STATES

Award-Winning Pet Insurance for Dogs and Cats in Florida1

Five Minutes Dec 28, 2022
A Jack Russell with their pet parent sitting on a sandy Florida beach. A Jack Russell with their pet parent sitting on a sandy Florida beach.

Florida is more than just a tropical vacation destination or a second home for snowbirds. The Sunshine State is a home for many pet parents and their cats and dogs.

Whether you live in Pensacola, Tallahassee, or Miami, you should know some of the major risks to pets in the state. Once you’ve read up on keeping your pets safe, you might consider investing in pet insurance. Florida pet parents will appreciate that an insurance policy helps ensure their pets’ healthcare is more affordable.

Why Pet Insurance May Be a Good Idea If You Live in Florida

What do alligators, bufo toads, snakes, spiders, jellyfish, geckos, fire ants, and panthers all have in common? One encounter with any of these wild Florida creatures can send your domestic cat or dog right to the animal hospital.

Florida is known for its biodiversity. While this makes the state a beautiful place to live, it also means your pets are exposed to a variety of wildlife and plants, many of which are dangerous. Between the natural biodiversity and hurricane season, Florida keeps pet parents on their toes.

Dogs and cats are also predisposed to a variety of health conditions, depending on their genetic makeup. Because of this, it’s likely your pet will need some sort of medical care over their lifetime. You may get lucky with something minor, but you could also be hit with a major bill for anything from a heart condition to plant toxicity. This is where pet insurance comes in.

Pet insurance is set up so pet parents pay a small monthly fee for coverage. You can then take your pet to be treated by any licensed veterinarian when a medical scare hits. You’ll pay the bill, but submit the claim for reimbursement. This helps ensure owners are covered when their furry loved one needs care.

Why Choose a Metlife Pet Insurance Policy?

Florida may be a dangerous state for pets, but it doesn’t have to hurt your wallet, especially if you have a MetLife Pet Insurance Policy. The 2022 Pet Independent Innovation Awards named MetLife Pet Insurance the "Pet Insurance of the Year" for a number of reasons.

Here are a few things we do for pet parents in Florida and across the country:2

  • Process and reimburse most claims in less than 10 days 3
  • Cover dogs and cats of all ages and breeds
  • Allow up to three cats or dogs (or a mix) on the same policy to share a deductible 4
  • Accept pre-existing conditions if you’re transferring from another pet insurance 5
  • Offer a short waiting period for accidents and illnesses coverage 6,7
  • Work with all licensed veterinary providers in the U.S.

How MetLife Pet Insurance Works for Floridians

MetLife Pet Insurance is Available in the Sunshine State. See What’s Covered

MetLife Pet Insurance policies bend to fit your lifestyle. Whether you go for the standard pet insurance policy or the extensive policy, you can customize depending on your pets’ needs. You could have up to three pets on the same policy, as well as adjust your limits, deductibles, and reimbursement rates.

You can read our dog insurance and cat insurance pages to understand pet specific coverage, but here are a few of the basics that every MetLife Pet Insurance standard policy covers:

  • Emergency care
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasounds
  • Diagnostic tests
  • Prescription medications
  • Hospitalizations
  • Accidents and illnesses
  • Surgeries
  • Examinations
  • Holistic treatments

How Much Is Pet Insurance in Florida?

The cost of pet insurance doesn’t have to be expensive. MetLife’s policies start at $9 a month for cats and $15 a month for dogs.8 From there, you have space to customize your coverage limit, deductible, and reimbursement rate, all of which will affect the price.

Depending on where you live in Florida, your overall cost may vary. A policy for a family from Orlando will typically cost more than one for a family from Mount Dora due to the prices vets in the bigger city charge. Your price will also be determined by how many pets you have on the policy along with your pets’ breeds, ages, and genders9.

Pet Insurance Claims We Paid in Florida

The best way to demonstrate the benefits of having pet insurance is to show how it’s helped pet parents across the Alligator State. Here are some examples of pet emergencies, hospitalizations, and treatments, as well as what MetLife paid out.10 If you have a cat or dog, any of these situations could have been you.

  • About $4,000 paid – A hospitalization for a mixed puppy who ingested a cord just outside of Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • About $2,000 paid – A hospitalization for a poodle puppy who had parvovirus near Palm Beach, FL.
  • About $1,300 paid – An examination for a 4-year-old cat who had a dermal cyst in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • About $800 paid – An examination for a kitten with a bite wound in Hollywood, FL.
  • About $400 paid – Medication for an 11-year-old mixed dog with osteoarthritis in Naples, FL.

Notable Claim in the Everglade State

Ginger, a dachshund puppy from Miami, got really excited when she saw a toad hopping through her backyard one night. The dog chased the toad and licked it before it hopped back to the swamp, where it came from.

The toad was a bufo toad, known for causing seizures, arrhythmias, and death in pets in sometimes mere minutes.11 Ginger’s owners saw the whole thing happen and rushed the little pup to the vet, where she was treated. The hospitalization and treatment cost a whopping $900, but MetLife reimbursed over $600.

Ginger recovered nicely, but is no longer allowed to play in the backyard after dark when the toads are the most active.10

Pet Injuries and Illnesses Typically Found in Florida

The Sunshine State is beautiful, but rife with danger for your pets. ForeverVets, a Florida veterinary group, shared how Florida is home to many dangerous creatures, any of which could hurt your pet.12 Plus, two viruses have been running rampant through Florida dogs over the past few years.

Here are a few injuries and illnesses Florida pet parents should watch out for.

  • Kennel cough: Also known as Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease (CIRDC), this is a highly contagious affliction. While most infections are mild, dogs with severe cases may need medication, fluids, or even X-rays to make sure nothing else is wrong. The best way to prevent CIRDC is to keep your dog current on all their vaccines.
  • Parvo: Canine parvovirus (CPV) is dangerous and affects puppies' gastrointestinal systems. The virus is transmitted through infected poop and can survive on surfaces up to a year. Dogs diagnosed with parvo usually spend a few days in the animal hospital with an IV to administer fluids and medications. There is a parvo vaccine for puppies.
  • Bufo toad toxicity: Bufo toads or cane toads have toxins in their skin that can cause heart arrhythmias, seizures, and even death.
  • Snake bites: Coral Snakes, cottonmouths, rattlesnakes, and copperheads all call the Sunshine State home. Each of these snakes has toxins that may harm your pet. If your dog is bitten by a snake (or bites one), take them to the vet for immediate attention.
  • Florida panther attacks: These South Florida wildcats are known for attacking and sometimes killing livestock and pets. If your pet has a run-in with a panther, they’ll probably need serious medical attention.
  • Crocodile and alligator attacks: Crocodiles and alligators lurk in the swamps of South Florida. Similar to panthers, these creatures can severely injure or even kill your pet.
  • Caterpillar toxicity: Florida has a variety of stinging caterpillars. These tiny creatures have venomous spines that can irritate dogs’ mouths and leave nasty stings.

Plants in Florida That Can Be Poisonous to Pets

From the subtropical humid Tallahassee in North Florida to the full blown tropical city of Jupiter in South Florida, the state is known for its diverse plant life. However, the subtropical and tropical climates lend themselves to some more toxic flora. Because of this, it’s crucial that pet-owning Floridians keep a close eye whenever their dogs or cats are outdoors.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) provides a comprehensive list of plants toxic to dogs and cats.13 If your pet does come into contact with any of these plants, consider taking them to the vet.

Here’s a list of some common Florida plants that can be toxic to cats and dogs:

  • Sago palms
  • Florida arrowroot
  • Elephant ear
  • Lilies
  • Foxglove
  • Oleander
  • Anger trumpet
  • Kalanchoe

Most Popular Dog Breeds in Florida

Florida pet parents take care of a wide variety of dog breeds. But there are five dog breeds Floridians are known to love. According to a Top Agency study, these are the five dogs that get adopted the most in Florida.14 We also included a few health conditions each breed is predisposed to.

  1. Chihuahua: This sassy breed is predisposed to intervertebral disc disease, upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections, and periodontal disease
  2. Pit bull: This loyal breed is prone to allergies, congenital heart disease, hip dysplasia, and hypothyroidism
  3. Labrador retriever: This fun-loving breed is prone to obesity, eye conditions, Osteochondritis Dissecans, tumors, and heart disease
  4. Mutt: Mutts can be predisposed to a variety of illnesses, depending on which breeds  their genes come from.
  5. Yorkshire terrier: Yorkies are predisposed to eye conditions, luxating patella, periodontal disease, and Legg-Calve-Perthes disease

Adopt Your Next Pet in The Orange State

Now that you know the basics of pet dangers, healthcare, and health insurance in the state, it may be time for you to take the leap. Become a pet parent today. Florida has so many cats and dogs just waiting to be adopted into loving homes.

Use Petfinder’s handy tool to find your next pet. Browse through nearly 3,000 adoptable dogs and adoptable cats in the sunny state.

If You Live in Florida, Consider Insuring Your Pet

You may be a retiree with a few cats or a surfer who’s enjoying the beaches with their puppy. Whatever your lifestyle, it’s also your pet’s. Whether you’re a permanent resident or you’re a snowbird, your pets are exposed to risks in the Sunshine State all the time.

Do you want assurance that you can afford the best care for your cats and dogs, no matter what happens? Invest in the best pet insurance. Florida pet parents shouldn’t have to choose between paying their pet’s vet bills and paying other bills. Get your quote for MetLife Pet Insurance today.

There is no substantive difference between a MetLife Pet Insurance policy in Florida and a MetLife Pet policy in another U.S. State

1 “2022 Pet Insurance of the Year Award” Winners, Pet Independent Innovation Awards

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC.

3 Approximately 80% of claims are processed within 10 days or less.

4 Based on a January 2022 review of publicly available summary information about competitors’ offerings. Competitors did not furnish copies of their policies for review. If you have questions about a particular competitor’s policy or coverage, please contact them or their representative directly.

5 We do not cover all pre-existing conditions; just those covered by the previous provider.

6 Wait period for accident coverage is midnight EST compared to 2 to 15 days for competitor's; wait period for illness coverage is 14 days compared to 14 to 30 days for competitor's, based on a January 2021 review of publicly available summary information about competitor's offerings.

7 Accident coverage and Preventive Care coverage (for those who select it) begins on the effective date of your policy. Illness coverage begins 14 days later.

8 Based on an internal sampling of MetLife Pet Insurance data

9 For IAIC policies only

10 All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife internal claims data from October 2022.

11 “Toad Poisoning in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals

12 “Florida Wildlife That’s Dangerous To Pets,” ForeverVets

13 “Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants List,” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

14 “Americans Favorite Dog Breeds by State, Ranked,” TOP Data.

Coverage underwritten and issued by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 11333 N Scottsdale Rd, Ste 160, Scottsdale, AZ 85254 or Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886. Coverage subject to restrictions, exclusions and limitations. Application is subject to underwriting review. See policy or contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC for details. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator for this coverage. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois).

Disclosure for Maine Residents

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