
How To Save Money On Pet Insurance
There are a couple of ways you could save money on pet insurance for your Bengal.
Pet insurance premiums can typically be paid either monthly or annually. If you opt to pay monthly, a transaction fee of $1 or $2 may be added to each bill. However, if you choose to pay annually, the companies often waive this transaction fee. Therefore, if you pay your premium annually, you might be able to save $12-$24 each year.
Insurance companies may offer multiple pet discounts to owners who take out several policies for their household’s cats and dogs. Some companies offer up to a 10% discount on each pet’s policy, which could save you quite a bit of money.
Pet insurance premiums can deter some parents from purchasing a policy for their cat, but the benefits generally outweigh the cost. Knowing that if your cat experiences an emergency, you’ll have financial assistance with your cat insurance policy can provide you peace of mind. What a relief to know that you’ll never be faced with choosing between your feline’s health (or life) and your bank account.
The most important thing to remember is to read the fine print in your policy to ensure you completely understand the coverage and exclusions before you sign up. Contact the pet insurance company if you have questions or need clarification.