When thinking about getting a pet, we immediately go to what species, what color, what temperament. What we usually don’t consider is how the new pet will affect our homeowners insurance policy. This is a big mistake. Many homeowners adopt a new pet without checking to see how it will affect this. Here are some of the pets and the ways that those pets an affect your homeowners insurance policy.
Why does an insurer care about my pet? It doesn’t affect them? Well, home insurers have to view the pet objectively, because animals can be so unpredictable. The insurer has to look at every possible risk when creating your policy. If there is any chance the pet could pose a threat to anyone in your home, your rate will increase; you could also be denied completely, depending.
Dogs can be one of the riskiest pets. Most homeowners insurance policies will cover dog bites and other related incidents. Liability insurance (which hopefully you have) will make sure that you aren’t personally liable for the injured parties’ medical bills.
The breed makes a big difference when it comes to the premium, and coverage in general. Most insurers won’t cover dogs that can seriously injure someone just for one bite; an example of such breed would be a Doberman. Unfortunately, some dog breeds get a bad reputation, and while it may not be fair, they’ll be judged according to the overall stigma of that breed. It is also unfair because certain large dogs are less likely to bite than smaller ones. For example, greyhounds and huskies are often viewed as calm, while pit bulls are rated as below average aggression. Insurers also go on their previous statistics as well, regarding how many claims they’ve had, and how severe, with certain breeds. Here are some ways that you can lower your insurance premium. Tip: you’ll have to show your insurer that there is no reason to anticipate any future claim with your pet.
- Socialize your dog early by introducing it to other humans
- Keep your dog on-leash when it’s in the yard
- Get it vaccinated for rabies
- Train your dog to “drop” toys so no one has to reach in its mouth
- Limit tug-of-war games and don’t let them get too heated
- Be ready to remove your dog from tense situations or when it’s nervous
- Never leave children alone with your dog
- Have visitors respect the dog’s space, especially when it’s sleeping, eating, and drinking
If you own a rare and/or exotic animal, you should go ahead and assume that you are not going to be covered. You’ll have to dig into exotic pet insurance. These plans offer coverage amounts that will handle incidents with a lion, a tiger, or even a whale. Another type of pet is an unusual one; such as a pig. While is a pig is not a rare or an exotic animal, you’re going to still need coverage. Again, depending on what type of animal, it may not be covered under your homeowners insurance. The only way you can find out how, and what kind of pet your insurer will cover is to ask. The important thing is to never lie about what kind of pet you have in your home, and to always update your insurance policy if you get a new pet.