Dog parks, beaches and outdoor cafes. Florida has a great atmosphere for both pets living in the state and those popping by for a visit. Data shows that the sunshine state is home to over 267,000 dogs and 52,000 cats. But whether you are traveling or living in Florida, pet insurance is something to work out with your vet.
A 2019 survey by the North American Pet Health Insurance Association or NAPHIA, shows that insuring a dog costs Americans an average of $48.78 per month and insuring a cat costs $29.16 per month. This, of course, is based on the premium of a comprehensive plan. But it only tells you how important pet insurance is.
Vet treatments have gotten more advanced over the years and rather expectantly, expensive too. It does cost a pretty penny to take care of a pet and so pet insurance in Florida is something to consider.
Like insurance for human beings, pets also have plans because some species are living longer than they did in the past and need medical care. Cancer treatments and hip replacements among pets have become quite common and if you don’t want to spend out of your pocket, consider getting your dog or cat or bird or whichever other pet you have, a good health insurance plan.
Pet Insurance in Florida
Data shows that cats and dogs in the sunshine state tend to have more dental, arthritic and obesity problems than pets in other parts of the USA. And since the state enjoys warm weather, ticks and fleas are also a problem.
There are also other reasons like extreme heat that can cause dehydration, heatstrokes or overheating. Florida is also known to have poisonous critters like toads and toxic plants that can get your curious pet into trouble. And let’s not forget the many rattlesnakes and their venom threatening your dog or cat with a lethal bite. These are just a few reasons to get pet insurance in Florida.
The first thing to check when getting pet insurance here is to see how much of the vet’s bill will be covered. You must also keep in mind that some insurance policies do not cover pre-existing conditions, hereditary and chronic conditions. So, you might want to do some research.
Now, for the unexpected. Pet insurances in Florida typically cover four categories: accidents, accidents and illnesses, wellness and extra add-ons. Luckily, Florida has quite a few pet insurance companies and those that aren’t in the state still have writing policies in Florida. Here, you will find coverage that comes directly with a licensed vet. This means instead of getting reimbursed by the insurance company, you can leave the job of filing claims to your vet, once you meet your deductibles.
Best Pet Insurance Company
We have picked the best pet insurance policies that offer small deductibles and maximum reimbursement for you in Florida. Take a look.
Our first choice is the country’s largest pet insurer and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Their wellness plan is actually the more comprehensive one and it is for dogs and cats. We say comprehensive because it gives coverage for diagnostic plans and vet visits, etc. by adding to the regular plan. The Major Medical plan is the basic coverage policy which is the standard offering.
While the Whole Pet (wellness) plan is more expensive, it offers unlimited benefits. The others have what is called a benefit schedule which is a cap on how much you can spend on a specific illness. The company offers only one deductible which is $250 and is annual.
They offer 90 percent reimbursement if you choose the most expensive plan. Otherwise, you will be on a benefit schedule which is not ideal if your pet requires multiple trips to the vet for the same condition.
The starting monthly premium for dogs on the wellness plan is at $59 and for cats it is $31. On the other hand, it is only $35 for dogs and $19 for cats if you go for the Major Medical plan.
The company says that your claims, emailed or faxed, will be reimbursed within two weeks but the reviews have been mixed.
Our second choice is also a popular pet insurance company with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
They have an Accident & Illness coverage plan which covers:
- Accident & illness
- All illnesses and injuries
- Breed-specific and hereditary conditions (in purebreds)
- Hospitalization & surgery
- Emergency & specialty care
- Prescription drugs
- Chronic conditions
- Congenital conditions
- Behavioral therapy
- Alternative therapies and rehabilitation
- Cancer treatment
- Diagnostic testing
They also have an Optional Wellness Reward which, among other things, offers add-ons like:
- Spay or neuter surgery
- Vaccines and preventatives
- Wellness exams
The alternative treatments part is the one to check out because this is not something all insurers provide. These therapies include behavioral therapy and even prosthetic limbs but you will have to pay more.
If you enroll online, there is an annual benefits limit that starts at $5,000 and goes up to $30,000. If you do the same via phone, you can have unlimited benefits which means you can customize your options further and lower your premiums.
Then there are the deductible choices. You can pick on starting from $200 to $1,000 that are met at the end of the year during policy renewal. The reimbursement packages range from 70-90 percent depending on your plan.
You can claim your benefits online by uploading the document on their website or the app that is available on iOS or Android. You can also email the documents and if you do a direct deposit, you get the returns a lot sooner.
The monthly premiums are in line with other insurers and for dogs, the average is $12.95 and it is $8.95 for cats. You also get a $50 discount every month if there are no reimbursements in a given year.
This insurance company has been around since 2004 and has an A+ rating from the BBB. The policies are underwritten by the American Alternative Insurance Corporation.
The first good news about this PetFirst is that there is no waiting period if your pet has orthopedic conditions and hip dysplasia. Apart from the standard plan, there is also a wellness plan with customizable options.
PetFirst does not offer unlimited annual benefits but your policy will entitle you to benefits worth $5,000 or $10,000 or $20,000. The highest of them all can be expansive enough to come close to unlimited plans offered by some other insurers.
And even if you can’t afford that, you will be happy to know that the deductibles are really low and go from $50 to $100 to $250 to $500. The monthly premiums are at $17 for dogs and $9 for cats and the reimbursements can be 70 percent or 80 percent or 90 percent.
The claims process is pretty standard. You get to submit the form and the vet’s invoices and receipts via mail or fax. And it will be processed as early as possible.
If you get your policy online, you will get a $20 discount. And for every year that goes without a claim, they will keep your premium unraised.
Our final choice is PetPlan which has been around since 2009 and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The policies are underwritten by AGCS Marian Insurance Co., and there are many health insurance options for your pets here.
The comprehensive coverage plan from PetPlan includes accident and illness conditions. But here’s the kicker. There are no restrictions on congenital or hereditary conditions. This plan comes with advanced testing, hospital stays and vet exams along with periodontal diseases and dental injuries.
Now, there is unlimited coverage with the most expensive plan. Otherwise, you must choose annual benefit limits from $2,500 to $25,000. The deductibles are one of the most customizable plans so you must check them out individually. You can either go annual or per condition. The starting level is $100 and goes up to $2,500 in increments of $50.
No surprises with the reimbursements which are at 70-90 percent depending on the plan and expect your claims to be reimbursed within 30 days. If you go for online registration or have a medical service pet or have a military background, you are eligible for a discount.
The Bottom Line
Whether it is a case of injury or illness, you want your pet to be taken care of. Florida has some really flexible and affordable plans to make sure you get the best pet insurance for animals of all breeds and ages.
Because while there is no way you can tell what medical emergency might come knocking on the door, you can always make sure the best veterinary options are available when you need them. You need it to be simple, accessible and affordable. Hopefully, you’ve found the options in this piece.