From Dover to Cape May, New Jersey is a densely populated state of cities and beaches. It’s also known for its high living costs and taxes. With the cost of living consistently rising, pet parents are turning to different avenues to help them afford pet care. According to MetLife’s Pet Parents Study, 32% of pet parents are cutting back on groceries, and 34% are cutting back on savings in order to afford pet ownership costs.
What if we told you there was a different way to budget for it all? Enter pet insurance. NJ families with pets can worry less when they have a pet insurance policy to help cover their pet’s medical expenses.
Why Pet Insurance May Be a Good Idea If You Live in Jersey
Pets face harsh city winters and sunny summers on the hot sandy beaches along New Jersey’s shore. Plus, the metropolitan area is home to traffic accidents and contagious pet viruses. Whether your pet gets hypothermia from being in the cold too long or is in a car accident, they may need immediate medical attention. Emergency medical bills can be expensive, though, making pet insurance potentially worth it.
Pet insurance is designed like a subscription service. Pet parents in New Jersey pay a monthly premium for whatever coverage level they choose. When your pet needs medical attention, just take them to any licensed veterinarian or animal hospital for care. Pet owners pay the vet bill, then submit the claim to the insurance provider, who promptly pays you back.
Why Choose a MetLife Pet Insurance Policy?
Looking for the best pet insurance? New Jersey may be small, but pet parents have a number of pet insurance options. Luckily, the Pet Independent Innovation Awards help pet parents sift through the competition. They gave MetLife Pet Insurance the "Pet Insurance of the Year" award in 2022, making it a good choice if you’re looking for New Jersey pet insurance.
The Pet Independent Innovation Awards chose MetLife because of our comprehensive healthcare options. Here are a few ways Jersey pet parents may benefit from a policy.2
- We allow up to three cats or dogs to share a policy and annual deductible.3
- We cover cats and dogs without an upper age limit or breed limit.
- We work with all licensed veterinary providers, animal hospitals, and clinics in the U.S.
- We accept some pre-existing conditions if you’re transferring from a different insurance provider.4
- We process claims and pay you back in an average of 10 days.5
- We have a brief waiting period for accidents and illnesses coverage.6,7
How MetLife Pet Insurance Works for New Jerseyans
Treat your pet
Take your cat or dog to an animal hospital or any licensed vet in New Jersey (or anywhere in the U.S.) for treatment. You’ll need to pay the vet bill, but keep the receipt.
Submit your claim
Gather your vet bill and any medical records and submit them to MetLife.
Receive a Check
MetLife Pet Insurance will look at the information you send over, double check with the vet, and send your reimbursement to you if you qualify.
MetLife Pet Insurance Is Available in the Garden State. See What’s Covered
At MetLife, we recognize that every pet family has different needs. We designed our health insurance policy options to reflect that.
Pet owners can have up to three pets on the same policy with a shared deductible. The policy’s reimbursement percentage, coverage limits, and deductible amounts are also all adjustable. We also offer add-ons like the Wellness Plan that covers more regular veterinarian visits and the Preventive Care Plan that covers parasite prevention and treatment.8
MetLife’s dog insurance and cat insurance provide more details on pet specific coverage. But here’s a coverage overview of what our basic health insurance plans cover in New Jersey and the rest of the country:
- Emergency care
- Accidents and illnesses
- Diagnostic tests
- Alternative and holistic therapies
How Much Is Pet Insurance in NJ?
New Jersey pet insurance premiums don’t have to break the bank. MetLife offers policies that start at $9 a month for cats and $15 a month for dogs.9 However, since MetLife’s policies are highly customizable, the actual cost of your pet health insurance varies from there based on a few factors:
- How many pets on the policy
- If your pet has any pre existing conditions
- The ages, breeds, and genders10 of your pets
- Where you live
- Your policy’s coverage limit
- Your policy’s deductible amount11
- Your policy’s reimbursement rate12
- Any add-ons like our optional Wellness Plan
Pet Insurance Claims We Paid in Jersey
How better to demonstrate the value of pet insurance than by sharing actual cases? Here are a few stories of New Jersey pets who needed medical attention and how MetLife helped make their treatments affordable.13
- About $600 paid — This was for an examination of a small mixed puppy with ataxia from possible THC ingestion outside of Newark, NJ.
- About $700 paid — This helped cover an examination for a 1-year-old mixed dog who swallowed a fish hook outside of Newark, NJ.
- About $800 paid — This assisted with an examination of a 1-year-old exotic cat with gastritis in Hoboken, NJ.
- About $800 paid — This helped with an examination of an 11-year-old cat with a liver mass outside of Morristown, NJ.
- About $4,000 paid — This helped finance a dental appointment for a 1-year-old German shepherd with a chipped tooth outside of Trenton, NJ.
Notable claim in NJ
Aspen is a 4-year-old mixed dog who lives outside of Newark, NJ. Last winter, Aspen was wheezing and having a hard time breathing, so their pet parent brought them to the vet. It turns out Aspen had developed pneumonia.
The veterinarian did an exam and treated them for pneumonia. The exam and treatment cost Aspen’s parents about $2,600. But their MetLife Pet Insurance policy covered about $2,300.
Aspen’s lungs have recovered and they’re back to being the energetic dog they once were.13
Pet Injuries and Illnesses Typically Found in New Jersey
New Jersey is a densely populated state with harsh winters. These two simple facts create situations that may put your pets at risk for a few specific injuries and illnesses.
- Car crashes: New Jersey is known for its traffic, and everyone has strong opinions on the drivers here. Between the city traffic and the winter weather, car crashes are common. The state has taken safety measures and is one of only three states that requires pets to be buckled in.14 While their risk of injury is lowered thanks to seatbelts, dogs and cats can still be severely injured in a car crash.
- Hypothermia: New Jersey’s snow, ice, and freezing temperatures pose a risk to your pets. Kittens and puppies are especially vulnerable to the cold, since they aren’t developed enough to regulate their own temperatures yet. But if you take any pet out in the cold, you’ll need to take precautions to keep them warm and protected. Diagnosing hypothermia involves a number of diagnostics, such as urine, blood count, thyroid tests. Depending on the severity, your pet may need to accept warm fluids through an IV.15
- Canine parvovirus: Parvo is a gastrointestinal virus that’s transmitted in infected feces and has surged in New Jersey lately. Mild cases of parvo usually result in a few days in an animal hospital for intravenous fluids and medicines, while more severe cases result in death. However, there is a vaccine for puppies that pet owners should prioritize and have administered to their loved furry friend.
- Leptospirosis: New Jersey has seen an uptick in cases of this contagious flu-like bacteria recently. Veterinarians will treat leptospirosis with antibiotics and supportive care, but it may cause residual liver and kidney disease in dogs and cats. There is also a vaccine that all pet owners should give their pets.16
- Antifreeze toxicity: This sweet smelling toxin is used to keep cars running at extreme temperatures like in New Jersey’s winters, but can spill and leak in garages. It appeals to cats and dogs alike and can cause severe kidney failure. A lick or two is lethal to cats, and dogs don’t need much more to risk death. There is an antidote, but it’s only effective if it’s administered within 12 hours, so time is of the essence.17
Garden State Plants That Can Be Toxic to Pets?
Adventuring with your furry friend can be fun, but it can also turn sour quickly if they come into contact with a poisonous plant. Dangerous plants can be found anywhere: residential areas, beaches, parks, and of course, the woods. Knowing how to identify toxic plants is a valuable skill that can help protect you and your pets.
New Jersey is home to many toxic plants that can make your cats and dogs sick.18 If your pet ingests or touches any of these plants, watch them carefully for symptoms or take them to the vet. Here are some common poisonous plants pet parents should watch out for in the state.
- Poison ivy
- Poison sumac
Jersey’s Most Adopted Dog Breeds
From smaller suburbs like Montclair to bustling cities like Newark, NJ, residents of the Garden State love their small dogs. According to a study done by Top Agency, the top three dog breeds adopted in New Jersey are toy breeds. It’s no wonder, since these tiny dogs make the perfect companions for apartment living in big cities.
Read on for a list of the top five dog breeds adopted in Jersey and some of the health conditions owners should be on the lookout for:19
- Chihuahua: These yappy and affectionate dogs are predisposed to intervertebral disc disease, heart disease, and upper respiratory infections.
- Yorkshire terrier: These feisty dogs are predisposed to eye conditions, luxating patellas, and autoimmune thyroiditis.
- Shih tzu: These adorable shaggy dogs are predisposed to overheating, ear and eye conditions, and gastritis.
- Labrador retriever: These loveable and energetic dogs are predisposed to tumors, hip dysplasia, and heart disease.
- Mutt: Mutts can be a mix of any dog breeds, and as such, their health is dependent on their genetic makeup.
Find Your New Pet in New Jersey
New Jersey may be small, but there are thousands of dogs and cats just waiting to be adopted in the state. Now that you understand how pet insurance works and know some of the state’s risks to pets, it may be time to take the next step. Adopt your next pet today.
Petfinder lets you search for adoptable cats and adoptable dogs whether you live in Asbury Park, NJ or Lakewood, NJ or elsewhere. No matter where you are in Jersey, Petfinder has a furry friend waiting for you to adopt them. So what are you waiting for? Get scrolling!
If You Live in New Jersey, Consider Insuring Your Pet
Pet parents struggle to afford their veterinarian bills, regardless of where they live. If you identify with this, consider investing in pet insurance in New Jersey. This way you can give your cat or dog the highest care possible, without breaking the bank.
Get a quote for your own customized MetLife policy because pets in New Jersey and everywhere deserve the best.
There is no substantive difference between a MetLife Pet Insurance policy in New Jersey and a MetLife Pet policy in another U.S. State
Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. 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), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.
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 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.
4 We do not cover all preexisting conditions; just those covered by the previous provider. For group policyholders only.
5 Approximately 80% of claims are processed within 10 days or less.
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 Available at an additional cost.
9 Based on an internal sampling of MetLife Pet Insurance data
10 For IAIC policies only
11 Deductible options range include: $0−$750 in $50 increments and $1,000, $1,250, $1,500, $2,000 and $2,500.
12 Reimbursement options include: 70%, 80%, 90% and 100%. In addition, there is also a 50% option for MetGen underwritten policies only and a 65% for IAIC underwritten policies only.
13 All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife internal claims data from October 2022.
14 “Buckle Up Your Pets: It's the Law,” PetCareRx
15 “Hypothermia and Your Pet,” PetHealthNetwork
16 “Leptospirosis,” American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF)
17 “Ethylene Glycol Poisoning in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospitals
18 “5 Poisonous Plants to Watch Out for in New Jersey,” Bustling Nest
19 “Americans Favorite Dog Breeds by State, Ranked,” TOP Data