The American Pet Products Association reports that 67% households in the United States own at least one pet. 63.4 million households have a dog, and 42.7 millions households have a cat. Renters who own pets should consider the coverage of their renters insurance. You might even consider pet insurance.
While pets offer many benefits to their owners, there are also risks of your pet biting or causing injury to another person. This could lead to lawsuits and medical bills. You may also feel stressed by the financial responsibility of taking care of your pet’s well-being. While insurance can be helpful in certain cases, it is important that you understand the differences between pet insurance and renters’ insurance and how each function.
What’s the difference between renters and pet insurance?
Pet owners who rent may be interested in a policy that covers their pet. Each policy covers different situations and offers a unique set of coverages.
Renters insurance typically covers your personal property and your liability when you rent your apartment or home. Your landlord’s coverage should only cover the structure of your rented property. Renter’s insurance covers you for your personal belongings as well as your liability exposure.
Having a pet can increase your liability exposure. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), estimates that 4.5 Million people are bitten each year by dogs. You may have to pay for medical expenses if your pet injures another person by biting, scratching, or otherwise injuring them. These expenses may be covered by your renters insurance policy.
Pet insurance is basically pet insurance. Although coverage options are varied, most plans don’t cover routine veterinary visits or pre-existing conditions. Some plans might cover alternative care, such as chiropractics and acupuncture. A pet care policy may allow you to add dental care, xrays and other medical expenses to your list of covered expenses.
There are several tiers of pet insurance coverage. Basic plans often cover veterinary care and treatment for illnesses and accidents, but there are caps on the reimbursements. Although comprehensive plans can be more costly, they may offer coverage for prescriptions medication and lab fees. They may also have a lower maximum deductible.
While the decision to purchase pet insurance is personal, it could be a way to help pay for your pet’s medical bills. However, pet coverage is not available for all pets. Most commonly, it is offered for cats and dogs. However, some specialty companies may offer coverage to other types of pets.
What can you do to ensure your pet and yourself with renters insurance?
Renters insurance is designed for those who rent their home and wish to protect their personal property as well as their liability. You should ensure that you have sufficient coverage in case your pet causes injury to another person, animal, or property damage. Renters insurance policies often do not cover exotic pets such as ferrets, reptiles, amphibians, and amphibians.
Renters insurance covers damage to your rental property and other persons and their possessions in the event of injury or damage. You can also get medical care for guests who are injured at your rental home, and additional living expenses if your house is damaged by fire, flood, or other natural disasters.
If your pet injures another person, liability coverage is included in a standard renters insurance policy. It pays legal and medical expenses up to the policy limit (typically $100,000 to $300,000. Your liability coverage may also cover veterinary costs for other dogs if your dog bites another dog. All costs beyond your policy limit are your responsibility.
It is vital to inform your insurance provider that you own a pet. Not all renters insurance covers your pet’s liability. Insurance companies may deny coverage for injuries or damages caused by pets they are not aware of. Some dog breeds may not be eligible for coverage. Renters insurance may not be available if you have a dog of an ineligible breed. Your policy may also exclude liability for damages caused by that pet.
Renters insurance will not cover you if your dog causes damage to property you own. You should read your renters insurance policy carefully and speak to your agent about the coverage limits in certain situations, such as when your dog damages property that is not yours.
Renters insurance: What is the cost?
Price of renters insurance policies depends on many factors. These include how much coverage you choose, age, marital status, credit tier, and your credit score. According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple I), the average renters insurance premium in the United States is $179/year or approximately $15 per month.
Renters insurance can be more expensive if you have a pet. Your insurance company might charge you more to cover the additional risk of having a pet.
Although renters insurance is not required by law to be carried, you might have to purchase a policy as part of your lease agreement. Renters insurance is a good option, even if you don’t have to buy it. Your landlord may have insurance that covers damage to your apartment or rented home, but you must ensure that your personal property is covered. Renters insurance policies can provide liability coverage if your pet or you are responsible for any injuries or damages.
What type of pet coverage is excluded from a renters policy?
You may not be covered by your renters insurance for pet damages or liability. Your insurance company might not cover injuries or damages caused by certain breeds of dog. If you own one of the restricted breed dogs, your renters policy liability limits could be reduced or even eliminated entirely. For additional coverage, you may consider purchasing pet liability insurance.
Pet liability insurance
You can get liability coverage through a pet liability policy that covers you for any incidents that happen outside your home.
Ray Farmer, president of The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and director of South Carolina Department of Insurance, says that pet owners should always consider their individual issues. Owners need to carefully review the policy in order to fully understand their responsibilities and to take steps to minimize any potential damage.
Insurers will consider your dog’s bite to be more dangerous than if it has never bitten anyone. It doesn’t matter if your dog has never bit or attacked someone, insurance companies may not be able to provide coverage if the breed is considered dangerous or risky.
Certain dog breeds may require more insurance
Every dog is unique and every bite will be different. However, there are certain breeds that can be considered more aggressive or at greater risk of injury than others. Each insurance company has its own rules, but the following list shows which dog breeds are not eligible for insurance coverage.
This list of breeds is largely based on a study of fatal dog bites that was conducted by the U.S. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, 2000. The study was completed over 19 years. It found that about 12 dog-bite deaths per year occurred during that period, with 50 percent of them involving pit bulls, Rottweilers, or combinations thereof. It was also discovered that male dogs were more likely than females to bite another person, and that neutered dogs were less likely that to attack sexually intact dogs.
These are the breeds included on the study’s listing, as well as additional breeds that are frequently excluded by insurers.
- American Staffordshire Terrier
- Chow Chow
- Doberman Pinscher
- German Shepherd
- Great Dane
- Husky or Malamute
- Pit bull
- Presa Canario
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Saint Bernard
- Hybrids of wolf-dogs
Experts recommend that you inform your carrier if you have one of these breeds. Although you may still be eligible to buy insurance, there might be an additional charge. You may be able to find insurance that covers your dog’s breed if your carrier doesn’t offer it. You may not be able find coverage if your dog is known for aggression.
Questions frequently asked
Do I need to inform my insurance company that I have a pet?
Even if your pet is not a dog, it is important to inform your insurance company. Insurance companies may not be concerned about certain breeds of dog, but other animals may cause damage that they may need to cover if you file a claim. For example, cats could scratch guests or cause damage to the rental’s carpeting. An insurance company may deny coverage if you don’t disclose the presence of a pet. This could affect your ability to get future coverage.
Will my insurance increase if my pet injures someone?
Your insurance premium will likely increase if you file a claim to cover injuries sustained by your pet. Because insurance companies view a claim as a sign that similar damages might happen again, they will likely increase your premium to compensate. Your insurance company might cancel your policy if the injuries are too severe. You may have difficulty finding an extension policy for your pet if your policy was cancelled because of a pet accident.
What happens if my breed is not eligible?
You may have some options if your dog is on the ineligible list of your company. These breeds may not be covered by your company’s basic policy. However, you might be able to add coverage for an additional charge. You can also search for companies that will cover your dog if this is not possible. Each company can create its own list, so it is possible to find a company who will not insure your dog for a higher risk breed. Some companies don’t consider the breed of a dog to determine eligibility. They only look at a dog’s history of aggression.