Your pet may face similar insurance needs whether you rent or own your place, including coverage for emergency medical care, sick visits or vaccines. Your pet’s liability may get covered under renters insurance, but many renters insurance policies don’t include rental property damage as part of your coverage. Compare what renters insurance covers and when you might need pet insurance to fill in the gaps.
What pet insurance coverage should renters consider?
First, you can consider what injuries or illnesses your pet faces while living in your rental house or apartment. Your answer might steer you toward one of these policies:
- Accident-only. This low-cost policy can help if you want some coverage but don’t have much wiggle room in your budget.
- Accident and illness. If you’re living in close quarters with other pets, yours could face a higher chance of getting sick or injured while playing or fighting.
- Wellness care. If your pet comes in contact regularly with other pets or has a high risk of chronic conditions, you might want coverage for vaccines, annual checkups and other preventive care.
How much does pet coverage cost for renters?
You can pay anywhere from $10 to $20 a month for renters insurance with pet liability coverage. Since pet liability comes included with many policies, you won’t pay extra for the coverage in this case. Keep in mind that not all insurance companies cover pet liability.
In addition, pet insurance could set you back from $10 to $40 per month. You could pay on the lower end of that range for smaller pets or less coverage. But large pets like dogs or those with higher risk can land you a higher premium.
Compare pet insurance for renters
Does renters insurance offer any coverage for pets?
Yes, many renters policies offer liability coverage for your pet. This coverage protects you for injuries your pet causes to other people or damage to others’ belongings.
However, renters insurance doesn’t provide medical protection if your pet gets injured. In addition, if your insurance company excludes certain breeds, you won’t have any pet liability coverage. Some insurance companies exclude all pets from liability, so read through your policy to make sure you have the legal protection you need.
Examples of excluded dog breeds and mixes:
- Doberman Pinschers
- German Shepherds
- Siberian Huskies
- Staffordshire Terriers (pit bulls)
Can I get coverage if I don’t disclose my pet’s breed?
No. You might be tempted to skirt around telling your renters insurance company about your pet. However, if your pet causes an injury or damage, your company can deny the claim if it finds out about your pet’s breed. Not disclosing that you have a pet or an excluded breed is as good as not buying coverage at all.
Pet insurance vs renters insurance coverage
Pet insurance is designed to offer financial protection for vet bills, while renters insurance covers your pet’s incidentals to other visitors on your property. However, neither renters nor pet policies cover pet damage to the rental itself, leaving you to shoulder that risk on your own.
What’s covered under accident and illness pet insurance:
|Injuries to others||Dog bite, tripping someone|
|Damage to others’ belongings||Staining carpet, breaking glass|
|Damage to personal belongings||Chewing up clothing, breaking a lamp|
|Damage to the rental||Scratching the doors, ripping up carpet|
|Accidental injuries||Broken bones, swallowing an object|
|Illness or injuries not accident-related||Hip dysplasia, cancer, arthritis|
|Routine services||Vaccines, heartworm medication, annual checkup|
How do I keep my pet and apartment safe?
Make renting with your pet a less stressful experience by preventing damage before it happens.
- Give your pet regular exercise. Run off their energy by giving them the daily exercise and playtime they need.
- Nip bad behavior in the bud. Try easy training techniques that discourage bad habits like chewing or scratching while rewarding tricks and good behavior. Many food-motivated dogs and cats take to clicker or treat training quickly.
- Inspect your equipment. Look over your pet’s crate, fish tank or other equipment to catch unlatched doors, worn spots or cracks before they lead to further damage.
- Limit your pet’s alone time. Know your pet’s needs and take strides to meet them. For example, you might crate-train to keep your home damage-free while running errands. You might also consider a pet daycare or sitter to give your pet exercise while you’re working.
- Keep written records. Keep written records and photos of your home’s condition when you move in. That way you can prove what damage your pet did and did not cause later.
- Pet-proof your home. Get down to your furry friend’s height and look for hazards or temptations they might encounter around your home. Prevent accidents and damage to your apartment by limiting your pet’s access to certain areas and keeping temptations away.
Your pet can face a variety of risks when renting that may warrant extra protection. While renters insurance may cover liability if your pet damages someone’s property or injures them, that’s not the case for every renters policy. Plus, you might need a separate pet insurance policy to cover routine or irregular vet bills when they arise.