We all love our pets, but here’s something to think about: car pet insurance pros and cons. If you’re like most pet owners, buying an auto insurance policy that also covers your pets traveling with you in the car is the farthest thing from your mind.

It shouldn’t be.

Check out these car pet insurance pros and cons and see if you change your mind.

Pros of Car Pet Insurance

What would you do without your beloved pet? Likely you’d suffer great anguish that would be all the more heartbreaking if you had an accident with your pet in the car and didn’t have a car pet insurance policy that covered major veterinary care required as a result of an auto accident or, worse yet, burial costs. This is a big advantage of car pet insurance.

Note that car pet insurance is different than pet health insurance, which typically covers treatment needed at a veterinarian’s office. Car pet insurance coverage kicks in, typically, if a pet that is traveling in your car is injured in an accident and needs veterinary care. Some policies – though not all – even pay out if your pet is killed in the car accident.

It’s easy to add car pet insurance to existing automotive policies, as long as you can find a company that provides such coverage.

  • Progressive was the first to offer coverage for pets in cars back in 2007. Built into Progressive’s collision insurance, car pet insurance provides up to $1,000 to pay vet bills if a pet becomes injured in an accident, during a fire or vehicle theft. The company’s car pet coverage also applies to dogs and cats in recreational and commercial vehicles and boats.
  • Chubb Group of Insurance Companies of Warren, New Jersey, began offering car pet insurance coverage in February 2011. Chubb’s policy, available in a handful of states (although the company plans on rolling it out to more states), covers $2,000 of pet injuries.
  • Arbella Mutual Insurance, a regional insurer in Quincy, Massachusetts, offers a pet lover’s endorsement for its auto insurance policies. Begun late last year, Arbella’s coverage, for an additional $20 premium, provides up to $500 worth of coverage for dogs and cats injured in a car crash. It also covers burial costs if the pet dies.

Cons of Car Pet Insurance

There are a few drawbacks to car pet insurance, not all of which are major obstacles – but they are something to think about.

Coverage isn’t universally available. Not all auto insurance companies offer car pet insurance.

Before purchasing car pet insurance, know exactly what is and what isn’t covered. Some car pet insurance policies only cover cats and dogs, while other policies (such as that offered by Chubb) cover all manner of pets.

Another drawback is that the pet’s injuries must be mentioned at the time of filing the auto insurance claim. Receipts showing proof of payment and copies of all veterinary bills must also be submitted before payment will be made.

Bottom line: Think about car pet insurance pros and cons – and then decide if coverage is right for your pets.

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