Pets have a great life in the Sunshine State but there are many reasons why you should get pet insurance in Florida
We’re jealous of any pet parents that live in Florida, with its hot climate and laid-back lifestyle, it’s a dreamy place to live. But like with any state, there’s also a diverse range of environments that bring their own benefits and risks to our beloved pets – which is why you need pet insurance in Florida.
Florida is the Sunshine State of America, surrounded by gorgeous coastline with even the coldest months still boasting an average temperature of 59°F. If you want to take advantage of the blue skies, there’s no shortage of beautiful beaches to walk your dog. Or, if you prefer to soak up the AC in your apartment with your feline friend, you’ll find plenty of bustling towns and cities in the state including Miami, Naples, and Sarasota.
Pet-friendly theme parks
Florida is also home to two of the world’s most famous pooches, Goofy and Pluto, as Disney’s theme parks are found in the attraction-packed city of Orlando. Here you can find more than twelve theme parks for the whole family, with thrill-seeking coasters, water slides and characters galore. If you want to visit a park that's pet-friendly, however, head to Dinosaur World in Plant City or choose from a long list of stunning trails including Biscayne National Park and Dry Tortugas National Park.
“Pets are at risk from animal attacks – a snake bite could set you back $8,000”
If you’re taking your pet to enjoy Florida’s natural beauty, be wary of sago palms, eucalyptus and azaeleas, which are all toxic to dogs and could cause vomiting, nausea and breathing difficulty. This could be especially dangerous amongst dogs like Pugs and Labradors who love to eay anthing and everything. If you insure your pet for Eucalyptus poisoning, you may save yourself between $500-$900, and also bring yourself peace of mind as you explore new territory.
Beauty and beasts
The other nickname for Florida is Alligator State, thanks to the large number of snappy residents, and that can be a problem for pet parents and their pets living near areas of water or the Everglades. There are several different animals that may pose a risk to your pet including panthers, bears, fire ants, cane toads and snakes. So, when a snake bite could cost you up to $8,000 to treat, and emergency treatment for cane toad poisoning could save your pet’s life, it’s a good idea to take out sufficient pet insurance.
Did you know?
The Florida Cracker Cur dog breed was introduced to the state by the Spanish in 1539
Besides rollercoasters and exotic wildlife, Florida is most known for its miles of sandy beaches which are perfect for dogs who love a swim. There’s plenty of designated dog beaches and even activity providers who cater for pet parents and their pets. Just be wary of taking your pet out in hot weather as dogs are unable to self-regulate their own body temperature and are susceptible to sunstroke – which could cost you up to $5,000 to treat in one hit. It’s also worth remembering that some beaches in Florida experience a phenomenon called Red Tide, which can be harmful to marine life, pet parents and pets alike.
City life in Florida
If you live in a more urban area or a large city your vet bills may be higher, and therefore your insurance might be too, due to pollution-related health problems and higher risk of theft or a road accident. Fort Lauderdale is the most expensive area to be a pet parent, followed by Miami, Orlando and Sarasota.
Florida law in most areas requires all dogs to be on a leash when in public and makes it illegal for a dog to be left unattended in the car. Passers-by who think your dog may be at risk from heat exhaustion are able to call 911 and break the car window to save it, under “Good Samaritan” laws.
Why get pet insurance at all?
At Petted, we sincerely believe that pet insurance is a must for all pet parents, whether you live in New York, North Carolina or Nebraska. It doesn’t matter if you’re a city- or country-dweller, if you have a Bull Mastiff or a Burmese, your beloved pet is at risk from injury, illness and inherited conditions – and these things can cost a lot of money to fix.
If you don’t have a very large savings account then you run the risk of either getting into a ton of debt (we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars in some cases) or – and we hate to think about this – not being able to pay for your pet’s treatment and having to either give them up or, tragically, have them euthanized.
So, for the sake of a few dollars a month, please buy yourself some peace of mind and your pet a healthier, more secure future. To find the best pet insurance policy for where you live, click here. We'll fetch you the perfect quotes in less than a minute.
Some common questions about having a pet in Florida
Do you need pet insurance in Florida?
Yes! Well, almost certainly. It’s not a legal requirement to have pet insurance in Florida but financially it’s a must for most pet parents. Vet bills are really expensive and are rapidly on the rise. So unless you have huge savings account or are happy to take on expensive debt, getting pet insurance can literally be a life-saving decision.
Where in Florida is pet insurance the most expensive?
The cost of pet insurance premiums tends to align with the general cost of living in an area. So the most expensive cities and neighborhoods to live in are often where pet insurance costs the most. In Florida you’re talking Miami, Orlando and St Petersburg.
This is because, in these cities, rent, bills, staffing and other running costs for veterinary practices are higher. This is one of the main factors in calculating pet insurance premiums – as is the greater risk to your pet in a major metropolitan area.
How long are pet insurance waiting periods in Florida?
This isn’t something that varies from state to state: the time between you taking out a pet insurance policy and it coming into effect. Waiting periods are usually different for the ‘accident’ and ‘illness’ parts of a plan. Accident usually takes 1-3 days to kick in, while illness is ranges from 1-15 days, depending on the provider. Some policies have a longer waiting period for certain conditions, such as ACL injuries.
We don’t think waiting periods should be the main factor in deciding between insurers – in reality, a few days is nothing when you’re signing up to a policy, hopefully, for many years.
How long do pet insurance claims take in Florida?
This doesn’t really vary from state to state, either, and is the time it takes for companies to pay out pet insurance claims. It does, however, vary from insurer to insurer, claim to claim – from a day to 30 days, but likely between the two. Some pet insurance providers are quicker on average at processing claims, so make sure you read our pet insurance company reviews.
Is pet rent legal in Florida?
There are no laws preventing landlords from charging “pet rent” or a “pet deposit” when letting out a home in Florida. This means that renting when you have a pet requires some research and maybe some negotiation (e.g. a rabbit might not attract the same fee as a Bull Mastiff).
You can also argue, possibly in court, against any fees that you think are unreasonable. A monthly increase of $100-$300 could be seen as plenty to cover any damage caused by an animal, but $500 or $1,000 is probably worth challenging.
Don’t forget to read your tenancy agreement carefully – if you break any of the terms, including around your pet, it’s possible grounds for eviction.
Is ear-cropping legal in Florida?
The American Veterinary Medical Association is opposed to the ear-cropping and tail-docking of dogs for cosmetic purposes. Unfortunately, painful and usually unnecessary animal mutilations such as ear-cropping, tail-docking, declawing and devocalizing are legal in all US states.
Florida does, however, prohibit surgically altering an animal unless it’s carried out by a licensed veterinarian.
Are there other specific pet laws in Florida?
There are several state-wide laws in Florida aimed at protecting animals and making their relationship with humans as harmonious as possible.
Cruelty to animals, confining pets, abandoning pets, organizing dog fights, and poisoning animals are all criminal offences – with even greater protections for service animals.
Members of the public are protected from civil lawsuits if they break into a locked car to rescue a pet, if they believe that the animals are in immediate danger and that there’s no other way of saving them.
Dogs older than four months must be vaccinated against rabies and get a booster shot every 12 months. All puppies for sale must be vaccinated.
You are liable if your dog causes physical or monetary damage to a person, livestock, another pet, or property (ranchers have the right to kill a dog menacing their livestock). Exemptions to liability under Florida ‘bite laws’ are if your dog bites a person trespassing on your property or bites a result of provocation, teasing, or tormenting.
There are also laws around animals that are city-specific:
If you live within Jacksonville’s city limits, you’re not allowed to have more than four cats and/or dogs over the age of four months. All animals, when at home, have to be securely enclosed and/or restrained by a leash or chain strong enough to prevent escape. Dogs also need to be on a leash when being walked.
Cats without an identity tag or who are unsterilized are considered “at large”. Any dogs left unattended outside must have a proper, correctly-sized, weather-proof shelter, adequate food and fresh water.
In Miami (and Miami-Dade County), dogs must be leashed in public and dogs over four months old must be licensed and wear a tag. Unreasonable or excessive noise from an animal (like a dog barking) is prohibited. It’s illegal to own Pitbulls.
All dogs and cats in Tampa must wear a tag when outside. Other types of identification, like microchips, are also encouraged.
Watch where you go walkies in Orlando because it’s against the law to take your dog to any public school property, any public beach, and some county parks.
Good luck with this, but you also have the right to trap a cat that’s trespassing on your property, as long as you report it within 24 hours of capture.
It’s a real worry when your pet gets sick. But with plenty of reimbursement options available, pet insurance can help cover up to 100% of veterinary costs for new accidents and illnesses – plus much more.
X-rays, CT scans & MRI's
General check ups
Follow up care