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If you're involved in a collision while your dog or cat is riding in the car, will their injuries be covered by insurance?
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.
Depending on the circumstances of the accident, your pet's injuries could be covered in one of a few different ways. However, no matter who's found at-fault, you should make sure to always hold onto your receipts.
If you get in a collision and you're at fault, your collision coverage would cover your pet's vet expenses only if this is explicitly stated in your policy. If your policy does not extend coverage to pets and you often let your dog ridealong in your car, consider adding an endorsement — if you already have collision and comprehensive coverage, pet coverage is usually quite cheap or even provided with no extra premium.
Insurance companies see pets as property. If someone else causes a car accident and your pet is injured, the other party's property damage coverage (considered a part of liability coverage) would cover the medical expenses of your dog or cat. You would need to file a claim with the other party's insurance company to have them pay or reimburse you for the damages.
Some car insurance companies offer coverage for pets.
Metromile also includes pet insurance coverage with collision coverage, and will cover up to $1,000 of medical expenses or compensation if your dog or cat is injured, killed, or stolen from your car.
If you live in a state where Erie offers car insurance, the company's pet coverage has a limit of $500 per dog or cat with a total limit of $1,000 in veterinary bills and medical expenses.
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.