Every dog owner is responsible for the actions of their pets and may be exposed to liability when their pet bites or causes other canine-inflicted injuries. Dog bites account for a large number of injuries annually, with around 4.5 million US citizens becoming victims every year. Children are at the forefront of the most serious attacks, and medicals bills for injuries can easily exceed $1 billion dollars annually. A dog owner liability insurance policy can provide you with the protection that many standard homeowners or renter’s policy may fail to offer.
While homeowners and renters policies normally provide benefits for dog bite victims, the limits may fall short of settlement amounts and can also result in an increase in premiums that you will have to pay. You should to speak to an agent and consider getting a separate covered canine policy for dog bites that won’t impact your home or renters insurance policy.
Not all victims are strangers to the animal
Many times we find that the most likely victims of a dog attack are friends or neighbors, not strangers or intruders attempting to gain entry into your home. Even your own relatives who may have a good relationship with your dog can become unwitting victims. As a pet owner, your having dog owner liability insurance means protecting the people you love, those closest to you. This also allows for protecting valuable relationships and ensuring anyone who is injured receives proper care and treatment in the event of an unfortunate incident.
While your pet’s actions are without malicious intent, especially when it comes to those they are most familiar with, things can still happen. This can simply be a matter of either approaching the animal while it is eating, or making a sudden movement that startles or otherwise alarms the animal.
Often policies are written that may exclude injuries caused by certain breeds of dog, or policies may provide inadequate coverage, such as mobile home policies, which will often cover liability for dog bites but only for an inadequate amount. You owe it to yourself and others, including your dog, to have proper dog owner liability insurance.