Where is your pet most likely to be hit by a car?

AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Direct Line pet insurance has revealed that more than a quarter of the dog and cat road accident claims it settled last year occurred in just 10 locations.

Pet owners in the Berkshire town of Reading made the highest number of claims for dogs or cats injured in a road accident, followed by Redhill in Surrey and London.
Despite settling pet road accident claims in 104 of the UK's 124 postcode locations last year, Direct Line revealed that 27 per cent of the 815 claims closed occurred in just ten hotspots.

Top 10 dog and cat road accident hotspots

1. Reading
2. Redhill
3. London
4. Guildford
5. Bristol
6. Glasgow
7. Edinburgh
8. Portsmouth
9. Southend
10. Hemel Hempstead

The total cost of pet road accident claims settled during 2011 was £752,245, with each claim costing an average of £923. The average cost of a claim involving a cat was £794, rising to £1,118 for a dog.

Adam Whiteley, head of Direct Line pet insurance, said: "Most people view their dog or cat as a part of the family and therefore it can be a traumatic experience for them if their pet is involved in a road traffic accident."

More surprisingly it seems that names play a part in a pet's likelihood to be involved in an accident according to Direct Line. More than 60 per cent of settled claims involved a cat, with the most accident prone felines called Leo, Tigger and Billy. Dogs called Max, Charlie and Molly were most likely to be involved in an RTA.

What can you do to protect your pet?

It is difficult to protect your pets, and particularly cats from busy roads. But there are some measures you can take to help prevent accidents happening.

With dogs, be sure to keep them on a lead outside, particularly near roads and other dogs. Walk with them on the inside of the pavement, away from the road.

Both cats and dogs can be made more visible - especially at night - with a reflective collar or jacket.

Give special attention to scatty cats and dogs, or those with any hearing or sight problems and try to keep them away from roads as much as possible.

Making sure you have the right insurance policy in place will also provide peace of mind and financial assistance should your pet require treatment for injuries following a road accident.
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