You love your pet. You do all you can to keep your pet safe. But, dogs are animals. You cannot predict all instances of their behavior. When a dog bites a person, your home insurance may cover your losses. However, the insurer may also require the removal of the dog from the home or cancel the policy. In other cases, you may need additional coverage to protect you from risks. Here is what you need to know about your dog, bites, and insurance.
Do You Have Insurance for a Dog Bite?
Most home insurance policies provide coverage for dog bites. Let your agent know you have a dog. The insurance will cover liability claims against you filed by other people if your pet hurts them. Keep in mind, this does not apply to bites to those who live in the home.
Dog bite coverage may pay for medical bills, lost time at work, and pain and suffering of an injured person. Check with your insurer to make sure you have this protection. Verify that the adequate limits will apply.
What Happens When a Dog Bite Occurs?
Your first step is to ensure the person receives proper medical attention. Then, call your home insurance agent. He or she will generally work directly with the injured party to settle the claim and provide payout.
Most often, the insurer pays the claims of the injured party. Generally, a liability claim lowers your risk of getting sued for damage. However, if the case progresses to a trial, your policy should provide you with legal defense. It may also help you pay settlements.
What About the Dog?
State laws first apply here. City laws also apply. If the incident is malicious or very high risk to happen again, you may have to remove the pet. This is not common in most dog bites with minimal damage or lower costs.
Some home insurance policies will allow you to keep the pet. However, you will have to pay an additional level of liability insurance on the pet. This will help to minimize the costs to you if there is another accident. Most insurance companies will not cover numerous claims, though. Higher premium requirements and even policy cancellations might result.
Do not hide dog bite incidents from your home insurance provider. Be sure you to state the facts about the risks. This is the only way to make sure there is no risk to you in the future if a significant incident occurs. You need this type of protection in place.