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Direct Line pet insurance says dog owners sued for car accidents

29 October 2004
UK dog owners are being forced to cough up millions in compensation claims from car drivers who hit their animals.

A survey from Direct Line Pet Insurance discovered that 2.4 million drivers have had an accident as a result of a dog running out into the road. Around 190,000 drivers have sought costs from the owners to repair the damaged vehicle.

Under the 1971 Animals Act the owners are legally responsible for their dogs and therefore responsible for any damages caused.

DLPI business manager, Chris Price said: "These are litigious times and as our survey shows people today are more likely to pursue a liability claim against a dog owner."

Therefore, he explained: "Not only are owners faced with significant veterinary bills for treating their dog, but they may have to pay to repair the damage sustained on the car which can often be extensive."

Owners can expect, on average to pay out £500 in damages and around £450 in vets' bills - and that's if their dog escapes the collision alive.

The cost of treating road traffic accident injuries is typically 70 per cent higher than the average veterinary bill.

According to the survey, although 97 per cent of dog owners are aware they are legally responsible for their dog's actions, only 16 per cent actually take out insurance to protect themselves.

To find out more about pet insurance, click here.
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