Anyone who owns a dog – large or small – has probably come home at one time or another only to find parts of it in various stages of disarray. Of course, depending on your pooch’s temperament, you could return to anything from a minor to a major mess.
This can range from a simple clean-up to a hole in your new carpeting where Fido dug while you were gone. Or, maybe you’re now two couch cushions short of the three you started with. And, worse yet – you find your priceless Persian rug half-unraveled all over the house.
Fido means no harm, but his separation anxiety or excessive playfulness can cause him to act out in destructive ways. Luckily, you’ve got homeowners insurance or renters insurance for such events as fire, theft or if someone slips and falls on your front door step – but, what about all the damage your dog caused to your belongings? Are you covered?
The Bad News
While you may have quite a mess to clean up, the bad news is – most renters insurance and homeowners insurance coverage for damage caused by your pet is limited. In fact, there is generally no coverage for personal property, including your carpet, couch cushions, or priceless rug. This also applies to your drywall, if Fido decides to claw through it to get to an adjacent room.
The Good News
On the other hand, there is also good news. You may be covered, if your four-legged friend damages your neighbor’s property or chews on his leg. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the liability protection that is part of most standard homeowners and renters policies could kick in to help pay for the repairs, replacement, or medical bills.
Unfortunately, regardless of the damage your dog causes to your furniture and other belongings, insurance companies consider it as the financial risk you choose to undertake when you opt to bring domesticated animals such as a dog into your home.
Your Security Deposit is at Risk
If you’re a renter, any damage your dog does to walls, carpeting, doors or other items that are associated with the apartment will come out of your security deposit. Should the destruction exceed your deposit, you could be held liable for all repairs and/or replacement costs.
So, when deciding to take a dog into your home or apartment, be sure to choose a breed that best fits the size of your environment and back yard. You may also want to consider early training to deter Fido from destroying your home and everything in it.