Car insurance policy agreements may be invalidated for taking your pet on holiday
Car insurance agreements can be axed if road users simply take their pet on holiday and fail to tackle some simple precautions. All pets must be correctly restrained inside the vehicle at all times unless road users want to risk having their policy cancelled.
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This is because “unsecured pets can make a car more at risk” of suffering crashes or putting other road users at risk.
This is because animals may “distract” the driver or “physically get in the way” of driving the car.
This can cause motorists to drive more dangerously and possibly miss vital road hazards which could lead to car crashes.
A spokesperson for insurance experts CarParts4Less told Express.co.uk that insurance firms may “refuse to pay for your claim” if a pet has not been properly secured.
The spokesperson said: “Our pets have become more of a lifeline than ever during lockdown and what better way to reward them than a dog friendly getaway.
“But if you’re planning on taking your pet on holiday with you, it’s important to remember that you are legally required to make sure they are secured.
“Unsecured pets can make a car more at risk of accidents, as they may distract the driver or even physically get in the way of driving.
“If you crash with an unsecured pet in the car, it’s likely that your insurance company will refuse to pay for your claim.”
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Go Compare suggests it is not a legal requirement set out in legislation and there is no direct penalty for failing to restrain an animal.
However, they warn road users could be pulled over for driving without due care and attention, which will see between three and nine points issued on your licence.
In more serious cases, the AA warns motorists could be slapped with a charge for dangerous driving which would see penalties increase.
In this case, drivers may be hit with a custodial sentence, a £5,000 fine and a 12 month driving ban.
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They warn having a pet could also be used as evidence against you in a crash and some drivers may be blamed for causing a collision even if it was not their fault.
GoComapre says smaller animals such as cats or rabbits are best suited to a travel cage, crate or carrier.
These can be placed on the rear passenger seat with a seatbelt or in the rear footwells.
Harnesses and especially designed seatbelts are best used for large dogs as these will keep them properly restrained in the event of a crash.,
These clip into existing seatbelt fixtures and extend across their whole body to act as a safe restraint.
Experts say drivers should only place harnesses in the rear passenger seats and the car windows should be opened by a small amount to allow some air to escape.
The Highway Code also says driver’s should not allow their pets to ride with their heads hanging out of the window when on a journey. ,
This is potentially dangerous and can cause injury to the animal and other drivers who will need to avoid hitting the animal.
They also urge drivers to always carry a large water bottle in case their pet overheats and needs to be rapidly cooled.
Sun shades should also be used on the windows when the sun is bright and experts warn that animals should never leave a pet in a hot car for health reasons.
The AA says pets travel better on an empty stomach so owners should feed their animals at least two hours before setting off on a journey.
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