A cat and a dog lying on grass next to each other.Pets bring us endless amounts of joy every single day, but as most animal owners know far too well, our furry friends can sometimes get into some trouble. But what happens when your pets move past ripping up your living room couch and instead cause some serious damage to someone else’s property, or worse, attack another person? Does homeowners insurance cover pet damage and bites? It depends. Read on to find out more about how to adequately insure yourself.

 Homeowners Insurance for Pet Damage

Homeowners insurance can vary in terms of coverage, but typically, it should cover the cost to repair or completely rebuild your house as well as attached or unattached structures on your property, but it depends on the cause of the damage. Unfortunately, most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover damage to your home caused by your own pet. This also goes for any personal belongings your pet might destroy, such as furniture or electronics.

On the flip side, most homeowners insurance policies include liability for damage your pet causes to someone else’s property. So, if your dog smashes through a neighbor’s fence, chews on their deck or destroys their lawn, it will likely be covered.

Liability insurance does usually come with a limit, so if you think you might need more coverage, consider purchasing umbrella coverage or extra liability insurance.

Homeowners Insurance for Pet Bites

Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine that your sweet dog could ever hurt anyone—but in reality, every dog can bite, scratch and cause harm if they feel threatened. Even cats can bite and scratch, causing potentially dangerous infections in people.

In Massachusetts, dog owners are liable if their dog bites or causes personal injury and the injured person was not trespassing, committing another infraction or provoking the dog. If your pet does bite or otherwise injure another person, the liability protection in your homeowners insurance policy might cover you against any lawsuits. The same is true if your pet attacks someone else’s animal.

Be aware that some insurance providers may deny or require higher coverage if you own a dog that is categorized as high-risk, while others might assess the dog, its bite history and any proactive protection you’ve put in place (fencing, muzzles, etc.) before providing coverage.

Unlike with property damage, you may not be covered for attacks that happen off your property, which may require a specific endorsement for pet attacks or personal umbrella insurance to provide higher limits of protection in the event your pet hurts another person or animal.

Find the Right Coverage with Us

Want to make sure that you and your assets are protected if your lovable pet makes a mistake? If you own a dog or another pet that could cause harm, your best bet is to check with your insurance provider to determine what, if any, additional coverage you may require. You don’t want to find out after the fact that you aren’t covered.

Our experienced insurance professionals can help review your current homeowners insurance, find new coverage and even help you buy additional insurance. Reach out to us today to get started.