Pet ownership costs are on the rise in New York and across the country. The average U.S. annual cost of routine veterinary visits for just one dog per home rose $138 from 2020 to 2022. It rose $132 for homes with cats.3 And those numbers don’t include unplanned visits. So if you’re stressed about vet bills piling up, a pet insurance policy can help relieve some of the financial burden.
Pet insurance works by reimbursing you for your vet bills, helping to take some of the load off your wallet. For a monthly fee, a MetLife Pet Insurance policy may cover costs for things like routine vet visits, parasite prevention, accidents, and illnesses.2 From Amherst to Plattsburgh, Peekskill to Montauk, pet parents across the Empire State are looking for the best pet insurance. Here’s the lowdown on what you need to know about pet insurance in NYC and the rest of New York State.
Why Pet Insurance Is a Good Idea If You Live in New York
New York is known for its several lakes and streams, the Adirondack and Catskill Mountains, winters that can drag on for months, and a city that never sleeps. Depending on where you live and what you like to do, your dog or cat can be exposed to many different elements, wild animals, and parasites that can affect their health and well-being.
Pet insurance plans may help reduce vet expenses when your pet’s health is affected. So if your Labrador retriever hurts their leg hiking with you, your beagle decides to get a little too adventurous in the backyard and eats some milkweed, or your Westie picks up garbage off one of the streets in the five boroughs, you may not have to worry about footing the entire vet bill.
Why Choose a MetLife Pet Insurance Policy?
Whether you live in the Big Apple or near an apple orchard upstate, looking for the best pet insurance in New York can drum up a lot of questions around coverage and options. MetLife Pet Insurance, winner of the “Pet Insurance of the Year” Award in 2022, can be a great choice. Here are some of the things that MetLife pet parents love:
- We don’t have any breed exclusions in our policies.
- There’s no pet age limit.
- We have the only family plan that allows up to three pets to share the same policy with one deductible.4
- You can customize your coverage to fit your needs.
- We have some of the shortest wait periods4,5 for accident and illness coverage.6
- Coverage for pre-existing conditions is continued when you switch from another provider.7
- You can use any licensed vet in the U.S. with our policies.
How MetLife Pet Insurance Works for New Yorkers
Unlike human insurance, there’s no such thing as “out-of-network” providers. We work with any licensed veterinarian in the state of New York. Emergency clinics and specialists are part of the mix too!
MetLife Pet Insurance works through reimbursements. So you’ll pay your vet bill first, then send us your claim, the invoice, and any relevant vet records needed to process your claim.
We’ll check with your vet to make sure we have everything needed to process your claim. The process takes around 10 days,8 so you’ll get money back in your pocket quickly.
MetLife Pet Insurance Is Available in New York. See What’s Covered
MetLife works hard to provide plenty of coverage, and limit exclusions as much as possible. Your exact coverage depends on the policy you choose, but here are some things we routinely cover:
- Exam fees
- Holistic care and alternative therapies
- Diagnostic tests
- Emergency care
Some policy holders will add optional preventative care coverage that includes parasite prevention and spay/neuter services. Our Coverage and Exclusions page provides a more thorough list of what’s covered.
How Much Is Pet Insurance in New York?
A MetLife Pet Insurance policy can cost as little as $9 a month for cats and $15 a month for dogs, but your exact monthly premium will depend on where you live and a few other factors.8
You may pay more for pet insurance if you live in or near a big city, like New York City or Buffalo, than you would if you live in a smaller town, like Lowville. Your pet’s age, breed, gender,9 and the type of coverage you choose will also impact your pet insurance premium. Check out our “How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost?” page for more information or get a free quote today.
Pet Insurance Claims We Paid in New York
Whether it’s big or small, you can rest easier knowing that MetLife protects your pet and your wallet. Here are just a handful of the claims we recently paid to pet parents in New York10:
- More than $9,700 paid — For an exam for hepatopathy for an 8-year-old mixed breed dog outside of Newburgh.
- More than $3,300 paid — To help pay for a surgery for cruciate rupture for an 11-year-old mixed breed dog in Brooklyn.
- About $1,200 paid — For a gastroenteritis exam for a 2-year-old soft coated Wheaten terrier in NYC.
- About $400 paid — This covered a routine neutering procedure for a less than 1-year-old mixed breed dog in Plainview.
- About $1,300 paid — This helped pay for a routine teeth cleaning procedure for a 6-year-old mixed breed dog in Babylon.
“Emergency Treatment” – Notable NYS Claim
An 8-year-old puggle named Biscuit from Albany was quickly taken to the vet after showing signs of distress. She was thoroughly examined and diagnosed with hemoabdomen. Biscuit was immediately treated for the internal bleeding that would have cost her parents close to $600, but thanks to their dog insurance policy, they were reimbursed over $530.10
Pet Injuries and Illnesses Typically Found in NYC and NYS
New York is a large state with geography that varies between dense cities and dense forests, each bringing their own challenges for pet owners. Here are some injuries and illnesses that may result in a trip to the vet:
- Antifreeze and de-icer poisoning: During the colder months, toxic chemicals used to help melt ice on roads, walkways, driveways, and cars can be ingested by dogs through eating snow, drinking from puddles, or licking their paws and result in poisoning.11
- Hypothermia and frostbite: New York is known for its longer, cold winters. Pets that are exposed to frigid temperatures and wet snow or ice for long periods of time can develop hypothermia or frostbite.11
- Rabies: Wild animals like raccoons, skunks, and foxes can carry rabies. If your curious or protective furry friend gets bitten by a rabid wild animal, they may be exposed to rabies, get injured, or possibly worse.12
- Tick-borne diseases: With all of the woods, open fields, and grassy areas of Upstate NY, there are countless opportunities for your dog or cat to be possibly bitten by a tick and risk contracting a tick-borne disease.13
New York Plants That Can Be Poisonous to Pets
While NYC may not be covered in greenery, the rest of the state makes up for it. As a pet parent, it’s important to know which plants are poisonous for cats and dogs. Here are some that you’ll likely come across in New York that could require an emergency vet visit:
- Buttercup flowers
- Crabapples (the leaves, stems and seeds)
- English ivy (along with other ivy variations)
- Skunk cabbage
Note: ASPCA Animal Poison Control has an extensive list of toxic plants.14
Most Popular Dog Breeds in New York
With a super friendly disposition, plenty of energy for playing, and a love of swimming in the many streams and lakes the state offers, it’s easy to see why the most popular adopted dog breed in New York is the Labrador Retriever.15 But if you look closer, you’ll see that many New Yorkers love a small dog, which is perfect if you live in New York City. Here are the top five adopted dog breeds in New York and some common health problems they face:
- Labrador retriever: Hip dysplasia, obesity, and allergies
- Chihuahua: Spinal disorders, heart disease, and atopic dermatitis
- Mutt: Potential health problems vary and depend on the breed mix
- Shih tzu: Ear infections, urinary tract infections, and gastritis
- Yorkshire terrier: Eye problems, dislocated kneecaps, and thyroid conditions
Adoptable Dogs and Cats in New York
Now that you know how you can better protect your dog or cat in New York, find the right furry friend for you! Visit PetFinder to look for adoptable dogs and adoptable cats in the state.
If You Live in New York, Consider Insuring Your Pet
Protecting your dog or cat will always be on your mind, whether it's from wild animals, broken glass, or anything else. So if you’re looking for the best pet insurance in NYC, or anywhere in the rest of the empire state, MetLife Pet Insurance may be able to help you avoid paying full price for those pesky vet bills. Get your free quote today.
There is no substantive difference between a MetLife Pet Insurance policy in New York 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 “Pet ownership rate stabilizes as spending increases,” American Veterinary Medical Association
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 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.
6 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.
7 We do not cover all pre-existing conditions; just those covered by the previous provider. For group policyholders only.
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 “Cold weather animal safety,” American Veterinary Medical Association
12 “New guidance for pets exposed to rabies,” American Veterinary Medical Association
13 “Disease risks for dogs in social settings,” American Veterinary Medical Association
14 “Poisonous Plants,” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
15 “Americans Favorite Dog Breeds by State, Ranked,” Top Agency