dog liability insurance

Why You Need Dog Liability Insurance

Imagine if you are out walking your dog, and your chihuahua’s skinny leash trips an unsuspecting jogger. Just an accident, right? Unfortunately, situations like these can spiral into lengthy, expensive lawsuits if the victim is hospitalized or needs ongoing therapy. Luckily, you can financially guard yourself against dog-related lawsuits by obtaining separate liability insurance for dogs. Here are some other compelling reasons to obtain this kind of coverage.

More Rental Options

Having a dog liability insurance policy can expand the availability of rental properties and allow you to keep your dog instead of having to re-home it or move to a less-desirable area. Some insurers can even add a second insured, such as the property manager, to the policy.

Stereotyped Breeds

If your homeowners or rental insurance policy normally covers dog-related accidents, be sure to read the fine print. Some insurance companies have blacklisted about a dozen dog breeds—and mixes of those breeds—and choose not to cover them, even if a dog has no biting history.

Biting History

If your dog has a history of biting or aggression, chances are it is now deemed dangerous by your city. In many cities, owners of these dogs must obtain dog liability insurance before being allowed to obtain a pet license.

Dog owners know their dog’s behavior is their responsibility, but they also know that even well-behaved dogs can cause accidental harm. Liability insurance for dogs is a smart purchase that provides a safety cushion against dog-related accidents.

Proper Coverage and Dog Bite Insurance Tips

Homeowners and renters insurance policies will usually cover liability issues for owners whose dog bites someone. However, there are policies that exclude dog bites, as well as those that provide inadequate limits for the victim of dog bite insurance settlements and this can cause serious concerns. It’s crucial to read any policy carefully to ensure that it doesn’t exclude canine-inflicted injuries.

There are solutions available for dog owners who find themselves either uninsured or inadequately insured. Those choices include umbrella coverage, excess coverage, and canine liability policies, commonly referred to as dog bite insurance, all providing much-needed protection in the event that your dog attacks someone.

For example, when you purchase an umbrella policy it will cover an injury that may not be covered by your homeowner policy due to any exclusion. An excess liability policy will also provide a higher policy limit for losses covered by the primary insurance, as where a canine liability policy is written specifically for dog owners who may find it difficult to obtain coverage.

An additional policy offers protection for any dog owner

A homeowner or renters policy that doesn’t cover canine-inflicted injuries can cause quite a major issue and an extremely large judgment could have quite a staggering effect on you financially. If you’re found liable, without adequate insurance in place, the cost to you personally could be devastating. Having an agent who is knowledgeable about this coverage can help inform you exactly how to go about purchasing dog bite insurance or a personal umbrella liability policy. These policies will provide you with excess liability over underlying liability coverage.

Remember that dogs tend to bite people that just happen to be visitors in their own home, including friends or relatives, and in many instances, the dog is usually familiar and friendly with its victim. It’s vital that you purchase insurance before an unfortunate incident actually occurs.

If you are unable to secure umbrella insurance for any reason you may be better off purchasing a policy for canine liability. Dog bite insurance is generally reasonably priced, so speak to an agent today about any questions or concerns.

Insurance For Dog Bites and Preventing a Lawsuit     

Dog bites account for more than 90% of all animal bites and approximately 4.5 million dog bites occur each year in the U.S. With more than 30,000 victims requiring reconstructive surgery, while you may be a responsible pet owner, you can’t always predict how your dog may react to another person. It is not uncommon to have an unprovoked attack, as any motion that your dog perceives as a potential threat could set an attack into motion.

A dog, for whatever reason, may become irritated and it’s up to you to recognize and avoid situations where a dog might become uncomfortable, such as being repeatedly struck in the face by a child, or any other situations that could possibly irritate the animal. In the event there is an attack, provoked or otherwise, you’re going to need the protection of insurance for dog bites.

Dog bite prevention requires safety and a little common sense

It may, as is often the case, be an unfortunate friend or family member who gets bitten. As a pet owner you need to do everything in your means to prevent an attack and reduce the possibility of a lawsuit. All dog owners have the same concerns when it comes to their pet biting or harming someone.

Just because your dog may have never bitten someone before doesn’t mean that it can’t or won’t happen. Use of the following safety tips can help to aid in preventing the occurrence of dog bites. Always put the animal on a leash whenever you take him or her for a walk. Avoid allowing children to pet the animal if you sense that it is feeling scared or nervous.

As a parent, do not allow your child to approach a stray or unfamiliar dog, especially if the owner is not present. Never approach a dog with quick motions and ask the owner if it’s okay to pet the dog prior to making contact. If a confrontation occurs, avoid screaming or running away, and avoid approaching an unfamiliar dog while it is eating, sleeping, or caring for puppies. Finally, don’t leave young children or infants unsupervised with a dog.

Choosing a dog breed that is compatible with any family situation is always best. For example, aggressive dogs are never ideal in a home with small children. Dogs are social animals and therefore socializing and appropriate training will help minimize the risk of dog bites, but this isn’t an excuse for not carrying ample insurance for dog bites.

Pet Liabilities and Dog Bite Homeowner Insurance

Dog bite homeowner insurance is important to secure, particularly for owners of certain breeds known for aggressive or assertive behavior. Often genetics play a key role in this issue. But some dogs also tend to be influenced by their owner’s temperament as well, and the size of the dog can also be a determining factor in just how serious the problem can be.

The issue of dog bite liabilities is obviously one of concern. Many of the dogs involved tend to be family pets, rather than strays, and more than two-thirds of dog bites happen to people already acquainted with the dog. A majority of dog bites occur to the very young and very old, and almost half of all bites to children, due to their smallness in height, are in the facial area. Many claims made against homeowner’s insurance policies are often due to dog bites.

 

Behavior modification can help to resolve some issues

At an early age puppies develop bonds and sensitivity to those people and animals in their lives, and if a young pup is not exposed to positive interaction with dogs during this period they often grow up without the necessary skills to deal with other dogs. They also may never be comfortable with people outside of their owner if not given the proper exposure. If the socialization process is delayed until the puppy is older, the dog may never be relaxed or never become socially interactive with people or other dogs.
It’s important that any children in the household handle the dog frequently and gently and never scold or speak harshly to the pet. Holding the puppy firmly and resisting the temptation to let go of it (when it squirms to be released) can also help to minimize later aggression and dominant behavior.
As the dog gets older there may come a time when most normal dogs begin to bark at strangers and guard the family and it’s property. This is normal behavior, however some dogs may begin to show objectionable aggressive behavior. Make the dog aware that this is a problem. Obedience training can help to correct these types of issues, but dog bites are often the result of fear and uncertainty in the animal as well. Dog bite homeowner insurance is the solution when an unfortunate attack occurs.

Dog Liability Insurance for the At-Risk Owner

As a dog owner you are exposed to the possibility that your dog may inadvertently or otherwise be responsible for biting someone, as well as causing other canine-inflicted injuries. The fact is that dogs bite at least 4.5 million Americans every year, with children being the victims of some of the more serious attacks, and the annual losses exceed $1 billion annually.

Because the dog owner’s own relatives, friends and neighbors are oftentimes the most likely victims of a possible dog attack, having dog liability insurance in Florida means protecting the people who are closest to you. Why wouldn’t you want this to be the case? After all, it equates to protecting valuable relationships, as well as ensuring that loved ones, when injured, will receive the treatment they deserve.

 

Some home and renters policies may not provide enough

Since there is no law that requires homeowners and renters insurance policies to provide coverage for injuries, damages and losses inflicted by dogs, you might want to purchase a stand-alone policy. The sad fact is that, consequently, there are homeowners and renters policies that exclude injuries caused by a dog, or any animal for that matter, while other policies may exclude injuries caused by certain breeds of dog.

Some insurance companies have even expressed concerns in selling homeowners insurance to the owners of certain breeds of dogs (such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, Akitas and Chow-Chows, to name a few), which have a reputation for being a danger to others and encounters often end up with someone being bitten.

Furthermore, there are policies out there that don’t offer adequate coverage, which is why pet owners need to do research and due diligence when shopping for the proper coverage for their particular situation. Traditionally, the minimum limit for personal liability coverage has been $100,000. But a limit of $300,000 is more appropriate if your household contains, let’s say, a medium sized dog, as the higher limit is a requisite of a personal excess policy.

No dog owner should purchase a homeowner policy or renter’s policy that excludes canine-inflicted injuries, unless he or she buys a supplemental Florida dog liability insurance policy that covers them in the event that anyone is bitten by their pet.