Does car insurance cover pets?
It depends. While pet coverage is readily available by some car insurance companies, it’s not always a given — some insurers automatically include coverage for your pet if it happens to be injured in a car accident, but most do not. Generally, auto insurance covers only dogs or cats and will cover veterinarian and other medical expenses up to the coverage limit.
In some circumstances, if your pet is injured in an accident and you don’t have pet coverage, it may be possible to cover their medical expenses through other means. As always, check your car insurance policy to confirm the level of coverage. Let’s explore how car insurance would work to cover your beloved pet’s injuries.
Tips for safe driving with your pet
Accidents happen even if you consider yourself a safe driver. Whether or not your pet is sufficiently covered in case of an accident, you can take steps to mitigate injuries and keep your dog or cat as safe as possible when they’re riding along with you.
- Consider separate pet insurance if you often drive with your pet and your current insurance doesn’t offer pet coverage. Having a separate pet insurance policy would be a wise decision for peace of mind, as it will guarantee coverage — no matter who’s at fault — of veterinary expenses up to the specified limit.
- Ensure your dog or cat will not impede your physical or mental ability to drive the car. If your dog is unsecured and crawling on your lap, underneath the car seat, and generally making you take the eyes off the road, it becomes a huge safety hazard for everyone involved, including other drivers on the road.
- The safest way to drive with your pet is to use a seat belt or safety harness specifically designed for car rides. If your pet won’t tolerate these options, consider crating your dog or cat and securing it in the back of your vehicle.
- If possible, train your dog during its early years to behave calmly while riding in the car. Your pup probably loves riding along with his head sticking out the window, but if you happen to get in a collision — even a small accident or fender bender — the animal could be likely to sustain a serious or fatal injury. It’s much safer for a dog to sit or lie down on the seat while wearing a harness.
Click here to search available pet coverage endorsements from Citizens Insurance Company.