We love our furry friends! Most dogs are friendly, loving, members of our family, but even the most docile dog may bite when they are scared or frightened or when they are protecting their puppies, owners, or even their food. Statistics show more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs annually, resulting in injuries that require medical attention. Over 50 percent of dog bites occur on the dog owner's property, and they account for 1/3 of all homeowners insurance liability claims. Here are a few things you should know:
Protect yourself-and your assets
Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability, unless it's specifically excluded. Most policies provide a minimum of $100,000 in liability coverage. If the claim exceeds the limit, the dog owner is personally responsible for all damages above that amount, including legal expenses. Most insurance companies will insure homeowners with dogs, however, once a dog has bitten someone, it poses an increased risk. In such a case, the insurance company may charge a higher premium or exclude the dog from coverage altogether. A single lawsuit, even if won, can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the greater a person's assets, the more potentially is at risk. Personal liability coverage that is available through a standard homeowners or renters policy simply may not be enough, so you may want to consider purchasing a personal excess liability policy, or umbrella policy. These excess policies range from $1M up to $10M and are relatively inexpensive.
If you're a dog owner and are interested in obtaining a quote for this essential protection, please call us today! If you are already a valued customer and want to know if your policy currently covers your furry friend, we invite you to call us as well. We're always here to help!