Does Renters Insurance Typically Cover Pet Damage?

Does Renters Insurance Typically Cover Pet Damage?

Does Renters Insurance Typically Cover Pet Damage?

Answer  The answer is no and yes. If your cat tears up your apartment’s wall-to-wall carpeting or your brand new couch, renters insurance typically does not cover the damage. But if your dog bites someone or gnaws the legs off your neighbor’s lawn furniture, your renters insurance might provide coverage. 

The first situation — your pet damages things in your rental unit — would fall under the personal property coverage in your renters insurance policy, and pet damage typically is excluded. This includes both your belongings and property owned by your landlord, like that carpeting. That’s why landlords often require a security deposit if you have a pet, or don’t allow pets at all.  

The second situation — someone else is injured or their property is damaged — typically falls under the liability coverage in your renters policy. Liability coverage is there to help if you’re held responsible for an injury to someone outside your household or for damage to someone else’s property. Typically that includes problems caused by your pet, including dog bites. Some renters insurance policies will help cover costs related to dog bites, but some breeds may be excluded and some companies exclude pets from liability coverage altogether. Renters liability coverage can cover both medical and legal costs, up to the limit you’ve chosen, typically $100,000 to $300,000.  

Even if your renters policy excludes pets, separate pet liability insurance may be available. Know that liability coverage won't cover you if your dog bites you, nor will it cover anyone in your household if your dog bites them. 

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