Most dogs that enjoy traveling with their head hanging out the window aren't concerned about insurance, but now an auto insurance company is offering pet owners increased peace of mind.
Auto insurance generally provides property, liability and medical coverage. Progressive Corp., based in Mayfield, is now providing collision coverage for customers' dogs or cats at no additional premium cost. It will pay up to $500 if a customer's dog or cat is hurt or dies in a car accident. Liability coverage would kick in for any pets hurt in a car other than the insured's. The new Progressive benefit is not pet insurance, which some people obtain to help them pay veterinarian costs, and is seen more as a value-added benefit of auto insurance with the company.
There are over 150 million pets in the U.S., and Americans spend over $40 billion on their pets annually, according to a recent Insurance Information Institute study, and most pet owners have never given any thought to whether any medical costs for their pets would be covered by their insurance policy. The Progressive benefit has been in place since Sept. 6, and it's still too soon to determine if the company's undetermined cost of offering it will be offset by better sales.
Progressive is the third-biggest auto insurer, ranking behind State Farm and Allstate, who have confirmed a pets benefit is not in the collision part of their policies. Progressive's pet benefit is available in 46 states and the District of Columbia; it's not yet available in North Carolina, New Hampshire, New York and Virginia, but the company hopes to offer it in those states soon.