Insurance companies calculate premiums based on a risk assessment. Many factors can drive up your homeowner’s insurance — and pets are one of them. Your pet may even be the reason an insurance company denies you coverage.
You may love your pet, but your insurance company thinks only about the damage it may cause. Your child’s hamster or your family cat probably won’t affect your insurance premiums, but if they damage your furniture, don’t expect to file a claim.
What your insurance provider is concerned with is how your pet can damage the property of others or cause bodily injury. Dogs are the worst offenders, but they’re not the only pet that can raise your insurance rates.
If your pet causes property damage or bodily harm, you could face a personal injury lawsuit. That’s the liability risk your insurance company takes on when they include your pet on your homeowner’s policy. Simply put, aggressive or dangerous pets will increase your rates.
Dogs may be the most popular pets, but certain breeds have a reputation for being aggressive. These dog breeds may raise your premiums:
Every insurance company has its own list of allowable breeds, and you will likely find a company willing to add your pit bull to your policy. Of course, you should expect to pay extra for this.
If you have an exotic pet, such as a snake, you may also see an increase in your homeowner’s insurance premiums. Farm animals, such as goats or horses, can also cause a lot of damage or personal injury. Talk to your insurance company to find out whether they cover your pets and how they affect your premiums.
Your insurance company may deny coverage for your dog or exotic pet or ask for a higher premium than you’d like to pay. That doesn’t mean you have to choose between your pet or your home. You can shop around for alternative providers or ask for a canine liability exclusion.
If you can’t find an insurance company that allows your pet, you can choose to exclude your canine or exotic friend entirely. By excluding the dog from your policy, you agree to pay for any damages or injury out of pocket. Keep in mind that a dog attack can easily cost thousands of dollars just in medical bills and even potentially bankrupt you.
To avoid being personally liable for your pet, consider purchasing an umbrella liability policy. An umbrella liability policy adds an extra layer of insurance covering any incidents that occur at home. This policy must specifically include the pet.
Finding the right home insurance can take some time for pet owners. Be prepared to pay a premium for liability coverage or expect to pay for any damage or injury your pet causes. Even with insurance protection in place, train your pet properly to prevent it from damaging things or harming anyone.