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Are Dog Bites Included in Homeowners’ Insurance?

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“Will my homeowners insurance policy cover dog bites?” is a question that everyone with a pet and a property is likely to ask. Dog assaults, property damage caused by your pet, and other similar concerns are likely to arise.

Some of these things are covered by standard homeowners insurance in some cases, but not all of them in all cases. As a homeowner, it’s critical to understand what you’ll be protected for.

As a pet-owning homeowner, here are the most important facts to know about your homes insurance.

  1. Some Dog Attacks May Be Covered by Personal Liability Insurance

A personal liability coverage component is included in every typical house insurance policy. This coverage is restricted in a number of ways. First and foremost, the total amount it will pay out is limited, usually between $100,000 and $300,000 if you have significant coverage.

Second, accidents that hurt the policyholder or others living in his or her house are not covered by your policy. Accidents involving a third party, such as a visiting friend or relative, a delivery guy, or a contractor working on your property, are covered (under specified circumstances.)

If a dog breed is deemed to be too hazardous, it may be excluded. Other insurers may require you to purchase additional liability coverage, pay slightly higher premiums, or fulfill other criteria before covering dog bites and assaults. Certain breeds may have restrictions that differ from those that apply to all dogs and pets.

  1. Understand what your insurance covers and what it doesn’t.
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If a covered incident occurs at your home, the liability coverage will usually cover legal expenses regardless of whether you are found to be at fault. It may also assist with medical bills and settlements for pain and suffering resulting from an accident. In rare situations, claims for lost wages and/or death benefits may be covered to some extent.

Again, coverage is limited to third parties and does not cover injuries caused by a dog attack on you, your children, or others residing in your house. To cover such a risk, health or accident insurance may be the best option.

In many cases, homeowners insurance will cover damage to your home, but it will not cover damage caused by your own pet to your building, detached buildings, or land. However, if your dog damages a visitor’s or neighbor’s property, it’s extremely possible that property damage liability coverage will apply.

  1. Which Breeds Are Insurance Companies Concerned About?

Only the most dangerous dog breeds will be of sufficient concern to insurers to warrant special treatment. These dogs have a strong build and can cause serious injury with a single bite. Pit bulls, rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, and chowchows are among them. The actual list differs from one insurance to the next.

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Aggressive, high-risk pets represent a huge threat. Every year, millions of dog bites and attacks occur in the United States, with some resulting in hospitalization or even death. As a result, some insurance companies will refuse to cover particular breeds or may deny coverage to owners of such dogs entirely.

However, many insurers will cover you and your pet as long as the liability coverage levels are met. Consider shopping around, comparing pricing and terms, and asking questions. Don’t give up because you think you won’t be able to acquire coverage!

  1. Look for ways to reduce the risk of a dog attack.

When you behave appropriately to lessen the chance of a dog bite attack, many insurers will take notice. More significantly, it will aid in the protection of you, your family, and others.

Here are some suggestions for lowering the risk factor:

Place BEWARE OF DOG signage in high-traffic areas on your property.
Make sure your dog is rabies-vaccinated and has received all other required immunizations.
When in the yard, keep your dog on a leash at all times.
Never leave a child alone with a dog, particularly one that is a high-risk breed.
Take the effort to socialize and train your dog to be friendly among other people.
To reduce the possibility of an attack, give visitors guidelines on how to treat your dog.
Construct a barrier. Homeowners insurance may cover fences, allowing you to reduce the chance of an attack while also improving the quality of life for your dog.

  1. Understand How to Save on Homeowners Insurance
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If you’re going to have to pay a somewhat higher homes insurance premium to cover the hazards of owning a dog, especially a high-risk breed, you might want to look for other ways to save. There are a lot of them!

Choosing a good insurer with reasonable prices is a smart start. Then you might be eligible for savings if you have few or no claims on your record, a decent credit score, or other factors. Inquire about any discounts that may be offered and whether you qualify for any of them.

Increasing your deductible or lowering your overall coverage level will drop your monthly premiums significantly. Another approach to save money is to combine homeowners insurance with vehicle or health insurance in a single package.

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