Did you know that dogs make up 38.4% of the household pets? History shows that the number of pet parents increased by over 50% since 1988. As for dog children, the total number of parents is 89.7 million in the United States.
So, with that many pups, there is bound to be a little interaction. Well, maybe a lot of interaction. The CDC, reports that about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually. And of these figures, half represent dog bites in a home, with pets that are familiar to us.
So, though we love our dogs and understand that they too have feelings and forms of communication, it’s important to be protected. Like all breathing walks of life, we have incidents and make mistakes, so- let’s discuss how to protect your family, your dog, and the loved one that may have had an incident with your dog.
Generally, homeowner’s insurance policies and renter’s insurance policies cover dog bites under liability coverage- up to the policy limit. If the damages from the incident are more than the limit of the liability coverage, the owner of the dog would be responsible for covering those additional expenses.
It’s important to note that some insurance companies will not extend coverage for certain dog breeds. Those breeds considered “dangerous”, are generally not covered. There isn’t a dog bite policy out there, so, for additional protection- increasing your liability limits is a great idea. Here’s why:
The Insurance Information Institute reports that homeowners paid out over $600 million in dog bite incidents in the U.S in 2018.
Nationwide- the average cost of dog bite claims has gone up by over 5% in 2018.
There was a 108.2% increase in dog bite claim value between 2003 and 2018.
State Farm Insurance and The Insurance Information Institute report that in 2018 the U.S has 17,297 dog bite claims and the average cost per claim was $39,016.50.
Some states can deny coverage to homeowners due to breed type; however, two states are not allowed to do that: Pennsylvania and Michigan. Both states have laws that prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to owners of certain dog breeds. In Ohio, owners of dogs that are classified as “vicious” are required to purchase at least $100K of liability coverage.
The Insurance Information Institute lists some laws that you should know about:
The dog bite statute which says that the dog owner is automatically liable and responsible for any injury or property damage caused by the dog without provocation.
The one-bite rule which says that the dog owner is responsible for an injury caused by a dog if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause an injury. The victim has to prove this with this rule.
Negligence which means that the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was negligent in controlling the dog.
Let’s make sure you’re covered- contact our agency today.
About Jason Cass
I am the Co-Owner of The Insurance Alliance. I love to speak nationally on the topic of insurance and I am the author of "Customer Service is Just Foreplay" an Amazon Best Seller. I don't sell insurance, I help people buy it.