Why You May Want Liability Insurance for Your Dog

You don’t believe your dog could hurt anyone right? But should it injure someone else and you don’t have liability insurance that covers your dog, you will likely be financially responsible.

Liability insurance is coverage that pays up to the policy’s limit for someone’s injuries in the event you or your dog is responsible for causing those injuries. You will likely be responsible for some of the costs if you haven’t purchased enough liability coverage or all of their medical bills if you haven’t purchased any liability coverage.

A report from the Insurance Information Institute and State Farm states in 2014 the average liability claim for a dog-related injury was $32,072 and dog-related injury claims accounted for more than one-third of the money insurance companies paid out on liability claims that year.

It is advised that you double check the language in your homeowners or renters insurance policies to make sure it includes liability protection that will cover dogs. Some insurers charge more to insure certain breeds that have been labeled as aggressive, such as pit bulls and german shepherds, or they may ask customers to sign liability waivers for dog bites. Some insurers have a lower liability limit for dogs or exclude dogs completely.

If your homeowners or renters insurance excludes your dog, another option would be to buy a separate animal liability policy that will cover injuries your pet may cause. Available limits can range anywhere from $15,000 to more than $1 million. As with any liability insurance policy, the price depends on many factors. Factors can include: the size of the dog, whether the dog is spayed/neutered, whether the dog has bitten someone before and the coverage amount you are seeking. Most dogs are insurable, including aggressive breeds.

If your homeowners or renters policy includes your dog, but you think the policy limit is too low, you could look in to buying an umbrella liability policy. Umbrella policies are additional coverage that is used after the liability limit on your insurance policy has been reached.

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