Since tomorrow’s National Pet Day, we want to take this opportunity to address a commonly asked question: Will your homeowners’ insurance cover your pets? Although about 85 million households in the United States have some sort of pet, not all animals are covered equally—if at all. Before we break it down by breed, though, let’s talk about what this type of coverage might entail.
It’s Homeowners’ Insurance, Not Pet Insurance
Even if your particular pet is covered by your homeowners’ insurance, this just includes protection for damages and other liability claims related to the home. This differs fundamentally from pet insurance, which exists to help with veterinary bills. Although both types of plans are worthwhile for different reasons, our focus today will simply be on your homeowners’ insurance.
What Type of Pet?
Since your insurance costs are largely based on risk, many companies will ask for particular details about your pet before providing or denying coverage. Cats and dogs should be fine—along with the damage they can cause to other people (and their property). But certain breeds of dogs may be excluded altogether—in other parts of the country. Not in Maryland though!
Since 2013, the Maryland Insurance Administration has cracked down on breed-specific liability. This allows pet owners who have blacklisted breeds like pit bulls or Rottweilers to get coverage from insurers throughout the state. However, they may have to pay more to do so. If you have an exotic pet like a parrot, snake, or even ferret—well, that’s a different story.
Exotic Pets & More
Exactly what’s considered exotic will vary from insurer to insurer. Some of them you might expect like boa constrictors or capuchin monkeys. But you could also find ferrets, chinchillas, and even certain species of hamster or guinea pigs on this list! Ideally, if you’re considering adopting a pet that’s out of the ordinary, you can ask your insurance company for their Exotic Pet Species Index.
You may want to reference your local and state laws, as well, just to ensure you have the necessary permits for this type of pet. Without that, your insurance company won’t be able to cover this particular pet. Forcing you to pay out-of-pocket for any damage or liability claims they cause. Depending on the species, you may have to look into exotic pet insurance, which is designed to often comparable coverage to your homeowners’ insurance. However, it’s a standalone plan offered by higher risk insurers that may cost you considerably more. Still, it gives you an alternative to being completely uninsured when it comes to your pet.
If you have additional questions about how your homeowners’ insurance works for your pets, please contact our office directly! At the Freedom Insurance Agency, we’re always available to offer personal service and individual quotes. Plus, we hope you enjoy National Pet Day tomorrow! We look forward to helping you protect your home and furry (or feathered or scaly) family members.