dog bite liability

Dog Bite Liability insurance and your homeowners policy is something that is not automatically included in every policy.

 

I always thought about a dog biting a person and the damages that incur as a result.

But the other day we had a claim involving a dog biting a neighbor’s dog.

Would that be covered?

Your dog may be the most innocent, sweet dog you have ever owned, 

but what if,

for some unknown reason,

your family dog doesn’t get along with your neighbor’s dog and it causes injury to your neighbor’s dog?

 

Medical bills are just as expensive for dogs.

Dog Bite Liability insurance is not automatically included in your policy.

 

Most New Orleans homeowners insurance policies today must be endorsed to include a sublimit of liability protection for Dog bite liability.

A usual limit is 25,000 of liability protection.

 

And your dog can’t be on the prohibited breed of dog list.

prohibited breed of dog

  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Rottweilers
  • German Shepherds
  • Presa Canarios
  • Chows Chows
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • Akitas
  • Wolf-hybrids
  • Mastiffs
  • Cane Corsos
  • Great Danes
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Siberian Huskies

The list can vary between insurance companies and their own underwriting department.

Also a mix breed of any of the above could exclude liability as well.

 

Why do insurance companies limit liability for a dog bite claim?

 

The average claim payment on a dog bite claim is $32,072.

 

Injure a child and you are going to pay.

 

What can you do now if you own a dog?

 

Check your homeowners policy for dog bite liability.

If so, what is the limit?

If you don’t see an endorsement,

call your insurance agent and ask what is the animal liability limit if your dog were to bite someone.

 

Also look into buying an Umbrella policy.

An umbrella policy can provide you an additional layer of liability above your standard underlying homeowners insurance policy limit.

Umbrella limits begin at 1,000,000 and can go up to 10,000,000.

Your would need underlying liability limit on your homeowners policy to be at least 300,000.

 

If your homeowners policy was sold to you with only 100,000 liability,

you can raise it up to 300,000 as low as $10/year.

 

An Umbrella policy can be as low as $200/year.

 

What’s this all about?

If you are considering buying a dog,

make sure it is not on the prohibited breed list or you will be paying all claims out of your own savings.

If it is not on the list,

take a quick look at your policy or call your insurance agent to add animal liability.