It's safe to say that Americans love pets. According to the ASPCA, approximately 37% to 47% of American households own a dog and approximately 30% to 37% own a cat. Keep in mind that there are many other types of pets out there. With that said, pet owners frequently have to transport their pets from one location to another. Most of the time, their transportation mode of choice will be their vehicles. Making sure that your auto insurance policy offers pet injury coverage is crucial. This coverage entitles your pet to medical coverage should they get injured in an accident. Here are 3 things to consider when looking at the type of pet injury coverage your auto insurance policy offers.
The Type of Pet That Is Covered
Although dogs and cats are the most popular type of pets in the U.S., they are not the only type of pets that Americans love. Many Americans own and love fishes, birds, and even reptiles. Just because your auto insurance plan offers pet injury coverage, it doesn't necessarily mean that your pet is covered. You need to carefully read the clauses of the coverage to determine whether there are any restrictions to the types of pets that are covered, as, more often than not, coverage is only given to dogs and cats.
If you own a different type of pet, you may need to have your auto insurance company specify that the coverage extends to your type of pet within the policy. Depending on the situation, you may or may not have to pay extra to make sure that your pet is covered.
Whether a Separate Premium Is Required
Once an accident has happened, you are expected to pay a certain amount, or a premium, to the insurance company before they are willing to write you a check for your expenses. For example, if you are claiming medical expenses, you might be expected to pay a premium of several hundred dollars before you are entitled to receiving the monetary compensation needed to pay for all of the medications or treatments you need.
Determine if you'll have to pay a separate premium for your pet's injuries or whether you'll only be expected to pay one premium for all medical expenses regardless of whether the injured party is a human being or a pet. If you're expected to pay a premium for the pet injury coverage, make sure you are fully aware of how much the premium is. If the premium is an exorbitant amount, the premium itself may cost just as much if not more than your pet's medical expenses. In these situations, having pet injury coverage may not even be helpful to your financial situation.
The Amount and Type of Coverage Offered
Understanding all of the clauses and provisions included within the pet injury coverage will tell you whether there are any restrictions you need to be aware of. Specifically, you need to figure out whether there is a restriction on the amount or type of coverage that is offered by the auto insurance policy. For example, the policy may have a maximum cap on the amount that they are willing to shell out for your pet's veterinary bills and medical expenses. Anything above the cap will need to be paid out of your own pocket.
You also need to figure out whether the coverage will only cover a certain type of medication or treatment. For example, some pet injury coverage may only pay for certain types of medications or may only be willing to pay for one surgical procedure. If this is the case, you might be left hanging should your pet sustain severe injuries from the accident.
While pet insurance can provide you with some financial relief during these difficult times, making sure that your auto insurance policy has pet injury coverage can really help. Not only will you be able to rest assured knowing that you are fully protected, but the pet insurance coverage might allow you to opt for medications or treatments that are not covered by your pet insurance policy.