If you are a pet owner, you will know how the playful antics of kittens or the loyal devotion of dogs can light up your stressful day. Although it is always adorable to have these furry friends around, it might be stressful if you live in a rented place. That is why every renter must have heard terms like pet liability insurance, pet insurance Canada, pet renters insurance, and renters insurance, along with pet coverage, at least once in their lives. However, one might wonder how these terms differ from one another. Pet liability insurance is vital for people living in close quarters with other renters.

they can protect themselves from potential damage by their pets. Since your pets will likely run into your neighbours and their spaces, and you definitely wouldn’t like scratches on your cabinets or torn-up couches, etc. Pet liability insurance would help you pay for any such damages in these cases. Hence, here’s all the relevant and necessary information about pet liability insurance and more.  

Why Pet Liability Insurance is a Must for You?

There are a lot of favourable factors for pet liability insurance for renters. It can be helpful for those who own a dog whose breed is on their insurance’s restricted breed list. Additionally, if you have pet liability insurance, you’d appear as a responsible potential tenant. However, it is important to note that this would not guarantee an apartment approval. 

  • Everything that is Included in Pet Liability Insurance

Pet Liability Insurance in Canada

Pet liability insurance plans work in a similar manner to renters insurance with pet coverage. This means that the pet liability insurance will cover the costs of any damages done to your/ someone else’s apartment. It will also help you if your pet harms someone else. You can easily pay the legal fees, repair bills, and medical costs (mental health costs). For instance, if you leave the apartment by hiring a pet sitter for your dog/cat, it harms the pet sitter. It is possible that the pet sitter might get infected. In this case, pet liability insurance will come to your rescue. With it, you can cover your pet sitter’s hospital bills. Additionally, say your pet scratches your pet sitter and rips off their costly dress; pet liability insurance could be used to pay for such damages. The pet liability insurance can help you pay 70%-90% of the costs of any pet damage.  

  • Everything that Is Not Included in Pet Liability Insurance

Now that you know what is included in pet liability insurance, let us talk about the things that are not covered. First off, pet liability insurance will not cover damage to yourself/ anyone in your home. For e.g., if your pet tears up your newly done garden area, you will have to pay out of your own pocket to redo it. Similarly, if your pet damages your newly done catio, you have to bear the costs to replace it. Therefore, it is important to thoughtfully read your insurance policy to comprehend it fully and know what is not covered. Listed below are the pets that are mostly not included in your pet insurance Canada for renters. 

    • Exotic pets like birds, ferrets, fish, lizards, rabbits, and snakes.
    • Some dog breeds/ mixed-breeds like – Akita, Boxer, Chow Chow, Doberman, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Husky, Malamute, Rhodesian ridgebacks, Rottweilers, Saint Bernard, Staffordshire terriers and other Pit Bull breeds, Wolf hybrids etc. 
    • Pets that weigh above a certain set limit. 
    • Dogs who have a previous history of biting. 

Is Pet Coverage Included in Renter’s Insurance?

Pet Coverage Included in Renter’s Insurance

Usually, renters insurance gives coverage for your personal belongings, liability issues, and expenses related to temporary relocation. However, it is important to note that the typical renters’ insurance policy doesn’t provide coverage for damage caused by your pet to you/ your household members/ your personal possessions. While you might assume that pet-related damage falls under ‘personal property’ damage, most insurance providers only cover losses caused by specific situations, known as ‘covered perils,’ in relation to personal property. Pets are generally not classified as covered perils, unlike events such as earthquakes and fires, which are usually covered. Renters’ insurance with pet coverage would generally cover the damage done to others/ their apartment by your pets.

  • How to Include Your Pet in Your Renter Insurance?

In case your renter’s insurance policy does not come with pet coverage, you can still include it as an add-on feature. Typically, the process of adding your pet to your renters’ insurance is straightforward, especially if your insurance provider offers this as an additional service. Many companies provide the convenience of online coverage adjustments, allowing you to log in and request the addition of pet liability coverage. Alternatively, you can reach out to your insurance provider via phone and discuss your needs with a representative.

Is Pet-Related Damage Included in Renters Insurance?

Renters insurance, which consists of pet coverage, generally provides protection for pet-related damage in the scenarios listed below: 

    • Bodily Injury: When your pet harms someone outside of your household through actions like biting, scratching, or any other injury-causing behaviour. 
    • Liability: In cases where your dog/cat damages another person’s property. 

Most insurance policies generally offer coverage of up to $100,000 for expenses such as medical bills, legal fees, lost income, or other related costs resulting from damage caused by your pet.

Steps to Take If the Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover Pets

Steps to Take If the Renters Insurance Doesn’t Cover Pets

Now comes the big question – what to do if your renters’ insurance doesn’t cover your dog/cat? Well, don’t worry; you are still left with a few alternatives. Let us look at them one by one. 

  • Umbrella Policy

An umbrella policy is perhaps one of the most straightforward solutions in such scenarios. This is because this policy extends the coverage already provided by your standard renters’ insurance and offers a higher level of protection. While your regular renters’ insurance may provide coverage for up to $100,000 in damages, an umbrella policy can extend this protection to $1 million or even more.

  • Personal Liability Insurance

Certain renters’ insurance providers may not offer the option of an umbrella policy. In such instances, you might want to explore the possibility of acquiring personal liability insurance to address pet-related concerns. These policies are designed to handle legal, medical, and repair expenses if you, a household member, or your pet causes damage to someone else or their property. Therefore, if your renters’ insurance lacks pet coverage, a personal liability policy could serve as a suitable alternative. 

However, it’s worth noting that personal liability insurance often comes with limitations, including exclusions for certain dog breeds. If your dog’s breed falls within these restricted categories, this insurance option may not be the ideal choice for you.

  • Pet Liability Insurance

Pet liability insurance can be the most suitable choice if your insurance policy doesn’t include coverage for your specific pet breed. In essence, if you own an exotic animal, such as a snake or a dog breed, other insurance alternatives commonly exclude that; pet liability insurance might be the sole option available to ensure your beloved companion receives the necessary coverage.

A Look at the Cost of Pet Liability Insurance

Pet liability insurance prices fluctuate mainly based on the type of pet you insure and their history. Generally, premiums range between $75 to $750 per annum. The key takeaway regarding pet liability insurance is the necessity for thorough research. The decision of what coverage suits your needs and fits within your budget rests with you.

How is Pet Insurance Different from Pet Liability Insurance?

While pet insurance Canada and pet liability insurance may appear similar, they are different forms of coverage.

    • Pet Insurance: As the name suggests, this insurance protects your pet’s health. Say your pet eats something toxic; you can use this type of insurance to pay your vet. 
    • Pet Liability Insurance: Pet Liability Insurance covers the damage your pet has done to others and their property. It’s also costlier than pet insurance Canada.

The Big Question: Is Pet Liability Insurance Suitable for Your Needs?

Every renter is different, and so is his/her pet. Therefore, there isn’t a tried and tested formula to pick the right type of insurance. As per your requirements, you should decide whether to choose pet liability insurance or not. In today’s world, you have a lot of options; you could opt for an umbrella policy or a pet liability policy. You can even go for a personal liability policy or choose a combination of policies. Therefore, it is advised to analyse your situation and then pick the right insurance for yourself and avail its benefits.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is personal liability insurance for tenants?

Personal liability for tenants comes under the standard renters' insurance policy. You can pay for the other person’s hospital bills/ repair costs.

Does tenant insurance cover dogs?

Yes, tenant insurance might cover dogs. However, it's important to check its breed and other relevant factors.

What is the difference between tenant insurance and liability insurance?

Tenant's insurance covers the renter's personal property in case of a disaster. On the other hand, tenant liability insurance covers damages done to the owner’s property that the tenants directly caused.

How much does tenant insurance cost in Ontario?

Tenant insurance in Ontario might cost you around $300 to $360, i.e. $30-$40 on a monthly basis.

Is it a good idea to get tenant insurance?

It totally depends on your situation. However, if you live in close quarters with a pet, tenant insurance is the right choice.

Do landlords in Ontario need insurance?

The landlords who rent out apartments on a frequent basis opt for landlord insurance.