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Compare pet injury coverage
Your car insurance could cover your pets if they're injured in a car accident.
Your pet is an important member of your family. And they often ride along with you in the car. If your pet is injured in a car accident, pet injury coverage can help pay for medicine and veterinary bills to get you back on your two — and four — feet.
Is my pet covered by my car insurance in a car accident?
Your existing auto insurance policy might cover pet injuries as part of collision or comprehensive coverage. For example, Progressive and Metromile cover pets for up to $1,000 at no additional cost as long as you carry collision or comprehensive on your policy.
So if your pet was injured in a car collision, you’d make a claim through your collision insurance. If you hit a deer and your pet was injured, you’d make a comprehensive claim.
Other car insurers categorize pet injuries after an accident as property damage. As callous as it seems, considering pets as property is unfortunately very common in the insurance and legal industry.
This also limits pet coverage to accidents that aren’t your fault. In this case, you’d pay vet bills upfront, saving the receipts to file a liability claim if you’re found to be not at fault for the accident. In an accident where you were at fault, you wouldn’t be covered for vet bills.
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What does pet injury coverage include?
Pet injury insurance covers veterinary bills, medicine and related costs if your pet is injured in a car accident or other insured event, such as fire or theft in the case of a comprehensive claim. Some insurers provide up to $2,000 to cover medicine and veterinary bills for your cat or dog, which is enough to cover many minor injuries.
Much like personal injury protection for humans, pet injury coverage also includes what’s typically known as funeral expenses. In the tragic event that your pet is killed in a car accident, you’ll still receive the same compensation to pay for things like euthanasia or cremation.
After a car accident, your pets are typically covered for vet costs related to the accident, which can include:
- Vet visit
- Prescription medicine
- Casts and cones
- Humane euthanasia
Is pet injury car insurance worth it?
Yes, it can be a huge bonus for pet owners who already have collision coverage. You won’t pay extra for this coverage, since it’s usually included with your collision or comprehensive coverage.
Pet injury coverage is ideal for people who frequently drive with your cat or dog and don’t have funds set aside for unexpected vet bills — which can run in the thousands, depending on the injury.
Ask your car insurer if pet injuries are included in your policy and how much you’re covered for. If you’re looking for an insurer that offers pet injury coverage, it’s a good idea to shop around and make sure you aren’t going to pay more for the policy than you’re getting in benefits.
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How do I make a claim for my pet’s injuries?
To use your pet coverage, make a claim through your insurer after an accident.
- Record the details of the accident, including the other driver’s information.
- Pay out of pocket for your pet’s medical treatment.
- Make a claim through your insurer online, by phone, in person or through the mail.
- Include details of your pet’s injuries and vet bills.
- Wait for your claim to be completed.
- Receive reimbursement for your pet’s medical bills minus your deductible, if applicable.
Pet injury insurance in action
Jack rear-ended a stopped car on the way to the pet groomer, causing his dog Molly to hit her head on the windshield.
Jack’s liability coverage covers the costs for the other driver. Because he has pet injury coverage included with his collision coverage, his policy would kick in for veterinary bills. Molly’s vet check-up and X-ray or CT scan are covered by the maximum coverage, saving Jack $1,000 out of pocket.
What’s not covered by pet injury insurance?
A few restrictions on what’s covered with pet injury coverage should make you pause and consider how much your pets are really covered for in a car accident.
- Most maximums cap at $1,000. Pet injury insurance covers veterinary bills and medicine up to your insurer’s limits if your pet becomes ill or injured after a car accident. A major injury would likely top out your limits, especially for more than one pet. The rest would have to be paid for out of pocket.
- Cats and dogs only. A pet rabbit, hamster or horse probably won’t be covered. Progressive’s policy explicitly states only dogs and cats are covered, for example.
- Accident-related injuries only. Vet bills for a broken leg due to the accident would be covered, but if you add an overdue dental cleaning while your pet is under anesthesia, the dental portion of the bill won’t be covered.
- Only your pets are covered. The pet must be owned by the owner of the policy or someone else on the policy. If you’re in an accident while pet sitting, you’re out of luck.
What happens if my pet’s bills aren’t covered after a car accident?
Your vet bills might not be completely covered or covered at all after a car accident. You’ll need to find a way to pay for your pet’s bills out of pocket.
Pet injury insurance differs from pet insurance, which is like health insurance for pets. Pet insurance policies come complete with deductibles, copays and premiums — extending coverage beyond car accidents. Consider adding pet insurance if you would have trouble covering major pet bills after an accident.
Other alternatives include veterinary financing options, such as Care Credit. With vet financing, you can pay for vet bills over time or at a discounted rate.
How can I prevent injuries to my pet in the car?
- Keep your pet restrained. A pet harness with a seatbelt or a carrier should do the trick. You can also find other pet supplies to keep your pet safe in the car.
- Don’t open the car window. Some dogs love to stick their faces out the window, but they can fall or jump out or be thrown out in a collision.
- Keep pets in the back seat. The back seat is statistically the safest place in the car, since you’re protected somewhat from front-end and rear collisions. Bonus points for strapping your pet in the middle seat.
- Choose the right car. The best dog-friendly cars should make it easy for your pet to jump in and out of, and they can feature safety nets to keep dogs from jumping from the trunk to the back or fold-down seats for easy carrier storage.
Your car insurance policy could already protect your pet as part of your collision coverage or general property damage. Otherwise, you may need to add pet injury insurance to extend your policy to the furriest members of your family.
Ask about limits that can top out at $2,000 with some insurers. And know what is and isn’t included by your insurer.
Compare car insurance companies to get the best protection for your car and your pets.
Frequently asked questions about pet injury coverage
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