Four Things You Should Know About Your Dog And Auto Insurance
If you had your dog in your car during a collision, and the dog got injured, would your auto insurance coverage pay for the dog's medical bills? Answering this question isn't easy because it all depends on the coverage you have, who caused the accident, and the policy of your auto insurance company. Here are some things you should know about dogs and auto insurance coverage:
Pets Are Treated As Property
You may consider your dog as part of your family, but insurance companies aren't of the same opinion. To your auto insurance company, your dog is your property, which means its compensation will be treated like property compensation. For example, if you are pursuing a car accident claim, the value of your dog will be appraised just like any other property, and your sentimental attachment to the dog may not influence the claim. Also, if your dog is injured due to another person's negligence, it is their property liability coverage that will cover your dog.
Pet Coverage Isn't Automatic
Not all auto insurance policies include pet coverage. Therefore, when you purchase car insurance, coverage for your beloved pet may not be included unless it is explicitly listed as included. If it's not listed, ask your insurance agent or car insurance company for clarification. That way you won't be shocked if your pet gets injured and your insurance company declines your claims.
There Are Restricted Breeds
Even auto insurance policies that include pet coverage may not cover your dog if it belongs to a restricted breed. This is because some dog breeds are considered too high-risk to be included in auto insurance because they are too dangerous. Examples of dangerous/restricted breeds include pit bulls and rottweilers. This shouldn't be too much of a surprise given that even home insurance companies tend to be wary of dangerous dog breeds.
You Can Buy Separate Pet Coverage
The good news is that while pet coverage isn't automatic with auto insurance policies, you can buy pet coverage as a separate coverage specifically for your dog. Some companies offer pet coverage at an extra premium, and you can use it to pay for your pet's injuries irrespective of who is liable for the accident.
As you can see, it is never a good idea to make assumptions about dog coverage when it comes to auto insurance. You don't want to submit a claim for your pet's injury only to learn that your coverage doesn't extend that far. Talk to your car insurance agent to confirm whether your dog is covered; buy additional coverage if necessary.