Does Car Insurance Cover Pets?

Is your pet covered in case of an accident?

Millions of people around the world consider their four-legged companions to be their best friends, and often even members of the family. You wish to take them along with you everywhere, but is this always the safest option? 

While you may love bringing your furry friend along for long car rides, you need to make sure that you’ll all be safe if disaster should strike. Many pet owners are shocked to find out after a car collision that their insurance refuses to help pay for little Fido’s surgery. 

So, the question must be addressed: Does car insurance cover pets? Let’s find out. 

What happens if my pet is injured in a car accident?

If your pet is injured in a car accident, what happens next depends on the coverage offered by your insurance company. In the case that they are, your insurance company will cover the cost of any medical and/or veterinary expenses related to your pet. 

If you’re at fault, your pet’s expenses will only be covered if this is stated in your policy. As insurance companies see pets as property, you’ll need to extend the at-fault coverage to your pets. 

If the accident wasn’t your fault, the other party’s coverage should cover the medical expenses of your pet. You would have to file a claim with their insurance, and then wait for them to pay or reimburse you for the medical expenses. Just make sure that you file away any documents and receipts to keep an accurate track of expenses related to your pet’s care. 

How to keep your pet safe while driving

Always be sure to implement these tips to keep your pet safe while driving:

  1. Always restrain your pets. Although many love to see a dog with their head out the window enjoying the breeze, this isn’t the safest option. Several states require pets to be restrained when in a moving vehicle, and in others it’s illegal for your pet to ride in your lap. The best place for a pet in your car is in a pet carrier or wire crate. Be sure to give them plenty of ventilation, and ensure they are shielded from the sun to prevent overheating. Restraining your pets protects them from any sudden stops and helps you focus on driving. 
  2. Train your dog. Allow your dog to become accustomed to traveling in the car. If you plan to drive with them often, get them used to being in the car as soon as possible. Start with short trips to fun places, and lengthen them as they get more comfortable. This will help them look at car rides positively, lessening their anxiety when in the car. 
  3. Don’t get distracted. As cute as your furry friend can be, they can quickly turn into one of the biggest distractions in the car. You might be worried about them getting into your bags or chewing on the upholstery, and before you know it you’ve taken your eyes off the road for one second too long. If you need to attend to your pet while driving, pull over to a safe spot, then give your pet your full attention. 
  4. Don’t count on airbags to save the day. Airbags are great at protecting humans, but pets? Not so much. Your airbags can gravely injure your pet if inflated, and smaller dogs are especially at risk. That’s why it’s often best to keep your furry friend restrained in the back seat or cargo area if you drive an SUV or crossover.

Best auto insurance companies for pets

Every pet owner knows that unexpected vet emergencies can end up costing a pretty penny. To protect your pet in case of a collision, here are some of the best auto insurance companies for pets. 

  • GEICO: GEICO offers dozens of discounts for pet owners. You can qualify for lower rates by paying in advance or by enrolling multiple pets at once. Flexible policy plans give pet owners a bit of wiggle room when deciding their monthly payments. 
  • Pet Assure: Pet Assure is a great pick for more budget-conscious pet owners. With a low monthly premium of only $11.95, it costs a fracture of what other pet insurance premiums cost. They cover several types of household pets, but they only cover 25% of costs, and pet owners are limited to veterinarians within their network.
  • Embrace: Embrace is known for offering the best benefits for accidents. Their plans can be used to cover medical expenses at any licensed pet clinic or hospital. Even more impressive, their accident coverage starts a mere two days after enrollment. 
  • Progressive: Progressive offers a specific Pet Injury Protection under collision coverage. Regardless of who’s at fault, Progressive will pay for up to $1,000 in medical care for your furry friend.

Whether you’re on the hunt for the best rates to protect your four-legged friends or simply looking for ways to save, it never hurts to compare car insurance rates. You can protect your pet and your bank account. Sounds like a win-win in our book.

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Does pet insurance cover your pet while driving?

Although some car insurance companies offer pet coverage, it’s not always included. If your pet is injured in a car accident, you can’t always depend on traditional auto insurance to cover their expenses. It’s best to call your agent or your car insurance company’s customer service line to make sure your specific policy has a provision to cover your pet.

Regardless of who is at fault in an accident or what your current policy covers, purchasing additional pet insurance gives you peace of mind when driving with your pet in the car. A separate policy will guarantee medical coverage for your pet if they need to undergo surgery or other medical treatment. 

Similar to health insurance for humans, this pet insurance will require a deductible to be paid before kicking in. To make things easier financially, consider combining auto and traditional pet insurance to lower out of pocket expenses. 

Whatever option you choose, make sure to shop around, and compare rates both in auto and pet insurance. This can help you ensure that you choose the most affordable option. Saving money on insurance policies means that you can spend more time at the dog park, beach, or wherever else you love to adventure with your pet-ner in crime (see what we did there?)

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