Millions of people are adding a pet to their family every year, and with that comes new challenges — like making your home and car pet-friendly.
Many insurance providers offer discounts for customers who take steps to protect their property and vehicles from potential damage caused by pets, so it’s important to be aware of what’s required.
We’ll go over the most common pet-related insurance issues and how you can avoid them. We’ll also discuss incorporating pets into your insurance policies like adding a dog to homeowners insurance.
How Pets Can Affect Your Homeowners’ Insurance
If you’re like most pet parents, your furry friend is considered part of the family. So it’s natural to want to do everything you can to protect them.
You might have already added pet insurance to your budget. But adding a pet to your homeowner’s insurance policy is another way to help safeguard them in case of an accident.
Most homeowners’ policies will cover your pet if they cause damage to someone else’s property, but it’s always a good idea to check with your agent to be sure.
You may also want to consider adding liability coverage for your pet, which would provide protection if they were to injure someone or damage their property.
Adding a pet to your policy is usually a simple process, and it can give you peace of mind knowing you’re taking steps to protect your beloved companion.
For example, when asked whether someone might need to add their dog to their homeowners’ insurance policy, the answer is usually yes — most insurers require you to disclose any pets that live in your home, as they can pose a liability risk.
If your dog bites someone or causes damage to another person’s property, you could be held responsible and end up having to pay for expensive repairs or medical bills.
Adding your dog to your homeowners’ insurance policy will help protect you financially in case of an accident.
How Pets Can Affect Your Car Insurance
Another important consideration is how your pet might affect your car insurance rates. Some even have strict rules about which pets are allowed in the car and how they must be restrained — so it’s important to check with your provider before hitting the road with Fido.
Most standard car insurance policies will provide coverage if your pet is injured in an accident. However, there may be limits on the amount of coverage and how reimbursement is paid out.
That’s why it’s important to read the fine print of your policy and understand what’s covered. For example, some policies will only reimburse you for veterinary costs up to a certain amount, while others may only cover accidents that occur while your pet is in the car.
In addition to standard coverage, some insurers also offer optional rider policies that provide additional protection for your pet. These riders typically come at an additional cost, but they can provide peace of mind in case of an accident or other emergency.
Riders may cover veterinary costs above and beyond the limits of your standard policy, as well as other expenses such as boarding and kenneling fees. When shopping for car insurance, be sure to ask.
Home and Car-Proofing for Pets
Fortunately, there are some easy ways to make your home and car pet-friendly and minimize the risk of accidents.
Some simple ways to make your home a safer place with pets are to:
- Block off access to any dangerous areas like pools or ponds.
- Install a dog door to give your pet access to the backyard without having to leave the front door open.
- Keep all doors and windows closed and locked to prevent pets from getting out.
- Put away poisonous plants and chemicals.
Similarly, there are a few things you can do to pet-proof your car:
- Keep them restrained in a crate or with a seat belt.
- Never leave your pet alone in the car, as it can get extremely hot or cold very quickly.
- Never let them ride in the front seat.
By taking some simple precautions, you can help protect your pet and your property. And if you’re ever in an accident caused by your pet, you’ll be glad you have the right insurance in place.
The Best Dogs and Cats for Traveling
There’s no doubt that pets can make your life better. But, if you’re planning on hitting the road with your pet, it’s important to choose a breed that’s well-suited for travel.
Smaller dogs and cats are typically easier to transport and take care of on the go. Some of the best breeds of dogs for travel include:
- Boston terrier
- Miniature schnauzer
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire terrier
Some of the best breeds of cats for travel include:
- Maine coon
- Russian blue
While any pet can be a great travel companion, it’s important to do your research and choose a breed that will be comfortable and safe in a car or RV.
With a little planning, you can hit the open road with your furry friend by your side.
Remember that if the goal is to keep your pet safe or to eliminate the driving risks of having them in a car while driving, your best bet is to have them secured in the vehicle with a pet carrier or crate.
Do Your Research and Know the Insurance Ramifications
So, if you’re thinking about adding a furry friend to your family, be sure to do your research and understand how it could affect your insurance.
Taking some simple steps to pet-proof your home and car can help you avoid potential problems and keep your rates low.
And, of course, don’t forget the most important step of all — choosing a pet that’s right for you. With a little planning and preparation, adding a pet to your family can be a fun and rewarding experience.
Luke Williams writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, Clearsurance.com. His passions include best practices for insurance and understanding how pets are calculated into insurance coverage.