Does Renters Insurance Cover Dogs?

Your furry friends are part of the family. They go with you on walks, to the dog park and — best of all — they’re there for you when you need them most. When you’re a tenant renting a home or an apartment, your renters insurance policy can help protect you in a number of key ways. But do you know if renters insurance covers your dog?

If your dog bites or injures someone, you may be surprised to find that your renters policy can help cover liabilities caused by your dog. There’s a lot to learn about how renters insurance can cover your pets. We’ll walk you through some of the ways your renters policy is also renters insurance for the dogs in your life.


What Is the Cost of Adding Renters Insurance With Dogs?

Most renters policies already include a certain amount of liability coverage for your pets, and the cost to insure your pet is included in the price of the base policy. However, policies will vary from one renters insurance company to the next, and some may charge an additional fee for dogs of a certain breed, over a certain weight or of a specific type.

Even if your dog falls into one of these categories, you can likely still find pet liability insurance with a personal umbrella liability policy. Check with your American Family Insurance agent to learn about specific renters coverages and restrictions.

Do Renters Insurance Policies Cover Dog Liability?

At American Family Insurance, our renters policies include liability coverage, which is a form of financial protection against liability claims, including lawsuits and medical expenses for accidental bodily injury or damage to someone’s property. Typically, this includes liability coverage for injuries your dog may cause, like biting a guest. To ensure your dog is covered by your renters insurance, you’ll want to check in with your agent and discuss any exclusions or limits on your policy.

What Is Covered Under Dog Liability Insurance?

Here’s how your renters insurance helps cover your dog:

Property damage of others caused by your dog

If your pet breaks or destroys the belongings of others, you can be covered with this important protection. Suppose you’re at a friend’s home with your dog, and it bumps into a table, breaking a vase. Your renter’s policy can help cover the cost of replacing items that your dog damages or destroys.

Dog bites and related injuries

One of the most valuable parts of this pet coverage for renters can help you when you need it most: your finances can be protected if medical expenses result if your dog bites someone. Should your dog bite another dog, you can be covered with renters insurance. And if the mailman suffers a sprained wrist after your dog jumped up to say hello, your finances can be better protected with this coverage.

Renters Insurance for Dogs: Coverage Limits

Your coverage limits on dog liabilities under a renters policy will vary from one insurance group to the next. When your agent builds your policy, you’ll select liability coverage limits that meet your needs. You can even increase that coverage limit. Keep in mind that costs for premiums and coverage limits can be related to your zip code, insurance score, credit score and even your driving record.

What’s not covered by dog liability insurance?

There are some circumstances where issues caused by your dog would not be covered with a renters insurance policy. We offer a special add-on coverage that provides up to $1,000 for veterinarian or final expenses for your dog, cat, fish or bird as a result of a covered loss. This coverage is applicable after a covered property loss.

Here are a few examples of canine liability losses that are typically not covered by standard renters policies:

  • Damage done by your pets to your own personal property
  • Dog injuries sustained by you and those in your household
  • Damage due to dogs destroying carpets or chewing on the woodwork in your rental

Dog breeds and pets excluded from renters insurance

Are all dogs covered under renters insurance? In some cases, insurance companies won’t cover certain canine breeds because they’re known to be aggressive. Others don’t cover dogs that weigh over a certain limit.

Here’s a sample of pet types that are typically excluded or limited in a renters policy:

  • Trained attack dogs
  • Dogs of a breed known to bite, like pit bulls
  • Dogs with a history of biting
  • Exotic pets like reptiles, wolves or monkeys

Again, these limitations are subject to your specific insurance company, so connect with your agent to find out about coverage for your dog’s breed or type.

Tips for Dog Owners to Avoid Damage

Being a pet owner is a lot of responsibility. But with a little training and consistent praise, your pup will have a better idea of how to behave. Take a look at these ideas for helping your furry friend navigate interactions with strangers and kids.

Train your dog

Invest some time in obedience school and work with your dog to learn basic commands. You’ll find your dog can behave more predictably when meeting new people.

Pet-proof your home

Take steps to prevent your dog from getting into trouble. Be sure that your garbage is out of reach either behind a door or use babyproofing cabinet door catches. Because pets can be unpredictable, place hazardous plants and cleaning materials out of their reach. Remember that certain types of plants such as poinsettias can be toxic to pets, as well as certain foods such as certain types of chocolates.

Exercise and grooming

Most dogs require exercise and training every day in order to help them stay mentally and physically fit. If you can’t make it to the dog park, be sure to schedule at least three walks per day and make one a little more vigorous than the others.

Consider paying a dog walker that can stop by and take your dog around lunchtime. And remember to set up appointments for grooming your dog. As they shed and the seasons change, they’ll need some sprucing up and grooming can really help to boost their confidence too.

Ready for a Renters Insurance Quote?

While you’re considering your renters insurance options, check in with your American Family Insurance agent and request a quote. You’ll find our agents are able to build you a fine-tuned policy that can help to protect both your belongings and your finances in very important ways.


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Related Topics: At Home , Home Insurance , Owning A Home , Renters