Pet Peeves: Dogs and Liability Insurance
Dog bites are a big problem for pet owners and insurance companies across America. Of all homeowners’ insurance liability claims, about a third of them are a result of dogs bites. From a dollar and cents standpoint, those claims amount to about a half-billion dollars annually. That’s a lot of dogs, a bunch of dog bites and a whole lotta money.
Your first instinct may be to wonder if you are covered should your dog bite someone. Odds are if you have homeowners’ or renters’ insurance you are at least covered to some degree. As a dog owner, you should make sure you have sufficient coverage in such a claim. Coverage should include $100,000 for liability plus $1,000 for medical payments. It would be better, of course, to increase that coverage to $300,000 plus $5,000 for medical payments.
If your homeowners’ or renters insurance doesn’t cover liability claims from dog bites, consider an umbrella policy that can cover such gaps in coverage. Your agent may also be able to help with a canine liability policy which can cover dog-related incidents.
Unfortunately, many dog owners find themselves in a position of using the “before” excuse. “He never got out from the yard BEFORE.” or “He never bit anyone BEFORE.” Well, the time to verify and secure protection from a dog bite liability claim is BEFORE it happens. We can help.
If you have a dog and there is any doubt as to whether or not you are covered from its actions, contact one of our insurance professionals. We can review and explain what you presently have, and how best to close any loopholes. As independent agents, we can review the policies from any insurance provider. We can also search to find you the coverage you need at a price you can afford.
You are liable for the actions of your pet, whether they have exhibited any aggressive behavior in the past or not. It is why pets should always be kept in a fenced-in area or leashed. Make sure you have appropriate coverage and always keep an eye on your dog to avoid pet-related liability claims.