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Was Your Pet Injured in a Car Crash?

August 16, 2023

Happy dog in a car on a rural road in Colorado

Our pets are like our children, and we increasingly take them everywhere we go, thanks to more accommodating retail and restaurant environments.

Take a walk down just about any busy retail district and there are water bowls placed outside friendly establishments, dog treats at the checkout counter, and leash hooks permanently attached to benches and buildings.

While this is a lovely advancement for pet owners, it also means that our pets are likely riding in our cars far more often than they used to, and they are just as at risk of injury if we get into crashes.

In this article, I want to make sure you understand the hidden costs of driving with your pet in the car. I also want to encourage you to secure your pet properly so that it doesn’t become a projectile in a crash or sudden stop.

Is Your Pet Insured for a Car Crash?

Traveling with your dog in Colorado

What if your precious miniature poodle is riding in your lap, head hanging out the window happily, when you are suddenly hit by another vehicle? The likelihood of your dog being ejected and injured are very high. Even if your dog rides in the back seat, if he is not secured, he can become a dangerous and vulnerable projectile if you are hit by another car.

How will you pay for your pet’s care after a car crash? If the accident was the other driver’s fault, there is a chance that his/her liability insurance could help you pay for the vet bills. However, as I’ve stated many times in the past, there are a lot of uninsured drivers on Colorado’s roads.

If the other driver has no insurance, there is a chance that your own collision and comprehensive insurance could be tapped for your pet’s vet bills. But your insurance company would fight you on this request.

If you are in a crash and your pet was injured, give me a call to discuss all of your options to pay the vet bills. If your pet was injured in the crash, I’m guessing you are also facing your own physical injuries, damages to your car, lost wages and other stressful problems.

I can help you figure out who should be helping you pay for all of these expensive issues.

If You Drive Around with Your Pet, Get Pet Insurance

Dog in an SUV in the Colorado mountains.

As I’ve said in the past, I don’t sell insurance! I have just seen too many people left bereft after car crashes because they did not have enough coverage to pay for their own medical needs, and this is true for pet insurance, too.

But how does pet insurance work? What does pet insurance cover? According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners:

“Pet insurance is similar to health insurance for humans. It includes exclusions, various levels of coverage, deductibles, and payment limits. Some carriers have different levels of coverage for the customer to choose from, while other carriers have one-size-fits all type plans. Most pet insurance companies exclude pre-existing conditions and hereditary or congenital conditions. Some insurance companies will not accept pets after a certain age and many companies have waiting periods before benefits begin. Pet insurance companies typically divide their products into 3 main categories: accident-only, accident and illness, and wellness coverages.  Each level offers specific services that are covered and excluded and will vary by price.”

While I can’t personally recommend one pet insurance company over another, these are the top 5 pet insurance companies as rated by Forbes:

• Spot
• Embrace
• Healthy Paws
• Paw Protect
• Many Pets

Secure Your Pet Properly in the Car

Dog in a seatbelt in a Colorado car

There are three main ways to protect your pet (and yourself) from injuries in a car crash. Depending on your pet and your car, one of these may be the best option for you.

Car harness for pets: Pet harnesses fit over the pet’s head and attach around the chest and upper torso. Your car’s seat belt then slips through the harness to secure your pet to the car.

Some pet owners don’t like the harness option because it restricts their pet’s movement substantially, typically keeping them in an upright position.

If you want your pet to have a bit more freedom in the backseat, without becoming a hazard in a car crash, consider a zip line.

• Car zip line for pets: The pet zip line for cars gives your pet a bit more freedom than a harness. Typically, the pet zip line mounts between opposing seat belts, above-door handles, or any other fixed point in your car or otherwise, it keeps your pet in the backseat but free to roam between windows.

• Pet barriers on cars: If you own an SUV, the pet barrier is probably the easiest and safest way to secure your pet. A pet barrier is a divider between the back seat and the load area of a wagon or SUV.

Was Your Pet Injured in a Car Crash?

Corgi injured in a car accident in Colorado

If you were in a Colorado car crash that wasn’t your fault, and your pet was injured, please give me a call to discuss all of your options. I know how precious your pet is to you and I will look for every resource to help you pay for its vet bills. Call or text me today: 303-388-5304


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