Home insurance is not just to protect the home itself. In fact, liability protection may be the most important part of your home insurance plan. A new roof or garage door is something that you might be able to cover out of pocket, but the costs incurred in a personal injury case can bankrupt the average family.
In most cases of dog bites, your insurer will offer coverage. However, there are some nuances that you should understand going forward in order to make sure that you are protected should your dog bite someone on your property:
- Every policy is different, but the standard limits on liability will go from $100,000 to $300,00. Additional coverage can be purchased, but this amount covers the needs of the typical homeowner.
- It is generally taken on a case-by-case basis, but many insurers will not cover certain breeds of dog, such as pit bulls.
- Some insurers may require homeowners to sign liability waivers in case of dog bites.
- Insurers may cover a pet only after it has received some sort of training certification.
- After a dog bite incident, you're certainly going to be looking at higher premiums. You might also find your insurance provider choosing not to renew your policy.
What we all hope for is that our dogs never bite anyone in the first place. Insurance may be able to help you cover the legal costs should this happen, but as always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When introducing your dog to new people or animals, always take it slow and make sure that you're there to keep things from getting out of hand, especially when children are involved. Ensure that you have your dog properly trained, and that they get enough exercise so that they don't develop issues with anxiety.
No matter how safe and friendly your dog may be, you don't want to assume that it will never bite or harm anyone, as it may happen even by accident. And of course, whenever introducing new liability concerns to the home, you'll want to keep your insurer up to date and find out if there are any additional steps that they require you to take.