They say Virginia is for lovers. If you’re one of the Commonwealth’s millions of pet parents, then you know that there’s a lot of love to go around. But do you know how to keep your furry family safe? Whether you walk your dog down Alexandria’s cobbled streets or share a cozy apartment with your kitties in Richmond, it’s can be a good idea to consider investing in pet insurance.
According to MetLife’s Pet Parent Pulse Survey, more than half of all pet parents worry about being able to provide for their fuzzy companions due to the rising cost of food, treats, and veterinarian bills. MetLife’s award-winning pet insurance1 is designed by pet lovers, for pet lovers. Keep reading to see how MetLife Pet Insurance can help you give your family the care they deserve.
Protect your Pets
Why Pet Insurance May Be a Good Idea if You Live in Virginia
Whether you’re a dog sniffing out the Blue Mountains or a cat lounging in a trendy Norfolk cafe, you couldn’t ask for a better home than the “Old Dominion.” But life in Virginia comes with its own hazards. Outdoor pets may be at risk of exposure to disease from ticks, and even indoor animals could suffer injury during hurricane season.
It’s potential health risks like these that can make pet insurance worth it for so many owners. Accidents and illnesses are an unavoidable part of life, and emergency vet bills can cost you thousands of dollars. For a low monthly fee, an insurance plan could help reimburse you for covered expenses.2 That way, your pets can be cared for without breaking the bank.
Why Choose a MetLife Pet Insurance Policy?
Virginians have plenty of options when it comes to caring for their pets. So, what can make MetLife Pet a great option?
MetLife was named “Pet Insurance of the Year” in the 2022 Pet Independent Innovation Awards. Some things pet parents may like about MetLife Pet include that:
- Pet insurance plans start as low as $9 per month for a cat and $15 per month for a dog.3
- Up to three cats and/or dogs can be covered under the same plan with a single deductible.4
- MetLife Pet Insurance covers all licensed vets in the U.S.
- There are no breed exclusions or age limits for coverage.
- Claims are typically processed and reimbursed within 10 days.5
- No previous vet records are required when you join.
How MetLife Pet Insurance Works in Virginia
Visit a vet you trust
Stay with your current vet or choose a new one! We provide reimbursement for covered expenses performed by all licensed vets, clinics, and animal hospitals in Virginia and the rest of the United States.
Send us your bill
Once we get a copy of your vet bill and medical records, we’ll start processing your claim.
Get reimbursed fast
Once we’ve reviewed your claim, expect reimbursement for covered expenses in under 2 weeks!2,5
MetLife Pet Insurance Is Available in the Commonwealth. See What’s Covered
Whether it’s dog insurance or cat insurance, MetLife gives you the flexibility to create the plan that’s right for your pets.6 Add-ons like our Wellness Plan and Preventive Care Plan offer coverage for routine checkups as well as parasite and disease prevention.7 Here’s what’s typically included even before you select add-ons:
- Accidents and illnesses
- Emergency care
- Diagnostic tests (bloodwork, X-rays, etc.)
- Holistic care and therapy
See the list of MetLife Pet Insurance coverage and exclusions for full details.
How Much Is Pet Insurance in Virginia?
At MetLife we pride ourselves on the affordability of our plans. Premiums can start at $9 per cat and $15 per dog.3 There are other factors that might impact what you pay per month to keep your pets covered.
For more information, check out “How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost” or get a free quote in just a few steps.
Pet Insurance Claims We Paid in Virginia
Want a clearer picture of what to expect from MetLife Pet Insurance? Here’s a handful of claims that we reimbursed across the state:8
- More than $5,300 paid — A hemoabdomen exam for a 1-year-old Australian cattle dog got coverage just outside of Arlington, VA.
- About $500 paid — This helped pay for a routine teeth cleaning for a 2-year-old domestic long hair cat in Vienna, VA.
- About $360 paid — This assisted payment for a routine exam for a beagle puppy in Arlington, VA.
- About $100 paid — An emergency exam after a 2-year-old mixed pup in Alexandria who ingested rodenticide got covered.
- About $105 paid — This assisted the cost of flea and tick medicine for an 8-year-old Chihuahua in Chesapeake, VA.
Notable claim in Virginia
Minx was still just a kitten when she began suffering from vomiting and diarrhea — both of which can be life-threatening to a newborn. Worried, her owners in Fairfax brought Minx to a vet they trusted. After a battery of tests, Minx was diagnosed with gastroenteritis — a condition that can easily be treated. Without cat insurance the tests might have cost $1000 or more, but with MetLife, Minx’s parents were reimbursed more than $800.8
Pet Injuries and Illnesses Typically Found in Virginia
From the wild beauty of the Appalachian Trail to Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia isn’t short on natural beauty. Along the way there are some common risks to pets that their parents should be aware of:
- Ticks: Virginia’s many hiking trails, campgrounds, and state parks make for a gorgeous time outdoors. But they’re also home to ticks, which in turn can carry diseases that might harm your pet. Lyme’s disease is the most common risk, which has been known to cause paralysis. It’s recommended to practice tick prevention if you like to bring your dog on walks in the great outdoors.9
- Venomous snakes: Both the copperhead and the cottonmouth snake can be found in Virginia, as well as the endangered timber rattlesnake. The venom from these serpents can cause extreme pain and even death, so be careful where you tread when out with your pooch!10
- Black bears: Less aggressive than the grizzly, black bears are still nothing to sneeze at. These 400 lb. animals are armed with enormous claws and powerful jaws. They aren’t afraid to defend themselves if frightened by a dog or hiker, especially if the bear has cubs nearby. With up to 20,000 black bears throughout the state of Virginia, encountering one might be more likely than you think.11
- Venomous spiders: Virginia is home to both the black widow and brown recluse spiders. Unlike bears and snakes, these arachnids have an easier time making their way into your home. Both produce dangerous venom that can lead to extreme pain, paralysis, and death. Brown recluse venom is especially nasty — it causes necrosis, killing skin and tissue around the bite area. A single bite from either of these spiders should be treated by your veterinarian right away.12,13
- Dog flu: Canine influenza has been on the rise in the D.C. area, and Virginia is known as an outbreak hotspot for the H3N8 strain. This highly-contagious virus can be mitigated with a vaccine, but serious cases may require hospitalization so your pup can be nursed back to health.14,15
Virginia Plants That Can Be Toxic to Pets
The University of Virginia has compiled an extensive list of toxic plants found in the state.16 The most common source of toxicity is poison ivy, which can be found statewide but is harmless to cats and dogs. Less common, but more dangerous, is poison hemlock.17 Signs of exposure include tremors, drooling, and paralysis. In extreme cases poison hemlock can cause death.
Rhododendrons, while beautiful, should also be avoided.18 Within a few hours of ingestion your pet may begin to experience drooling, diarrhea, and paralysis. Your pet may risk getting into a coma and dying if they are left untreated.
It’s always a good idea to keep your dog on a leash when you’re both outside to avoid accidental exposure to these dangers. If you’re a plant parent as well as a pet parent, make sure you don’t bring anything toxic indoors!
Most Popular Dog Breeds in Virginia
All dogs deserve a loving home, but which ones are favored in the Commonwealth? Here are the top five adopted breeds for Virginia and some common health problems faced by the breeds:19
- Labrador retriever: These playful dogs are predisposed for heart disease, epilepsy, tumors, and hip dysplasia.
- Beagle: Bold and confident, the beagle tends to experience eye issues, obesity, dermatitis, and hip dysplasia.
- Chihuahua: These spunky pups have a higher risk of urinary tract infections, intervertebral disc disease, periodontal disease, and otitis.
- Pit bull: Loyal and energetic, pit bulls are vulnerable to skin allergies due to their short coats and can also experience hip dysplasia, kneecap dislocation, and degenerative myelopathy.
- Mutt: Virginia loves its mutts! In some ways a mixed dog can be healthier than a purebred, since it’s less vulnerable to genetic predispositions enhanced by inbreeding. Consult your vet to learn more about your mixed pup’s health.
Rescue a Pet in Virginia
Millions of pets go up for adoption nationwide each year. Now that you have a better understanding of how to care for a pet in Virginia, the next step for families looking to bring a pet home is to use a tool like PetFinder to find adoptable dogs and adoptable cats in the state.
If You Live in Virginia, Consider Insuring Your Pet
Whether it’s in the metropolitan bustle of D.C. or the coastal calm of Norfolk, your pet may need veterinary care throughout their lifetime. Help protect your pets with a MetLife Pet Insurance plan.2 Get a free quote now.
There is no substantive difference between a MetLife Pet Insurance policy in Virginia 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 Calculation based upon select plans and coverages. Actual rates may vary based on pet age, breed, location, deductible, reimbursement rate, and annual limits you choose.
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 Approximately 80% of claims are processed within 10 days or less.
6 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.
7 Available at an additional cost.
8 All claims paid amounts are based on MetLife internal claims data from October 2022.
9 “Preventing ticks on your pets,” Center for Disease Control
10 “Snake Bites And Dogs,” PetMD
11 “Black Bear Population by State,” A – Z Animals
12 “Black Widow Spider” Pet Poison Helpline
13 “Brown Recluse Spider Bite Poisoning in Dogs,” Wag!
14 “Canine Influenza Is on the Rise in the DC Area — Here’s What You Can Do,” The Washingtonian
15 “Dog Flu Outbreaks Map,” DogFlu.com
16 The Socrates Project, University of Virginia School of Medicine [PDF]
17 “Poison Hemlock,” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
18 “Rhododendrons,” American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
19 “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).