Dog liability insurance is becoming more important in today's world where millions of dogs live in populated areas and bite nearly five million Americans every year. The annual dog bite losses equal approximately $1 billion, and most of the victims are children that are usually bit in the face. Today over one-third of homeowner liability claims in the US are due to dog bites with the average claim over $20,000.
A dog can bite for various reasons, including fear, pain, guarding instincts, or even play. According to insurance companies, the most “dangerous” dog breeds are Pit Bull, Staffordshire Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, Rottweiler, Chow Chow, Alaskan Malamute, and German Shepherd. This list should be supplemented with large Russian dogs, especially Caucasian Ovcharka and Central Asian Ovcharka.
Anyway, do not underestimate your dog of any other breed because even small dogs can bite aliens, as well as family members.
Every dog owner is legally exposed to possible liability for dog bites and other damages caused by his dog. Nevertheless, only one in ten US dog owners have an insurance policy and much less of them practice dog liability insurance.
Liability insurance for dogs can protect you and potential victims from great financial risk, even in unfortunate situations when your dog is hit by a car, and the car is damaged in some way. With the breeds mentioned above the dog liability insurance is really a good idea.
It should also be considered if you are a dog walker, a pet sitter, a dog trainer, or even a grooming store owner. In this case liability insurance for dogs will protect you against financial claims from your clients.
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The main problem here is that a “dangerous breed” owner may find it very difficult to get the right insurance cover for his dog. The insurance companies are trying to limit their exposure in this area and are changing their policies.
A few years ago most dog liability insurance policies covered dog bites, but now it’s no longer that way. The insurance companies either blacklist certain dog breeds or exclude dog bites from coverage. Many of them offer liability insurance for dogs only to homeowners.
Never assume that dog liability insurance of any kind will cover you when it comes to dog bites, or attacks. Liability insurance for dogs comes in many different forms, which you need to study very carefully. It’s important to find out whether the policy lets you claim the cost of damage that your dog may cause.
Your annual premium could be reduced if you have your dog neutered, take obedience lessons, or have a fenced backyard. Your “dangerous” dog should be properly socialized, kept on a leash, and even muzzled when you take it for a walk.