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Will auto policy pay if you hit your own pet?


Question: My husband hit our dog in our driveway. Will our auto insurance cover his vet bills?

Answer: We hope your dog is OK. But we’re sorry to tell you that your car insurance won’t cover your dog’s veterinary bills for this accident.

Car insurance providers see a pet as your own property, which means you can’t make a claim for the injuries your dog sustained. Auto insurance liability policies exclude coverage for damage to property owned by the insured.

As harsh as it might sound, if your husband had hit your mailbox, the damage to the mailbox wouldn't be covered, either.

Your car, however, would be covered if you carry physical damage coverages of comprehensive and collision.

Collision covers your vehicle if it hits other vehicles or objects and comprehensive covers your car for damages sustained from situations such as theft, fire and vandalism, as well as animal strikes. 

So, if your vehicle were damaged when your husband struck your dog, you could make a claim if you have comprehensive coverage and the cost to repair your vehicle is more than your deductible amount.

Some car insurance companies -- such as Auto-Owners, Progressive and Safeco --offer pet injury insurance as a benefit.  However, even if you had this as part of your policy, it covers your pet only if the animal is hurt while riding in your car and you make a collision claim.  It doesn’t cover a pet injured while outside of a vehicle.

Thus, no matter how good your car insurance policy might be, it won’t cover the vet bills that have accumulated as a result of this incident.

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