Renting an apartment can be stressful enough without having to worry about whether or not your dog will damage your space or accidentally harm one of your new neighbors. Unfortunately, even the most well-meaning pets can cause their owners to be held responsible for damage or injuries. How can you make sure your dog, and your apartment, are protected?

Many renters insurance plans or pet liability insurance policies can offer protection, but can be confusing to navigate when determining whether or not your four-legged friend will be protected. The cost of an injury or damage caused by your pet will be far higher than many insurance plans. Keep reading to to see exactly what you need to bear in mind when picking out the right plan for you.

Coverage Varies

The biggest concern for insurers are dog bite or related injuries, as they are often much more costly than simple property defacement. Firms that cover these types of damages will differ between state, pet, and company.

Also be aware that certain dog breeds can be excluded from insurance plans.

What to Seek Out

Whether you’re renting and planning on getting a dog, or looking to move to a new home with your furry friend, there are a number of things to keep in mind. Are you insured for dog bites or injuries that occur in your new home? What about off your premises?

Certain policies will only cover harm that occurs on your property, while others will take responsibility for an injury regardless of where it takes place. If your current policy doesn’t offer the protection you’re looking for, consider one of the following:

  • Switching to an insurance company that covers pet liability.
  • Purchasing separate pet liability insurance if your current policy doesn’t cover everything you need it to.
  • Buying a personal umbrella liability policy.

Keep in mind that if you opt for the last option (buying an umbrella policy), your insurance company could still deny you if you have what is deemed a “bad dog breed,” or if you have a pet with a prior history of aggression. Also ensure that your chosen policy includes animal liability along with the usual aspects of an insurance policy.

What is A ‘Bad Breed?’

Unfortunately, due to stigmatization, many dog breeds are considered dangerous or potentially aggressive. If you own a certain breed, it’s important to be able to show that your pet is covered by an insurance policy.

While there is no one comprehensive list of insurance company’s ‘bad breeds,’ Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Terriers, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, and Rottweilers are most commonly denied. Be sure to double check with your insurer that your pet will be covered by your policy.

Some landlords will also discriminate based on breed, but having an insurance policy can help put them at ease.

Buying Pet Liability Insurance

Luckily for pet owners, an ever increasing number of specialized companies are offering separate insurance policies for dog liability insurance. The best part is that some firms will even cover ‘bad dog breeds’. If, for example, your landlord will only allow you to rent if you show proof of insurance, any one of these companies is a good option.

Don’t Take the Risk

Dog bites and related injuries were responsible for over one third of all claims paid out by homeowner’s insurance in 2014. It’s no secret that if you have no coverage and your dog bites or injures someone on your property that you’ll be paying a high price – literally. Out of pocket costs ran as high as $32,072 in 2014.

Even the best trained dogs can get aggressive when nervous, and moving is a scary experience. That’s why it’s a good idea to protect yourself and your pet with a full coverage insurance policy.