Dog bite injuries total over $400 million every year in medical expenses and liability claims against pet owners. Unfortunately, many homeowners or renters insurance policies exclude coverage for injuries caused by dogs, which can result in expenses being met by pet owners out-of-pocket, which can lead to bankruptcy.
Another important issue to consider is the fact that many landlords and property managers may be reluctant to rent to people that own dogs, citing liability concerns, especially with owners of certain breeds deemed dangerous or aggressive. They may be willing to rent to dog owners, but only those that have dog liability insurance coverage for canine claims. However, some insurance companies also will not insure homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs categorized as dangerous, such as pit bulls.
All pet owners should have a policy in place
Dog bite insurance is crucial for any responsible pet owner in order to remain secure from any liability in the event your dog harms or bites an individual and causes severe injuries. Many insurers decide on which pet owners to insure on a case-by-case basis, depending on whether an individual dog, regardless of its breed, has been deemed vicious. Some insurers do not ask the breed of a dog owned when writing or renewing homeowners insurance and do not track the breed of dogs involved in dog bite incidents.
Keep in mind that once a dog has bitten someone, it is now considered to be an increased risk. In such instances, the insurance company will likely now charge a higher premium, or decide not to renew the homeowner’s insurance policy or will do so provided that you exclude the dog from your coverage.
Some companies may require a dog owner to sign liability waivers for incidents involving dog bites, still others are simply not offering insurance to dog owners at all. Some will cover a pet provided the owner takes the dog to classes aimed at modifying its behavior or if the dog is usually being restrained with a muzzle, chain or a cage. Speak to an agent to see if you qualify for insurance for your pet.