Will car insurance cover hitting a dog?

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Things to Remember...
  • Auto insurance policies have several different types of coverage available
  • Comprehensive coverage will cover non-collision type accidents and occurrences, such as a fire, theft, vandalism, floods, and hitting wildlife
  • Though it is not generally a legal requirement, rivers may be mandated by their loan or leasing company to carry comprehensive coverage
  • It is important to report claims to your auto insurance company as soon as possible
  • Physical or property damage from hitting a dog is covered under the comprehensive portion of an auto insurance policy
  • You will likely need to pay your deductible and will only be covered up to the limits of your comprehensive policy

Knowing what is covered by your auto insurance policy is important, especially in the wake of a recent accident. You want to make sure you are utilizing all of the coverage you have paid for, even in what may seem like strange circumstances.

In order to get the best possible prices on auto insurance premiums, try utilizing an online insurance comparison tool. Start comparing auto insurance rates now by using our FREE  quote tool above!

Auto Accidents and Damages

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When most people think about car insurance and accidents, they think of an accident involving more than one vehicle.

However, there are damages that can be caused to a car that do not involve an additional vehicle, such as:

  • Sliding on ice and hitting a telephone pole
  • Swerving in order to not hit another vehicle and hitting a building instead
  • Hitting a deer while driving on the highway at night
  • Vandalism and theft
  • Natural disasters, such as fires, floods, tornados and earthquakes
    Depending on the type of coverage you have on your auto insurance policy, these may or may not be covered.

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage

Many drivers may not be aware of this, but there are different types of coverage on every auto insurance policy. In fact, each type is its own policy. It is important that drivers understand what types of coverage they are paying for and what is covered under each.

  • Liability Coverage  Liability is legally mandated in most states. This policy covers the cost of an accident if you are at fault. There are two types of liability; bodily injury and property damage. Bodily injury covers expenses related to death or medical care while property damage covers physical property like vehicles, buildings, trees, and poles. However, liability does not cover damages to your own car or your own bodily injury, only that of other people.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage – While everyone should have at least liability coverage, there are drivers out there who either do not have auto insurance coverage at all or who do not have adequate amounts of coverage. If you are in an accident with one of these drivers, your uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage will kick in. This type of coverage is required in some states.
  • Medical Payments Coverage – Also commonly known as MCP or med pay, this policy type is relied upon when an accident has caused injuries that require medical care, regardless of who is at fault. Med pay covers such things as funeral expenses, ambulance rides, emergency room visits, diagnostics and treatments and doctor visits in relation to the accident. Some states require drivers to carry med pay on their insurance policy while others do not.
  • Collision Coverage – Collision coverage provides for compensation and repairs when your vehicle has hit another vehicle or another object, such as a fire hydrant, stop sign, brick wall, or a post. While not usually mandated as a legal requirement, some lease and loan contracts will require drivers to have collision coverage on their vehicle.

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Comprehensive Coverage

Although not required by law, comprehensive coverage is extremely important. While some would argue that collision coverage is the most important piece to an auto policy, comprehensive coverage is just as, if not more, likely to be necessary during the course of owning and operating a vehicle.

In fact, comprehensive coverage is so important that most loan and leasing companies require it on policies for their vehicles.

It is important to note that most car insurance companies will not allow a driver to purchase a comprehensive policy without also getting collision coverage.

Comprehensive coverage provides for damage to your vehicle and physical injuries if your car is destroyed or damaged due to something other than a collision.

Many situations can be covered under the category of comprehensive coverage, including:

  • Theft
  • Fire
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Weather, such as hail or a tornado
  • Flooding
  • Hitting wildlife or other animals

If you are unsure as to whether or not something that has happened with your vehicle is covered or not, it is always a good idea to check with your insurance company. You may be pleasantly surprised.

What if I hit a dog?

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As with any auto accident, it is important to report any damage to your vehicle as soon as possible to your auto insurance company, and if appropriate, to the local authorities.

If there is property damage to your vehicle or the property of another due to you hitting a dog, it will be covered under your comprehensive policy. It will also cover expenses if you are physically injured.

This coverage will need to be in place prior to the accident and is always wise to have. It is also important for drivers to know their policy limits. Comprehensive coverage does not include coverage for the injured dog or to compensate the dog’s owner if the dog dies.

Cost of Comprehensive Coverage

The price you pay to carry comprehensive on your auto insurance company will mostly depend on the deductible you select. Drivers can usually choose a deductible of between $250 and $1,000.

As with other insurance types, increasing the deductible will usually lower the monthly premium.

For example, switching from a $250 deductible to a $500 deductible will generally save a driver 15 to 30 percent on their premium. Other factors that can increase or decrease your comprehensive coverage premium include:

Hitting a dog or another animal can be a traumatic experience. Drivers who have comprehensive coverage can take heart knowing that such an accident will be covered, up to their policy limits, by their auto insurance company.

Drivers should be sure to check with their insurance company to see how long they have to report their claim, what types of coverage they have, and their policy limits.

You can also get the best price on auto insurance premiums by using an online price comparison tool. Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE quote tool below!

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