Animal liability insurance

Animal liability insurance helps cover damage or injury caused by your four-legged friends.

a close up of a light brown pomeranian's face swaddled in an orange blanket

What is animal liability insurance?

You can usually add animal liability insurance to your home insurance policy to cover bodily injuries or property damage your pets cause folks who aren't residents of your home. For example, if your very defensive Pomeranian bites the mailman, this coverage can help pay for:

  • Medical expenses related to the injury.
  • Legal costs if you are sued over the damage the pet caused (up to policy limits).

Those costs aren't small, either. The average dog bite claim costs $50,425 as of 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

If you're a proud pet parent, make sure your home insurance protects your critters, too. Be aware that not all homeowners insurance policies offer animal liability coverage as part of the standard policy.

How animal liability coverage works

If your homeowner's insurance policy provides personal liability coverage and does not exclude animal liability, your personal liability coverage extends to your pets. Personal liability insurance can cover damages and lawsuits for property damage or bodily injuries you cause another person.

So if your pet is the one who causes the damage and your policy doesn't exclude animal liability, your homeowner's insurance would help pay for medical bills and legal costs if your furry friend hurts a visitor, up to your policy limits.

However, if your home insurance has an animal liability exclusion, you do not have protection for incidents like dog bites. In this case, you may want to consider purchasing a separate animal liability insurance policy or an animal liability endorsement (an add-on to your home insurance policy). This option usually offers $25,000 to $50,000 in animal liability protection.

Some insurance providers only offer animal liability coverage if your dog is on your property, not off your property. That means any incidents that happen on walks or at the dog park would have to be paid for out of pocket.

What animal liability doesn't cover

Animal liability typically doesn't cover:

  • Damage to your property caused by your pet.
  • Impoundment costs if law enforcement insists that your pet be impounded for a period.
  • Vaccination costs if the impounding facility finds that your pet is not up to date on vaccines.

Animal liability usually only covers small domestic animals, not “commercial” animals (such as ones used for breeding or farm animals).

Some insurance providers may not offer this coverage for certain breeds of dogs. Others may charge more for breeds on the restricted list.

If you have questions about whether your Kin policy covers your fluffy friend, give us a call.

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