Most dog owners don’t really think about dog owners’ liability insurance. They neglect to think about what might happen if their dog happened to attack or injure another person – usually because most owners can’t comprehend the suggestion that their dog could ever do such a thing. Fortunately, if you own a dog, then odds are that you have dog owner’s liability insurance – as long as you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance.
Most basic homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance policies do cover dog bites – and it’s a good thing too: roughly one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claims made in 2010 involved dog bites. Insurers ended up paying out an estimated $413 million for dog bite claims, according to the Dog Bite Liability Report released by the Insurance Information Institute.
Most policies will actually provide a couple hundred thousand dollars worth of liability coverage for dog bites. However, there are a few things to be aware of. Most insurers have a “one bite rule.” This means that the insurance can be canceled or a canine exclusion clause will go into effect after the first incident. Some breeds are also not covered, such as Dobermans, pit bulls, chows and rottweilers. These breeds are responsible for a larger percentage of dog bite related incidents. Most policies will list the breeds that are excluded, so pay attention!
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