Homeowners Insurance & the Animal Liability Exclusion

Homeowners Insurance & the Animal Liability Exclusion

Read the fine print!

Does my Homeowners Insurance Policy cover injury caused by my pet?  The quick and simple answer is no.  Liability caused by any animal you own is excluded from your policy.  However, coverage can often be purchased to cover this liability on a limited basis, depending on the type and breed of your pet.  The amount of coverage will also vary between insurance companies.  Don’t assume you have coverage; if coverage is provided it will be listed in the Endorsement Section of your policy.  If you cannot locate it, contact our office and someone will gladly look into it for you.

Won’t my Umbrella Policy extend coverage for this liability?  Most Umbrella Policies are “Follow Form” and will NOT extend coverage where underlying coverage is not provided by the homeowner policy.   There are a few exceptions to this, and you should check with your agent to see if coverage is available on your Umbrella Policy.

My pet would never harm anyone.  In most cases this is absolutely correct.  Most pets are friendly and would never intentionally do harm to anyone.  However, there are many cases where an animal causes accidental injury to someone.  There are instances where a cat or dog has scratched the face of a child leading to a liability claim.  We recently had a client whose dog allegedly caused their neighbor to trip and fall while she was getting out of a car.

Is Animal Liability Coverage expensive?  No, depending on which insurance company insures your home and how much coverage you select, the premium is normally between $25.00 & $75.00 per year.    Going without coverage is a mistake many pet owners make.  Check your policy or contact your agent and make sure you are properly covered.