Does Auto Insurance Cover Pet Injuries From Car Accidents?

Sherri Ramos

Pet owners are often very attached to their pets, and many people even bring their dogs along with them for car rides on a regular basis. If you do this regularly, you may want to look into your auto insurance policy to determine if it covers injuries to your pet while it is with you in the car. There are many auto insurance plans that do cover pet injuries, and here are four things you should know about this.

What Type of Coverage Do You Need?

Auto insurance companies do not always provide coverage for injuries to dogs, but some do. If an insurance company does cover pet injuries, there might be restrictions and rules about this. One thing you should ask your insurance company about is whether liability insurance will cover injuries to your pet.

If liability insurance does not cover this with your insurance company, they might cover the injuries through comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is not mandatory, but it is nice to have. It covers damages from storms, vandalism, and accidents that involve hitting animals. Many insurance companies will cover pet injuries under comprehensive coverage, but you should ask your insurance company to find out for sure.

Does It Matter Who Is At Fault?

In most cases, pet injuries are only covered when someone else is at fault for the accident. If you are in an accident caused by someone else and your pet is left injured, the insurance company is likely to pay for your veterinarian bills for your dog. On the other hand, if you caused the accident, your insurance company will not pay the vet expenses.

If the other driver is at fault, that person's insurance might be responsible for paying for the costs of the pet injuries, but there is a chance that the other person's insurance may not cover these costs.

Are Other Pets Covered?

When insurance companies offer coverage for pets, they generally only cover costs related to dogs and cats. If you have another type of pet that you regularly bring with you in the car, you may want to find out if you can pay for extra coverage for this pet. Insurance companies may provide additional coverage to you for this pet, but you may have to pay extra for this.

What If My Dog Is Killed?

According to Fox News, your insurance company might even offer compensation to you if your pet is killed in an auto accident. If you do not have coverage for this and someone else is at fault for the accident, you could always sue the other person.

Suing a person for the death of a dog is not the same as suing for wrongful death of a person, but you still might be able to recover compensation for the dog. One of the hardest parts of cases like these is that it is hard to place a value on a dog, but according to Nolo, you might be able to sue for the market value of the dog.

To determine the market value of the dog, the court might consider the purchase price, breed, age, and health of the dog prior to its death. From this information, the court will determine how much the dog was worth, and this might be the amount you receive from the case. Some states will also offer compensation for sentimental value and emotional distress.

Veterinarian bills can be very expensive, especially when a pet needs services after a car accident. If you want to make sure you protect yourself and your pet, contact your auto insurance company, like Colling Insurance Services, Inc, and find out how to get coverage for your pet.