We love our dogs and understand that they have feelings and different forms of communication, but it’s important to be protected. Like all breathing walks of life, incidents and mistakes happen. Insurance is protection for those what if’s and when it comes to dog biting, that what if is almost a “when it happens”. The CDC reports that about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs annually.
This post is all about how to protect your family, your dog, and the victim that may have an incident with your dog. Before we get into insurance, it’s important to note that a dog bite claim can quickly turn into a criminal penalty. There are laws in many states, specific to dog bites.
Let’s look at the information from The Insurance Information Institute regarding dog bite laws:
The dog bite statute: the dog owner is automatically liable and responsible for any injury or property damage caused by the dog without provocation.
The one-bite rule: 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: the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was negligent in controlling the dog.
Usually, a homeowner’s insurance policy and a renter’s insurance policy cover dog bites under liability coverage- up to the policy limit. If the damages from the accident exceed the limit of the liability coverage, the dog owner becomes responsible for covering those additional expenses.
Some insurance companies will not extend coverage for certain dog breeds. Breeds considered “dangerous” or “vicious” are generally not covered so, a dog bite from a dangerous breed would not be covered under the liability coverage. If that happens, the dog owner becomes financially responsible with no insurance assistance/intervention.
There isn’t a dog bite policy, so, to ensure total protection- increasing your liability limits is a great idea. Dog bite claims are critical:
The Insurance Information Institute reports that homeowners paid out over $600 million in dog bite incidents in the U.S in 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.
There was a 108.2% increase in dog bite claim value between 2003 and 2018.
In the United States, dogs make up 38.4% of the household pets making a total of 89.7 million pet parents in the United States. You want to ensure that you are protected and that may require additional coverage.
Since there is no dog bite coverage specifically, we need to look at your liability coverage. Give us a call today.
About Ryan Ruffcorn
Ryan grew up in Keokuk, graduated from Keokuk Senior High, and started his agency in Keokuk from scratch in 2003 after having worked for one of the largest international accounting firms, KPMG, LLP.
Ryan is hardworking; his loyal and trustworthy character is exemplified by the way he does business. He thoroughly enjoys helping clients through the insurance buying process to secure coverage for their most valuable assets.