dog bites

Does My Homeowners Policy Cover Dog Bites?

August 16, 2021

This might sound surprising, but around 4.5 million people are bitten by a dog every year. Approximately 900,000 of them have to seek medical treatment, according to the CDC. Note that dog bite claims can be expensive as each may cost insurers around $50,000.

It’s worth mentioning that if your dog injures or bites someone in or outside your property, they can sue you or make you pay their medical costs. In these situations, you need insurance to cover the legal costs or expenses. If you don’t have insurance, know that you’ll have to pay these costs out of pocket.

This is when home insurance policies and liability coverages come into play. Here’s everything you need to know about homeowners insurance if you own a dog.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

Homeowners insurance typically covers dog bites because it’s a liability type; however, it depends on your policy’s exclusions. You need to remember that not all insurance companies will extend coverage for dog bites. Therefore, it’s important to discuss the details of your homeowners policy with your agent.

Dog Bites and Personal Liability Coverage

Your liability coverage in your homeowners policy typically helps you cover legal fees and medical expenses that result from a pet-related injury. Keep in mind, if you have the coverage it will cover you up to the limit mentioned in your policy.

You need to check with your insurance consultant to make sure your policy offers you the necessary coverage. You also need to figure out the limits in your policy. If the claim exceeds your liability limit then you’ll have to pay the remaining expenses out of pocket.

When Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

As a policyholder, you should know whether your canine is covered under your insurance. It’s essential because some policies often exclude liability for some dog breeds that have a history of aggressive behavior. In this case, you need to find other options, such as umbrella coverage.

Biting History

If a dog has a history of biting, you might end up paying a higher premium for homeowners insurance. You may also be subject to some other coverage limitations, such as your insurer can refuse to cover your dog or your home.

Breed Restrictions

Some insurers categorize some breeds of dogs as potentially dangerous and don’t insure homeowners who have those breeds. These may include;

  • Dobermans
  • Rottweilers
  • English mastiffs
  • American pit bull terriers

The breeds are blacklisted, and insurers consider them too risky to offer coverage or insure at a higher premium.

Summing Up

All in all, it’s always wise to contact your insurance agent to see what your homeowners policy covers when it comes to your dog. If you have a dog with a history of biting or their breed is considered aggressive you’ll want to consult with your agent so you have the proper coverage.

Does homeowner insurance cover dog bites