¿Do i have to include my pet in home insurance?

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We consider our pets as another member of the family who, as such, live in our home. For this reason, they are also considered our responsibility, and therefore of the homeowners.

Including my pet in home insurance: how to do it and things to consider

Depending on the company with which you have your home insurance, your pet is included in the policy or this coverage is acquired independently. This is done because some insurers do not want to disadvantage those customers who do not have a pet at home.

Including pets in this policy is usually free. However, you should bear in mind that merely contracting it with Civil Liability does not necessarily imply coverage of the animal. For it to be recorded, it must be specifically listed in the document when formalizing the insurance.

The multi-risk home policy does not necessarily have to be more expensive for including our pets, but it will increase depending on the coverages we include, just as the type of home influences.

If what we are also looking for, in addition to being covered against any incident, is the well-being of our animal, it is advisable to take out pet insurance. This product protects them, depending on the type of insurance you take out, providing the care they need, as well as including veterinary expenses and your liability to third parties.

Usually, the coverages that a pet insurance can offer are:

  • Civil Liability and Legal Defense: covers compensation to third parties for damages that your furry friend may cause, expenses for lawsuits, or complaints in which you are involved as the owner of the pet.
  • Theft or loss of the animal: guarantees compensation according to the established limits.
  • Veterinary assistance for illness or accident: consultations, diagnostic tests, laboratory analysis, surgical interventions, hospitalization, etc.
  • Sacrifice and disposal of the body: would cover the expenses generated by sacrificing the animal and its incineration, usually due to illness, old age, or accident.

I'm renting: home insurance and pets

There are different options in case you are not the owner of a home and are renting, to protect your pet and your belongings, or those of the landlord.

The first thing you should know is that according to the Urban Leasing Law, it is the owner of the apartment who has the final say about having a pet in their home. Additionally, they must indicate their stance in the lease agreement. In case the contract does not say anything, you must notify and ask the owners for permission, to avoid legal problems in the future.

Failure to do so, if your pet causes disturbances in the community, you could find yourself out on the street, since according to the ULL (Urban Leasing Law), the landlord has the right to terminate the lease contract in some cases, such as if there were nuisances, unhealthy activities, or even dangerous and/or illegal activities in that home.

To avoid future problems, it is best to always discuss it in advance and review the contracts thoroughly. This way, you will know what coverage the apartment has or you can negotiate with the landlord certain terms and conditions in which both can benefit.

Civil Liability Coverage for your pet

As it is common that, when we add a pet to our family and until it gets used to its new home, we sometimes encounter some mishaps, we must be prepared so that this adaptation phase does not cause us any serious problems.

For these cases, having home insurance with good coverage is the best option, since if our furry friend causes any damage, sometimes home insurance covers damages caused by pets.

We have several options to consider, depending on your position regarding the home, one of which has been reflected in previous paragraphs:

  • That you are renting and the owner has home insurance that covers the structure: the walls, moldings, floors, paint... Everything that is considered a structural and constructive element in the house. In this case, damages to these elements would be covered.
  • That you as a tenant take out a home insurance policy, so that possible damages to objects such as furniture are also covered. It is interesting that this policy also includes Civil Liability coverage. This way, damages caused to third parties would be covered.
  • That the tenant has a tenant insurance policy that allows them to have pet coverage. This can be done by reaching a prior agreement. It is advisable because it offers important guarantees such as the recovery of the deposit or legal defense and covers expenses for damages (always within the limits agreed in the policy).
  • That you take out your own pet insurance to be protected in case Civil Liability is demanded for damages or to third parties caused by your pet.

¿Does home insurance cover pets?

Although home insurance policies have increasingly more coverage, it is normal for them to usually limit themselves to covering the Civil Liability of certain pets (not all). This, as we have seen, means that you will be protected against actions that your furry friend may take and that may affect third parties, such as your dog ruining your neighbor's lawn if it sneaks into their garden.

You can request as an extra that your insurance includes that Civil Liability for pet ownership if it does not already include it, but if you want to protect your four-legged companion, the most advisable thing is to take out pet insurance, which provides you with extensive coverage related to your pet.

Depending on the one you choose, you can have veterinary assistance, compensation for theft, or legal defense if you should need it because of them. And there are those that cover expenses resulting from the death of the animal, such as the collection of its body and subsequent incineration, as we will see later.

As always, it is important to know the conditions of your home insurance and your pet insurance well, to avoid duplicating coverage and to know what to expect in any situation.

¿How do I know if my pet is included in my policy?

The most convenient thing is to contact our insurance expert who will know in detail the conditions of our policy if we do not want to read the "fine print". Normally, if they are not already included because when we took out the insurance we did not have a pet yet, adding our pet to the home insurance is free.

However, we remind once again that it must be borne in mind that the most basic, and at the same time the cheapest alternative, Civil Liability, does not mean that the animal itself is covered, nor the diseases it may suffer, the treatments it may need, or that we will be compensated if something happens to it. Expenses that we usually consider unforeseen and that are related to our pet will not be covered by this insurance. Also, returning to what we commented on before, dangerous or wild animals are excluded from Civil Liability coverage because not every living being that we may have as a pet is considered a domestic animal.

Pets not covered by home insurance

As we are seeing, Civil Liability coverage refers to material or personal damages caused to third parties or to companion animals by the members living in the home (or incidents that occur in it). Within their conditions, they limit coverage to dogs, cats, caged rodents, birds, turtles, and fish, but do not include potentially dangerous animals.

Therefore, breeds considered dangerous are excluded. For them, it is mandatory to take out a specific Civil Liability insurance with coverage of no less than 120,000 euros. The reason is that, due to their physical nature, they can potentially cause harm to the people around them.

There are eight breeds that home insurance does not include in its Civil Liability coverage:

  • Rottweiler
  • Pit Bull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Staffordshire Terrier
  • Dogo Argentino
  • Fila Brasileño
  • Akita Inu
  • Tosa Inu

In addition to insurance, legislation requires owners to have an administrative license issued by the municipality where they reside and to meet certain requirements, such as registering with the registry of dangerous animals of the town hall of their locality.

And don't forget that, since last March, the new Animal Welfare Law requires all dogs to have Civil Liability insurance and specifies the animals that can and cannot be kept at home as pets, so if you are thinking of having one in your home, take a look beforehand. However, you can keep those you already have, but you cannot add any that appear on the mentioned list.

Pet Assistance in your insurance with The English Court

Generally, and as we have seen throughout this article, home insurance policies that include pets protect you against the Civil Liability involved in being the owner of the animal. It is the cheapest option, but also the most basic, as it does not include coverages that help reduce unforeseen expenses and take care of the animal.

In any case, any damage caused to third parties and caused by your pet will be covered and protected by your home insurance. However, if you wish, both in the Hogar Óptima The English Court insurance and the Hogar Supra The English Court insurance, you can contract extra pet assistance and you will have a telephone service for veterinary guidance, training, canine residences, or sacrifice and incineration.

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