Dog bite insurance and your New Orleans homeowners policy

Lose your dog or lose your homeowners insurance is not always the best option for your family

When you work the best insurance broker they are able to find an insurance company that will help you

You may have a dog that you believe “would never bite someone” but the facts show dog bite claims are very costly to the insurance industry

The average settlement from a dog bite claim was $43,653 in 2019

With medical costs on the rise and a growing litigious environment,

you are more than likely going to be sued if your pet bites someone or causes an injury because they chased or scared someone and an injury was sustained

Your dog doesn’t have to actually bite someone for a claim to be filed against you

Just an alleged incident can cost you

 

Not all New Orleans homeowners insurance policies cover dog bite liability

and if you have one of the breed of dogs on the prohibited list

more than likely you are on your own defending any alleged dog bite claim by a neighbor, friend or family member (not living in household) and paying out of your savings account

 

Here is a list of prohibited breed of dogs from one of our insurance companies we represent (list can vary with each company)

  • Akitas
  • American Bulldogs
  • Beaucerons
  • Caucasian Mountain Dogs
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Pit Bulls
  • Rottweilers
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Wolf Hybrids

 

If your family pet is listed above, it does not indicate your dog is vicious and likely will attack someone but is more likely to be involved in an animal liability claim

 

What to do if you own a dog on the list above?

 

Well “get rid of it” is the simple answer,

but for most family pets,

a dog can be like another family member.

 

1. First thing to do is contact your insurance broker and ask if owning your breed of dog will exclude all coverage under you New Orleans homeowners insurance policy

It may have been an exclusion to coverage when you initiated the policy and either the agent didn’t ask or you didn’t disclose the breed of dog or you brought home your dog after the policy was sold and didn’t notify your agent.

Either way the entire policy may be voided so ask if there is an issue with policy coverage.

 

2. Find a homeowners policy that will allow your breed of dog

If you have a prohibited breed of dog, it is possible some insurance companies will allow you to keep your home insurance policy, but will not extend liability to any claim involving an alleged dog bite or attack.

 

A simple email to your agent and ask if there is a coverage issue only takes a few seconds

What if my homeowners insurance company is going to cancel my policy because of a dog bite claim?

 

It happens

An unexpected or alleged claim against your dog

There is nothing you could have done

Most homeowners companies will cancel you after a dog bite claim or surcharge your insurance rate at renewal

 

If you are being canceled, your options are limited

The liability claim is now on your record and most insurance companies pull a CLUE report

Insurance companies share your claim history and when you apply for a new homeowners policy,

the new home insurance company can view your claim history usually up to 7 years

So before you attempt to not disclose your dog bite liability claim to the new insurance company,

save yourself some time and just ask if the homeowners insurance company will accept the application with a dog bite claim.

 

What to do if every company has declined to write a new homeowners insurance policy because of your claims history?

 

Good News

We have an insurance company that will consider your application for dog bite insurance coverage with a dog bite claim on your record

All applications are subject to underwriting approval

The insurance company will write the policy but you will not get any animal or dog bite liability insurance coverage

 

But the insurance quote will be expensive and more than my current policy?

 

Not so

We are seeing on some insurance quote proposals a lower premium than your existing policy that is being canceled

 

What’s this all about?

After you received a notice of cancellation on your homeowners policy and you decided you don’t want to get rid of your dog,

you now have an option

Complete our quick form or contact us to discuss your claim history so we can determine if we can help you get dog bite insurance in New Orleans you need without having to get rid of your dog