Does renters insurance cover pets?

Renters insurance may cover pet damage as part of your policy's liability coverage. This may help protect your finances if your pet injures someone else or damages their property. However, renters insurance won't cover damage to your own property that's caused by your pet. In some instances, repairs that are made by your landlord may come out of your security deposit.

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How does renters insurance cover pet liability?

If you share a rental home with your dog, cat or other pet, renters insurance policy may help protect you from the liability you assume as its legal owner. Most renters insurance companies include coverage for your pets as part of your policy's liability coverage. Be sure to check your policy and see if that is the case. Personal liability coverage is typically divided into the following components:

  1. Bodily injury liability:

    This portion of your renters insurance policy may protect you if you are liable for injuries caused by anyone in your household – even your furry family members.

  2. Property damage liability:

    If your pet damages someone else's personal property, this coverage may pay out. Let's say your dog gets into the neighbor's yard and digs up their professionally planted flowerbeds. As long as the damages are within your policy's limits, you may be covered for the cost of hiring a landscaper to replant the flower beds.

Does renters insurance cover dog bites?

In most instances, renters insurance covers dog bites up to your policy’s limits as a part of bodily injury liability coverage. However, every policy will have different rules, including some restrictions on certain dog breeds. It’s best to check your policy to see if there are any limitations based on the type of dog you have and/or if it’s possible to get additional coverage. While not all breeds may be excluded, you may be surprised to find more than just Pit Bulls on the list.

In the event your renters insurance policy won’t cover Fido, you may be able to purchase separate coverage on top of your existing renters insurance policy. You’ll need to check with your existing provider before you add renters insurance coverages and be sure to include details about your current renters policy when you get a quote from another provider.

Dog bites are one of the most common examples of bodily injury liability claims. According to, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs in the United States every year, resulting in an average homeowners insurance claim payout of $44,760.

How do I add a pet to my renters insurance policy?

When obtaining a quote for renters insurance, you'll typically be asked to provide information about the pets or animals you own or keep at your home. If you acquire or adopt a pet after obtaining your renters insurance, you can contact your agent or insurer to amend your policy. Most renters insurance companies cover household domestic pets like cats and dogs, but there may be exceptions, especially for certain dog breeds.

If your renters insurance company won't extend liability coverage to your pet, you may be able to purchase a separate animal liability policy from another insurer. The cost of an animal liability policy may vary based on your pet’s breed and size, as well as your location and the limits you choose.

Pet damages that aren't covered by your renters insurance policy

  • Damage to your own property: Renters insurance doesn't cover pet damage to your personal belongings. For example, if your cat decides to use your sofa as a scratching post, you'll have to repair or replace it yourself.
  • Injuries to yourself, your family, and/or roommates: Your renters insurance policy won't pay for dog bites or other injuries sustained by anyone who resides in your home, but does cover houseguests.

How much will I pay for renters insurance with pets?

Most renters insurance companies include coverage for household pets within your base premium. However, that may vary by insurer.

What's the difference between renters insurance and pet insurance?

The primary purpose of renters insurance is to protect your property and assets if you live in a rental unit. The liability coverage included in your policy also applies to your pets, and in some cases may pay for the damage your pet causes to someone else’s property.

Pet insurance is designed to help with unexpected veterinary bills in the event of an illness or injury and may be able to help with preventative care. If you’re looking for coverage when your furry friend gets sick, learn more about pet insurance.

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Please note: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of insurance. Read our editorial standards for Answers content. This information is not an insurance policy, does not refer to any specific insurance policy, and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions expressly stated in any insurance policy. Descriptions of all coverages and other features are necessarily brief; in order to fully understand the coverages and other features of a specific insurance policy, we encourage you to read the applicable policy and/or speak to an insurance representative. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. Whether an accident or other loss is covered is subject to the terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in the claim. References to average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, costs of coverages/repair, etc., are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. We are not responsible for the content of any third-party sites linked from this page.