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Home Insurance and Dogs

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You might truly love your dog, but not all insurance companies feel the same way. This can depend on the breed of the dog as insurance companies have introduced policies that do not provide insurance coverage for every breed. 

Claims over dog bites rose over the year, which is why insurance companies made amendments to their policies. Financial considerations are taken into account when it comes to insurance denial for certain dog breeds. Insurance companies realized the financial burden due to dog bite claims, which are why they evaluated the risk attached. The average bite claim costs about $30,000 and became a financial burden for insurance companies.

Hence, breeds that are prone to biting have been blacklisted by insurance companies, so if you have such a breed, expect to pay out of your pocket if your pet bites someone.

Does Home Insurance Cover Dog Bites?

There is some coverage provided by insurance companies as long as the breed of dog you own is not excluded by your policy. Liability insurance is used in this case and the expenses are covered. 

Medical Insurance

Medical insurance is also part of the homeowners insurance. Medical insurance allows you to pay for others’ medical expenses using your own insurance. You may come across situations where someone has received dog bites due to your pet but doesn’t want to sue you. In such cases, you can use your medical insurance to cover the costs involved if you wish to do so. 

Umbrella Insurance

The umbrella liability policy also offers dog bite coverage. This policy can be used anytime there is a suit against you. This policy is best for those who possess a lot of assets. If your assets sum up to $100,000 or more, you can opt for an umbrella policy. On the other hand, if you don’t possess a lot of assets, avoid getting this policy as it would cost you a lot of money.

Why Have Insurance Companies Blacklisted Certain Dog Breeds?

Nowadays, insurance companies have become careful when it comes to dog insurance. They have stopped insuring breeds with a history of aggressive behavior. The law does not prevent them from discriminating on the basis of breeds.

The average bite claim costs about $30,000.

This is because dog bites are expensive for insurance companies. An average claim costs an insurance company $12000, so companies want to minimize this financial burden. For this purpose, many insurance providers do not provide coverage for breeds they consider high risk.

How Do You Claim Dog Bite Insurance?

If you want to get a proper amount for your claim, there are certain steps that you should take:

Properly Record Everything

Provide the insurance company with proper documentation of the injuries. Give a complete description of what happened and how it happened. 

Seek Medical Assistance

When filing a claim, a medical certificate can help. Even if the injury is minor, get medical assistance right away. Don’t ignore these minor aspects as they play a huge role when getting your claim approved. 

When Are You Liable For A Dog Bite?

The owner is held liable according to three types of laws:

1. Dog Bite Statute

The owner is immediately held responsible if the dog bite results in an injury or does serious damage. 

2. One-Bite Rule

There are some states where the first dog bite is usually not accounted and the owner isn’t held responsible. 

3. Negligence Law

A dog owner is held liable in circumstances where carelessness in controlling the dog results in damage. 

Most states don’t hold owners responsible if the dog bites someone when they trespass. However, if the incident takes place in a public place, the owner will be held responsible. 

Some dog breeds banned by insurance companies include:

  • Akitas
  • Alaskan Malamutes
  • Cane Corsos
  • Chows Chows
  • Doberman Pinschers
  • German Shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Mastiffs
  • Pit Bull Terriers
  • Presa Canarios
  • Rottweilers
  • Siberian Huskies
  • Staffordshire Terriers
  • Wolf-hybrids

Is Banning Dog Breeds A Good Idea?

For insurance companies, imposing the ban is beneficial as it secures them financially. However, as a whole, there are some risks involved. Introducing these policies can provoke irresponsible behavior. Dog owners will not properly train their dogs and will not take any matter seriously. The restricted dog breeds will not get adopted only because they don’t have insurance coverage and they will be deprived of a loving home.

Some dogs are a mixed breed and it is difficult to find out how much percentage of each breed is in the mix. As a result, the insurance policy will not be too clear on dealing with the situation.

Most states will hold the dog owner responsible if the dog bite happens in public.

Some statistics might show that certain breeds bite more often, but the numbers only seem high because of their popularity. It would be unfair of insurance companies to view these dog breeds as high risk.

What If Insurance Companies Deny Your Dog Insurance?

Most insurance companies don’t directly deny insurance and require medical records from vets. At times, insurance agents themselves visit the dog owner’s home. 

There are some insurance companies that will provide insurance for you but exclude your dogs. If this happens, you can check some other insurance company or even ask your insurance agent for recommendations. 

Why Do Dogs Bite?

Dogs have a tendency to bite. This is especially the case when there is a lack of training or socialization. Most dogs grow up to be aggressive if not properly trained. This can increase their likelihood to bite if they come across someone who provokes them. 

Some studies conducted prove that male dogs are more likely to bite than female dogs. Dogs that are chained also have the tendency to bite more than dogs that are unchained. 

How Can You Prevent Your Dog From Biting?

You can take the following steps for this purpose:

  • Properly train your dog
  • Know your dog’s personality
  • Socialize your dog so that it learns to behave around strangers
  • Play games that are not aggressive
  • Mark your property to let others know about the presence of a dog
  • Don’t expose your dogs to situations which can make it aggressive

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