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Insurance Coverage for Dogs Could Bite

db-2Dogs can add a lot of joy to our lives, but they can also produce problems. If you are a renter, you may have already experienced problems trying to find a place that would permit a dog. When you own a home insurance coverage for dogs can take a bite out of your wallet.

If you’re lucky enough to live with a canine companion, there are a few things to consider.
First, you need liability coverage, and perhaps even a higher limit with a dog. Even the sweetest dog in the world can hurt someone. The injury doesn’t have to be a serious bite. Dogs can knock down people, especially children, and hurt them unintentionally. Without liability insurance, you may face a serious financial loss for medical bills, pain and suffering.

The good news is that most renters’ insurance policies include liability coverage. You can usually add more coverage.However, some insurance companies exclude dog-related injuries from their policies and may deny coverage if you own a specific breed of dog. Dog related injuries can be costly for insurance companies, and they will do whatever is necessary to reduce financial risk so it’s important to check your policy to make sure dog bites and other dog related problems are covered. Have Dogs? Find homeowners insurance that won’t take a bite out of your budget.

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Also, if you own a Pit Bull, Doberman Pincher, Rottweiler or German Shepherd be prepared to hunt for coverage. These breeds are most commonly excluded from coverage and their owners are often refused policies altogether. If you can find a policy as an owner of one of these breeds, the premium can be as much as 300% above what it would be without one of these dogs.

Renter’s insurance may protect you in many ways even when you aren’t home but that protection may not extend to your dog. If your dog bites someone while visiting another home or while in the backseat of your car, your policy may not protect you from those losses. If you want that extra protection, you may need to add a policy specifically designed for dog injury liability.

Even if your dog is covered under your policy that coverage is not an infinite guarantee. Most policies will only pay for the first dog bite. Subsequent attacks or injuries will not be covered. If you have a problematic dog, you could end up facing some huge legal and medical bills without any type of support from your insurance company.

Finally, in a growing number of cities, insurance is required for any dog or for dogs with a history of attacking people. Also, some insurance companies provide discounts on coverage if your dog has completed AKC-approved training. This training not only suggests your dog will be less likely to attack but that you are a more responsible owner. Many rental properties also require dog owners to have liability insurance policies so check with your landlord.

While you may love your dog, you also need to think about the financial impact one dog bite could have on your family. Renter’s insurance or dog-specific liability coverage could lessen the blow.