Adding Pet Coverage To Your Personal Auto Insurance: Four Questions You Need To Ask Your Agent

Robin Wells

Many personal auto insurers now offer coverage for pet injuries. In some cases, this coverage is built into your collision coverage while in other cases, it needs to be added to your policy. If you travel frequently with your pets, you could benefit from this type of coverage. To ensure you get a policy that works for your lifestyle, here are a few questions to ask your agent first:

1. What types of pets are covered?

In many cases, only dogs and cats are covered in pet protection on personal auto insurance policies. However, that does you no good if you frequently travel with an expensive snake, a horse, a bird or any other animal. Make sure the policy you book defines pet in the same way you do.

2. Does the coverage work if you are the driver at fault?

Certain types of coverage including pet coverage only provide you with financial protection if you are not the driver at fault. However, if you want to ensure your pet's veterinary bills after an accident will be covered no matter what, you need a policy that is not concerned about which driver is at fault.

While asking about this issue, also ask the insurance agent what happens if the other driver is uninsured or underinsured. In cases like that, will your coverage kick in and cover both damage to your vehicle and damage to your pet?

3. How much does the policy cover?

Regardless of when the coverage can be used, you need to know how much it covers. Even without getting in a car accident, a dog's annual vet bills are between $600 and $1,200 per year. If your dog is seriously injured and needs a bone reset, x-rays taken, stitches done and other treatments, it can cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

If your auto insurance policy, doesn't offer enough coverage and you can't increase the amount, consider looking into pet insurance. Pet insurance is basically like health insurance for pets.  

4. Does the policy cover injuries related to theft?

What if your dog is not injured in an accident? What if you leave him in your car on a cool day, and your car is stolen and your dog is injured during the theft? If that occurs, is the cost of your dog's injuries covered? You need to know the answer to these questions to be on the safe side.

For more information on insurance, talk to a company like Helvenston B W & Sons Insurance.