Did you know that dog bites make up nearly one-third of homeowner’s insurance claims in the united states? According to the center for disease control and prevention, every year in the United States more than 4.7 million people are bitten by dogs. What does that mean for dog owners? Most home owner’s insurance policies cover dog bites to some extent, although certain breeds of dogs may be excluded from the policy, such as pit bulls. In addition, the amount that the individual policy covers can vary.
If you own a dog, it’s important to check with your home owner’s insurance company to see what is covered. If you are a renter, most renter’s insurance policies will cover dog bite liability as well. The average settlement for a dog bite is around $32,000 but can go as high as $300,000 depending on the severity of the injuries. Our firm has settled several dog bite cases and our average settlement amount was $150,000. Dog bite liability coverage ranges between $100,000 to $300,000 which should cover the legal and medical costs. When determining how much coverage you need, be aware that you are personally responsible for paying for damages that go above and beyond what your insurance covers.
If you don’t have dog bite liability coverage, what can you do to protect yourself against a claim? If your home owner’s or renter’s insurance policies do not include dog bite insurance or do not cover your breed of dog, you can look into an umbrella policy or purchase private insurance. Private insurance policies can start as low as $10 a month and are based on the size of your dog and type of breed.
Here a few companies that provide dog bite liability insurance:
Being a responsible pet owner includes owning dog bite insurance. In spite of how much you may love your pets, you can’t always control their behavior. Dog bites are a reality. We hope that you and your dog are never involved in a dog bite situation. If you or someone you know has sustained a dog bite injury, contact our office for a free consultation.