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A standard car insurance policy covers property damage and injuries to drivers and their passengers in accidents.
But a handful of insurance companies are now offering coverage for other injured parties -- your cat or dog. These companies are offering pet car insurance when you get quotes for a policy that includes liability, collision and comprehensive coverage, also known as full coverage.
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Dogs are frequent on-the-road companions. A 2011 survey of dog owners by AAA and Kurgo, a maker of pet travel products, found that 56% had driven with their dog in the vehicle at least once a month over the past year. (Statistics for cats and other pets riding in cars were not available.)
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Best car insurance coverage for pet injuries
Of the companies that offer pet injury coverage, Chubb is the most generous, offering up to $2,000 for pets injured or killed in a crash or another covered loss. The company says it will help pay to treat, board or replace pets, including horses pulled in trailers.
The coverage is included in Chubb’s Masterpiece Auto Preference policy, which is geared to high net worth customers and includes other perks, such as worldwide rental car coverage.
The pet injury coverage is available in 28 states, and Chubb plans to roll out the coverage to other states in the future, a company spokesperson says.
Other options for pet injury coverage
Erie Insurance’s pet injury insurance covers up to two animals -- dogs or cats -- that are injured in your car in an accident. The company will pay up to $500 for veterinary care or $1,000 if they’re killed.
Of the 12 states and the District of Columbia, where Erie Insurance is licensed to do business, pet injury coverage is available in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin. The benefit is not available in North Carolina.
Metromile sells pay-per-mile insurance aimed at city drivers in six states, and provides up to $1,000 of coverage if your dog or cat is hurt or killed in an accident or other mishap covered by your collision or comprehensive insurance. The coverage is available only in California, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. Metromile does not offer the coverage in Illinois or Virginia, where it also operates.
Progressive includes pet injury insurance when you buy collision coverage on your auto insurance policy and when you buy collision and comprehensive insurance on your boat, personal watercraft or RV policy. When included in an auto insurance policy, the coverage pays up to $1,000 toward veterinary bills if your dog or cat is injured in a car accident or a $1,000 payout if your pet is killed. When the coverage is part of a boat, personal watercraft or RV policy, it pays out if your pet is injured or killed in an accident, theft or fire involving one of those vehicles.
The company’s pet injury insurance also extends to a relative’s dog or cat if the family member lives with you.
Progressive sells auto insurance nationwide. Pet injury coverage is not yet available in New Hampshire or North Carolina.
Shop around for coverage
Keep in mind that most pet injury insurance applies only to dogs and cats, and only when they’re injured in the car. If you want coverage for all your pet’s medical bills, shop for a general pet insurance policy.
Whether you’re looking for perks such as pet injury insurance, or just want enough coverage to meet your state’s minimum requirements to drive legally, compare car insurance quotes to find the best deal. NerdWallet’s car insurance comparison tool can help you get started.