Pet owners often feel like their furry friend is part of the family. They take their animals in the car or truck for countless different reasons, from a family camping trip to a visit to the vet. But what happens if you are in a car accident when your dog, or other type of pet, is in the vehicle with you? If you regularly have your pet in your vehicle, then check your car insurance policy to see if you have coverage for pet injuries. Keep reading to learn more:
Does Your Auto Insurance Cover Costs If Your Pet Is Hurt During An Accident?
This is a hard question to answer, because every auto insurance company has different rules and policies about paying pet medical bills when injuries are sustained during a car accident. The answer also depends on your specific policy. In most cases, the answer will be no, your auto insurance doesn't cover the cost of medical bills for pets involved in an accident. But, there are a couple popular auto insurance companies that do offer this type of coverage to customers for an additional cost. The other car insurance companies do not have pet passenger coverage, but some will provide some type of financial assistance to help you pay for vet bills.
Coverage You Should Consider Adding To Your Insurance Policy
Before you add any more coverage to your existing car insurance policy and increase your bill, call your auto insurance agent and find out if you have pet injury coverage. If you don't, but you'd like to consider adding coverage for your pet, then talk to your insurance agent about the options available to you. To help you get started, ask the agent if liability insurance will cover vet bills for your furry friend. If not, then ask the agent if comprehensive insurance will cover medical costs for your pet. Since it's not mandatory to have pet coverage on an auto insurance policy, you will have to pay an additional fee. For example, the average cost for $8,000 in coverage for an 8-year-old Labrador retriever will cost you about $42 a month on top of your existing policy premium. Before you end the conversation with your insurance agent, ask if there are any restrictions or rules about pet injury coverage that you should be aware of.
Does It Matter Who's At Fault For The Auto Accident?
In most situations, the person at fault for causing the collision will bear the brunt of the expenses for all people involved. Most insurance companies have a rule that they will only pay vet bills if the accident wasn't your fault. If the other driver is found at fault for the accident, not you, there is a good chance that person's insurance doesn't have pet coverage. This is why it's important for you to have an alternative means to cover medical costs for your pet if it's injured in a car accident.
Alternatives To Car Insurance Pet Injury Coverage
Since not all auto insurance companies offer pet injury coverage, or if their coverage isn't up to your satisfaction, you do have an alternative. Instead, consider purchasing pet health insurance. Pet health insurance typically covers a wide range of medical costs if your pet is injured in any way, including injuries sustained during a car accident. Pet health insurance works just like human health insurance. There are monthly premiums, deductibles, and other exclusions and exceptions that depend on your specific policy.
If you travel often with your pet, and/or you're looking for protection against huge veterinary costs in the event you are involved in a car accident while your furry friend, then call your auto insurance company to find out your options. An insurance agent or representative will be happy to help you find the best solution for your situation.