Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pet Damage?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pet Damage?

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Homeowners and renters insurance don't typically cover pet damage that your own pet causes. However, your homeowners or renters insurance policy's liability protection will cover you if your pet destroys someone else's property and you're sued. You can also seek compensation from another person's insurance if their pet damages your things.

When does insurance cover pet damage?

You won't be able to make an insurance claim on damage that your own pet caused, but you could use your policy to protect your stuff from another person's pet.

Homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover damage caused by your own pets. Whether your dog tears through a large section of your drywall, or your cat rips up an expensive sofa in your house, your insurer won't pay for the associated repairs.

A pet that lives with you, the policyholder, is considered under your control for insurance purposes. This means that when a pet inflicts damage on your furniture or your home's structure, it could be seen as damage done as the result of the behavior of the property owner, you.

While your insurance policy won't cover damage that your pets cause to your property, you can use your insurance to make a claim if someone else's pet damages your property. Since you'll have to pay a deductible before receiving payment, consider paying out-of-pocket for cheaper repairs if you can afford it.

Does pet damage insurance cover another person's property?

One alternative to using your own homeowners insurance to recoup the loss of your property is to file a liability claim with the offending person's insurer. Unlike your homeowners insurance policy's personal property protection, your personal liability coverage covers expenses when you're at fault.

What is liability insurance? Imagine your dog bites someone while you're taking it for a walk. If the other person has medical bills and sues you, your liability coverage would cover the costs associated with this litigation, regardless of whether you win the case or not.

If your pet damages another person's property, that person could then file a claim against the liability portion of your homeowners policy to get compensation for repairs. Most homeowners policies come with at least $100,000 in liability coverage for bodily and property damages — though we recommend most homeowners get higher limits to correspond to their assets and personal risk.

Are fish tanks covered by homeowners insurance?

Water damage is typically covered by homeowners insurance policies, as long as the cause of the property loss wasn't the result of your own negligence.

Most standard policies list water damage as a covered peril, which means that there's a good chance your insurer would protect your property from the damage caused by a broken fish tank.

Under a standard policy, the tank itself is covered if it was destroyed by one of the covered perils listed in a homeowners policy, such as fire.

Chris Moon

Chris is a Product Manager for ValuePenguin with years of experience in addressing critical questions about mortgages and homeowners insurance. He spends his time evaluating insurance providers and policy features to understand where consumers might find the most cost-effective coverage. Chris has contributed insights to the New York Times and many other publications.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.