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September 16, 2020

How Does Renters Insurance Work with Pets?

Renters insurance protects you and your belongings in case of a natural disaster or other accident, including liability. What some people don’t realize is that the liability side of your renters insurance policy can also cover pets.a close up of a dog


Personal liability is a type of coverage that provides compensation for guests who may suffer bodily injury or property damage while on your property. It can also extend beyond the property, such as if you accidentally hurt someone. If one of your pets hurts someone or damages their property, liability insurance on your renters insurance policy can pay for the repairs or replacement, medical expenses and possibly legal fees in case of a lawsuit. 


For example, say your dog isn’t a fan of children. Your friend comes over with their toddler, who is told to stay away from the dog. The toddler wanders over to the dog while you and your friend aren’t watching. Stressed, the dog attacks and bites the toddler’s head. Immediately the toddler is rushed to the hospital and into surgery. With surgery, hospital expenses and other costs, your friend faces $1 million in expenses. They demand compensation from you since your dog attacked their toddler. In this case, you may be able to file a renters insurance policy to compensate for the toddler’s medical bills. If the compensation is not satisfactory to your friend, they may sue for more, in which case liability insurance will cover your legal fees, including settlement costs and defense expenses. 


Does Renters Insurance Cover Pet Damage to the Apartment? 

Renters insurance does not cover damage your pet may cause to the rented property or your personal belongings. If your dog chews up the corners of your apartment’s walls, renters insurance will not cover the damage. This could mean that you owe your landlord compensation out of pocket for the damages your pet causes. 


This is also why certain pets and breeds are limited or excluded from renters insurance policies. Breeds excluded from renters insurance are generally “exotic breeds,” such as certain birds and reptiles. Dog breeds that are considered energetic, destructive or “aggressive” generally receive less coverage or are left off of renters insurance policies entirely. Commonly excluded dog breeds include huskies, German Shepherds, rottweilers, Malamutes and pit bulls. Be sure to check your renters insurance policy and make sure that your furry family members are covered. 

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