Dogs in cars: will motor insurance cover pets in accidents?

a dog's head outside of a car window while it's moving, signifying the importance of getting pet insurance for dogs in cars

One of the greatest joys you will ever see in life is the smiling face of a dog with its head poking out a car window. It’s really something hilarious to watch - watch this cute pup do it for the first time. When you’re driving with your dog, or any pet for that matter, you need to understand that the risks you face behind the wheel also apply to your furry friends. Pets are not immune to accidents or crashes on the roads.

With Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dog approaching, Kwiksure discusses whether car insurance covers dogs in cars, and what alternative coverage might be needed to secure their wellbeing.

How car insurance policies treat dogs in cars

The quick and unfortunate news is that, unlike people, dogs and other pets are not generally covered by Hong Kong car insurance policies. It doesn’t matter whether you have third-party or comprehensive insurance, or whether or not you’re the one at fault. Car insurance companies simply do not count pets as property or persons in the event of a car accident.

This is not to say that the costs of seeking medical and veterinary treatment for your pets after an accident is not possible; it’s just that car insurance policies won’t play a part in that equation. According to one major insurer we spoke to about car accidents and pets, it’s generally left up to the pet owner to seek reparations through legal small claims avenues instead.

So there’s absolutely no protection for pets in vehicles?

Not necessarily. We’ve spoken to a few insurers who have said that they don’t offer protection - but that’s not to say that there aren’t insurers out there who will. For example, it might be acceptable to some car insurers to offer compensation to third-parties where a pet is involved. Because of this, it’s worth keeping any veterinary bills you have and submitting them to an insurer if their policyholder is at fault. They may choose to honour the claim.

What’s the best way to secure the health and wellbeing of my pets?

Pet insurance products are an innovative way to care for your pets, and a great Chinese New Year present. In particular, pet insurance can offer the following benefits:

  • Medical: Veterinary fees, medication, clinical and surgical expenses.
  • Third party liability: compensation for legal liability to third parties.
  • Funeral services: including the cost of cremation.
  • Advertising expenses: for stolen or lost pets.
  • Overseas cover: option extension for travelling outside of Hong Kong.

The thing to note with pet insurance is that coverage can generally be fairly thin, meaning it may only just cover the costs of some medical expenses and the limits may be reached within one claim. There are also age restrictions. It is not uncommon to see some policies refusing to provide cover for pets over a certain age. Pre-existing medical conditions are also a major exclusion of most plans, and some of the more exotic pets will not be covered at all.

Pet insurance can be a good way to protecting domestic animals, such as cats and dogs in cars, however. If you find yourself in a traffic accident with a pet in the car, you’ll be glad to know that such plans will provide cover where traditional car insurance would not.

I’d like to talk to someone about pet insurance

Kwiksure is a leading car insurance broker in Hong Kong, however we can also provide you with a quote for pet insurance if required. Our team of experts can talk to you about your cat or dog, and help you find the best type of insurance for your needs. Whether it’s cats, cars, or dogs in cars, your protection and safety is our number one concern. With Chinese New Year around the corner, there’s never been a better time to secure the wellbeing of those things you love.

For a free quote, contact the team at Kwiksure today! 

The above information is for reference only. Kwiksure takes no responsibility for the accuracy and timeliness of the information. For the coverage, mode of compensation, benefit limit and premium levels of any specific insurance plan, please refer to the relevant policy terms.