Home insurance can provide financial support to you if your dog bites someone else. This is possible if your insurer knows you have a dog. But, exotic pets are a bit more challenging. If you have exotic pets - whether it is a monkey or a rare parrot - your agent needs to know about it. You may not have financial protection in these situations. What are some of the steps you can take to insure your liabilities?
Home Insurance and Liability
The concern with pets focuses on risk. If a property is a high risk to anyone, insurers may not provide coverage. Animals in the home tend to be a risk. Therefore, the tendency for an insurer to cover you might drop. For example, your neighbor comes to the door. Your dog bites the neighbor. Your home liability insurance may help cover the neighbor's medical bills. This happens in a typical situation where the insurer knew of the dog's presence. Home insurance's liability component handles these risks.
Yet, exotic pets are more of an unknown. These types of animals are less predictable. There is less evidence they are safe. Having them in your home means other people may suffer injury. Most exotic pet coverage will not cover wild animals. Bringing a friendly raccoon into the home may cause you to lose coverage. Most importantly, if your city makes it illegal for you to own the animal in your home, your coverage is likely not to apply.
How to Find Out if You Have Coverage
If you hope to purchase an exotic animal, call your home insurance agent. Some animals may not pose a security or safety risk. In these situations, your insurer may not care about the presence. However, if the animal:
- Is a security risk
- Is a safety risk
- Could damage to the value of the home
- Or otherwise puts the home at risk
Your policy is likely not to provide coverage. Your agent will determine this based on the insurer's requirements. Each insurance company sets rules about the types of animals it will and will not cover. Some offer exotic pet insurance policies.
The more information you provide to your insurer, the better. You want to be sure your home insurance can protect you. If your insurer does not know, it cannot offer enough financial protection to you. Yet, a simple phone call is all it may take. Before you buy an exotic animal, let your insurance agent know. Then, decide on whether the investment is worth the higher cost of your policy.
For more information on how homeowner's insurance can help protect your home, contact us today!