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Auto insurers adding pet coverage to policies

Consumer demands have been changing the products industries offer, even in the auto insurance business. Several major insurance companies are now offering coverage for pets on auto insurance policies.

In 2007, once a major provider in Michigan became the first to add coverage for pets to its auto policies, other insurers quickly followed suit. In Michigan, customers don't pay a higher premium for pet coverage.

So far, pet coverage is not widespread, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute told the Detroit Free Press.

But in Michigan, insurance companies were primarily convinced by customer surveys to add pet coverage, the newspaper reported.

Because pet policies are relatively new, it is difficult to determine how many pet owners have filed claims, insurance companies said.

Some veterinarians have wondered if the coverage is even necessary, although caring for an injured animal can be quite expensive.

"I've seen a number of dogs who have jumped out of car windows," one veterinarian told the Detroit paper. "But I can't think of many people who have been in accidents with their pets."

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