Help! My Car Got in the Way of a Pack of Dogs

Quick take: Does Car Insurance Cover Animal Damage?

  • Comprehensive auto coverage can help cover damage caused by animals and other factors outside your control, like weather, fire, theft and vandalism.
  • Comprehensive insurance can cover interior damage as well.
  • Consider whether a high-deductible or low-deductible plan would work better for your location and lifestyle. 

Q:Question My car was parked outside a friend’s house while I was inside for a visit. We heard some commotion and looked outside to see a group of unaccompanied dogs running near my car. I saw at least two of them stand on hind legs to scratch at the car doors. They weren’t scary — in fact, we chased them off before I could get proof of insurance, ha. But seriously, does my auto policy cover damage from stray animals?

We posed this question to Sam Chapman, a Farmers Insurance® agent based in Westerville, Ohio. Here’s what he had to say about how you could be covered in the event of damage to your car caused by an animal.

A:Answer At Farmers, we’ve seen this kind of behavior from a dog or two. Usually there’s something super enticing inside or on top of the car and they can’t resist. But there are so many ways that an animal can damage your car. Running into one on the road is one of the most obvious (and scariest), but encounters with nature can include rodents or wild animals breaking into your car’s interior, damaging auto glass, even getting into a car’s wiring.

With most auto insurance policies, if an animal damages your car, you’ll be covered, as long as you carry comprehensive coverage.

What is comprehensive coverage?

Comprehensive auto insurance is designed to cover damages to your auto caused by an incident that is not a collision. This includes damages resulting from fire, theft, vandalism, weather events and, yes, even animals.

You might also like… What’s the Difference Between Comprehensive and Collision? Read more.

Beyond that, some drivers may be tempted to forgo comprehensive or collision coverage in order to save money. I understand the temptation, but recommend carrying both. For customers who are concerned about the cost, the first thing I do is help them compare plans with a higher deductible vs. a lower deductible.

When the unexpected happens – either getting on the wrong side of a dog pack, hitting a deer, having your car stolen or suffering auto body damage in a hail storm – you’ll appreciate the extra coverage.

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