Your pet is an important part of your family. To your insurance provider, on the other hand, your furry, feathered or scaly friend is a potential liability. That’s because it’s your insurer’s job to consider unforeseen risk when creating a home insurance policy, and like it or not, animals can be somewhat unpredictable. If your household features multiple species living together under one roof, here are a few things you should keep in mind in terms of how those critters can affect your insurance coverage.

Home Insurance and Dogs

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but certain canine companions can raise a red flag for an insurance company. Because most home insurance policies cover incidents like dog bites, your provider may place certain restrictions on your coverage to mitigate risk. For instance, if you own a certain breed of dog that is considered to be aggressive by nature, you may end up having to pay higher premiums, or you may be denied coverage altogether.

Keep in mind that if you are approved for coverage, your rates will inevitably go up if and when a dog-related claim is placed. To avoid potential problems, consider the following tips:

  • Always keep your dog properly restrained, either within a secure, fenced-in yard or on a leash or lead
  • Socialize your dog with people and other animals
  • Get your pet regularly vaccinated for rabies
  • Familiarize yourself with your dog’s body language and be prepared to remove him or her from any
  • situation which appears to cause anxiety, fear or agitation
  • Never leave guests or children alone with your dog

House Insurance and Exotic Pets

Another type of pet that might raise concern with your home insurance provider is any animal that falls into the “exotics” category. Many of these have been bred to be domesticated and live peacefully alongside humans, such as horses and pigs. These types of animals would likely still be covered on your insurance policy, but may come at a higher premium. Other exotic creatures that are considered to be rare and “wild,” such as big game cats, are highly unlikely to be allowed on your policy due to the increased risk factors associated with them.

If your family includes more than just two-legged members and you’re still not quite sure how your animal friends might impact your house insurance coverage and/or prices, the best way to find out once and for all is to discuss it with your agent. He or she can go over your unique situation and provide advice and guidance on how to proceed.

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