Does Renters Insurance Cover Dog Damage?

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Renters insurance is similar to homeowners insurance, but it is different in the sense that it is for people that are renting their living space versus people that own their own home. Renter’s insurance typically covers any type of dwelling that you are renting such as a house, an apartment, a condo, or a townhome. Renter’s insurance is meant to cover various situations that are outside of your control including natural disasters, theft, or in cases where you may cause harm to someone else within your home it can also cover the injuries of others. 

So, you may be wondering how your dog might fit into all of this. Unfortunately, dog damage is not covered in all cases and we’ll explore the differences in which the damage caused by a dog is covered and when it’s not. 

Personal Property Damage Caused by Dog

Damages to your own property by your dog is not considered a situation in which your insurance company will cover you. So, if your dog decides to rip any of your personal belongings to shreds or if you have a cat that decides to scratch up the furniture it is highly unlikely that your insurance company will pay you for those things. The idea behind this is that because you chose to bring the pet into the house, you are the one that is responsible and liable for any damage they do to your own property.

In addition to not covering damage done to your own property it is highly unlikely that the insurance company will pay you if your dog causes you or anyone else living in the household any harm. 

Damage to Others’ Property & Liability Coverage

In a case where your pet damages the property of someone else you may be lucky because it is more common for insurance companies to insure this type of incident. Whether you are in your own home or at someone else’s home when the incident occurs it is likely that this is a situation in which your insurance company will cover anything you are liable such as injury or property damage to others. So even if you’re at a family members home and your dog tears apart their couch you can count on your insurance to help you pay for situations such as these. 

For this coverage, your limits will depend on how much liability coverage you select. The more coverage you select the more you will pay monthly. There are also other factors that may play a part such as your location, driving record, and even your credit score. 

How Come Renter’s Insurance Doesn’t Cover Pet Damage to Personal Property?

One of the biggest questions someone may have is “why doesn’t my renter’s insurance cover pet damage?” The reason for this is that there are too many conflicting factors that would make a policy for this type of damage pointless and invalid. Renter’s insurance is designed to protect your property against things that are beyond your control such as fires, natural disasters, theft, and someone getting injured or having their property damaged while on your premises. 

The reason why it gets difficult to cover damage by pets is due to a few factors which include: intention, upkeep, and prevention.  

If you were to throw your game controller at your own TV out of anger it’s pretty likely that your insurance is not going to cover that damage. Whether or not you intended to break the TV is one matter, but another problem is that the TV didn’t have to break and there were ways to prevent. Even further, another problem is how are you going to prevent this from happening again. You can make promises to TRY not to cause such damage again but you can’t guarantee it. 

These things are even more troubling with a pet. Say for instance your dog decides to chew up the carpet. If your insurance company decided to cover this under your renter’s insurance policy one of the first things you are required to do is mitigate a loss once you are aware of it. What this means is you have to keep the damage done to the carpet to a minimum. This is already going to be a problem because as your dog is chewing on it you might have a hard time keeping such damage to a minimum. 

But for explanation purposes we’ll say that you are able to maintain control of your dog, maybe by keeping him away from the area so that you can either get the repairs done yourself or have it paid for through your deposit. So now that repairs are made it is also your responsibility, under your insurance policy, to prevent such occurrences from happening again. While you may be the type of dog owner willing to take the time and, sometimes, pay the price, to get the dog trained to not do such things the reality of the situation is that not every pet owner is going to take this extra precaution. 

For that reason, it wouldn’t be feasible for insurance companies to insure against such damage. 

Are There Types of Insurance That Cover Dog Damage to Personal Property?

Overall, damage done to your own property by your pet is not something that can be covered through renter’s insurance. You may be able to protect your property in other ways, such as extended warranties through the company which you purchased the item from, but insurance is not going to be something you can acquire to protect the actual premises that you live on. Any damage your pet makes to your dwelling you’ll have to pay for out of pocket.