Everything You Need to Know about Dog Liability Insurance as Homeowners

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Do you know Dogs can be one of the best pets you can choose as friends and even regard them as a major part of the family as a result of their companionship? Based on the Statistics carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it was reported that 36% of homeowners who reside in the United States own at least one dog. But on the contrary, dogs usually have contact with other individuals which include playing with them or attacking people they are not familiar with as a result of trying to protect its owner. Unfortunately, these dogs could bite humans during this process and when this situation happens, it may lead to serious injury or disease.

A report gathered from CDC says dog bite cases oftentimes may require immediate medical attention to avoid future damage caused to the body. This is because people bitten by dogs could suffer pains and other severe injuries which include nerve damage, diseases like Capnocytophaga, Sepsis, MRSA, Rabies and in severe cases leads to death. In this case, you or your dog will be held responsible for causing injury to someone else and you will have to pay for any expenses associated with the damages caused by the dog. To save yourself from this associated cost, you will have to protect yourself using the Dog Liability Insurance, a coverage for you as a dog owner and any injury caused by your dog for biting someone else.

What is Dog Liability Insurance?

Dog Liability insurance offers you coverage that helps you pay for any injuries caused by your dog to someone else. Sometimes, this insurance covers legal responsibilities levied against you as a result of your dog bite hurting someone else. In some insurance companies, when you purchase their homeowner insurance policies, you automatically get coverage for your dog bite and cover every other cost which includes medical expenses, personal and legal expenses. This cost can be up to $300,000 for some insurance companies.

Although, some insurance companies may consider excluding some aggressive dog breeds based on certain factors because these aggressive breeds might come with higher risk for biting. These factors include history of bite or charge a higher premium for dogs. Some of the aggressive breeds include Rottweilers, Chow Chows, German Shepherd, Pit Bulls, etc.

What Does Dog Liability Insurance Cover? 

Dog liability insurance offers coverage for bodily injury and property damage caused by your dog’s bite to another person. Dog Insurance liability insurance policy provides coverage for cost of property damage, medical cost, legal or lawsuit responsibilities (defense), and bodily injury expenses done to another person. This coverage specifically pays for damages done to someone else by your dog. This means you will not pay you for any damages or any of your property or family members.

How Much Do Dog Bites Make Homeowners Spend?

According to data gotten from the Insurance Information Institute (III), costs are increasing and claims are decreasing. In 2017, State Farm insurance records dog bites from homeowner claims with an average disbursement of $37,051 and in 2018, it recorded 17,297 claims of dog bite with an average expenses per claim of $39,017. This accumulated to a total of dog-bite-liability claims of $675 million in 2018. These costs also vary based on state where you live. In 2018, California recorded the highest incidence and cost for claims of dog-bite – 2,166 bites ay $45,543.   

The cost of coverage however is dependent on several factors which include bite history, weight of dog and dog’s breeds. The liability insurance coverage usually cost up to $250,000 and may cover one or two dogs. Some insurer may charge you extra liability coverage for your dog’s individual behavior which can be also a requirement.

Who is Legally Responsible for Dog Bites? 

The law governing your state or city apparently determines who is legally responsible for dog’s bite. Most times you are the one responsible. Take for instance, a dog’s owner is legally responsible for any bite its dog does on any private or public property whether or not the owner knew the dog was “dangerous” or “vicious”. However, some states demands dog’s owner to already know their dog’s viciousness or may limit liability if the person the dog bites was not badly injured or killed. This is why some areas reduce liability if the owner posts a warning sign like “Beware of Dog”, or “Bad Dogs” or if the dog was being provoked by the bitten person.

States law allows dog’s bite victim to get economic damages such as hospital bills for wounds sustained from bites or broken arm as a result of civil actions taken against dog’s bites and its owner. For Rottweilers owners or any other aggressive dog owner are mandated to carry specific insurance liability limits in accordance to Breed-specific legislation.

Dog Liability Insurance Coverage Options

If you are interested in getting a good dog liability insurance coverage for your dogs and any related injury they are likely to cause, simply check out the few options below.

Homeowners or Renters Insurance

Homeowners Insurance Company offers you a particular amount of coverage for your homeowners insurance policy or renters insurance policy and this comes with a particular limits and exclusion depending on the type of homeowner insurer you are dealing with. Normally, homeowners policy coverage covers dog’s bite cost up to your policy’s liability limits. Take for instance, if your have a $100,000 legal liability limit, you become responsible for any bite-related cost above that amount.

Umbrella Policy

If you don’t get enough coverage for your dog bite liability from your homeowners policy, you can give umbrella policy a try but you must be aware that this pay more expenses after reaching your insurance policy’s maximum disbursement. To buy Umbrella insurance, you must have an underlying policy like homeowner policy and you may get up to $10 million dollars in liability coverage which you can use to cover sudden unplanned events like dog bite’s accident.

Dog Liability Insurance

Simply consider a separate dog liability insurance policy if you have been removed from your homeowners or renter insurance policy because you have an aggressive or restricted breeds or bite history. However, certain factors will affect your liability insurance. They include size of dog, limits of coverage you selected, and where you reside.