Does Your Car Insurance Also Cover Your Pet?

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Many pet owners take their animals on rides with them all the time. However, if you're in a car accident, you may not know if your car insurance will cover injuries or other expenses for your pet. Here is what you need to know about pets and car insurance.

Auto Insurance Companies Often Consider Pets a Risk

Pets often come up as a risk to drivers. Many drivers leave their pets loose in the car. Many drivers also engage in distracted driving with a loose pet in the car. These things can lead to injuries to the pet, or accidents.

Many insurers don't want you to have a pet in the car at all. Nevertheless, many people in the country do own pets, and many of them will drive with their pets. That fact prompted many insurance companies to actually start offering coverage for pets.

Auto Insurance Companies Vary in their Approach to Pet Coverage

Yes, auto insurance coverage for pets is out there. Unfortunately, you won't find a standard coverage type for pets. Your pet's coverage will depend on the terms of your policy, and which car insurance company you work with. Here are a few options you may come across:

  • No coverage at all
  • Extremely limited coverage
  • Pet-specific additional coverage
  • Pet coverage as part of collision coverage
  • Only dog coverage, or cat coverage
  • Coverage for burial only

Even when insurance companies do offer coverage for pets, it's rarely enough money to really help. For example, some auto insurance companies only offer up to $1,000 for an incident. This can help a lot with a minor vet bill. Unfortunately, veterinarian bills can easily run about 10 times that amount, depending on the care needed.

Auto Insurance Isn't the Only Option

Check to see what some insurance carriers offer. You can also ask an insurance rep, even if the company doesn't specifically have pet coverage. Typically, a better choice for pet owners is a dedicated pet insurance policy.

Pet insurance policies can cover injuries to pets no matter where or how they happen. They're worth looking into if you want something in addition to, or instead of, what your car insurance offers.

You must take driving with your pet in the car seriously. It doesn't matter if you have insurance or not. A restraining device alone is typically enough to keep your pet safe in the car. It will also help to cut any distractions from your pet as well.