Is Your Dog Covered by Your Home Insurance?
Homeowners insurance is designed to protect all members of your family against personal liabilities, and sometimes you might wonder how it extends to your pets. Although your home insurance won’t pay for costs like your pet’s veterinary bills or cover the cost of replacing your favorite couch cushion if your dog chews it up, it does offer important liability protection. In many cases, the liability coverage within your policy can be extended to cover pet bite liabilities, and this is coverage you might not know you need until it’s too late. Here’s how it works.
Understanding Pet Bite Liability Insurance
Everyone loves their family pet. To you, they are probably cute, friendly and never hostile. That’s probably the case 99% of the time. However, there is still that 1% of the time where your pet is an animal, no matter how tame it might be.
A friend or neighbor might not realize that they are about to startle a dog when they simply reach to pet it. However, the dog is equally innocent if they react angrily and bite the person in question. This is an animal, and the animal can’t be blamed for its actions. Rather, it is the dog’s owner who is likely to take the blame for this loss, and who might have to compensate the injured party.
An animal bite could be superficial, or it could cause extensive harm that requires the victim to undergo emergency treatment, surgery and even rehabilitation. Because it was your pet that caused the harm, it might be you who gets sued to cover the medical costs of the injured person.
However, if you have homeowners' liability insurance, most plans will offer you a pet bite insurance benefit. This will provide you with the compensation necessary to settle the cost of these losses. Sometimes, this benefit will come automatically as part of a homeowner's plan, but in other cases, you will need to add it to your liability coverage as an endorsement.
Will Pet Bite Liability Insurance Cover All Breeds?
If you own a dog, it merits checking with your home insurer to determine if a standard pet bite liability endorsement will provide you with the necessary coverage. Some companies will cover any breed of dog; some will exclude certain breads, such as Pit Bulls and Rottweilers, among others, and some companies will not cover animals at all. Ask us here at Harrell Insurance and we can tell you whether your policy covers your dog or other animal.
If you have a homeowners liability policy, then you are well on your way to having a comprehensive pet liability benefit. Our agents will work with you to ensure that it’s always there to protect you when you need it.