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 caused by your own pets. However, the liability protection provided by those policies may cover you if your pet destroys someone else's property. 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 your own pet caused, but you could use your policy to protect your stuff from another person's pet.

Whether your dog tears through a section of your drywall or your cat rips up an expensive sofa in your house, your insurer won't pay for the repairs. That's because a pet that lives with you, the policyholder, is considered under your control for insurance purposes.

This means that when a pet damages your house's structure or anything inside your home, insurance companies see that as the result of the property owner's behavior. In other words: Your pet's fault is the same as your fault.

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.

What if my pet damages another person's property?

If your pet damages another person's property, that person could file a claim against the liability portion of your homeowners policy to get compensation for repairs.

For example, 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 legal action. The coverage is available regardless of whether you win the case or not.

Most homeowners policies come with at least $100,000 in liability coverage for bodily and property damages. You may want higher limits based on your assets and personal risks, such as owning a pet. Pets are a source of potential liability, so pet owners are more likely to file claims than people without pets — and may benefit from more protection.

Are fish tanks covered by homeowners insurance?

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

Most standard policies list water damage as what's called a covered peril. That means there's a good chance your insurer would reimburse you for 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.

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