Dog Owners: Does Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

Did you know that man’s best friend is behind ONE-THIRD of all homeowner’s claims? Who would’ve thought? Over the last decade, the number of insurance claims related to dog bites has stayed about the same. A lot of people probably have no idea whether they are covered if Fido flips out on the delivery boy (or worse: the neighbor’s kid). Then, all of the sudden, the amount of money paid out in claims ballooned to nearly $500 million per year! That’s an increase of 51% over the last decade, according to the data from the Insurance Information Institute (III).

Here are some facts from the American Veterinary Medical Association:

  • Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs.
  • Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention.
  • Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
  • Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims.

There are many things you can do to avoid dog bites, ranging from properly training and socializing your pet to educating your children on how – or if – they should approach a dog, especially “new” dogs. Information and education are the best solutions for this public health crisis. However, in today’s legal environment where everyone’s a lawyer, it’s important for dog owners to protect themselves in the event of a bite.

So, dog owners? Do you know if your canine companion is covered? Even if your best friend has never shown his teeth to you, dogs are still animals that will bite if they are provoked, hurt or threatened. At IIAoA, it is standard policy to make sure all of our clients are aware of the potential liability that pet owners may face in the event of the unthinkable. In some cases, an additional Animal Liability policy may be the best solution to your current policy.

We get it. You’re busy. This is important, so let us help! If you are a dog owner and in doubt of your coverage, we can take the guesswork out of your homeowner’s policy. Click here for a free review of your current homeowner’s policy! As always, we would be happy to answer any questions. If you find out (or know for a fact) that your policy doesn’t cover dog bites, don’t despair! We also provide no obligation canine liability quotes.

January 18th, 2014 by Interactive Insurance Agency of America, LLC