Does Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
Did you know that close to 80 million people, in the United States, owns at least one dog? Wow! What does that have to do with dog bite insurance? Well, those 80 million pet parents run the risk of being involved in a lawsuit because of a dog bite liability case because their dog bit someone. Does insurance cover dog bites? It’s a question many people ask of their homeowner’s or renter’s insurance agent.
The consequences — physical, emotional and financial — vary depending on the severity of the dog bite but it can run into the tens (or more) of thousands of dollars. The costs include:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Hiring a lawyer to defend yourself
- The potential loss of your dog because of the bite incident
Does Insurance Cover Dog Bites?
Why wouldn’t you protect yourself by investing in dog bite insurance? The premiums are more than reasonable but the peace of mind is a feeling you simply cannot put a dollar figure on.
Have you ever even stopped to wonder, or talk with your insurance agent, to see whether you’d be covered in the event your dog bit someone? In many cases, renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance may not fully protect you.
Many dog owners fail to understand that the importance of dog bite insurance. There are two reasons for that failure to understand.
- The pet parent thinks his or her dog is the “sweetest” dog and would NEVER bite anyone
- They simply don’t know that dog bite liability insurance is even a thing
Remember, it doesn’t matter if you have a chihuahua or a Great Dane, every dog has the potential to bite.
What is a renter to do if he has dogs and is looking for a new apartment and the landlord has a strict “no pet” policy? No pet parent wants to give up his or her dog, right? Of course they don’t!
When this situation arises you can talk with your potential landlord and show him your dog’s resume and also tell him that you have a dog bite insurance policy and that can protect both you and your landlord from liability in the event your dog bites someone. Many landlords simply don’t want the liabiity that may arise if your dog bites someone and that’s why they implement the “no dog” policy.
Will renters insurance protect you if your dog bites someone?
Every policy is different and you will want to speak with your agent about the unique policy you have. Here, though is standard wording that many renter’s insurance policies have regarding dog bites:
- Renter’s insurance is required if you want to purchase additional coverage
- There is usually limited liability on dog bites
- Many renter’s policies exclude certain breeds including: Dobermans, German Shepherds, Pit Bills and others.
- They typically have high premiums to cover dog bite liability as compared to a specific dog bite insurance policy
Take time today to review your renter’s insurance policy. Call your agent to have him or her explain it to you and ask about the coverage, if any, for dog bite incidents. Also, ask what the exclusions are for dog bites? Do this today — before any incident happens.
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.
Posted in: Canine Liability