Does Home Insurance Cover Emotional Support & Service Animals?

December 13, 2022

Home insurance is an excellent way to protect your property and assets from damage and theft. It is essential, and there are many other advantages of having coverage. Apart from fulfilling a mortgage requirement, you will be more comfortable knowing that your property and possessions are covered.

What about your companion animals? Does home insurance cover emotional support and service animals?

Emotional support and service animals don’t come cheap. Any owner would like to safeguard against their loss or injury. Read on and learn about home insurance coverage, the general considerations for assistance animals, and appropriate coverage for your furry buddy.

Home insurance cover, what is it?

Home insurance is a type of property insurance that covers losses or damage to the home and assets in the house. The insurance usually includes loss or damage to the structure and personal assets in the interior and exterior. It also covers injuries that might arise while on the property.

It doesn't matter whether you are a homeowner or renter. Home insurance is an excellent plan. However, for renters, the landlord may require you to maintain a renter’s insurance coverage.

The policy usually covers four kinds of incidents that may occur within the property:

  • Interior Damage
  • Exterior damage
  • Loss or damage of personal assets
  • Liability for injuries that arises while on the property

If you have a pet, or an assistance animal, the last type of incident is a compelling reason to want to include your pet in your policy. But your furry buddy needs more coverage. Read on and see how home insurance coverage considers companion and assistance animals.

Home insurance and companion and assistance animals

Home insurance policies do not differentiate between companion animals, service, and emotional support animals (ESAs). Although assistance animals are not the same as pets and are regarded differently by the law, home insurance does not cover them.

Most home insurance insurance policies have a personal liability clause. It protects you when someone gets injured at your home and opts to sue you for medical expenses and legal fees.

The personal liability clause typically includes injuries caused by your companion or assistance animal while on your property. The coverage also extends to incidents outside your property, like, public places like the dog park.

But coverage is often not uniform. Since insurance companies are unique - and offer unique options to their clients - there could be differences in exemptions and restrictions. Thus it is crucial to update your insurance agent anytime you get a new companion or assistance animal.

Animal issues not covered by home insurance

The only coverage you would receive under a home insurance plan concerning your assistance animal is typically personal liability to other people. Home insurance would not cover damage caused by your companion or assistance animal to your property, personal assets, or injury to you or your family. So, if your service dog tears up your sofa or your emotional support cat scratches an expensive piece of art, home insurance does not pay.

It is also crucial to note that home insurance does not cover the health of your emotional support or service animal. Instead, consider a separate vet health insurance policy to cover medical care and the well-being of your companion animal.

Home insurance policy will also not cover situations like theft, loss, or the death of an assistance animal. While few carriers may offer some coverage, this is not typical. You could consider pet life insurance or mortality insurance for your assistance animal. Also, remember to microchip your assistance animal and fit them with tracker-fixed collars to discourage theft.

What about exotic animals?

Exotic animals may be less popular compared to their domesticated counterparts. However, they can also be emotional support animals. After all, they do not have to learn to perform a specific task. All you need is a note from a mental health professional certifying the animal as an ESA.

Do you have an exotic animal like a hamster or a mouse certified as your ESA?

Chances are, you often have trouble finding the right insurance company. Many carriers often restrict exotic animals from their policies.

You may also be in a similar position if your assistance animal is a banned breed. Most home insurance carriers do not offer coverage for animal owners with dog breeds such as Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, and Pitbulls. Even if your assistance animal is not on the banned list, the insurer would still want to learn its history before deciding whether to offer coverage.

What coverage is appropriate for your assistance animal?

Emotional support and service animals receive the same treatment as pets under home insurance plans. The only coverage available is personal liability, subject to the carrier's terms and conditions. Therefore it is crucial to consider getting them extra coverage.

Start by getting suitable pet health insurance for assistance animals. It will help you in case of illnesses and injuries. Also, consider assistance animal liability insurance. If you are not sure your home insurance plan covers your assistance animal, consider a separate liability coverage for them.

Lastly, get suitable assistance-animal life insurance. Animal life insurance coverage is often only offered to revenue-generating animals (like show animals and actors) and high-value pets. However, it is a worthwhile investment for an assistance animal. Due to their cost and invaluable support, they are hard to replace without financial assistance.

Key takeaways

Home insurance is crucial for homeowners and renters. However, it does not include loss and injury to your pets and assistance animals. You can only receive personal liability coverage. If you have an emotional support or service animal, consider a separate policy for their health, personal liability, and life.

 

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