Family with dogWhen you call your insurer to enroll in renters insurance, they will likely ask you if you live by yourself. If you do, then you should say yes. However, the next question they may ask is if you have any pets in the home. If you do, then tell that to your agent. They will want to know so that they can appropriately structure your policy. Some pets might impact the type of coverage you need. Consider a little bit about how coverage works in these cases.

The good news is that your pet and their respective liabilities will have appropriate insurance coverage under most renters insurance policies. However, they might only qualify if you disclose them to the insurer upon getting coverage.

Pet Liability Insurance

A pet liability is the risk your pet poses to other people of doing them harm. For example, your dog or cat might bite a visitor to your house, causing them a severe injury. Or, the pet might damage a neighbor’s property, simply out of curiosity.

It does not matter if your pet bites someone out of fear, or while simply trying to play. It does not matter if the accident was unintentional. What matters is that your pet caused harm to someone else. Therefore, because your pet can’t pay themselves, then the burden of compensating the affected party might fall on your shoulders.

Since you brought the pet into your rental home, you therefore might be at-fault when an accident occurs. Therefore, you’ll need to update your rental insurance to include coverage for pet liabilities. Policies will usually offer:

  • Property damage coverage: Coverage applies when your pet damages someone else’s belongings. For example, if your dog runs into a neighbor’s home and knocks over an expensive TV, this coverage can pay for the other person’s losses.
  • Bodily injury coverage: Suppose that your dog, trying to be friendly, accidentally knocks over a small child, and gives them a concussion. This coverage can assist you in compensating the child’s family for their medical costs.

Furthermore, should the person to whom your pet caused harm sue you, your liability coverage can help you pay for your related legal costs.

Keep in mind, a pet liability policy might cover only certain pets. The average house cat or dog likely is covered. However, certain aggressive breeds of dogs, along with exotic pets (reptiles, big cats) usually can receive no coverage under your policy.

The important thing to do is to call your Bakersfield renters insurance agent as soon as you adopt your pet. They can help you take the steps to update your policy and get the appropriate coverage. That way, you and your furry friend can feel more secure in your rental home.

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