by Gordon Jeremiah Berry
Renter’s insurance typically covers personal property damages that are caused by fire, theft-related property loss, and personal liability expenses caused by negligence or accidental injury to others. If you are a renter, most landlords will require you to have renter’s insurance and pay a special deposit for your pet. Apartments often require residents to pay a pet deposit. This deposit will cover any damage to the apartment that may be caused by the pet.
Some states such as Wyoming, Washington, West Virginia, Texas, Tennessee, Vermont, Kentucky, Indiana, Florida, Colorado, Illinois, New York, and Georgia do not set limits on rental deposits. Landlords in other states may feel justified in requiring high deposits to cover the highest amount of likely damage. Landlords want to know in advance that a prospective renter is a good risk, and the same thing goes a potential resident that may have pets.
Things that maybe helpful in possibly lowering pet deposits
If you are able to show up with a reference letter or two from your current landlord or neighbor it may be helpful. Make a “Pet Resume”, this may include documents that show regular veterinary care, including required shots and spaying or neutering. Possibly other smaller things may be helpful as well such as a document that shows a dog has been to obedience school. It will also be helpful to your cause to provide a copy of your plan on dealing with problems such as fleas or worms.
In some cases, landlords will only accept a pet if you show proof that you’ve purchased dog liability insurance. Dog bite injuries total over $400 million per year in medical and liability claims nationwide. Many renters’ insurance policies exclude coverage for injuries caused by dogs, resulting in out-of-pocket expenses for pet owners.
Some insurance company’s cover things like dog bites under a standard renter’s insurance policy, while other companies might require you to purchase additional coverage. Unfortunately, some insurance policies won’t take dog breeds that are “considered aggressive”, this list unusually includes, pit bulls, Staffordshire terriers, Dobermans, Rottweilers, German shepherds, Akitas, chow chows, Presa Canarios, wolf hybrids or any mix of these breeds. There are policies that exclude dog bites, and those that provide inadequate limits for the victim. Umbrella coverage, excess coverage, and canine liability policies are the three basic ones.
It is an unfortunate reality that you can be held liable for your pet’s behavior, even if you have taken all the precautions to prevent your pet from inflicting any kind of damage. Every state has different laws regarding a dog owner’s liability for dog bites or injuries and the amount for which a dog owner may be liable. Insurance companies like Allstate, include pet damage or injury as part of their renter’s insurance in most states. However, in some states, it is excluded from coverage on all basic homeowners and renters policies. Allstate sometimes uses an Umbrella Company that is local and smaller in order to attempt to lower the policy premium. Use caution when purchasing such policies due to the hassle of finding coverage during a claim.
Even despite the fact that all 50 states in the U.S., the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico that do have protections in place that will help soften the financial blow to policyholders when insurers go bankrupt, you still would want to make sure you choose an insurer that is stable and most likely around for the long-term. If you are part of (The Federation of Insured Dog Owners) or F.I.D.O, this company is known to cover ANY breed of dog. Some policies may even be as low as $75 dollars per year, as this is what they advertise.
In conclusion, when it comes to insurance, insurance is great for good basic coverage for the very basic problems and circumstances. Insurance is not so good for high risk, highly problematic circumstances. Insurance is for the peace of mind, and when it comes to our pets that we will be protecting due to the love we have for them.
About the Author
Gordon Jeremiah Berry, is an avid reader and intense researcher. Mr. Berry looks for the deeper meaning behind all things. His favorite saying is “Love must always win out!”