How Homeowners’ Insurance Protects You and Your Dog

Every year, around 800,000 Americans seek medical attention for dog bites. While we like to think of our dogs as our best friends, one unfortunate incident and your dog’s natural instincts could lead to liability expenses you didn’t anticipate.

Most homeowners’ insurance policies have personal liability clauses, which may cover an injury to someone else or damage to someone’s property if you are found liable. This may include if a dog in your care bites someone and a court finds you at fault. If it is determined that your policy covers the loss, your insurer will generally pay the victim’s medical or vet bills plus your legal expenses, up to the limits of your policy.

There are some exceptions to your homeowners’ insurance covering events like this, such as if your dog has a history of biting or considered a “high-risk breed” by your state or insurance company. Please check your state’s and insurance carrier’s policies on breed restrictions to ensure you and your pet are covered.

Dog Owner Liability

Getting a dog is such a heartwarming experience, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. As a pet owner, it is crucial that you set your dog up for success by getting them vaccinated, socialized and properly trained. As a dog owner, it is important to remember that you could be charged with serious crimes if your dog severely injures people. Even the sweetest pups can be triggered by things that take them by surprise!

Here are the three kinds of law that impose liability on dog owners:

  1. A dog-bite statue, where the owner is automatically liable for any injury or property damage the dog causes without provocation.
  2. The one-bite rule, where the dog owner is responsible for an injury caused by a dog if the owner knew the dog was likely to cause that type of injury. In this case, the victim must prove the owner knew the dog was dangerous.
  3. Negligence laws, where the dog owner is liable if the injury occurred because the dog owner was negligent in controlling the dog.

Dog Safety in Your Neighborhood

Whether you’re a dog owner or not, it’s important to always remember these tips to protect you and your family:

  • Do not approach an unfamiliar dog.
  • Always ask the dog’s owner if it is okay to approach them.
  • Never pet a dog without allowing it to see and sniff you first.
  • Never disturb a dog while they are sleeping, eating or chewing on a toy.

No one likes to think of their dog is capable of hurting someone, but in the case they do, you may be financially covered by your homeowners’ insurance. Contact your Pulte Insurance Sales Agent today to ensure you are properly covered!