We know protecting your home and its content is a top priority. But if you’re a pet parent, homeowners insurance coverage becomes even more critical. Pet damage can be one of the biggest problems for homeowners. From claw marks on furniture to scratches and bites, pets sometimes cause damage that can leave you on the hook for hefty bills. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look into homeowners insurance coverage and whether your policy covers any pet-related damage.
What is Homeowners Insurance and What Does It Cover?
Homeowners insurance is a must-have to protect your house from a variety of potential issues, so it’s essential that every homeowner reviews their policy and understands exactly what it covers. Homeowners insurance generally covers the following:
- Dwelling Coverage: covers the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged home and structures permanently attached to it.
- Personal Possessions Coverage: protects homeowners from financial loss resulting from theft or damage to their personal possessions due to covered perils, such as fire, storms, or vandalism.
- Other Structures Coverage: covers the cost of repairing damaged structures around the house, such as patios, detached garages, driveways, and fences.
- Liability Coverage: protects homeowners financially if someone sustains an injury on their property or if they cause damage to someone else’s property.
- Loss of Use Coverage: helps homeowners pay for temporary housing if their house is uninhabitable due to insured events like fire or natural disasters.
- Medical Payments: covers medical expenses if someone is injured on the homeowners’ property due to a covered occurrence.
Read also: Homeowners Insurance 101 for New Home Buyers
Is Pet Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance Policies?
Yes, however, homeowners’ insurance policies have limited coverage against damage caused by pets. Pet damage is typically covered under the policy’s liability limit, ranging between $100,000 to $500,000. However, this coverage doesn’t protect against damage your pet causes to you or someone in your household as well as your personal belongings and property. It only covers claims made by other parties, such as if your pet sitter gets injured due to your pet’s actions or if your pet causes damage to other people’s property.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
According to the Insurance Information Institute, around 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs every year. If you’re liable when your dog bites someone, your homeowners’ insurance policy has two different coverages that may offer protection. You can also purchase an additional umbrella policy to supplement these coverages.
- Personal liability coverage can pay for injuries and potential lawsuit costs up to the limits of your policy.
- Medical payment coverage may cover necessary medical expenses for injuries caused by your pet on your property.
Some insurance companies may decline coverage if your dog is classified as a potentially dangerous breed, such as a Rottweiler, Pit Bull, or Mastiff, while other companies will evaluate the individual animal before deciding on coverage. Some insurance companies will not consider the dog breed at all.
Before purchasing a policy, always ask your insurance agent about the terms of coverage for any pets you have – especially if they are a breed known for aggressive behavior – as this will help ensure you have the right type of coverage in place.
How to Reduce Pet Damage to Your Home
For pet owners, pet damage is always unavoidable. However, some preventive actions can go a long way toward avoiding unnecessary stress caused by your furry friend.
Pet-proof Your Home
Start by identifying areas of the home that are likely to be damaged by your pet and taking the necessary steps to protect them. Consider investing in pet-friendly furnishings like scratch-resistant couches or slipcovers for chairs and sofas.
Don’t Overwhelm Your Pet
It can be challenging to gauge how your pet will react to new visitors. When socializing your pet, it’s best to keep the number of visitors to a minimum. Overwhelmed pets may act out in fear, causing damage or injury in your home.
Train Your Pet
Training your pet by reinforcing good behavior is essential to keeping your home and guests safe. If you’re not confident with personal training, try obedience classes to help manage your pet’s behavior.
Keep Your Pet Engaged
Pet owners know that sometimes silence is a scary noise. Keeping your pet engaged and active can keep them out of trouble. With regular exercise and cognitive stimulation, your pet won’t take their boredom out on your precious furniture or other home items.
In conclusion, it’s important to review your homeowners insurance policy and understand what damage is covered when it comes to your furry friend. Be sure to communicate with your insurance agent and ask any questions you may have regarding pet-related incidents. Taking proper precautions and understanding your coverage can give you peace of mind as a home and pet owner.
If you’re looking to purchase a new homeowners insurance policy, contact our agents at TSL Insurance Group. Our knowledgeable advisors are here to help you find the best policy that meets your needs and budget for your homeowners’ insurance in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Abbeville, Lutcher, or Franklin, LA. Contact us today!