The Big Apple isn’t just a great place for people — it’s a fantastic place for pets, too. As an NYC pet parent, you want your furry loved ones to live their best lives. Pet insurance can help them do that and save you money in the long run. Here’s everything about pet insurance NYC residents need to know.
Best Pet Insurance in NYC:
Pet Insurance in New York City: An Overview
New York City is a surprisingly pet-friendly city. Let’s take a look at the numbers:
Number of households with pets: About 33% of NYC households have pets. That adds up to about 600,000 dogs and 500,000 cats.
Amount spent on pet bills annually:
Average cost of pet insurance annually:
- For dogs: $444
- For cats: $204
What Does Pet Insurance Typically Cover?
Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for people. It does have some differences when it comes to what it covers and what it doesn’t. Pet insurance typically covers:
- Illnesses: Pet insurance helps pay for the costs of diagnosing and treating illnesses. Whether it’s cancer, an ear infection or a tummy ache, you can find out what’s wrong with your pet and get the treatments or medications your pet needs to feel better.
- Accidents: Pets have minds of their own, and accidents happen. Pet insurance gives you the peace of mind of knowing that you can get your pets taken care of if they’ve swallowed something they shouldn’t have, cut themselves or got hurt another way. You can get X-rays, ultrasounds and other diagnostic tests and get the treatment they need, including surgery.
- Hereditary and congenital conditions: Some breeds are prone to health issues. These health issues may not show up until later in life. Pet insurance usually covers these conditions.
Pet insurance may cover:
- Preventive care: It’s important to take your pets to the vet to get their annual checkups. Pet insurance may not cover preventive care or it may be offered as an add-on for an additional cost.
- Alternative therapies: Therapies like acupuncture and chiropractic care can be a big help to your pet. Not all insurance plans include this coverage but you may be able to buy it as an add-on.
- Care for behavioral issues: Consulting a vet is a critical step in treating a behavioral issue like separation anxiety or excessive chewing. Pet insurance may not cover care for behavioral issues, or you may need to pay extra to add on this benefit.
Pet insurance typically does not cover:
- Cosmetic procedures: Pet insurance doesn’t usually cover ear cropping, removing claws and other cosmetic procedures.
- Breeding: Pet insurance plans don’t usually cover costs related to pet pregnancy and breeding.
- Preexisting conditions: A preexisting condition is a condition that existed before your pet insurance starts. Some insurance plans may eventually cover these conditions after a waiting period. That means your pet cannot have any symptoms of the condition during the waiting period.
Review the terms of plans you are considering carefully so you know which conditions will be covered.
How Does Pet Insurance Work?
Most pet insurance plans are set up the same way. Plans typically have:
- A deductible: This is the amount you pay for covered care each year before your plan starts paying. If you have a $500 deductible, you will need to pay $500 before your plan starts reimbursing you for care.
- A reimbursement percentage: Pet insurance usually works on a reimbursement basis. This means you pay your vet and submit the itemized receipt to your pet insurance provider. Your pet insurance sends you a check for a percentage of covered services. Let’s say you’ve already met your deductible and you get a $500 vet bill. Your plan has 80% reimbursement. You send your insurance company the bill and the insurance company sends you a check for $400.
- Coverage limits: Some plans limit the amount they pay each year. A $3,000 annual limit means your plan reimburses you up to $3,000 per year. After that, you’re responsible for the costs of vet care.
3 Reasons to Buy Pet Insurance in NYC
While there are a lot of reasons to buy pet insurance, let’s look at the top 3.
- City life: It’s bustling, there’s traffic and accidents happen. Pet insurance helps take the sting out of unexpected vet bills.
- The high costs of vet care: New York City consistently ranks as the most expensive city in the U.S. Everything is more expensive, including vet care. Pet insurance can help ensure you can afford to take your pets to the vet when you need to.
- Having choices about pet care: No one wants to make decisions about their pet’s health based on their budget. Pet insurance gives you the freedom to choose the best care for your pet, without being focused on cost.
The Best Pet Insurance in New York City
Ready to find the best pet insurance in NYC? Here are our top picks:
1. High-Quality Pet Insurance: Spot Pet Insurance
Spot Pet Insurance is the No. 1 pet insurance provider recommended by Cesar Millan, the leading expert in dog behavior. Some insurance highlights:
- Up to 90% reimbursement on eligible vet bills
- No age cap on coverage
- Plans start as low as $1 a day* — that’s less than a cup of coffee!
You can customize your coverage and can even add special Spot-On coverage. Coverage options include accidents, behavioral issues, dental disease, illnesses, preventive services and even hereditary and congenital conditions.
Spot’s claims service is easy. Just visit your vet (don’t forget to give your pet a treat on the way out!), send Spot the bill and get reimbursed.
Take 30 seconds to fetch your free quote now.
*Rates vary based on plan type, species, breed, age and location
2. Cheapest in NYC: PetFirst
Making ends meet in NYC can be tough. PetFirst offers affordable pet insurance plans, starting at $9 per month for cats and $15 per month for dogs. You’re not giving up quality if you go with PetFirst, though.
It has short waiting periods for coverage and a variety of plans. PetFirst covers alternative therapies and you can opt-in for routine care coverage for an additional fee.
3. Best for Short Wait Periods: Pets Best
Most pet insurance plans have a waiting period, which is how long you need to wait for coverage to kick in once you start a policy. Pets Best has short waiting periods — 3 days for accidents, 14 days for illnesses and 6 months for cruciate ligament events.
This gives NYC pet parents peace of mind, knowing your pets have coverage sooner rather than later. Pets Best was started by a veterinarian and has excellent customer service ratings. Plans include access to a 24/7 helpline so you can get veterinary help at any time.
4. Best for Mobile App: Figo
City life often keeps you on the go. Figo makes it easy to keep up with your pet insurance and your pet’s needs. Figo Pet Cloud helps you connect with other NYC pet parents and find all the pet-friendly places your city has to offer. It reminds you when your pets need their annual shots and it allows you to talk to a vet 24/7.
You can upload your vet receipts right into the app, making the claims process simple, too. Figo keeps you connected, and it offers comprehensive pet insurance that you can use at any licensed vet.
5. Best for Customizing Coverage: Progressive
Sometimes it’s simpler to keep all your coverage with one carrier. If you already have Progressive for home or auto insurance, consider getting your pet insurance there, too.
You can customize your deductible, your reimbursement percentage and your payment schedule with Progressive’s pet insurance plans. City life is busy enough — make your life easier by getting the coverage you need, all in one place.
Which NYC Pet Insurance Plan Is Best for Me?
Choosing a pet insurance plan is a big decision. Your plan should fit into your budget while providing the coverage you need. Contact multiple companies for a quote, and ask for a sample policy to review. A sample policy will spell out what each plan covers and what it doesn’t. Compare the deductibles, waiting periods and reimbursement percentages.
Look at reviews and talk to your vet and other local pet owners about their pet insurance experiences. Ultimately, any plan will take the edge off your vet bills and give you peace of mind.