Your pup can be a best friend like no other animal. You more than likely feed, water, walk, and play with your dog on a daily basis so it’s never in your mind that your dog may turn on someone else. While it may be tough to hear, your dog will always act on instinct rather than rational thought, leading some dogs to bite when they feel threatened. If your dog bites another person you will be held accountable for its actions. How can you protect yourself from legal action if your dog’s bite is worse than its bark?
Do I Need Homeowner’s Insurance?
Instead of you personally being sued for any injuries someone sustained from your dog biting them, your insurance will take the brunt of legal action. Homeowner’s insurance will step in and pay for any medical bills the bit person incurred. If the person your dog bit decides to take legal action, they will sue the insurance company.
Dog teeth are comparable to a human’s with sharp teeth in the front of the jaw and rounded teeth in the back. A severe dog bite, where a dog latches on with its back teeth and shakes its head violently, can result in hundreds of thousands of medical bills for reconstructive surgery and antibiotics. If you did not have homeowner’s insurance and someone sued you personally for your dog biting them, you could have your assets taken away or even your wages garnished.
What about Renter’s Insurance?
If you rent and have a dog, you might want to think about getting renter’s insurance. Renter’s insurance will protect you from liability if your dog bites someone, similar to the way homeowner’s insurance protects you. However, if your rental property does not allow dogs but you have one anyway, your rental insurance will likely not cover you. Likewise if there are any breed restrictions in place for your rental and you own that breed.
When shopping for insurance, it’s important to make sure you know the policy coverages. Go in depth with your insurance agent regarding dog bite coverage if you have a dog. Ask if there are breed or even weight restrictions on your policy. If there are, you may be able to purchase umbrella coverage in case your dog bites.
What about Umbrella Coverage?
Umbrella coverage is extra liability insurance that you can purchase as either a homeowner or a renter. This type of coverage comes in handy when you have a dog breed that is not covered by your regular insurance. For example, some homeowner and renters’ insurances do not cover dog bites from widely accepted aggressive breeds of dogs such as pit bulls and Rottweilers.
While the above-mentioned insurance policies can financially protect you, if your dog bites someone it’s a good idea to look into the circumstances that led to the bite. Proper training of your dog as well as reading dog bite warning signs can let you know when your pup is calm and relaxed versus frightened, angry, and aggressive.
If you are the victim of a dog bite, The Advocates can check for insurance and deal with the insurance company while you focus on getting better. Insurance companies are known to fight tooth and nail against dog bite claims but The Advocates fight for you so that you can get a fair settlement. Give us a call today to discuss your dog bite case!