We all know that dog bites are common and that there’s a chance your dog could bite someone.
In this article we’ll answer a question that many homeowners have asked: does homeowners insurance cover dog bites?
We’ll discuss the general coverage for dog bites under most homeowners policies and what you can do to make sure you’re covered if your dog bites someone.
Does homeowners insurance cover dog bites?
Most people are aware that their homeowner’s insurance policy will cover them in the event of a fire, theft, or other damages to their home.
But does homeowners insurance cover dog bites?
Scroll ahead to learn about whether your insurance policy covers a dog bite.
What is homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance is a type of property insurance that covers a private dwelling and the belongings within it. Standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for damage caused by fire, wind, hail, water leaks, and theft.
Most policies also provide liability coverage in the event that someone is injured on your property or you are sued for damages.
Some homeowners insurance policies also cover dog bites. This coverage is typically included under the liability portion of the policy.
If your dog bites someone, your homeowners insurance policy will pay for the victim’s medical bills up to the limit of your policy.
You will also be protected from lawsuits if the victim decides to take legal action against you.
Not all homeowners insurance policies cover dog bites, so it’s important to check with your insurer to see if this coverage is included in your policy.
You may also be able to purchase an endorsement or rider to add this coverage to your policy.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
Your homeowners insurance policy includes personal liability coverage, which protects you from being held financially responsible if your dog bites someone. In most cases, dog bite claims are covered under your personal liability coverage.
However, there are some situations where your homeowners insurance policy may not provide coverage. For example, if your dog has a history of biting people or acting aggressively, your insurer may exclude dog bite claims from your coverage.
Additionally, some insurers exclude certain breeds of dogs from coverage, so be sure to check with your insurer to see if they have any breed restrictions.
Does homeowners insurance cover dog bites?
The answer is yes, the majority of the time, homeowner’s insurance covers dog bites and can assist reduce the financial burden of your dog’s activities.
The answer is yes, in most cases your homeowners insurance will cover you if you are liable for a dog bite. However, there are some instances where your policy may not cover you, such as if the dog is considered a “dangerous breed” or if the bite occurred while the dog was on a leash.
When someone is harmed as a result of your negligence, such as when they fall on your damaged sidewalk or are attacked by a dog in your care, the liability coverage offered by your homeowner’s insurance policy pays up.
According to statistics from the Insurance Information Institute, the average liability claim for dog bites and other dog-related injuries in 2021 was almost $49,000.
If you are concerned about whether or not your homeowners insurance will cover you in the event of a dog bite, it’s best to speak with your agent to get more information.
How to file a claim for a dog bite
If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite, you may be wondering if your homeowners insurance will cover the costs.
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the severity of the injury and whether or not the dog is considered a “dangerous breed.”
To file a claim, you’ll need to provide your insurance company with a police report, medical records, and any other documentation that supports your claim.
It’s also a good idea to take photos of the injury. Once your claim has been processed, you’ll be able to receive reimbursement for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.
When does homeowners insurance cover dog bites?
Dog bites are often covered by homeowner’s insurance, whether they occur inside or outside the home. This falls under Coverage E (Personal Liability) or Coverage F (Other Liability) (Medical Payments).
Your coverage also protects you if your dog causes injury or property damage to third parties (not your own).
When doesn’t homeowners insurance cover dog bites?
There are three caveats to coverage for dog bites:
- Your dog, attacks a person who is covered by your insurance coverage (because you cannot file a claim against yourself)
- Your dog has a history of biting in the past
- Your pet is classified as “high-risk”
- Most homeowners insurance coverage is determined by national insurance data, which necessitates the exclusion of certain breeds with a penchant for biting. There is nothing personal here.
Which dog breeds are considered “high-risk” for biting?
Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chows, Great Danes, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, and Wolf-hybrids are considered “high-risk” dogs.
Homeowners insurance typically covers dog bites, however there may be some exceptions. For example, if the dog has a history of biting people or if the homeowner was aware of the dog’s aggressive behavior and did not take steps to prevent it, the insurance company may refuse to pay out on a claim.
It’s always best to check with your insurance company to see what is covered before assuming anything. You may also be required to purchase special liability coverage to protect yourself from potential lawsuits.
You should also check with your homeowners insurance company to see if they have any restrictions on certain breeds of dogs.