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Are you a dog parent?

We all love our furry family members and hope that they would never bite anyone, but in reality we all realize that there is always a chance!

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs annually. This results in an estimated 800,000 injuries that require medical attention.  More than 50% of dog bites happen on the owner’s property this accounts for one-third of homeowner’s insurance liability claims.

 

Do you know the laws when it comes to dog bites?

You, the owner, are held responsible for your dog’s actions, regardless of the cause. 

 If your dog does bite, you may be held responsible for any injury caused. This includes medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and property damage.

 

Dog Bites and your Homeowners Policy

Your homeowners or renters policy will typically cover a dog bite claim (unless there is an exclusion, or your dog is on the “restricted dog list” which applies to only a few breeds).  If the claim were to exceed your current limit of liability on your policy, you would be responsible to pay the difference out of pocket. A Personal Umbrella policy can help ensure that you have enough coverage in the event of a covered loss on any of your personal insurance policies.    

Most insurance companies will cover dogs, but they many have an exclusion list. Be sure you check with your agent to see if you dog is on that list. Sometimes your insurance company may require you to exclude your dog (due to bite history or their breed) from your policy. This means that any future claims involving that dog (or in some cases any of your dogs) would not be covered. 

 

Photos are of Jaime's dogs. Stella above, Callie, Buster and Radar below.

 

Information  from iii.org

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