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Car Insurance Pet Coverage

Car insurance pet coverage is something many pet lovers inquire about when they sign on for car insurance coverage. It is a valid question to wonder whether you have any financial protection for injuries to your pets if they are injured in an auto accident. Pet coverage in car insurance is a specialized area of concern just like diminished value payments and certainly one that deserves some of our attention. There are some situations when pet owners are entitled to financial benefits in the wake of accidents, but the applicability of these benefits really depends on the specifics of the accident situation.

Car Accidents and Pet Injuries

All across the country, family pets ride along with drivers and other passengers all the time. When car accidents occur, animals are likely to sustain injuries requiring medical attention because they do not get the protection of seat belts that we are accustomed to as passengers. If they are injured in a car accident, it is possible that auto insurance companies will pay out for the expenses related to treating their injuries. But which company pays out in an accident will depend on the accident's cause and which driver is held liable.

Riding in vehicles can be dangerous for pets even if they are not involved in car accidents. They are not seat belted, and in some cases are not in seats at all. Sometimes they occupy the bed of a truck or the back of an SUV. Pets have been known to jump out of moving vehicles and do things of that nature, and they can also distract the drivers of cars they are riding in, so there is definitely at least the prospect of additional danger inherent in a pet riding along in a vehicle. Most all pet owners would agree that unless they have their dog or cat well trained for these jaunts out on the open road, the trip can be very stressful indeed.

If a car crashes into a vehicle carrying pets and the pets become injured as a result of the collision, the pet owner is legally entitled to make a third party claim on the negligent driver's policy for the pet's medical expenses. This might seem bizarre to some people, but it makes sense when you consider that as a general rule, a car insurance payout has to put you back where you were financially before the accident. So it follows that pet owners would receive this type of reimbursement when they get into an accident that is not their fault.

It can be a different story when the pet owner is blamed for the collision. If you cause an accident while carrying your dog and he gets hurt in the process, you might want to look into the terms of your auto insurance policy for exclusions. It is obvious that if you crash into a fence or another vehicle, your insurance will pay for the damage. But many policies contain exclusions for damage to personal property being transported. And legally, you family dog is a piece of property, no matter how hard your family members might argue otherwise. So the specifics of the insurance policy will have a lot to do with the coverage provided if any such coverage is awarded at all. Folks who travel frequently with their pets are smart to check out these sorts of provisions in advance of signing on for coverage with any provider, even if you're only looking for cheap auto insurance rates.

Pet Coverage Depends on Circumstances

Unfortunate circumstances involving auto related pet injuries happen all the time. Maybe someone has come to your house for a visit and your family dog decided to rest in the shade under his car. If the car owner backed over the dog and injured it, he would be liable for the medical expenses related to the injury. Again, this relates back to the basic principle of car insurance stipulating that when you cause damage to another person's property, you are responsible for getting them back to where they were before the accident. In this case, that means restoring the health of man's best friend.

It is important to reinforce this notion that pets are not covered under any bodily injury provisions of a car insurance policy, because in insurance terms they are not considered people but property. It can be confusing to understand this since medical care is involved but this type of medical care is distinct and different from the expense of restoring another person's health after they become injured in an accident.

Understand Basics of Pet Coverage

For pet owners who take animals with them on the road, it is important to understand the way animals are treated in car insurance policies. Whether you transport horses, farm animals, or the family dog, you need to know exactly how they're protected with car insurance pet coverage.


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