Many dog owners refrain from buying dog bite liability insurance because some homeowners’ and renters’ insurance covers it. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies have dog bite liability coverage of around $100,000 to $300,000.
However, getting specialized dog bite liability insurance is best if you are a canine lover. While there is no way to guarantee your pet will never bite someone, it can help you cover the costs if they do. Some options even include protection against other personal injury claims, such as slips and falls or property damage caused by your dog.
What Is Dog Bite Liability Insurance?
Dog bite liability insurance protects you and your family members in the case of a dog-related injury. Many victims take a legal approach if someone’s canine pet bites them. More than 17,000 dog bite claims were filed in the US in 2022, so insurance is necessary.
Dog bites are common, and while most injuries aren’t severe, some require medical attention due to the chances of infection. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog requires medical attention.
Why Should You Have Dog Bite Liability Insurance?
There are many reasons you should opt for dog bite liability insurance. Here are some of them:
Unpredictable Nature of Dogs
While usually friendly, dogs are unpredictable. When you own a dog, you have to be prepared for any situation that may arise. Dogs have sharp teeth and claws, which can cause severe injuries if they bite or scratch you.
Dogs also have the potential to bite children who are not familiar with them. Suppose your dog bites another person or child. In that case, they must receive immediate medical attention to avoid infection or serious health risks such as rabies infection.
Legal and Financial Protection
It’s important to have a dog bite liability insurance policy if you have one or more dogs at home.
Here’s how dog bite liability insurance works:
- Medical Expenses: If your dog bites someone and requires medical treatment, your insurance policy may cover their medical expenses. This includes hospital bills, doctor’s fees, and necessary follow-up care.
- Legal Defense: If the injured party decides to take legal action against you, dog bite liability insurance can cover your legal defense costs. This may include attorney fees, court costs, and related expenses.
- Damages: If a court gives a decision against you, your insurance can help cover the damages awarded to the injured person. This can include compensation for pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related damages.
Peace of Mind for You and Others
As a dog owner, you’re probably already aware of the many benefits of having a canine companion. Your four-legged friend can provide companionship and affection to help you through difficult times. They also keep your family safe by alerting them to danger and protecting them from harm.
Your dog may be like any other family member, but like humans, they may make mistakes sometimes. They may act out in ways not condoned by society. In these situations, injury could occur if someone else is hurt because of your pet’s behavior. A dog bite liability insurance can help protect you against any consequences of such incidents, giving you peace of mind.
In fact, dog bite liability insurance can also cover any bites when you are not at home. According to Dog Bite Insurance, there are chances that someone may come to your house looking for you when you are out. If your pet is unfamiliar with the visitor, it may try to bite him or her, considering the person is a thief.
Such scenarios can lead to legal consequences and medical expenses. The average cost of dog bite-related hospitalizations is $53.9 million per year. A good dog bite liability insurance will also cover such bites caused when you are not at home. This can enable you to avoid worrying about your dog biting someone when you are away from the house.
Social and Community Considerations
There are many social and community considerations when it comes to dog bites. You want to avoid them in public spaces, at home, and when walking with your furry friend. Here are some tips for how to avoid dog bites:
- Never approach or touch an unfamiliar dog without asking permission from its owner first. If the owner says no, back off.
- Always keep children under direct supervision when they’re around dogs, and even more so if those kids are very young.
- If someone else’s dog starts barking aggressively at yours while both are leashed together, get between them before anything serious happens.
Responsible Dog Ownership
If you are a responsible dog owner, you will have no problem getting insurance.
- Make sure your dog is trained and socialized. This means that your dog should be able to sit on command, stay within an area when told to do so, etc. You should also ensure that he or she does not bite anyone unless provoked first. All these things are achieved through training. Hence, around 73% or more dog owners reported using some training method in 2020.
- Keep your pet leashed when outside, even if it’s just going for walks around town without any other pets. This precaution is important because you don’t know what could happen next. You don’t want accidents happening unexpectedly, like getting into fights over territory issues between two families living near each other. This might result in serious injuries such as puncture wounds from bites inflicted on either party involved during such an altercation.
If you are a dog owner, having the right coverage for your pet is essential. A dog bite liability insurance can help protect you from financial losses from an incident involving the animal and someone else. It also provides peace of mind for those interested in such scenarios. They know that professionals who understand this type of coverage will take care of their claims well enough.