Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: May 20, 2020

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It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Pets are viewed as property to car insurance companies, so they are covered under your liability policy which is about $40/mo
  • You will have to check with your insurance company if pets are covered under your policy and whether or not they would be covered if an accident was your fault
  • Most insurance companies that include pets as part of collision coverage have a restricted breeds list
  • Pet insurance is a low-cost coverage option for owners that guarantees protection

Many people consider their pets to be part of their family. The problem is that the rest of the world doesn’t typically view pets in this fashion, especially car insurance companies.

Many pet owners are devastated when they have an accident and learn that their pet’s injuries aren’t covered by their insurance.

Fortunately, things are changing and pet car insurance isn’t such an anomaly anymore.

Pet car insurance almost sounds like a joke, right? The truth, however, is that some insurance companies are reconsidering their stance on covering pets that are in your vehicle while driving.

There are some limitations, however, that you need to understand. Enter your zip code now and get free car insurance rates!

Table of Contents

Taking Care of Your Pet: Car Insurance Response When the Accident Isn’t Your Fault

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As far as insurance companies go, your pet is not a member of your family, it is something that you own.

Because your pet is considered to be property, if someone else causes a car accident and your pet is injured, their insurance company will cover the cost of the injuries to your pet.

This care will be provided under the driver’s property liability coverage.

While having your pet referred to as a piece of property may not feel right, if it means that your pet gets the care that they need, then swallow your pride and let the care begin.

You may have to pay for the care out of pocket and then submit a claim, so make sure that you keep all of the documents are receipts related to your pets care.

It is important to note that this isn’t an opportunity for you to get that surgery for your pet that he/she needs. What does pet insurance actually cover? The insurance company will only cover the costs of care directly caused by the auto accident.

There are no limits on how many pets you can have in your vehicle. Interestingly, this also applies if you are driving a motorcycle.

There are a few cyclists that put their pet in a carrier on a storage device or in a sidecar so that they can bring their pet with them when they travel.

There are no restrictions on the type of pet that is covered. Whether you are traveling with your pet hamster or your dog, they will receive the care they need if injured in an auto accident.

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Pet Car Insurance Coverage When an Accident is Your Fault

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Because your pet is considered to be your property, if you have an auto accident, then your pet will not be covered under your policy unless it is specified on your policy.

If this coverage exists, it will not be part of your liability coverage; it will be part of your collision coverage.

You will need to check your policy to see if your pet’s injuries are covered in an accident you cause. You may be surprised to learn that most companies simply don’t cover your pets.

Progressive recently announced that they are including pet car insurance as part of their collision coverage.

Even if you have pet care coverage through your auto insurance company, it is probably not enough to cover any serious damage caused to your pet in an accident.

That is why it is important to consider your other options. Overlooked coverage options are homeowner’s insurance or rental insurance.

Because your pet is considered property, all of these insurances will cover most pets.

We say “most” here because if your pet is a restricted breed, then your insurance will not cover the cost of their care. So do you really need pet insurance? Not in all cases.

Restricted breeds are dogs that are considered to be dangerous by insurance companies such as:

  • Pit bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Presa Canarios
  • Wolf hybrids

Your insurance company can provide you with a list restricted breeds as some have more dogs than what are listed here. Some even exclude coverage from German Shepherds, Belgian Malinois, and Dalmatians.

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Pet Insurance: Protecting Your Four-Legged Family Member

Another way to ensure that your pet has the care they need in the event of an accident that you cause is with pet insurance.

Pet insurance is designed to pay for care for your pet in the event of an accident, injury or illness.

When buying pet insurance you need to check your policy for restrictions on auto accidents, some companies don’t cover this. Many do, however, making it possible for you to get your pet the care that it needs.

Most pet insurance policies have a per incident cap on services as well as a per incident deductible.

If you have homeowners insurance and/or car insurance that will cover your pet, you may want to consider using a combination of insurance to reduce your out of pocket expenses.

Just remember, when you file a claim with your insurance company, they will raise your rates because you filed that claim.

Most pet insurance companies don’t increase their rates if you file a claim due to an auto accident.

This is just something you want to consider before you use your car or homeowner’s insurance; how much is the rate increase compared to your out of pocket expenses for your pet’s care.

Pet Car Insurance Costs Compared to Other Options

As mentioned above, Progressive offers pet insurance and they don’t charge more for this coverage. That makes this an affordable pet insurance.

If you are considering insurance for your pet, car insurance companies may or may not charge more for this service. What is the average cost of pet insurance per month? It varies widely but is usually between $30-$50.

Checking with your car insurance company is the only way to establish just what your insurance will cover.

The cost of pet insurance is usually very low. Depending on what coverage you purchase and the insurance company you use, you can expect to pay between $15 and $50 a month.

Of course, other factors such as the age of your pet, the type of pet you have and so on will all factor into these costs.

Homeowners insurance and renters insurance will vary as well.

  • Homeowners insurance is more expensive than other insurance because it covers the structure of your home
  • Renters insurance is very affordable because it is only about the possessions you own

In order to ensure you choose the most affordable option, you need to shop around for each type of insurance and compare their rates to each other.

Free quote tools are the easiest way to accomplish this and will provide you with fast results as well.

Get free car insurance quotes online right now with just your zip code!