Everyone loves their pets. And you've likely done a lot to make yours comfortable in your home. However, your dog or cat still has its wild instincts, and there are times when it might bite someone else. In these cases, can your property insurance help you out? Do renters insurance policies contain coverage for pet bites? How can they help you when these accidents occur?
Yes, renters insurance can help when your dog bites someone else. However, this coverage is often limited to instances when your pet bites someone else. Plus, it does not extend protection to many types of pets, and not even all breeds of dogs will have coverage.
Understanding Coverage For Pet Bites
Renters insurance helps you protect yourself and your family — your pets included — in the event of damages in your home. It will also contain coverage called liability insurance. This coverage is sometimes called at-fault insurance. It applies when members of the family make mistakes that harm other people — such as neighbors, houseguests and even strangers who happen to be on the property. Therefore, in many cases, your policy can also apply your dog or cat.
Pets are beloved members of the household. However, there's always a chance that one might act out of turn, and cause harm to someone else. If they bite this person, they could cause not only a significant injury, but also significant costs. The injured person might need medical treatment that could cost a lot of money. Furthermore, they might have to miss work, and lose income as a result of their injuries. Because your pet caused them harm, you might be on the hook for the damage.
The good news is that your liability insurance might be able to help you out in these cases. Many renters insurance policies cover damage caused by pets through what's called pet liability or dog bite liability coverage. In some cases, this coverage is automatically included in a renters policy. In other cases, you can buy it as an extra endorsement to the policy.
With your pet liability coverage, you can compensate the affected party for their respective losses. Additionally, should that person sue you because of the damage you caused them, then your policy might be able to help you cover the costs of your legal fees. It's there to make it easier to make up for the mistakes that man's best friend might accidentally cause.
When Your Policy Won't Help You
Even though you might have pet liability insurance, there's no absolute guarantee that it will cover all of the damage that your pet causes.
First, it won't cover you or members of your family if the pet bites you. Nor will it cover damage your pet does to your own property. By getting this pet, you assume a degree of responsibility by bringing them into your home. It's your job to do what you can to protect yourself or your property from the pet's wild instincts. Training, discipline and positive reinforcement can help you avoid problems in the home.
Also, some policies will not cover damage caused by all pets. For example, basic pet liability policies often don't insure damage done by exotic pets. Even the damage done by certain breeds of dogs won't have coverage. Some insurers exclude what they call dangerous or high-risk breeds. These might include pets like Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Rottweilers and other breeds commonly thought of as aggressive. Though your particular pet might be extremely loving and docile, risk analysis shows that certain dogs are more likely to cause harm.
To expand coverage where standard pet liability insurance might not offer it, speak to your renters insurance agent. Your BluCanopy representative can help you do all you can to protect yourself if your pet ever acts inappropriately.