Brooklyn, a college student who has Arlington, TX renters insurance, wrote to us with a question about her policy. She asks,
Does renters insurance cover pet damage? Will renters insurance cover things my dog scratches up? Does renters insurance cover pet accidents? I know my dog would never bite anyone (I enclosed a picture of us together, you can see how gentle she is!), but does renters insurance cover dog bites?”
Does Renters Insurance Cover Pet Damage?
Does renters insurance cover pet damage? This is a common question, and it’s one that applies to all families with furry members. Learn more about renters insurance and pet damage with the renters insurance experts!
Excellent question Brooklyn! There’s a couple of things in play here, so let’s dig right in!
Brooklyn, the first thing you need to know is that many policies exclude animal liability. So asking if renters insurance covers pet damage may become a moot point right there depending on the carrier. Damage or injury done by a dog excluded from the policy would not be paid, for obvious reasons. Not all policies do this, of course, but here’s where the really important thing comes in:
In most cases, there are certain breeds of dogs that a given insurance company views as too high of a risk to insure on a renters insurance policy. Pit bulls are commonly not acceptable to underwriting, but there are other breeds on the list as well and some may surprise you.
The list of which breeds are acceptable will frequently vary by state and by the insurance company, so you’ll want to be quite specific when discussing your dog as part of buying a policy. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can just hide the fact that you have a dog, regardless of the breed, because…
Will Renters Insurance Cover Pet Damage? Not If You Don’t Disclose The Dog!
Your dog may be harmless, but many dogs are not. In the underwriting questions on the application, many carriers will ask if you have a dog and what type of dog it is. As we can see, yours looks like a playful guy, but underwriters don’t get a chance to play with your puppy so they have to work based on hard numbers they can wrap their minds around.
So if your carrier asks you about dogs, and they will, it’s crucial to answer the question honestly. If you don’t, they could deny coverage on that basis only. They could even void the policy back to its inception, and refund premiums only. That is why it’s so important to disclose the dog, no matter how harmless it may be.
Let’s assume that the dog is disclosed and not excluded from the policy with an animal liability exclusion endorsement. In that case, the policy may pay for damage done to the property by your dog. But this is when you have to ask yourself, is it worth filing a claim for a few scratches and some carpet?
Chances are the answer is “no.” Your deductible (generally $500 or $1,000) has to be met before the insurance will pay a claim. So even if it was to be covered, sensible repairs could be made for less than your deductible in many cases. It’s not so much a question of whether the renters insurance will cover pet damage, it’s a question of whether it’s worth having it do so.
For more information on how to decide when to make claims, or questions about does renters insurance cover pet damage, contact Effective Coverage at (800) 892-4308 or click above for an instant online quote! Effective Coverage, For Renters, specializes in renters insurance that meet the needs of tenants everywhere.