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Liability Protection for Dog Owners

For many, our dogs are part of the family. They protect us, provide companionship, and are an integral part of the home. Unfortunately, the laws don’t look at our pets as a family member. Without added protection, this opens up the potential for a lawsuit if your dog bites someone.

According to a study from the Center For Disease Control (CDC),: Approximately 4.7 million dog bites occur in the United States each year, and 800,000 of those bites result in medical care. The U.S. population is approximately 325.7 million people as of 2017. That means a dog bites 1 out of every 69 people.

Since Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet, according to the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, liability protection for dog owners is a must.

Dogs bring a lot to our lives yet sometimes accidents happen. From a nip on the ankle to a serious bite, these accidents can cost the homeowner a lot of money out of pocket.

Why is Liability Protection for Dog Owners Important?

There are quite a few reasons why you need liability protection if you own a dog.

Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Always Provide Coverage

You may assume that if there is a situation where your dog was involved that homeowners insurance covers you. This is not always true. In fact, homeowners insurance has exceptions that may affect you.

These include excluding coverage for certain types of dogs. Even if you do not own a pit bull, there are other dogs sometimes excluded such as the Belgian Malinois or Doberman. Some insurance companies may charge more or even ask for liability waivers for dog bites.

You may be able to get an umbrella type of coverage yet the same rules apply as above.

It’s Not Always Enough

Even if your homeowners insurance does cover injuries and damage, there is a policy limit. If the cost exceeds your limit, you are responsible for the rest. This means that if your policy only covers up to $20K and you are sued for $40K, you are responsible for the additional 20K if the other party wins their case.

In fact, in statistics posted by CNBC, the national average payout for a dog bite claim is an astounding $37K. In some states, that number is even higher.

Possible Scenarios

A dog that bites is not always vicious. In fact, some bites happen while roughhousing with the dog. Unfortunately, if that person is not part of your family they may sue. This falls under invited guests and other.

Another scenario is with trespassers. You might think that someone who doesn’t belong on your property negates you being responsible for a dog bite but this is untrue in a few states. Some states actually allow trespassers to bring a lawsuit.

The last scenario is what is called dangerous propensities. This is when your dog has a bite history. In this case, if your dog bites someone on your property, the homeowner or occupier may be held strictly liable.

We’ve Got You Covered

Finding the right excess coverage for your pets can be difficult, but it’s one of the most important things you can do to protect your family’s investments.

If you’d like to learn more about how XINSURANCE helps you with liability protection for dog owners, please contact us and get a quote today!