Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Damage?
You’ve just taken ownership of your very own house. Congratulations!
What happens, though, if your dog isn’t as in love with the new home as you are and he claws, chews or otherwise damages the doors, floors or window sills? If that happens, you may wonder, “does homeowners insurance cover dog damage?”
Whether your dog has chewed the carpet in the apartment, dug his way through the drywall in your new home or gnawed his way through an interior or an exterior door, the bad news is… most homeowners insurance policies will not cover dog damage. Your homeowners insurance policy will also not provide coverage if your dog chews the couch, your shoes or your favorite kitchen table.
Further, your policy may cover damage your dog causes to another individual’s property (not the apartment you’re renting, though!), but the limits of your liability coverage will dictate whether you have coverage for another’s property that your dog has damaged.
Homeowners Insurance And Dog Damage
You may be wondering… why am I paying for homeowners insurance if it won’t cover dog damage, right?
Keep in mind that your homeowners insurance policy is designed to protect you, your home and its contents from specific risks such as fire, flood, theft and others. It provides, limited – if any – coverage for dog damage Fido may have caused. The reason for this is, if you haven’t properly trained your dog to not destroy the home or your personal property, it will likely be an ongoing source of potential claims.
If your dog has a propensity to damage your property, find a positive reinforcement trainer and show your dog other ways to relieve his frustrations that don’t involve destroying your property.
What Will Homeowner’s Insurance Potentially Cover?
- The dwelling and any outdoor structures, like your garage. A homeowner’s policy will exclude coverage for damage caused by your pet (dog, cat, rodent, etc.) both inside the house and outside. If your dog chews through a door or a fence or if your goat kicks down the barn door, your homeowner’s insurance probably won’t provide coverage to repair the damage.
- Does Fido have a penchant for chewing your expensive shoes, purses, televisions or furniture? If your home burns down, your policy will probably provide coverage to replace your personal items, but if your dog damages them, you won’t be able to file a claim for “dog damage” to your personal property.
- If your dog damages someone else’s property – chews the door or carpet, game controller remote control or curtains – the liability coverage on your policy may reimburse your friend for the damage your dog caused. Yes, your friend’s personal property or home may be covered against dog damage by the liability portion of your homeowner’s insurance policy, but your property will not be.
If you’re not sure your insurance policy covers dog damage, talk with your insurance agent to gain a full understanding of what is, and is not, covered. Your insurance agent can answer your questions and let you know what your policy covers to prevent any surprises if there is dog damage to your home or personal property.
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