Does Renters Insurance Cover Pets?

When you move to a rental property, you are supposed to take care of someone else’s property.

If you own a pet, you will probably be bringing it along. As such, the landlord expects you to be a good tenant by preventing damage whenever possible.

With pets around, you will be bringing liability along. In most cases, your pet, either a dog or cat, can cause damage to the rented property.

Damages caused by your pets are a cost risk. Therefore, the renters insurance kicks in to cover liabilities by your pets. Note that your renters insurance coverage might be able to help you pay. However, some policies come with their limitations.

What Does Renters Insurance Cover for Pets?

The renters insurance coverage will pay for the liability caused when your pet injures someone. The cover will also pay for liabilities outside your home when your pet bites someone.

For example, your dog bites a child at the dog park. The renters insurance will cover the victim’s medical insurance alongside legal fees if you get sued.

The coverage also kicks in when your dog bites another dog, where your liability coverage will go towards the veterinary costs. Most insurance companies consider the injured animal as the personal property of the owner.

If your pet is responsible for damage to someone’s property, your renters insurance would only extend to that person and their property.

Labrador retriever dog sitting on sofa tearing up Christmas presents

Additionally, the renters insurance will not cover damage inflicted by your pet on your property.

How Much Does It Cost To Add Renters Insurance With Pets?

Renters insurance policies already include a certain amount of liability coverage for your pets. Cost of insuring your pet is included in the price of the base policy.

However, in most cases, policies are different from one company to the next. Most companies may charge an additional fee for dogs of a particular breed, over a certain weight or of a specific type.

If your dog falls among one of these categories, you can likely still find pet liability insurance with a personal umbrella liability policy.

With most insurance companies, you will part with about $10 to $20 a month for renters insurance with pet liability coverage. In this case, you will not pay extra. The amount might vary based on the pet’s size and the risk it poses.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Exotic Pets?

To a large extent, most renters insurance does not cover exotic pets due to the high risk they pose. In this case, a policyholder is required to shop around for a separate exotic pet insurance policy.

The policy should cover elevated risks of keeping an exotic animal. Under this category, the following pets will be excluded from your renters insurance policy.

  • Reptiles
  • Ferrets
  • Rabbits
  • Snakes
  • Turtles
  • Birds
  • Amphibians

Dog Breeds That Are Restricted by Insurance Companies?

Different insurance companies do not cover all dog breeds. Your insurer of choice might choose to exclude certain breeds from liability coverage. In this case, the breed will not receive cover for legal or medical expenses.

Doberman Pinscher, black German Durbin

Note that failing to disclose your pet’s breed is the same as failing to purchase the renters insurance. Without disclosing a breed, when your pet causes damage, the insurance company will not pay for the liability.

Most insurers do not cover the following breeds:

  • German Shepherd
  • Akita
  • Malamute
  • Cane Corso
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • Great Dane
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Mastiff
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Presa Canario
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • Wolf hybrid

In some cases your renter’s insurance will not cover liability losses that are typically not covered by standard renters policies such as:

  • Damage done by your pets to your personal property
  • Dog injuries sustained by the owner and those in your household
  • Damage due to dogs destroying carpets or woodwork in your rental home.

How to Get Renters Insurance If your Dog Breed Is Restricted

Not all insurance companies restrict pet breed; however, other big insurance companies do. To get insurance for your restricted breed, shop around with as many insurers as possible to find the most dog-friendly cover.

Every insurance company has their list of dog breeds they consider risky.

Another option to explore is to buy a separate liability policy specifically for your dog. Dog liability insurance covers your dog explicitly and the liability it poses if your renters policy excludes.

Close-up Of A Woman's Hand Filling Pet Insurance Form With Pen

You can also pay for an umbrella policy on top of your renters insurance. An umbrella policy will fill in the gap when it comes to liability and your pet.

Minimizing Pet Liability

You can prevent damage caused by pets early by observing certain practices in your rented property.

Ensure Your Pet Exercises Regularly

Your pet should get enough to run and walk around during the day by giving them the exercises and playtime they need.

Contain Dad Behavior Early

Consider easy training techniques that discourage bad habits like chewing and scratching while rewarding tricks alongside good behavior.

Keep Your Pet Company

As someone who owns a pet, you should always be aware of what your pet needs. Consider a daycare or dog sitter to give your pet exercise while you are busy at work.

Keep Written Records

Keeping written records and photos of your home’s condition when you move in. That way you can provide evidence on the damage your pet caused or did not cause.

Ensure You Pet-Proof Your Home

Check your pet’s height and look for hazards they might encounter around your home. Prevent accidents and damage to your rental by minimizing your pet’s access to certain areas and keeping temptations away.

Final Word

When renting, your pets can pose certain risks like damage, hence the need for protection. These risks might lead to medical and legal expenses. While renters insurance may cover liability if your pet damages someone’s property or injures them, that is not the same for every renter’s insurance cover.

Additionally, you might need a separate pet insurance policy to cover routine or irregular vet bills when they arise.

Female veterinarian doctor during the examination in veterinary clinic. Little dog terrier with broken leg in veterinary clinic

Always shop around for the best cover that will protect your property alongside liabilities caused by your pet. Most importantly, ensure you understand the pet limitation by your insurance company.