Does My Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover Dog Bites?

Does My Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover Dog BitesDoes My Homeowners Insurance Policy Cover Dog Bites?

The United States Postal Service’s annual public service campaign, National Dog Bite Prevention Week will commence in two short weeks. Its efforts are to provide dog bite prevention tips and highlight the prevalence of dog bites.

So, how prevalent are dog bites? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, nearly 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs each year, in which one in five require medical attention.

Last month, we presented our own preventative measures against dog bites, but this week we want to address a common question—does my homeowners insurance policy cover dog bites?

According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites account for more than one-third of homeowners insurance liability claims and costs insurers over $450 million each year. With this being said, many insurance companies refuse to write coverage for certain breeds, some of which include the following:

  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Wolf hybrids
  • Great Danes
  • Boxers

And once your dog does bite someone, your insurance agent may substantially increase your premiums.

Prior to assuming your homeowners policy covers dog bites, we recommend you

1. Speak with your insurance agent and inquire about the following:

  • Exclusions for dog breed
  • Exclusions for dog bites
  • Limits- Are there any caps on how much the company will pay? Are there any limits in the frequency of dog bites?

2. Contact

F.I.D.O., the Federation of Insured Dog Owners, Inc., now offers the Covered Canine Policy, an exclusive product and benefit for F.I.D.O. members only. This policy is available in California, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah and Wisconsin. It will protect you should your dog bite an individual and cause harm. It does not exclude any breed of dog and starts as low as $75 per dog, per year.


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