Put Our Experience To Work For You

Dog bites, liability claims and home insurance

On Behalf of | Oct 11, 2023 | Premises Liability

While a dog could be a loyal pet to a particular owner, the canine could present risks to others. Some breeds can be dangerous and are capable of inflicting severe harm. Therefore, the owners are responsible for protecting others from any unprovoked attack from their pets. Otherwise, the owners could face a personal injury claim or even a wrongful death lawsuit in a New York courtroom. If their pet does bite someone, they may wonder if their homeowner insurance would cover any claims.

Home insurance and dog bites

Homeowners insurance provides coverage that protects against financial losses from property damage and offers personal liability coverage. Liability insurance protects an owner financially against negligence up to the policy limits. To determine whether dog bites fall under liability coverage, the homeowner must read the policy for the answer. The policy contract will detail what is and is not covered.

Homeowners must review their insurance policy for dog bite coverage details. Often, the liability limits for dog bites could be meager. For example, someone may carry $500,000 in personal liability protection, but the dog bite coverage is only $10,000. Also, there could be exclusions for specific breeds. A German shepherd, for example, may be ineligible for any coverage. Other rules might exist, such as only providing coverage to bites on the property and not off.

Insurance coverage and claims

If the exclusions and coverage limitations create concerns, a homeowner could purchase an additional policy that addresses dog bite liabilities. Adding to the home insurance policy is an option. If not, buying a separate policy to cover dog-related personal injury claims might be necessary.

Victims may file a claim against the insurance company if the homeowner has appropriate coverage. Filing a lawsuit could be the only way to receive compensation without insurance coverage.