Many New Yorkers who own dogs consider them to be members of their families. However, any dog can bite and cause severe injuries to others. When a dog attacks someone else while on public property or the dog owner’s private property, the victim can file a claim for damages with the dog owner’s renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance policy. However, many insurance companies include breed restrictions to exclude certain types of dogs from coverage. In that case, the victim might seek compensation directly from the dog owner, making it important for people to review their coverage.
Commonly excluded breeds
Insurance companies typically exclude breeds that are deemed likelier to pose a risk of dog bites and other types of aggressive behavior. Some of the commonly excluded breeds include the following:
- Pit bulls
- German shepherds
- Doberman pinschers
- Great Danes
- Chow chows
- Staffordshire terriers
- Siberian huskies
This list is not exhaustive, so you should review your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy to see whether your dog is excluded.
What to do if your dog is excluded
While your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy might not cover you if your dog bites someone else, you can purchase an umbrella liability policy to provide coverage. This additional coverage might require an additional premium but could provide you with protection if your dog attacks someone else. If an umbrella policy isn’t available, another option is to purchase canine liability insurance from a different insurance company.
If you own a restricted dog breed, it’s important to make sure you have adequate coverage to protect you in the event your dog bites or otherwise attacks someone else. Without insurance coverage, your assets could be at risk in the event of a serious dog attack or bite that results in severe injuries.