How Pets Affect Your Home Insurance Rates
Pets are one of the greatest things in life. They can bring joy, humor, and companionship to any household, and can be exceptional partners for young children. Whether you have a single cat, a collection of dogs, or a farm animal, life is usually better when a pet is involved.
Of course, there are costs associated with owning a pet. Pets cost money in food and maintenance, as well as vet bills. However, there’s another area where pets can cost money: your home insurance. Many people don’t realize this, but some pets need to be insured in your home insurance package. If you have a pet, don’t worry: we’ve got you covered with all the information you need about whether or not your pet will impact your home insurance rates, and why.
In this article, Part 1 discusses why pets have an impact on your home insurance rates, Part 2 details what types of animals alter the rates of your insurance, and Part 3 offers advice on what to do if your animal will raise your home insurance rates.
Part 1 of 3: Why do pets alter the cost of your home insurance?
Simply put, pets can be dangerous. While pets essentially have no impact on damage to your home (or more accurately, no impact on damage that is covered by your insurance policy – watch out for those cat scratches on the sofa!), they can cause harm to people in your home, and you’re responsible for that.
Dogs alone, for instance, usually result in hundreds of millions of dollars each year in insurance claims, usually from bites. If one of your pet harms another person while on your property, you are liable, which costs your home insurance company money. That, in turn, can raise the price of your premiums.
Part 2 of 3: What kinds of animals affect your home insurance rates?
Not all pets raise the price of your home insurance. A cat or rabbit is highly unlikely to cause any serious damage to a person, so it’s very rare for them to have any impact on your home insurance. Many farm animals also don’t spike your insurance rates (though horses can raise your prices by a bit).
The primary animals that raise your home insurance rates are dogs, because dogs bite. Unfortunately, many home insurance companies simply look at the fact that you have a dog, and what breed it is, rather than the kind of owner you are. That can result in a raised insurance rate for a large, stereotypically angry dog (such as a Pit Bull, German Shepherd, or Husky), even if they’re a cuddly teddy bear.
Other animals that are seen as dangerous, such as snakes, can also have an impact on your home insurance rates.
Part 3 of 3: What to do if you have a pet that will affect the cost of your home insurance
If you have a pet that will have an impact on your home insurance policy, you’ll need to let your provider know immediately. Even if you know your animal is docile or peaceful, it’s important to make sure that your home insurance company knows about them. That way, you don’t have to deal with expensive fees if someone decides to file a claim against you.
Unfortunately, depending on where you live, some home insurance companies can refuse to provide insurance for you depending on what dog breed you have. If you encounter one of these insurance companies, you will have to either hope that another company can provide insurance, move, or get rid of your pup.
Having home insurance is vital if you own your home. And if you’re lucky enough to have a pet in your life, it’s extremely important to make sure that your home insurance provider knows about them. In most cases, you won’t experience a raise in your rates, or you’ll experience only a minimal one. It’s a small price to pay for having a wonderful pet!