Renters insurance is designed to protect your personal belongings in case of an accident, but things can become complicated when you have pets in the home. Although pets may be covered by a renters insurance policy, they may not be covered in the way you expect.
Damage to Your Property
As a rule, pet damage done to your property will not be covered under renters insurance. If your new puppy chews up several pairs of your insured shoes, for example, the damage will not be covered under your policy. Renters insurance only covers your property from a certain list of perils, including fire, hail, lightning, smoke, theft and vandalism. Damage caused by your own pets or family members are not covered.
Damages to the Rented Property
Although renters insurance won’t cover damage to your own property, it may cover damage your pet causes to another person’s property—including your landlord. Damages caused by your pet will be covered under your renters insurance policy’s liability coverage. Liability coverage provides compensation for damages and injuries someone else may suffer on your property or caused by your family members, including the four-legged ones.
For example, if your pet destroys a visitor’s purse and everything inside, renters insurance can help compensate the victim and protect you from a related lawsuit. Keep in mind that liability insurance has nothing to do with your deposit on the rented space, however. Damage to the rental property may still cause you to lose your deposit even if you have liability insurance, so be sure to review your rental agreement carefully before signing.
Injuries to You and Others
As renters insurance doesn’t cover damages to your property, it also may not cover injuries. If your dog bites you, for example, renters insurance is unlikely to cover the expenses. It will cover expenses if your dog bites someone else, however. If one of your pets injures someone else either on or off your property, liability insurance can help pay for the victim’s medical bills and protect you from a related lawsuit.
Exclusions for Pets Under Renters Insurance
Unfortunately, renters insurance policies do have exclusions like many other policies. Certain animals and breeds may not be covered under renters insurance. Exotic pets such as birds, pigs and reptiles are generally not covered under renters insurance. Dog breeds commonly excluded include huskies, malamutes, Dobermans and pit bulls.
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