My family has four dogs. Four. We didn't intend to have four. We had three dogs—Lola, the rat terrier, chihuahua mix, Rosie, our ancient lab. Then my daughter and I ended up at a place we thought was a horse sanctuary but turned out to be, as well as a horse sanctuary, an animal rescue. There were these cute, little silky terrier poodle mix puppies that had been seized in a puppy mill bust, and we fell in love. We took two of them, and they are sleeping at my feet as I type.
We travel everywhere with our dogs, rarely going on vacation, even, without them. I'd take a dog on business trips if I could afford it/get away with it in hotels. They travel in the bed of my husband's Ford F150 if we're all traveling together, or in the back seat of my Toyota Matrix if it's just one or two of us and one or two dogs. They love riding in the car, ears flapping in the breeze out a partially open window.
I've never been in an accident when I've had a dog in the car, knock wood, but I have had a friend that was in a very serious accident where her dog's back was broken in the crash. The dog survived, and lived another several years, but the vet bills were immense. Sure, the med pay on our auto policies covers us humans, but we're left with the daunting choice of crushing vet fees or euthanasia if one of our furry friends is injured.
Three insurers have recognized this and are responding. Progressive, Farmers, and Auto Owners all offer their policy holders between $500 and $1,000 in pet coverage, at no additional charge. As Brian Dwyer from Farmers puts it, "We estimate more than 63% of our customers have pets, and caring for them after an accident can be expensive." We've got enough to deal with after an accident—an injured pet and the worries of the cost to help them heal is an added trauma that these companies are stepping up to help us avoid.
Several insurers will cover pets under a property damage claim, but there is no guarantee of that. So offering pet insurance in a collision is a great perk that, in my case, is actually a potentially compelling reason to switch insurers.