Does homeowners insurance cover pet damage?
Last updated: January 1
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.
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 homeowners 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 homeowners 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.
Read your policy to learn what kind of coverage it may provide for pet damage and contact your agent with any questions.