Renters Insurance for Pet Owners

Renters insurance for pet owners may come with higher rates. Owning pets mean higher risks, and that risk must be reflected in the renters insurance premiums you have to pay. Renters insurance for pet owners will also come with limitations, so take a closer look at your policy to make sure you’re covered for everything, including bite liability. Learn more and compare renters insurance quotes for free with our comparison tool below.

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UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022

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Written By: Chris TepedinoReviewed By: Laura WalkerUPDATED: Jun 28, 2022Fact Checked

Renters insurance can be a blessing for pet owners, but it is important to make sure that your policy includes coverage for your particular pet or breed. Some insurance companies exclude pets, while others limit or exclude coverage for certain breeds. Pets can be challenging to include in a renters policy, but individual pet policies are available that will serve your needs.

Pets and Insurance Risks

Different types of pets carry different risks for your renters insurance. For example, an aquarium introduces a risk or water damage, dogs carry the risk of bites, and cats are notorious for scratching furniture.

Cats and dogs both shed, and many types of pets have to be housebroken or confined to minimize the danger of “accidents.” Another example of a pet creating a potential risk of a claim would be window blinds, which can be easily destroyed by many different types of pets.

As you can see, pets mean higher risks, and that risk must be reflected in the premiums you have to pay.

Dogs that are commonly excluded from coverage or limit coverage options are:

  • Akita
  • Chow
  • Doberman
  • German Shepard
  • Pit Bull
  • Staffordshire Terrier
  • Rottweiler
  • Wolf and Wolf Hybrid

Renters Insurance and Pets

If your renter’s insurance policy does not include pets, you have the option of switching insurance companies. Look for policies that provide pet liability coverage specifically, which includes damages or injuries caused to someone outside of your immediate family. Another area where coverage should be examined closely is where damages to the dwelling or property are concerned. This falls under damage liability, and can be used to pay for damages your pet makes while you live in the dwelling.

Pets and Liability Needs

When it comes to pets, your liabilities include the danger of injuries or damages to the property of other people. Damages could be expensive, but injuries are likely to be extremely costly. Additionally, your liability obligations extend to people who come on your property for legitimate reasons, such as meter readers, your landlord, or other official visitors. If your pet causes injuries to these people, you could be liable for injuries, damages, and such things as mental trauma and suffering, as well as civil penalties.

Umbrella vs. Canine Liability

A canine liability policy probably covers your dog-related needs, but it may be more cost efficient to purchase a liability policy instead. Rather than paying the premiums on a policy that only covers your pet, an umbrella policy covers any liability claims for your home, car or other liability needs. Once any existing liability coverage is exhausted, the umbrella policy kicks in provides additional liability coverage up to the total of the policy, even when the claims are spread across types of coverage.

Typical Pet Exclusions

Some types of pets, such as dog breeds with a violent history, may be excluded from your renter’s policy. Additionally, some policies may limit the type or amount of claims the policy will honor.

As an example, your policy may include property damage liability but exclude liability for bites or scratches from your pets. Finally, keep in mind that your immediate family is not covered by injury liability coverage. For them, your health insurance will be the policy that is in force.

About the Author: Terry Wood is a writer for US Insurance Agents. She works hard to help provide a fresh perpsective to insurance, personal finance and related topics.


Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by insurance experts.

Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about home, life, and car insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and C...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent Laura Walker

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