With dog attacks estimated at 4.5 million each and every year, as a dog owner, can you really neglect securing a dog bite liability insurance policy? After all, you’re responsible if your dog bites someone and you could be exposing yourself to costly judgments you likely cannot afford to pay if your dog injures someone.
You not only have to be concerned if your dog bites a total stranger, but also if a friend or relative is the victim, at the very least you’ll wind up paying medical bills that could cost you thousands of dollars. Keep in mind that children are often the victims of serious attacks, and dogs don’t realize that they just want to play and may become easily agitated.
Your home or renters policies may be insufficient
While most homeowners and renters insurance policies do provide coverage for injuries related to pets, the amount of coverage may not keep you properly covered. In other words, you might want to purchase a stand-alone policy. In fact, there are homeowners and renters policies that exclude certain breeds of dog so you may want to do a little research.
Some insurance companies have been known to deny coverage to many breeds of dog considered to be aggressive by nature. This generally includes pit bulls, Rottweilers, Akitas and Chow-Chows, just to name a few of the more common breeds. Insurers, while sympathetic to your needs, feel the risk is just too great. Again, there are policies that don’t offer adequate coverage, which is why pet owners need to do due diligence when shopping for the proper coverage for their particular situation.
Read the contract carefully. While you certainly may opt for the minimum limit for personal liability coverage, which is around $100,000, you may be better off increasing the limit to $300,000, which is often more appropriate, especially if you own a medium sized dog or larger.
If you discover that you have purchased a homeowner policy or renter’s policy that excludes canine-inflicted injuries then you’ll want to buy a supplemental dog bite liability insurance policy that covers you in the event that anyone is ever bitten by your dog.