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Is It Insured? Pets in the Office

Is It Insured? Pets in the Office

In this world of impossible deadlines and never-ending stress, employers are looking for ways to make the work environment more pleasant for workers. One way that is becoming increasingly common is by allowing pets in the office. A study by Virginia Commonwealth University finds that office dogs actually reduce stress. The question is, what does your insurance say about dogs or other pets in the workplace? Let’s find out. FUN FACT: Take Your Dog To Work Day is an actual holiday! This year it falls on Friday, June 21, 2019. Things To Consider Before allowing dogs in your workplace, there are a few things to consider: Do you own a business that would be affected by dogs? Restaurants and other food-related operations may find themselves up against health violations by having a pet in the workplace.Does your landlord allow animals in the building? Some buildings may prohibit animals of any kind.Are any of your employees allergic to or afraid of certain animals? Assuming you are ok on all of the above, it’s important to make sure that the pet you are bringing in is clean, housebroken and properly trained. Does Your Policy Cover It? Most business insurance applications don’t even ask if you allow animals in the workplace. As it becomes more common, this may change. The Commercial General Liability coverage form (CG 00 01 04 13) does not have a specific exclusion that addresses animals. However, the Insuring Agreement does include this gem: The insurance company asserts they will have “no duty to defend” for any suit against which “this insurance does not apply”. What does that mean...
What Your Property Insurance Doesn’t Cover

What Your Property Insurance Doesn’t Cover

Ask the average homeowner what their property insurance covers and they will probably say “not much”. All too often homeowners make claims against their property insurance for common occurrences that simply aren’t covered by the policy. There are many things covered by property insurance: fire, lightning, explosion, smoke, windstorm, hail, riot, civil commotion, aircraft, vehicles, vandalism, sprinkler leakage, sinkhole collapse, volcanic action, falling objects; weight of snow, ice, or sleet; water damage (in the form of leakage from appliances); and collapse from specified causes (unless, of course, any of these are specifically excluded). However, there are some specific exclusions you should be aware of since claims for any of these will not be covered under your policy. Vermin & Animals The specific property exclusion in the Homeowners 3 – Special Form (HO3) policy form looks like this:     Vermin includes lice, fleas, roaches, bed bugs, and rodents. Damage or infestation by these pests is not a covered peril under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Damage to the home and subsequent repair and treatment of the home would be an out-of-pocket expense. So what is considered a rodent?  According to Wikipedia, the most well-known rodents are mice, rats, squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, porcupines, beavers, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, and capybaras so damage by these would not be covered. What about skunks, bats or raccoons? None of these are considered insects or rodents, so coverage would most likely apply to damage made by these creatures. However, check with your broker or insurance policy for a complete definition. As for part (h) – “Animals owned or kept by an ‘insured’” this means...