You may believe that it’s unlikely for your dog to bite someone or cause anyone injury. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, 4.5 million dog bites occur every year.
Homeowners insurance covers dog bites, but not without limitations. Bigger dogs or aggressive breeds are less likely to be covered in these situations so it’s important to familiarize yourself with your current homeowners policy to make sure your needs are protected. Statistically though, the dogs that are most likely to bit someone is dachshunds and chihuahuas but the “aggressive dog” breeds cause much more damage when they might infrequently bite.
Also, animal liability is not strictly related to bites, it could be that your golden retriever tends to jump up on people when he gets excited or when grandma visits, she might not be as steady on her feet and could be injured when your golden just wants to give her a hug. This is a perfect example of non-bite related animal liability.
The Insurance Information Institute reported that dog related claims totaled to over $600 million in insurance payments over the course of a year. That being said, it’s important to not hide your dog from your insurance provider because it could potentially leave you facing thousands of dollars to pay out in the event of an injury caused by your dog.
Medical expenses for a dog bite can be expensive (tens of thousands of dollars,) so unless the incident is minor, it’s most likely in your best interest to tell your insurance company. Be aware that insurance companies may choose not to renew your policy or decide to remove your dog from your policy after a dog related claim. If you did not report the incident, you may also be in violation of your policy by not reporting changes in circumstance which could affect your liability coverage in the future.
If you yourself are bitten by a dog, contact the homeowner immediately. You’ll want to know if their policy covers your injury and if the dog has received their rabies shot. If the homeowner does not cooperate, let the home insurance company know that you’d like to file a claim.
Even well behaved dogs have the ability to bite, keep yourself protected from any liability.
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AZ Insurance Team
*All policies are a little different and this may not be applicable to your insurance policy, talk to your agent to see what your policy covers.*