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Are Animals Covered under Homeowners Insurance?

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Marshmallow man

 

A friend of mine mentioned to me last night that he was on his way to the hospital to visit his brother-in-law who was bit by a dog he owned.  The dog was owned by the brother-in-law, not my friend.

The dog isn’t vicious. They were playing and the dog bit his hand and not the bone he was holding.

In this case, a Homeowners policy would NOT pay for the medical treatment.  There is coverage on a Homeowners policy for Medical Treatment but it is only for others, meaning people that are not household members.

There are a few reasons why a Homeowners policy would pay for damage caused by an animal and a few reasons why it would not.

 

Animals

 

 

There are a few different answers to this question.  Yes and No.

 

Does Homeowners Insurance cover my pets if they are hurt?

No.  Homeowners Insurance Policies specifically exclude coverage for animals, birds and fish.  Meaning if your dog, Dreyfuss, is injured while running in the back yard, your policy WILL NOT cover the cost of his medical treatment.  There is also no coverage if an animal were to run away or lose his or her life.

Horses, goats, chickens, cats…any animal you can think of that is a pet falls under this category.

If you have animals that you use for profit than you would need an entirely different policy.  Contact your agent to discuss what you need if you have any animal that you profit from.

 

Does Homeowners Insurance cover my pets if they injure someone?

Yes.  Your Homeowners policy comes with Liability coverage which would cover you.  The most common claim is a dog bite.  If Dreyfuss were to bite a friend and that friend were to sue you for medical expenses, your policy would help.  If you have a dog that has a 1% chance of biting someone than you should also have an Umbrella Policy.  An Umbrella Policy provides you with at least $1 Million dollars worth of excess liability coverage in the event that you need it.

The most common liability limit on a Homeowners Policy is $300,000.  $300,000 gets spent pretty fast in the medical field.  Insurance companies take dog bites very seriously. If you have a dog that has a history of biting you will have a very difficult time finding insurance.

I would advise you to NOT sign an agreement with an insurance company that states the insurance company will not cover a claim if your dog were to bite someone.  You put yourself at risk if you were to make that agreement.

 

Does Homeowners Insurance cover my pets if they damage someone else’s property?

Yes.  Let’s say your horse breaks free and destroys your neighbor’s fence or car or any other property owned by someone else.  Your Homeowners liability coverage would pay for those items.  No deductible would apply because the damage was to another person’s property.

 

Does Homeowners Insurance cover the damages if my pets destroy MY property?

No.  If an animal owned by you destroys your property, the damage to the property would NOT be covered.  So your policy would not cover the damages if Dreyfuss was left at home all day and rips up your carpet.  Homeowners policies only cover damage sustained to other people’s property if the cause of the damage is from an animal owned by you.

 

What about Wild Animals?

Your policy will not cover damage to your property caused by any animal, whether or not they are owned by you or if they are wild.  Insects are included in this exclusion.  Be on the lookout for signs of termites, rats and mice, and bats.

 

Have you ever had a claim as a result of an animal?  Was it covered?
My name is Keith Laskey. My goal is to educate the everyday consumer and to help them make intelligent decisions with their insurance policies. Please contact me at my office, 610-948-4830 or Email Me for any insurance related questions or concerns. You can also visit the Ron Black Agency website or like us on Facebook! Thank you for stopping by, have a great day!

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