Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pet Damage?

You came home to discover that Rover missed you so much he dug a hole in the carpet. And for good measure, he chewed through the drywall in the hallway. Now what? Such a situation may leave you wondering whether homeowners insurance covers pet damage to your house.
  • AT A GLANCE
    Homeowners insurance typically does not cover damage your pet does to your personal property or your dwelling.
  • Liability coverage may help cover damage your pet does to another person’s property.

 

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WHAT TYPE OF PET DAMAGE IS COVERED BY MY INSURANCE?

While homeowners insurance may help protect your home and its contents from certain risks, it typically provides limited coverage for pet damage. For instance:

 Personal Property Coverage

While the personal property coverage in a homeowners insurance policy may help protect your belongings against certain risks, there is generally no coverage for personal property, such as a television or furniture, if it’s damaged by your own pet. So if Fluffy shreds your curtains during one of her midnight romps or Max rips through the couch, you likely won’t be able to file a claim for pet damage with your insurance company.

Dwelling and Other Structures Coverage

Similarly, most homeowners insurance policies exclude coverage for damage caused by a pet or domestic animal (as well as insects and rodents) to structures on your property, such as your house or fence. Should your dog chew through a wall or your mischievous goat break the door to your barn, your homeowner’s insurance is not likely to cover the cost of repairs.

Liability Coverage

The liability protection with most standard homeowners policies may provide coverage if a pet damages someone else’s property, according to the Insurance Information Institute. If your horse breaks the neighbor’s fence or your puppy chews a friend’s dining room table, the liability coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy may help cover the cost of repairs or replacements. Liability coverage may also extend to damage to someone else’s property caused by domestic animals such as a goat, pig, cow, or chicken, assuming the animal is a pet and/or used for hobby purposes (business farming would not be included). But again, there would probably be no coverage for pet damage to your own belongings.
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