Does Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage Protect Me If My Dog Bites Someone?
“Does my homeowner’s insurance coverage protect me if my dog bites someone?” It’s a question I get asked all the time. People will call the office to inquire about dog bite insurance or to receive a dog bite insurance quote and the conversation inevitably turns toward whether, or how much, a homeowner’s insurance policy will protect someone.
National Dog Bite Prevention Week is coming up in a week and this is the ideal time to talk about dog bite insurance protection and homeowner’s insurance policies.
The reason for National Dog Bite Prevention Week is to highlight the prevalance of dog bite injuries, offer tips to prevent a dog bite and how to protect oneself from being bitten as well as to offer advice on how to keep your dog from biting.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage
Protect Me If My Dog Bites Someone?
How often are dog bites reported?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) note that close to five million people are bitten annually. One in five of those bitten require medical attention. Many of those who are bitten are children.
Now to answer whether your homeowner’s insurance covers dog bites
The Insurance Information Institute reports that, “dog bites account for more than one-third of claims filed by homeowner’s policies.” Insurers pay out close to $500 million annually in liability claims because of dog bites.
In fact, because of this statistic, many insurance companies will exclude policy coverage if a household has any of the following breeds. Regardless of whether you believe the breed you live with is as gentle as a baby, these are exclusions set forth by insurance companies. Dogs on excluded lists include:
- Chow Chows
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Pit Bulls and bully breeds (American Staffordshire)
- Siberian Huskies
- Wolf hybrids
Just because you don’t see the breed you live with on the list doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask your insurance carrier if it has exclusions to policy coverages. Keep in mind, that whether you have a dog on the excluded list, if he bites someone, your insurance premiums may increase substantially or you may find your policy being cancelled by the carrier.
If you’re in the market for homeowner’s or renter’s insurance here are some questions you will want to talk with the prospective insurance agent about:
- Are there dog breeds that are excluded?
- Is there coverage if my dog does bite someone?
- Are there liability limits over which the insurance company will not pay for a dog bite?
- Is there a limit on the number of times my dog can bite someone before my policy is cancelled?
- Is there anything I can do if my homeowner’s policy doesn’t cover my liability if there is a dog bite claim?
Protect yourself with Dog Bite Insurance
About FIDO There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.