You love your pets. They’re part of your household, and you care about them. You want the best for them. But what do you know about renters insurance and pets? If you have Annapolis, MD Renters Insurance, are your pets covered? That’s actually an incredibly broad question, and some of the possible answers may surprise you.
Renters Insurance And Pets: Are They Personal Property?
Setting aside the ethical dilemma that some people might find in that question because it’s utterly irrelevant to the question of coverage, let’s take a look. If you feel that “personal property” is not an appropriate way to refer to pets, you’ll be happy to know that they’re not covered as personal property.
That means there isn’t coverage on renters insurance for injury by an otherwise covered peril. It’s sad when a pet passes away, of course. That doesn’t mean there’s coverage to replace the pet, however. Vet expenses are another area where there are often misunderstandings. Under no circumstances would a renters policy pay for a vet bill for your pet under personal property coverage.
Renters Insurance And Pets: Pet Damage Coverage
When your landlord allows you to have a pet, they want to know that you’ll be able to make good on any damages caused to the rental by your pet. Many landlords think that renters insurance and pets are a good combination, and that the policy would offer the coverage they want the tenant to have. Is that true?
Generally speaking, that’s false. You’ll find no coverage for damage from your pets to the rented premises, for a couple of reasons. First, liability coverage for damage to rented premises is often limited to a few select types of losses, such as fire, water, smoke, and explosion. Pets are listed nowhere among them.
Second, insurance is designed to cover sudden and accidental damages. In other words, something you did not expect and which happened suddenly. Damage from pets to an apartment or rented home is rarely sudden and accidental. If anything, it usually occurs over the time someone occupies the rental unit. Often, it comes down to an issue of training the pet.
There may be specific policies out there for pet damage liability. You can insure just about anything if you’re willing to pay the premium. But renters insurance and pets are not a good combination to get that coverage.
Renters Insurance And Pets: Injuries Caused By Cats And Other Pets
The chances of a cat causing injury to a guest are lower than with certain other types of pets. But they’re still non-zero. Your cat could dive-bomb someone’s head. Someone could trip over your cat. A cat could scratch a guest, and it could result in an infection. The cat could even bite someone.
Are injuries caused by cats covered by renters insurance? Generally, yes. We’ll explain why “generally” is appropriate below, of course. Medical payments to others coverage or your liability could respond to that injury caused by your cat, and make whole the person who was injured.
This also applies to many other kinds of pets other than dogs. Dogs are a special class that we’ll touch on below.
Renters Insurance And Pets: Injuries Caused By Dogs
If you have Annapolis, MD Renters Insurance and your dog injures someone, whether by jumping on them or by biting them, will you have coverage for that loss under your liability? Maybe, there are several important factors.
Was the dog disclosed on the application?
If you didn’t disclose that you have a dog, you may find that you have coverage issues. This will vary between underwriters, some will just accept that you forgot to list your poodle and some will deny coverage and cancel the policy for not disclosing the poodle.
Is the dog a breed that is unacceptable to the underwriter?
If your dog is of a breed that is commonly excluded from coverage, you may find that renters insurance and pets are a bad combination. If you have one of those breeds, you’ll need to shop carefully for your renters insurance and make sure that you disclose all of your animals once you find the right company willing to issue coverage.
We cannot emphasize enough: You must disclose the dog, even if it is a prohibited breed. Not disclosing a prohibited breed puts your coverage and your policy in danger. It’s also dishonesty on an insurance application, which brings its own set of problems for you.
Some Underwriters Exclude Animal Liability Entirely
Depending on the company that ultimately writes the policy, you may find that you have no coverage at all for any kind of animal liability. This would likely be a part of your application. You may be able to buy back some coverage, though that depends on the company.
Animal liability exclusions are not common per se, but they’re also not uncommon. It’s crucial to read your application and your policy carefully to make sure that you’re getting the coverage that you believe you are. It’s also crucial to make sure you’re asking the right questions.
If animal liability is excluded, of course, that would negate any mention of coverage above.
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