Does renters insurance cover liability for pets?

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  • Tenant insurance has two components: personal property insurance and liability insurance.
  • If your pet bites someone or damages their property, renters’ insurance covers third party liability.
  • Certain breeds of dogs and exotic animals are excluded, requiring additional coverage.
  • See Insider’s Picks for the Best Renters Insurance Companies.

Tenant insurance protects you and your personal property. A tenant insurance policy has two main components: personal property coverage and liability coverage.

Personal liability insurance protects renters if their pet injures someone or damages someone’s property. However, exotic pets and certain breeds of dogs are generally excluded from coverage.

Does tenant insurance cover animal liability?

If you’ve purchased tenant insurance, animal bites are covered under your policy’s liability coverage. However, some tenant insurance companies will not offer coverage for certain breeds of exotic dogs and animals.

According to Wise Insurance Group, most insurers consider a pet to be exotic if:

  • A permit is required to purchase the animal
  • You must modify your house or yard to contain the animal
  • The pet is a hybrid of a domesticated and non-domesticated animal (like the wolf and cat hybrids)
  • The animal is found naturally in the wild

Animal liability coverage is not pet insurance. Pet insurance is a health plan for your pet. Pet Liability covers any damage or injury that your pet causes to someone. In addition, damage caused to you or your personal property by your pet will not be covered.

There are limits to standard personal liability coverage depending on your policy and insurance company, typically $ 100,000.

An umbrella policy is additional liability coverage that is available as an additional rider to your renters insurance. Umbrella coverage begins after you have exhausted your personal liability coverage limit.

A million dollar umbrella policy costs between $ 150 and $ 300 per year, according to the Insurance Information Institute. However, the Institute notes that most carriers require renters to have at least $ 300,000 in liability insurance before selling them an umbrella policy.

Canine and exotic animal liability insurance is an option

If you have a restricted dog breed and cannot purchase an umbrella policy to cover your pet, you may want to consider dog liability insurance. Dog liability insurance provides coverage if your dog bites or attacks someone. It’s a separate policy that’s useful if your renters insurance doesn’t offer coverage for your breed.

If you have an exotic animal, X-Insurance offers exotic animal liability insurance.

Filing a liability insurance claim for a pet bite

If your pet bites someone, you should immediately notify your renters insurance company. Some states have laws that state that if an animal bites, the owner is strictly responsible.

You want to make sure that your insurance company is notified in the event that a lawsuit is brought against you. Failure to notify your insurance company in a timely manner may result in the denial of your claim, in which case you will be personally responsible for the costs.

Additionally, if you get an exotic pet without approval from your renters insurance company, your claim may be denied and you may be abandoned as a customer.


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