Feral Cats as Domestic Animals
The insured's landlord's package policy excludes damage from "insects, rodents, birds, or domestic animals." During the course of a tenant move-out/move-in,…
The insured’s landlord’s package policy excludes damage from “insects, rodents, birds, or domestic animals.” During the course of a tenant move-out/move-in, three feral cats entered the home. They could not be trapped initially and did significant damage prior to being removed. The company has stipulated the cats were not the pets of either tenant and were in fact feral. The company has denied the claim, asserting that whether an animal is “domestic” depends upon the species. The insured asserts it depends on the behavior of the animal, and feral, wild cats cannot be considered domestic. Based on staff experience unrelated to insurance, we know feral cats enjoy the same protections under our animal cruelty statutes as pet cats, and for criminal law they are considered “domestic” regardless of their disposition. Insurance law frequently diverging, we would like your thoughts on the company’s denial.
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