Auto Insurance Coverage for Pet Injuries

As more and more motorists travel with their furry companions, it’s essential to understand the extent of car insurance coverage for pet injuries in case of accidents. While many auto insurance policies include provisions for pet injuries, it’s important to know the specifics and take proactive steps to ensure your beloved pets are protected. In this article, we will explore the key aspects, including the types of coverage available, limitations, and the companies that offer this provision.

Understanding coverage for pet injuries

Typically, injuries to pets resulting from car accidents are covered under your own vehicle insurance policy’s Collision coverage. This coverage is designed to provide financial protection for your pets if they are injured in a collision, regardless of who is at fault. However, it’s important to note that coverage for pet injuries is usually subject to a maximum limit, often around $1,000. This means that the insurer will pay up to that limit for veterinary bills, funeral costs, or even the replacement of the pet if injured in a collision.

Availability and add-on options

While some automobile insurance companies automatically include pet coverage within their policies, others may not have this provision. Therefore, it’s crucial for animal lovers to check, ask, and explicitly look for pet inclusion in their policies. Companies like Progressive, Nationwide, The Hartford, Chubb, Erie, Cincinnati, and Metromile are known to offer pet coverage within their car insurance policies. However, it’s advisable to shop around and compare different insurers to find the most suitable policy with competitive rates.

Limitations and eligibility

Pet coverage in vehicle insurance policies is typically limited to cats and dogs. Moreover, to be eligible for compensation, the pet must either be owned by the policyholder or belong to someone within the policyholder’s household. It’s important to understand that car insurers generally consider pets as property. Therefore, the owner’s Collision coverage pays for their veterinary bills, funeral costs, or even the replacement of the pet if they suffer injuries in a collision, regardless of fault. Most companies set a maximum limit for total injuries, and some may also establish a maximum limit per pet.

Deductibles, time limits, and claim considerations

In some cases, vehicle insurance companies may waive the deductible for pet injuries. It’s essential to review your policy and understand the specifics of your coverage. Additionally, there may be time limits for filing claims, usually within a year from the accident. It’s important to remember that pet coverage within auto insurance only applies when the accident occurs while the pet is inside the insured vehicle. Injuries to pets that occur outside of the insured vehicle, such as if they are hit by another vehicle while outside, may not be covered.

Third-party liability coverage

Regardless of whether your auto insurance policy includes pet coverage, if an accident involving your car is caused by someone else, it may be possible to seek compensation for your pet’s injuries and related costs from the at-fault party’s liability insurance. The at-fault party’s liability vehicle insurance property damage coverage typically pays for pet damages in such situations.

Choosing the right policy

When seeking car insurance coverage for pet injuries, it’s essential to assess your needs, research different companies, and compare policies. While some insurers may automatically offer pet coverage, others may not prioritize it. However, paying significantly more for a policy solely for this provision may not be cost-effective. Therefore, finding a balance between competitive rates and suitable coverage is crucial. Additionally, pet coverage is provided by Collision coverage. So, if you aren’t prepared to buy full coverage but prefer a liability-only policy, you won’t get such coverage.


Ensuring the well-being and protection of our furry friends during car accidents is a priority for many pet owners. Automobile insurance coverage for pet injuries offers a safety net for veterinary bills, funeral costs, and pet replacements in the event of a collision. While some insurers include pet coverage automatically, it’s essential to research, compare policies, and consider add-on options to find the most suitable coverage for your needs. Remember to review your policy, inquire with your carrier, and understand the limitations and eligibility criteria.