Who Pays for the Dog’s Vet Care in Car Accidents?

Americans spend billions of dollars annually on their pets, some estimates to be at $41 billion. If you are a pet owner, it is only natural that you would also want to protect your dog with auto insurance while they travel with you in your car. If your dog is injured in a car accident while riding along with you, its vet care could be covered in an accident claim if the following conditions are met.


  • The accident was not your fault.
  • The negligent driver has property damage liability.
  • Your dog under this policy will be classified as personal property. (Do not take offense at your pet being referred as a property. The manner in which car insurance policies are written only applies bodily injuries to humans.)

However, if it is your driving error that caused the accident, the expenses for an emergency surgery for your dog may not be covered under your liability insurance coverage.

Protect Your Pet with Auto Insurance

To guarantee coverage for your pet when there is a car wreck, regardless of fault, you will have to investigate the fine print in several different policies. Every car insurance company has their own rules when it comes to pets. A few provide coverage, while most others do not. Just as it is for every other kind of insurance, it is a matter of shopping around for coverage that will protect your pets.


Those few car insurance companies that protect pets provide coverage for pets under the collision clause of a policy. Limits, depending on the company, range from $500 to $1,000. For the sake of clarity, collision, unlike liability insurance, pays for your accident claim without regard to fault up to the policy limits.

Whatever you do, do not make the mistake of assuming that regular pet insurance will cover injuries that your pet sustained in the car accident and pay for the emergency vet clinic in Philadelphia that has provided treatment.

What if You Hit a Dog?

Hitting your own dog can result in an at-fault accident which can lead to a collision claim. It will be up to your insurance carrier on how the claim is filed. Remember to always ensure your dog is out of harm’s way if they are often outside. Here are some tips to keeping your pet safe.

  • Do not let your pet roam freely, especially your dog.
  • Do not let your pet sit in the front seat of your car.
  • Do not let your pet sit in your lap.
  • Do not let your dog ride with its head out the window.

The stress or panic of the situation can make leaving the scenes of hitting a pet seem like a good decision, but it is not the right thing to do. Get caught and you could be cited with animal cruelty. Do the right thing and contact the emergency vet clinic near you and a police officer to arrange transport if the pet is not yours. Certainly, nobody wants to deal with a CCL injury in dogs or a more severe internal injury, but this is your responsibility to address the situation.

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