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Dogs and Insurance Claims


Dogs and Insurance Claims

dog bite liabilityDo you have a beloved furry family member?  Do you have an attorney that will defend you at no out-of-pocket cost to you in the event your beloved family member bites your neighbor’s toddler?  Can you afford to pay someone $10,000 to cover their medical expenses and trauma after being injured by your pet?  How about $25,000?

The Insurance Information Institute1 estimates that up to one-third of all homeowners insurance liability claims paid in 2012 were for dog attacks.  The average cost paid for a single dog bite claim in 2012 was almost $30,000!  However, not all policies provide coverage for an insured in the event their dog does injure someone.  If you have a dog, or any other animal, it is important to work with your insurance agent to ensure your liability for your animal is covered either through your policy or by purchasing additional coverage.

Unfortunately, once a dog has bitten someone, it poses an increased risk and may result in the cancellation of your insurance coverage.  To try to reduce the risk of dog bite claims, there are certain breeds of dogs that insurance companies either will not accept or are excluded from coverage such as Pit Bull Terriers, Doberman Pinschers and Rottweillers.

Ensuring you have coverage in the event of a dog bite will not only help you pay for someone’s injury but the coverage often includes a legal defense for you in the event you are sued.

What to do if a dog bite occurs:

  • Make sure the injured person gets prompt medical attention.
  • Exchange contact information.
  • Tell the injured party to save their medical receipts and assure them that someone from your insurance company will contact them.
  • Call your insurance agent immediately and provide them information about the incident including the injured parties contact information.
  • Report the dog bite to your local animal control center.

For more information on this particular coverage, please contact your local insurance agent.  If you do not have a Lighthouse homeowners or renters policy and would like more information, visit our Agent Locator to find an agent in your community.

Source: Insurance Journal

Written by: Jennifer Vazquez