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28 Sep Specialty Dog Policies
I tightened my helmet, secured my kneepads, and snapped my buckles into place. I was nine and it was rollerblade time. I always had a great time cruising the mean sidewalks of suburbia in my neon rollerblades, but this day was exceptionally great. I even landed a jump. Then it happened.
A furry little monster blindsided me from behind, and I went down. Long story short, my rollerblades were viciously and brutally attacked by the neighbor’s three-pound Pomeranian, Mr. Fluffy.
While Pomeranians are not generally recognized as a dangerous dog breed, Mr. Fluffly (more like Mr. Ferocious) really did a number on my rollerblades. Luckily I survived, and I’m here to tell the tale. But I’m also here to tell another tale. One about how you should get specialty dog insurance—even if you have a seemingly mild-mannered, well behaved Fluffy Jr. at home.
In 2011, dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowner’s insurance liability claim dollars according to the Insurance Information Institute. Last year, the average cost paid for dog bite claims was $29,396, which is a staggering 53.4 percent higher than just nine years earlier in 2003 when the average claim was about $19,162.
Some homeowner’s policies cover dogs, but all too often certain breeds are excluded, especially those commonly classified as dangerous. It’s also common for dog owners to be subject to breed-specific laws (BSL), which are especially tough to overcome once an incident has occurred. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to own a “dangerous breed” to be held accountable in an animal liability lawsuit. I’m pretty sure that my childish nose, ears, and fingers were enticingly bite-size for Mr. Fluffy and any other seemingly harmless toy dog out there.
In many cases, dog owners of “not so dangerous” breeds with homeowner’s or renter’s insurance are covered to a certain extent for canine-inflicted injuries, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely covered, especially if legal expenses exceed a certain amount.
Most people can’t fathom the thought of their dog attacking someone, but it happens. And it can happen to you. Even if your dog were to get into an altercation with another dog, you could still be held personally liable for damages and injuries to the other dog. Therefore, it’s best to be ready with additional insurance, such as animal liability coverage or a specialty dog policy.
XINSURANCE offers specialty dog policies to the owners that need them most. For all the Mr. Fluffys and other deceptively dangerous dogs of this world, our insurance agents will help you get the right insurance policy for your dog.