a woman with her two dogs and a cat

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pet Damage?

For many families across Canada, a dog or a cat (or both!) are usually present in the home, and with good reason. There are a ton of reasons to own a pet, ranging from lowered blood pressure to a stronger immune system and a decreased risk of heart disease. However, as much as we may enjoy having our pets in our lives, they do have an impact on our homes – and that’s where things can get tricky.

Let’s set the scene. You come home one day from a long shift at work, walk in the door, and stop dead in your tracks. The expensive couch that you bought as a treat to yourself has been absolutely ripped to shreds. There’s stuffing and scraps of fabric everywhere. Smack in the middle of the mess is your beloved dog, wagging its tail and excited to show you their new nest made from the remnants of your furniture.

Will your homeowner’s insurance cover the cost of the couch? Read on to discover the answer.

What You Need to Understand About Pets & Home Insurance

Generally speaking, most homeowners insurance policies won’t provide coverage for property damaged by your pet. This is because, from a legal standpoint, your pet is considered to be your property. The liability for your dog, or any dog under your care and control, is your responsibility, even if you’re just babysitting a friend’s dog for the day. 

There are even some breeds and species of animals that are considered a higher risk and may require additional liability coverage. Some insurance companies may underwrite based on breed, which is why we ask what kind of breed your dog is. If a dog bites or runs out into the road, the damage they cause is your responsibility. Each insurance company is different, but some of the most frequently excluded dog breeds are:

  • German Shepherds
  • Rottweilers
  • Mastiffs
  • Great Danes
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Pitt Bull Terriers

How to Prevent Pet Damage in Your Home

Unfortunately, if your dog rips apart your couch while you’re away, your insurance policy likely won’t’ be able to help. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you as a pet owner can do to drastically reduce the chances of such a thing happening.

  • Make sure your pet gets plenty of exercise. A bored or under-stimulated pet is an animal that will think nothing of chewing or scratching whatever it can get its paws on. This can be done with regular walks or playtime breaks throughout the day.
  • Take the time to train your pet to do their business outside or in a designated area. This will prevent accidents throughout the rest of the home and reduce the chances of long-term damage to your property.
  • If your pet has destructive tendencies when left alone, consider confining them to a designated space in your home. This could include crate training, or it could be as simple as closing a door to a room that you’d prefer they not be able to access.

Finding Homeowner’s Insurance for Your Entire Family

Homeowner’s insurance in Barrie can mean the difference between a bad day and a bad year. At Will Marshall Insurance Brokers, we’ve been helping clients find the right insurance policy for themselves and their families for over 20 years. If you have concerns about coverage, just ask us. We’ll listen to what you need, and we’ll help you find a policy that’s designed to provide you with the perfect protection.

If you’d like to learn more about homeowner’s insurance and what it can do for you and your family (including your pets), give us a call at (705) 726-2551. You can also request a free, no-obligation quote online.

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