Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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Pet Sugar GliderTo buy home insurance that allows exotic pets coverage is unlikely to happen. Most policies will require an exclusion that says your exotic pet is not covered. You can, however, purchase separate exotic pet insurance (visit the pet insurance section of our site for additional information). Read on for details.

If you are the owner of exotic pets, it may be very difficult to find a home insurance policy that covers your pets. When an insurance company insures a home with an exotic pet, they are taking on unique risks including personal liability, if someone in your home is bitten or even attacked by the animal.

They are also taking on increased property damage risk, if your pet damages the home or escapes to the yard and causes damage. But there are still some home insurance options available for you.

Read on to learn all about exotic pets and homeowners insurance and then be sure to enter your ZIP code above to compare FREE insurance quotes from many different insurance companies!

What Qualifies as an Exotic Pet?

An exotic pet is an animal that is unusual or rare and is not normally kept as a pet. This is open to a wide interpretation, but when it comes to the insurance company, they will classify anything that is not a traditional pet, as exotic. You can try to make a point otherwise, but it is entirely up to the insurance company as to how your pet is classified and how it will affect your coverage.

The definition is changing as more and more people take rare animals as pets.

Most home owners insurance companies take their cues from veterinary insurance carriers who typically define animals besides fish, small birds, dogs, or cats as exotic.

However, some pets such as various types of rodents like mice and some reptiles such as turtles are beginning to be accepted by insurance companies as traditional pets.

Pet Monkey

There is a standard list among insurance companies that continues to grow. This list is called The Exotic Pet Species Index. As insurance companies collaborate to give a more unified definition of exotic, they add to the list of animals that have people have requested coverage for or been found to have in the home.

Included on this list are alligators, skunks, raccoon, chinchillas, sugar gliders, wild feline cubs, non-human primates, and bears. It is important to remember, just because you purchase your pet at a pet store does not qualify it as non-exotic.

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How to Get Coverage for Exotic Pets

Having an exotic pet in your home offers you a few options when it comes to insurance. First of all, you can have a clause to your traditional home insurance policy that excludes anything involving the pet including both injury and damage. So essentially, your home has coverage, but your pet does not. Any damage done by the pet to your home or an injury to a person on your property caused by the pet, will not be covered under your insurance policy.

The other option is to get an individual Exotic Pet Insurance Policy.

These policies are obtained through individual pet insurance companies. The best way to get a policy is to do your own research. Find out how likely your pet is to succumb to illness, bite, or cause damage. Present this information to the pet insurance company and together you can come up with a coverage amount that is reasonable. If it is a pet that is becoming more common, the insurance company may already have this information.

To go the traditional route and have your exotic pet coverage through your home insurance policy is another option. But be aware, it is very difficult to find a home insurance company that will cover exotic pets.

Most companies will cover the home, but exclude the pet, even large breed guard dogs such as German shepherds and Pit Bulls are often excluded (read our articles about German Shepherds and home insurance as well and Pit Bulls and home insurance . If you do find a company that will insure your pet, there are two types of coverage; damage to your pet, and damage from your pet.

Choosing a Company

Pet AlligatorInsurance companies are very picky about what animals they will insure especially with all the recent media coverage about exotic pet attacks.

If you don’t disclose your exotic pet ownership when getting a home owners insurance policy, you could lose all coverage when it is brought to light. This means that you will be left paying all fees and it will make it difficult to find a new insurance policy.

The best way to find a home insurance policy that covers exotic pets is to compare what different companies offer. You can do this over the phone, but it is quite time consuming. The more efficient way to do this, is to compare rates and quotes through an online comparison tool.

This tool will help you find companies within your budget that cover your insurance needs. Once you have the information from the comparison tool, you can contact the companies that interest you with your questions about your exotic pets.

Enter your ZIP to start comparing exotic pet home insurance quotes now!