Pets and Homeowners Insurance“Dogs are a man’s best friend” is a common phase that pet owners (especially dog owners) can certainly relate to and understand.  After all, our pets are family.  But are pets treated like family when it comes to homeowners insurance?  Find out how and whether your pet(s) are covered by homeowners insurance.

Not Knowing Policy Conditions and Exclusions Can Bite

If you have a standard homeowners insurance policy, you need to be aware of some policy conditions and exclusions that may apply.  For example, what if your dog chews up your couch or the carpet?  Or what if you Labrador puppy chews the door moldings of your home?  Simply put, your home insurance policy will typically exclude those damages caused by your pet.

Also, your typical homeowner insurance policy contains a property exclusion that states animals, birds or fish are excluded from coverage if they are killed or injured due to a claim.  The good news is that you can purchase an endorsement that gives back coverage in a specified amount for the medical expenses of pets who are injured as a result of a “covered property loss to the dwelling, other structures, and/or contents.”

However, let’s say that you are hosting a neighborhood gathering and your dog bites someone at your function.  Your homeowners policy has liability coverage that typically covers medical bills or legal expenses arising out of your dog biting your neighbor or guest, up to the limits of liability.  Liability includes both property damage and injuries to others caused by your pet.  Keep in mind that your policy may require a pet-specific endorsement for coverage to apply.  If you have any questions about pet-specific endorsements or certain provisions/conditions that may apply to your dog breed, contact your local N.Y. independent insurance agent.

Do Your Specific Pets Pose a Risk? 

When taking out an insurance policy, your agent may ask whether you have pets.  Some dogs and exotic breeds pose a higher risk of loss exposure and may require an endorsement, while others may be excluded.  Some insurers may refuse to insure you at all. It’s important to keep the lines of communication open with your local independent insurance agent to get the proper insurance protection where your pets are concerned.  Some of the most common types of dog breeds that may be excluded under your homeowners insurance policy include, but not limited to:

  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Chow/Chow
  • Rottweiler
  • Siberian Husky
  • German Shepherd
  • Akita
  • Wolf Mix
  • Mastiff
  • Great Dane

Certain dog breeds and types of exotic animals may be eligible for only limited liability or total exclusion since these dogs are more likely to be involved in dog bite claims. Call us at Cameron Insurance Group to discuss your particular dog breed (or exotic pet) and find out how you can get the right type of insurance for your home and your pet.  Don’t wait!  Call us TODAY!