Pet owners can’t even imagine life without their lovely furry companions. Even though pets are sweet and cuddly, the unfortunate fact is that they can sometimes cause significant problems.
Dogs and cats are people’s best friends, which is why it’s hard to believe that they can bite or harm the people in your closest environment.
Individuals who are unfamiliar with your dog may interpret a harmless nip as a violent act, and sue you as the owner of the pet.
Even the most obedient dogs may attack someone when they believe they are in danger or are attempting to defend their owners.
In cases like these, having pet liability insurance in your possession is very useful. You can never fully guarantee your pet’s behavior since it may cause unwanted injuries or property.
If you’re found financially liable for another person’s injuries or property damage, then liability insurance for pet can save you some headaches.
What is Pet Liability Insurance?
Pet liability insurance is a type of insurance that protects you financially if your pet causes bodily injury or property damage to others. It is a form of third-party coverage, which means that it compensates others – not you or members of your household.
Some studies show that it’s very common for pets to injure other pets or people on the street. In almost every case the owner is held responsible, and this can often result in fat bills that the owner needs to pay the injured person.
Liability pet insurance protects you against a wide range of occurrences and losses that might arise when you own a pet.
Simply put, liability insurance is a third-party policy, meaning it compensates others rather than yourself.
Most liability insurances protect you and your family’s finances if someone decides to sue you after your dog or cat injures them. A big portion of all injuries and damages, no matter if they’re severe or not, end up in court.
The essence of pet liability insurance is to cover the expenses of the sufferers for medical costs or the cost of repairing or replacing their property.
Pet owners might be liable for big sums of money for various damages if they don’t have any insurance at hand. That’s why the insurance usually covers a big part, around 70-90% of the total expenses.
How Does Pet Liability Insurance Work?
Assume your dog or cat suddenly attacks someone, or even scares a person on the street – such behavior might result in the other person falling and injuring themselves.
In the case you are a renter with a pet, the liability pet insurance for renters will cover a big part of the medical expenses, depending on which reimbursement rate you choose.
Even in the occurrence of your pet breaking something that’s not your property, every property repair will be covered.
If you decide on purchasing pet liability insurance for renters, you need to know how to make good use of it.
First, you need to file a claim and inform the insurance company about your pet’s history. Most providers want to know if your dog has exhibited any aggressive behavior, or had possibly attacked anyone.
You also need to choose the reimbursement rate you want. Most often, pet liability insurance providers offer reimbursement rates of 70%, 80%, and 90%.
The higher the reimbursement rate, the more the insurance policy will compensate you. You might have to pay annual deductibles, and some extra fees, all depending on the insurance company you choose.
However, having this type of insurance will save you a big portion of the money intended for medical and legal expenses.
What Does Pet Liability Insurance Cover?
Almost every liability pet insurance for renters provides the same coverage options, with minor differences.
Liability insurance for dogs protects pet owners against a variety of incidents and injuries that their pet might cause to other people.
Dogs can cause many injuries aside from biting, such as clawing, gnawing, breaking bones, and causing mental trauma.
All of these occurrences may be caused by your canine companion as a result of separation anxiety, depression or other mental issues pets go through.
Renter’s pet liability insurance covers all mentioned issues, from biting and clawing to more severe damage such as broken bones.
Most policies cover all of the expenses that are related to the injury such as hospitalization, medication, or even surgery that the patient has to undergo.
Some of the best renters liability insurance providers even offer coverage for dogs and cats that have an existing history of violent behavior.
In these cases, the policy may cover a lesser amount of the expenses, however, it will still save you hundreds of bucks.
Other than bodily injuries, pet liability insurance covers property damage your dog or cat causes to others outside your property.
Dog liability insurance doesn’t compensate you for damage to your property, only the damage caused to other people. The same goes with bodily harm – renters insurance pet liability only applies to other people.
If your dog or cat destroys something that’s not your property, you’ll end up paying for whatever damage has been made, which is why pet liability policies cover anything from broken stuff to chewed-off things, especially if the damage is significant.
Are Pets Covered Under Homeowners Insurance?
Homeowners insurance, even though very similar, is not the same as renters pet liability insurance.
It’s probable that your homeowners insurance will cover an unwanted situation properly, and will compensate for some damage or injury your dog may cause.
However, the homeowner insurance only covers a small portion of all possible damages your dog may yield.
Full pets liability coverage is rarely included in plans in pet liability insurance for owners.
Instead, your homeowner insurance policy only covers minor dog bites or injuries your four-legged companion might have caused, according to the limits of your coverage.
However, your homeowner policy still has to come with specific pet coverage support.
Most pet insurance providers will reject coverage options for bodily harm or property damage caused by your pets to you or those covered by your policy unless you have a pet endorsement.
Even if the policy covers your pets, it won’t protect your finances if you’re the one who got attacked by your pet.
Typically, homeowner insurance is only covering minor and light occurrences unlike the traditional liability insurance for pets. Additionally, the amount of money a pet liability insurance reimburses is significantly higher.
The liability part of your insurance would typically provide coverage ranging between $100,000 and $300,000 per policy.
Research shows that liability coverage limits for renters coverage are substantially greater, ranging from $1 million to $10 million per policy.
Why Do You Need Liability Insurance For Pets?
Remember, even the nicest and most well-behaved pets can sometimes do violent acts that are not typical for them.
The number of people that have been attacked by dogs increases every year. Part of the attacks results in injuries that are severe enough to necessitate medical help.
In Cases of a Lawsuit
When a person suffers bodily or psychological harm as a result of a dog bite, they are allowed to bring a lawsuit against you.
Some research shows that even the smallest attacks a dog or cat causes, end up with the owner paying the injured party big amounts.
Every dog or cat owner needs to possess pet liability insurance for renters, since they’re the ones responsible for their pet’s behavior.
This insurance protects your finances if an issue indeed occurs. Most pet liability insurances protect you if your pet claws or bites someone outside your property.
Bigger dogs can even clamp a victim’s tissue or break a bone. If the victim needs medical help, hospitalization, or surgery, it’s crucial for the owner to have insurance.
If You Are a Renter
Renters insurance with pet liability is also useful for property damage. The court will hold the owner accountable if any property damage happened as a result of their unreasonable carelessness in handling their pet.
Usually, property damage refers to the interior and the exterior of the house, backyard, and every item that’s within the house. If your dog or cat breaks something or chews someone’s couch, you’re going to need pet liability insurance for renters.
What Dog Breeds Are Excluded From Liability Coverage?
Pet liability coverage is somewhat limited when it comes to the animals and breeds that are eligible for the policy.
As some exotic animals like snakes, spiders, and parrots are excluded from the coverage, so are some specific dog breeds.
Usually, the reason why some dog breeds are excluded from most of the pet liability coverage options is that they are deemed more hazardous than others.
Some dogs that are bigger in size, have a more sensitive disposition, or react violently to various situations are more likely to get excluded from coverage.
Not all pet liability insurance providers exclude the same breeds, and each provider can modify their coverage.
However, some of the common dogs breeds that policies often eliminate include
- Pit bulls
- Wolf hybrids
- Siberian Huskies
- Alaskan Malamutes
- and Dobermans
Additionally, in most cases, pet liability insurance providers exclude dogs with a history of violent acts. So, if your dog has bitten someone previously, or caused property damage, the chances of coverage are lower.