They are cute, some are furry, and they’re all loyal. Pets are great to have around for company.
A recent survey by the American Pet Products Association showed that there are over 77.8 million pet dogs in the U.S. The figure representing pet cats is even higher.
The same survey showed that over 4.5 million people suffer dog bites annually. More than half of this figure represents children, and over 800,000 of these injuries are severe enough to need medical attention.
Owning a pet isn’t all a bed of roses. If you don’t have pet or homeowners insurance, the cost of any damage caused by your pet will come right out of your pocket.Within your homeowners insurance policy resides protection called liability coverage. This is the protection for all things pets. Click here to learn more!Click To Tweet
Does My Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
Imagine that you’re having a great afternoon at home, and the doorbell rings. Your dog just bit your neighbors’ little 5-year-old girl, and she has been rushed to the hospital. Your neighbor wants to know how you’re going to handle this.
Injuries caused by pets can result in thousands of dollars in medical bills. If the other party decides to sue you, you could end up paying hundreds of thousands or even millions depending on the severity of the injuries. These fees aren’t easy to pay out of pocket. It helps to have something to fall back on.
Many homeowners are surprised to learn that their homeowner’s insurance covers pet damages. Liability coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy is designed to protect you in case of damage or injuries to other parties that you can be held liable for.
However, it is crucial to be cautious here. This coverage is limited. Some homeowner’s policies don’t even include this type of coverage. It is, therefore, important to check on this when seeking homeowners insurance quotes.
Even if your insurance provider offers coverage for pet damages, it is essential to check the fine print. Various factors are considered by the insurance company when deciding whether they will provide compensation or not.
Keep the following in mind:
If your pet is considered exotic, you may not be covered for damage by the pet.
These pets may include pets that would not typically be sold out of a pet retail store. These may consist of tigers, monkeys, or other wild animals.
Damage to Your Own Dwellings or Property
Insurance companies typically do not cover dwellings or their contents when the primary cause of loss is a pet owned by the policyholder.
If your pet destroys your expensive sofa, door, or area rug, your insurance provider isn’t likely to compensate you. However, the insurance provider will offer coverage if your dog chews on your neighbor’s carpet.
Dog’s With History of Aggressive Behavior
Dog bites are quite common. They can also be very expensive.
According to State Farm and The Insurance Information Institute, home insurance claims related to dog bites made up 4.7 percent of homeowners’ insurance costs in 2014.
These claims resulted in insurance providers paying over $530 million, with the average claim being slightly over $32,000.
It’s, therefore, understandable that insurance providers will be wary of insuring dogs they consider dangerous. These include poorly trained dogs or fall in the category of dangerous breeds, such as Rottweilers, Pit Bull Terriers, and German Shepherds.
Getting Dog-Friendly Homeowners Insurance
Some states will offer certain protections to cover damages caused by pets. However, it’s vital to ensure that damages by your pet are covered.
Consider taking a stand-alone liability policy. This may mean meeting specific requirements, such as installing a fence or cages.
So does homeowners insurance cover pet damages? The answer is maybe, but not always. Whether you’re planning to buy a homeowners insurance policy online or in person, prepare a list of questions to ask beforehand so you can cover every necessary angle.
Your pocket and peace of mind will thank you later on.